Dan Hume's Blog

Beach Scene Edit
March 30, 2010, 6:01 pm
Filed under: Post Production Techniques

This is a quick entry to show how far I’ve got with the editing using iMovie. Below is a small extract taken from the footage just to show what it looks like before I imported it into AE.

After Effects Experimenting

I’ve just been playing around with some of the effects in AE to add to the video.

I started with the ‘Echo‘ effect, which creates a ghost like effect if something in the scene is moving. I just experimented with different values of the time between an echo and the amount of echos produced. The decay values will increase or decrease the detail of my video. I used a little bit of that effect because I felt the video needed to have less detail, so when the person in the scene is further away from the camera you’ll be able to notice him better.  Below is screenshot of the values I’ve used for my test piece.

Next I looked at the ‘Colour Balance‘. I use colour balance a lot in photoshop because I feel it always brings a subtle colour to original image which looks really grey and dull in comparison. I felt the scene lacked colour, so instead of increasing the saturation of the what video contains, I wanted to add more of a specific colour… but subtly.  I wanted to give the scene a slight warm and cold feel.  All the dark shadow colours in the footage have been given a blue tint and all the highlight colours have been given a red tint. I felt mixing both colours together really worked really well to get that cold and warm look. Below  is a screenshot of the values I’ve used.

Lastly, I adjusted the brightness and contrast of the whole scene to darken all the dark areas and brighten up all the light areas.

Below is the video footage after I rendered it in AE.


Editing video footage & Time Lapse Video
March 28, 2010, 4:52 pm
Filed under: Post Production Techniques

Editing the Video

I’m now editing the video footage for my post production project. I am using the most basic editing software, iMovie HD. I was intending to use Premiere Pro, but when I play back the footage every time I made a change to the timeline, it would go all jerky. I think it has something to do with the format I shot the footage in, which was 720p at 50 fps. There is a setting in Premiere for working with files of that frame rate but It appears it only works with certain cameras. The footage was shot on my DSLR.

Anyway, iMovie is proving to be really perfect for editing my video as the playback runs smoothly and the software does exactly what I need it to do. Once this piece is edited I will render it into a quick time video and import it into After Effects.

At this stage I’m listening to the music and editing the footage so it all fits together. When I’m editing, I tend to play around with the footage and eventually as I get more into it I have a clearer picture of how the final product is going to look. So far I’ve used lots of cross fades and plain cuts. The cross fades are used to show a progression of time for the person walking around in the video. The plain cuts I have used to experiment with making the footage go in time with the music.

Time Lapse Video

I’ve done three time lapse videos of traffic at night. This is something I really enjoyed doing and I felt that I’d learnt something new.

I basically went out into Bournemouth one night and looked for some good locations where there was lots of teeming traffic. Once I had chosen a suitable location, I set up my tripod and mounted the camera on securely. Then it was a case of experimenting with different shutter speeds to try and see which speed gave the best effects of the movement of the cars. Once I was happy with a particular shutter speed, I then set the camera to shoot in a continuous pattern. Now, unfortunately, I was missing a very handy piece of equipment, which is known as a ‘Intervalometer‘. This is a device which you connect to your camera and you set to program the camera to take a photograph at a specific time, like a shot taken every 2 seconds. When I came to do the shoot I had to have my finger constantly pressed down on the shoot button. This was a bit annoying as when I looked back at one of the videos, although the camera was mounted securely on a tripod, my pressure on the button may have moved the position of the camera every so often during the shoot. This results in the video being quite jerky of moving up and down in different shots. An intervalometer gives you the freedom to leave the camera to capture the shots on it’s own, so it may be something for me to invest in as I really enjoyed doing the shoots.

One of the most important things you must make sure you do is set the camera to Manual settings instead of Automatic. Automatic setting will constantly change the exposure in different shots and you don’t get the proper effect of a time lapse video.

How I made the photographs into a time lapse video was very simple. I made sure all my photos were in chronological order before I opened up quick time pro. I then went to open image sequence in quick time, and went to the folder which contained the photos.

I selected the first photo in the file and clicked open. Then a window appears saying what frame I’d like to view the video with. I chose to use 15 fps. After that, an enlarged video box appeared so I adjusted the size to fit screen and behold the time lapse video was ready for viewing.

Below are three of the time lapse videos I did for this project.

The Media Bus
March 26, 2010, 7:33 pm
Filed under: General

Well I’m sat on the train bored, so I thought I’d make a blog entry for today’s antics.

Today me and Felix accompanied Phil Peel to help some local students film some short videos.

It was interesting to see how some year 10 students approached this task of using proper filming equipment and editing the footage using Final Cut Pro.

Mine and Felix’s role was to make sure the students were going in the right direction about making their videos and supporting them along the way.

In the afternoon we were inside the media bus helping the students with the editing. The interior of the bus was really cool! Here are some pics I took.

Matching Lighting
March 24, 2010, 10:00 pm
Filed under: After Effects, Post Production Techniques, Short Form Video

Today we did some tests for the lighting using green screen so we could make the lighting identical to the other lighting we had when we filmed at Sopley. Below is an image of the final result we go and it actually works really well, apart from there’s no shadow from the bottom of the chair.

Composition 2 - Green screen footage.

Once we had filmed the lighting using the green screen, I then opened up After Effects. I created two new compositions and imported the footage we had shot at Sopley and dragged it onto the first composition and then Imported the footage we shot using green screen and dragged it into the second composition. On the second composition I used key light to remove the green screen from the background. I then masked around the lecturer sitting down, so that all that was on the composition was just the lecturer and a black background.

I then pre-comped (dragged) composition 2 onto composition 1, which allowed me to fit the lecturer into the empty scene of the room the we recorded at Sopley.

Composition 1 - Empty scene we filmed at Sopley.

This isn’t shot I used to place the lecturer into because there is a chair infront of the green screen but the shot I did use was exactly the same but without the chair. Below is the final result of compositing the green screen footage into the video footage we shot at Sopley, therefore; faking the location.

Development on Post Production
March 23, 2010, 9:57 pm
Filed under: After Effects, Post Production Techniques

I thought I’d make an update on my post production project.

I’ve now filmed some footage of the beach scene which includes a person walking around on his own. Looking back at the footage, I now think I would have preferred to film slightly closer to the sea. Since the weather is not going to be great for the rest of the week, I’m just going to have to make do with what I’ve recorded. Below is a small clip taken from some of the footage. I have used after effects to give a red/pink slight tint to the scene. The diegetic sounds of the beach I had to remove because it was really wind and the audio came out quite crackly. This didn’t bother me so much because I was going to have a piece of music playing over the video anyway.

I’ve also done some test shots for a time laps video that I want to make. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to make the images into a video yet but I will upload one  once I’ve done another shoot. Then the time lapse video will be composited into the video footage of the beach. I’m going layer it over the sky and alter the opacity so it blends in with the clouds.

Exploring Solitude
March 20, 2010, 7:35 pm
Filed under: Post Production Techniques

What is Solitude:

  • a state of social isolation
  • the state or situation of being alone
  • a solitary place

I’m still using the theme based on solitude for this project. I’ve decided I’m going film a stationary shot of Bournemouth beach in the late evening so I can record some dramatic lighting. Within the shot I’m going to have a person walking around the beach, listening to his ipod, drawing on the sand and possible skimming pebbles into the sea. Those are just possible ideas of what the person will be doing but basically that person will be constantly moving around in that scene. As the person is moving around the scene I want to do different fades from one position to another, to show a progression of time.

I also want to incorporate some time lapse footage of either traffic or clouds or I might even do both depending on how successful they turn out. I’ve never done time lapse before, but I have done stop motion so it is kind of the same principal but I think the key success to this technique is to have the shutter open for longer allowing you to capture the movement of different subjects. Anyway, I want to have the time lapse footage overlaid on the sky on the beach scene, while the person is moving around on the beach. This will represent the imagination of the person whom I’m going have moving around in the scene.

Below is a photograph I took of  Bournemouth beach last November. I have overlaid some images I took of traffic at night with a long exposure, so you capture the movement of the cars. I want to recreate this whole scene using video footage.

Idea Change for Post Pro
March 17, 2010, 7:53 pm
Filed under: After Effects, Post Production Techniques

I have decided that the idea of making a 3D character and compositing it into video footage was quite an ambitious challenge for this unit. With the deadline being the week after easter, I felt there was not a lot of time considering the amount of work I had to undergo in order to make my idea work.

So I’ve decided to change my idea to something that I can realistically produce within the time that I’ve got to complete the post production unit. I wanted to come up with something original because I also felt my last idea was not completely unique in a sense.

Brief summary of idea:

I’m going to film a panning shot of the beach at late evening sort of time when the sun is setting so I can capture some nice lighting. As the camera pans there will be speaker positioned on the beach. I’m thinking of making the speaker in maya, or making a 2D image of a speaker but it will be of a 3D perspective or I may even photograph a speaker… I’m not sure. When the camera reaches the position where the speaker is in shot, I’m going to try animate the cones so it looks like they are vibrating. I’m also planning to have some motion graphics emerging from the cones.

My inspiration came from listening to some liquid drum and bass. I am a fan of this particular genre of music because it’s so refreshing and makes me feel really chilled out. This is why I’ve chosen the beach because it’s relaxing and it can be a place of solitude, especially when I’m listening to my iPod on along the beach. It’s amazing how disconnected we are from the reality when we are listening to our music on the move. I definitely find myself immersing into my music when I’m walking around if I have my iPod. The whole idea of using the beach and a speaker is to basically show my vision of solitude. The motion graphics that will accompany this will be the representation of my imagination running wild when I’m listening to music.

Below are some screen shots of some video footage I took of the shot where I want to have the speaker positioned in.

Since this footage was shot as a test, I want to film at the beach again but next time hopefully there will be some dramatic lighting there.

The image above is a rough idea of how I want the shot to look. I’ve managed to grab an image of a speaker for free from the shutterstock site, which explains why there is a watermark over it as you need to buy the image to use it.

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