Dan Hume's Blog

Night Out Project (Update)
December 12, 2009, 8:21 pm
Filed under: After Effects, Principles of Computer Graphics

I feel I have finished my after effects animation for the night out project. I have two videos of the animation, but both have different intro’s. After showing Liam the first video I completed, he felt the intro was a bit to literal, but he said to leave it as it is and make another video containing a different intro.

One of the intro’s is showing what triggers the awareness of tinnitus and the other intro shows my representation of the audtiory nerves being hyperactive.

Because I enjoy working with video and photography, I felt I should stick to what I’m comfortable using for this project. A lot of my project contains video footage, which I’ve manipulated and experimented with in After Effects to get across the feeling of what it’s like to be on a night out.

Both videos contain three sections which overall shows the process of learning to cope with tinnitus. The beginning of each video shows the early stages of the condition and not being able to cope with it. The middle section is the beginning of breaking the cycle of tinnitus. Then the middle scene fades into the final section of the tunnel with the light at the end, which represents habituation.

For sound I used three different types of music. The first piece of music you hear is a dark dubstep tune that emphasizes the chaos in the introduction for the video.  I also recorded some sounds of traffic and mixed it in with the dubstep track  just add more edge to it. Then when the intro makes a transition to the club scene I have used a demo that has been floating around the net for ages by William Orbit. I really felt this tune worked for the club scene as it helps gets across the idea that a club can be a sort of clam environment with its spiritual trance being mixed with a light clubby beat. For the tunnel shot with the light, I used the end part of the William Orbit track because it also fitted with the mood of that moment in my animation.

Video One

The first introduction to one of the videos is a light stroke traveling through darkness, which represents what it’s like for me at night when I’m trying to sleep. I imported video footage of constant things that I worry about when I’m aware of tinnitus, such as coursework and finances, which then leads to increasing the awareness of tinnitus to, sometimes, an unbearable level. I recorded some footage of traffic, which I sped up, to show the stress of trying to cope. When you get stressed it entices the noise to become more dominant.

Then the camera zooms into the light stroke and then there’s a fade into the club scene. I chose to use a club because it’s an environment full of noise which masks out the sounds of tinnitus and when you’re surrounded by lots of friends and having a good time, the condition gradually becomes less significant.

The final section is the tunnel scene. This represents the pathway to habituation, where gradually you can go back to being your normal self and the tinnitus is no longer significant. I added the light to represent positivity.

Video Two

For Video two, the only difference is the introduction. I feel this gets across the feelings and emotions of coping with the condition at the beginning much better. The first video is a bit more subtle. I basically imported lots of videos I recorded of lights and traffic and put them all into one composition to create this abstract distorted look. I masked all the bits of footage and then feathered the edges so they all blended together.

The quality of the video footage is not great because I was using an ordinary camera at the time and also due to compression. Time to upgrade to HD soon.


Tunnel scene complete
December 3, 2009, 8:31 pm
Filed under: After Effects, Principles of Computer Graphics

I feel I’ve done as much as I can with this particular scene in my after effects animation. I used the the Shine plug-in to create the movement of the light. At the end of this scene I’m going to have a fade out into white as a way of ending the animation.

This tunnel shot is meant to represent the path to Habituation, which is breaking the cycle of tinnitus where it no longer becomes significant in my life or someone else’s life. The light is symbolic for positive energy and habituation is a positive process when learning to manage tinnitus.

3D stroke
November 29, 2009, 8:46 pm
Filed under: After Effects, Principles of Computer Graphics

Ok, I think I’ve got the hang of using the 3D stroke in After Effects. There’s still room for improvement… as always, but I think I’m off to a good start. Anyway, here is a what I did:

It’s actually pretty easy to make the 3D stroke. I went into after effects and created a new composition. Then I went to layer, new and clicked on solid. I chose the solid to be the same color as the composition, which is black. Then I used the Pen tool to create a mask on the solid.

After that I went to effects, trapcode and 3D stroke. Which creates white line on the mask path. On the left hand side you’ll have all the settings and options to create the look of the stroke. I basically just played around the settings to get the look I wanted. The main thing you need to change is the start and end of the stroke. This will alter the size of the stroke so the whole mask path isn’t highlighted. Then I clicked on loop, which will allow the stroke to go round in laps on the mask path.

Then this where I started the animation for the stroke. But before I could go onto the next stage, I had to get a camera from the layer menu. Then on the 3D Stroke menu I had to go to camera, then I clicked on comp camera. This then detaches the stroke from the mask path so you can work in 3D, but the stroke will travel in the direction of the shape of the mask. Then the last set of tools I used were to make the camera movements. I clicked on the unified camera tool.

These  are the tools I used for different movements for the camera. The Orbit Camera does all the rotation movements. The Track XY Camera makes the camera move side ways and up and down. Lastly, the Track Z Camera makes camera zoom in and out. By clicking on one tool at a time, I key framed each movement I wanted by following the light strokes path. 

Light stroke
November 25, 2009, 11:08 am
Filed under: After Effects, Principles of Computer Graphics

I found this video on youtube which basically shows exactly what I want to create for the beginning piece of my after effects project. This is the trapcode stroke plugin, which creates the light streak. This plugin has a 3D mode which creates the illusion that the light is traveling in a 3D environment.

I like the way the light streak stops and then text appears. This is very much like what I’m going to do because the light will stop at certain points and then an image will appear which represents a problem or struggle that I have a night. This video will give me something to aim for when I’m producing my own light streak scene.

More Development – NIGHT OUT PROJECT
November 23, 2009, 10:13 pm
Filed under: After Effects, Principles of Computer Graphics

I have done some more adjusting to the shot of the tunnel that I’m going to use for my After Effects project. I’ve now altered the colour to blue so the bright yellow light at the end stands out more. I also had a go at changing the size of the light rays and key framing the change so they would animate. I might need to make the size changes of the light rays much bigger so the animation is more noticeable.

Tunnel Shot – More Developement
November 23, 2009, 12:39 am
Filed under: After Effects, Principles of Computer Graphics

I did some more work on my tunnel scene for my animation. I’m trying to create a spiritual look to this shot. This is to represent the pathway to the light of positive energy, which reflects my negative perception of tinnitus being transformed into a positive perception where I have habituated to the condition.

Here is an updated version of the tunnel shot.

The next stage will possibly be altering some of the colours by maybe adding a tint of blue to the scene because its a calming colour. I’d also like to add some movement to the light at then end of the tunnel and maybe have the rays become bigger and brighter which could wash out the scene to end the animation.

Tunnel Effects
November 21, 2009, 8:51 pm
Filed under: After Effects, Principles of Computer Graphics

I found this video on youtube of someone trying out the video feature on the canon 5D SLR camera. I like the effects on the tunnel bit because it looks surreal. Those light effects would work well for my tunnel image as they are bright and vibrant, which creates this sort of dreamy environment.

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