Dan Hume's Blog


Working on an Idea
January 31, 2010, 11:15 pm
Filed under: Post Production Techniques

Ok, I’m starting to work on an idea for this unit. I want to create something quite broad in terms of post production, like include 2D and 3D animation and manipulate video. I can’t believe I’m finding myself wanting to use 3D animation as well, but I have been completely inspired by some French students who have made this short film of these creatures, created in some 3D software, who go around around painting Paris. I saw this video and thought it was just brilliant and I was really inspired by it’s simplicity. There is no detailed description of any hidden messages or meaning in this video apart from that the three students have written synopsis saying, “it’s little creatures painting Paris.” I can certainly relate to this video and conclude my own interpretation of a meaning for it, which I’d like to pursue by creating something in this style.

Here is the Video Reulf:

The black and white footage could be a representation of a boring, dull place where nothing is interesting or nothing stands out. These little creatures are the force of turing the future into a bright and colourful path and the fact they are small also shows that little things working together can make a different.

I am eager to attempt at creating a piece of work like that. I think this video demonstrates a good use of post production with the compositing of the 3D animation and the video footage manipulated to look like it’s being painted.  I’m definitely not hot on using 3D software such as maya, so whatever character/s I was going to create in 3D were going to be very simple. Before I saw the Reulf video, I already had some basic designs of a 3D character/s I wanted to create and it does resemble the same style in the video.

Here are a couple of very simple designs I drew up:

3D outline sketch

More Detail On The Design:

I am thinking of just creating one or maybe two simple 3D characters in the style above. I don’t want to spend hours modeling and texturing characters when this project isn’t focused on 3D alone. For texturing, like in the Reulf video, I’ll have them in plain simple color like red, blue or green. My main area I would like to perfect on this would the animation. The animation is quite a hard technique to make all the movements quite smooth so I would like to pay extra attention to that area.

Location:

London is my ideal choice of location to film for this project. There are lots of interesting places in London that my 3D character/s could go and visit.

  • South Bank/ River Thames
  • Trafalgar Square
  • Bit’s of London Underground
  • Big Ben/Houses of Parliament
  • Little Cafe
  • London Underground

Concept Ideas:

Well I really liked the idea of the little creatures painting Paris. I feel like I can really relate to it and give it my own meaning. I thought 2009 was a bit of depressing year for me, I dropped out of university, had no job to go to and discovered I had tinnitus. On a global scale, the recession was a big dark shadow of depression for everyone. The black and white footage of the streets of London could represent that. I am going to create either one or two little characters that go around London and brighten it up as a way showing the start to a new year.

I’m also thinking about just using one set location in London, such as cafe, that the 3D character/s will be based at and film different shots.

Two different scenarios:

  • The character/s paints a city
  • The character/s puts up street art – not sure what the street art could show yet.

Filming:

The look of the footage itself will be black and white and I might add a slight tint of maybe yellow or blue, just to give it some edge. I’m also going to experiment with the contrast as well and see how well it turns out.



More After Effects
January 29, 2010, 4:53 pm
Filed under: After Effects, Post Production Techniques

Motion Tracking

Today we looked at motion tracking in After Effects. This is a technique to combine pieces of video footage into one. It doesn’t necessarily have to be video footage, it can be a mixture of 3D or 2D animation with video to.

Text Animation

We also played around with some text animation effects using the motion sketch tool and different expressions. These are alternatives instead of manually inputting keyframes to make an animation.



post production techniques – brief change
January 28, 2010, 3:29 pm
Filed under: Post Production Techniques

Ok, so the brief for the post-production unit has changed. Kinetic text apparently was a bit to focused on motion graphics which doesn’t really cover much of post-production, which is fair enough. Post-production is more about working with video and composting 2D and 3D graphics into it.

I’ve looked at some examples:

Quantum Of Solace – Title Sequence

Get Together – Music Video (Madonna)

Shoot The Runner – Music Video (Kasabian)



Ideas for post-production techniques project
January 23, 2010, 9:21 pm
Filed under: Post Production Techniques

I have started thinking about ideas for the post-production techniques project. As always, with every new project, it’s hard to visualize an idea right away. I am aware for this project that we are meant to take  either a piece of music, an excerpt from a film or a poem  to be used as a soundtrack and produce an animated piece of Kinetic Typography in After Effects.

I have looked at various types of Kinetic Typography:

Dexter – Kinetic Typography

Stand Up by Ludacris – Kinetic Typography

V for Vendetta – Kinetic Typography

Stranger Than Fiction – Kinetic Typography

I’m a bit undecided about what style I’d like to do, whether its using video or making my own graphics in photoshop and after effects.

Song Choices

I’ve decided to use music for this project as I enjoy listening to music. I don’t know if the music has to be some sort of instrumental piece or with lyrics, but I’ve started looking at songs anyway.  These are some of the songs I would like to use for this project. I will narrow this down to one (obviously) as I start working on ideas for each one.

Starry Eyed Surprise – Paul Oakenfold

Possible Ideas:

For this song I’m not entirely sure what I would do. I really need to look into the lyrics to help me visualize ideas. I feel, for this song, I might go for the more graphical style approach, like the Stand Up by Ludacris kinetic text has been done.

Celebration (Benny Benassi Remix) – Madonna

Possible Ideas:

Again I’m not entirely sure what the hell I would do exactly for this song but my instincts are telling me that I should go for something quite graphical as well. It’s definitely not Madonna’s most meaningful song but it’s about having a good time and taking risks. I can see myself playing around with lots of different effects with this song.

Porcelain – Moby

Possible Ideas:

For this song, I can only imagine creating subtle visuals. Originally, when I was doing A Level media, I wanted to do a music video for this song to show the morning/day after a night out. It would have been set by the coast, which works out well for me as there is a beach in Bournemouth If I decide to choose this song. I would incorporate the kinetic text in the video like the Stranger than Fiction clip.

I’m still looking out for other possible songs for this project that I could use….



Finished Product For Computer Graphics
January 21, 2010, 10:04 pm
Filed under: 3D, Computer Graphics for Animation and Film, Maya

Ok, here is my final piece for the Computer Graphics unit.

The concept of the piece was based on Realism. I was inspired by this approach from the 3D week channel 4 hosted. It made me realize how much everything is continually changing and developing and that this 3D week is possibly a pre-curse of what’s ahead in the future for television, film and gaming. 3D has been around for some time, but it’s now becoming slightly more commercial and there is a hunger of people wanting to be physically in the action. In terms of 3D animation/graphics, media companies are obsessed with how real, everything that is computer generated, looks. So the concept is basically ‘how far are media companies prepared to go when it comes to realism’?

The bullet is a good representation of  the movement of technology. As we all know, technology is constantly moving forward in one direction at a rapid speed. It’s exactly the same like with a bullet, it shoots out of a gun at a rapid speed in one direction.

I am happy with how this has turned out actually, even though I’ve had problems along the way. One of the problems that I had was I never had the chance to use Blast Code. Blast Code is a maya plugin which allows you to create an explosion effect in maya. It was really hard to get hold of it in the time I needed it for me to actually use it. So the alternative was to use the shatter effect in After Effects, which I feel executes the effect just as well.

I have noticed a little error in this piece and that is you can see a glimpse of light coming from the torch which is resting on top of this box as the camera turns to face the T.V. It’s not the end of the world that you can the see torch, but obviously I would reshoot it again and make sure the camera turns quicker or have the lighting positioned from behind the camera… possibly.

Just to add that I did include the Drizzle effect of the TV screen, which I created at the beginning stage when I was compositing the 3D bullet into After Effects. This was my way of representing the 3 dimensional world that the bullet has broken out of.

At the beginning I found the overall computer graphics unit very daunting and I didn’t know what the hell I was going to do or how I was going to get through it. I think what I’ve done has worked out well for me and I am happy with the finished product.



Kurt Van Der Basch (Concept artist and Illustrator)
January 21, 2010, 6:06 pm
Filed under: General, Uncategorized

I came across this really cool Concept Artist and Illustrator, Kurt Van Der Basch. He’s done storyboards for films, adverts, music videos and concert visuals.

Sticky and Sweet Tour

Kurt van der basch has also story boarded and illustrated the intro for Madonna’s Sticky and Sweet Tour, which I went to see when she came to perform at Wembley Stadium in September 2008.

The final product is very different from the original concept that Kurt Van Der Basch had in mind.

This is my recording of the opening of the show just to show how it looked when it was finished and how it was presented:

I love the way the screen splits into  horizontal sections and the lighting shining through. It makes what you’re seeing look really distorted and dramatic. It just adds so much more  to the animation rather than just playing it on a normal screen that doesn’t do anything. Like for most concerts you have got to try and find new ways to present visuals.

The footage is a bit shaky… but this opening got my adrenalin rushing and knowing that the most famous woman on the planet is about to come on stage, what do you bloody expect!!!

Here is the  link for company that actually did the animation. Check them out:



Apple and the Environment
January 20, 2010, 10:54 am
Filed under: Personal Planning Reflection and Development 1

Today we were discussing how, as media designers, can we change and come up with solutions to help prevent further damage to the planet in terms of global warming. We looked at a big corporation like Adobe to eco friendly products like LED lighting to see how much effort has been made to reduce carbon emissions.

I’ve decided to look at Apple and research how much consideration goes into there products when thinking about the environment. I have some really interesting information on how the consider their manufacturing, transportation, product use, recycling and facilities.

Manufacturing

Including extraction of raw materials and product assembly — accounts for 38 percent of Apple’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

Material Use

Apple designs are smaller, thinner, lighter products, and they do more with less material. MacBook Pro features a revolutionary unibody design, which replaces dozens of individual parts with a single piece of recyclable aluminium. And today’s 20-inch iMac uses 55 percent less material than its first-generation, 15-inch predecessor. That’s a material savings of 10,000 metric tonnes — the equivalent of 7200 Toyota Priuses — for every one million iMac computers sold.

Transportation

Five percent of Apple’s greenhouse gas emissions are a result of transporting their products from assembly locations todistribution hubs in regions where  their products are sold.

Smaller Packaging

Efficient packaging design helps reduce the emissions produced during transportation. The packaging for the 13-Inch Macbook Pro, for example, is 41% smaller than the previous- generation Macbook.

That means 50% more boxes fit on each shipping pallet, more pallets fit on each boat and plane and fewer boats and planes are used – resulting in fewer CO2 emissions.

By reducing our packaging over 40 percent between 2006 and 2009, we ship 50 percent more boxes in each airline shipping container. That saves one 747 flight for every 32,000 units we ship.

Product Use

The use of our products generates 53 percent of Apple’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

Energy efficiency

The majority of greenhouse gas emissions Apple accounts for are produced when you plug in our products and start using them. That’s why we design all our products to be as energy efficient as possible. Take Mac mini, for example. It uses as little as a quarter the power consumed by a typical lightbulb, making it one of the most energy-efficient desktop computer in the world. Because Apple designs both the hardware and the software required for this kind of smart power management, they’re able to increase the efficiency of every product they make. In fact, Apple is the only company in the industry whose entire desktop and notebook product line meets the strict energy efficiency requirements set by the EPA’s ENERGY STAR programme.

Recycling

One percent of Apple’s total greenhouse gas emissions are related to recycling.

Product recyclability

Apple’s approach to recycling begins in the design stage, where we create compact, efficient products that require less material to produce. And the materials they do use — including arsenic-free glass, high-grade aluminium and strong polycarbonate — are highly valuable to recyclers.

Facilities

Apple’s facilities – including corporate offices, distribution hubs, data centers and retail stores – account for 3% of their total greenhouse gas emissions.

Energy Use

Apple reduces energy use in their facilities in a number of ways. They have installed energy efficient lighting and added motion sensors for automatic shutoff, saving over two million kilowatt-hours of electricity since 2006. We used enough renewable energy in 2008 to power our entire Austin facility and 25 percent of their cork facility free from conventional grid  power – eliminating thousands of metric tons of CO2 emissions. By the end of 2009, both their Cork and Elk Grove facilities will operate entirely on renewable energy. And, of course, they use energy – efficient Apple computers in all their facilities.

Employee Computer Programs

Apple provides its employees with alternatives to driving their own vehicles to work. Many employees take advantage of their public transportation incentives. And each day, up to six hundred Apple employees ride their free biodiesel commuter coaches. They estimate that these programs have eliminated four million miles of single-occupant car journeys. That’s 7.2 metric tons fewer CO2 emissions every business day.




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