Posts categorized ‘Geek/Tech’
Apr 16 09
First off, welcome to the new blog! Yes, I know it’s awesome. I’m proud to say it’s my whole site collection hosted on one domain, inter-linked, organized and consolidated. Awesome. So now…on to the link dump.
I’ve got a massve…and I mean massive collection of links ready for ya. So massive, in fact, that I’m breaking it up into a multi-part series, because frankly, opening tons of links at once won’t be fun for you, and copying and pasting and reviewing what all of them are won’t be so fun for me. Not all at once, anyway. So next week, Link Dump: Tutorial Edition. But let’s get started with part 1.
Oct 25 08
Alright, here’s a pretty scattered entry, and I’m sorry for it being late, but I’ve gotten home at midnight the last 2-3 nights in a row and haven’t been in much of a mood for more than sleep by that time, so here’s the entry, I hope you enjoy it nonetheless. Gimme the goodies…
Aug 07 08
Alrighty, here’s another installment of the Link Dump, which I’m thinking about making a weekly piece, along with the Showcase segment I’ve been doing. So, first up, I’ve mentioned my fondness of Robert Rodriguez, his life and work on this blog a few times, so naturally an article about him caught my eye last week, just after posting the last link dump. It’s an interesting interview: pretty brief, not too expressive, but interesting nonetheless. I actually spent about three hours this morning looking through VFX job listings in the US and Canada, just to scope out the field a bit, and had trouble finding any kind of listing or contact info for Troublemaker Studios. Their site was incomplete, but new, so maybe there will be something up soon. I’m not getting my hopes up about working there as a junior though, but eventually, it’d be a pretty sweet job.
Anyway… on to more new stuff… I discovered Action-Cut-Print!, home to The Director’s Chair Ezine, an online magazine for filmmakers and directors. I haven’t personally read any of the articles yet, but it looks like a good resource, maybe something to accompany Judith Weston’s Film Director’s Intuition I picked up a couple years back and haven’t gotten around to reading yet.
I found this article (and this one which I just found, while searching for the links) on the gorgeous Burma short that Shilo made, causing my whole VFX class to drool every time we watch it. It’s also got a nice specific case study/general principle feel to it, so you can read it from either perspective (or both) and appreciate what it has to say however you please.
In brief news, VideoCopilot wasn’t saying goodbye to the world, just to the old website, and ushering in a new age of tutorials, as many of us suspected, accompanied by a new short cuts episode that helps get After Effects even closer to a 3D simulation package, without any expressions. It’s a pretty obvious tip, but I hadn’t actually thought about how to do this until I saw the tutorial. Also, a post of the a possible next tutorial topic?
I also found a few more technical things to throw at you. In case you’re wanting to monitor your system while working, maybe to check a program’s workload or a rendering’s impact on system performance (or whatever other reason), this might come in handy. Also, Adobe’s open (as far as I know) platform AIR has a ton of applications coming out recently that seem like a mix between web-apps and desktop-apps… that all run on a desktop (meaning non-web-based) system. A lot of them are ways to integrate your web life with your desktop life, combining the two into one cohesive digital component of your life. So, this one seemed like a good idea, as a way to store and share files online and access them in a nice, simple-looking interface. It struck me as a great way to showcase daillies to distant clients, share project files with distant collaborators, etc. Another one that looked like it had potential was Klok, a time-management app that might help keep track of projects and manage your workloads with multiple projects going at once. Celtx is still my favorite for schedule film shoots, (though I haven’t tried out Klok yet), btu this seems like it has quite a bit of freelancing potential.
Alright. Well, that’s it. For this week. As I mentioned in last week’s post I’m going to be on hiatus for a week, I’ve got a week break from school and am only bringing my laptop along to check on some personal things every few days. However, I’m going to try to stay away from the computer as much as possible during my time off, so I can really have time off and take advantage of that fact. However, have no fear, I’m sure these links and whatever else they lead to will tide you over for two weeks, and I promise when I get back I’ll have more fun stuff to post about and continue the stream of resources. Enjoy, have a great two weeks, and I’ll see you all when I get back.
Dec 28 07
Alright, I found these sites today pretty much all at once, and it blew my socks off. Quite literally… I was shocked and excited beyond words for a few moments. I’d found everything from free VFX and particle generation and animation software to a substitute for an already brilliant Terragen 2 all the way to a huge list of freeware/shareware/GPL-licensed software that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on. I’ve posted some of the links here, but this doesn’t even begin to list what I found today.
And finally the big kahuna of them all…
Nov 20 07
This is one awesomely ambitious and incredibly useful resource for no-budget filmmakers everywhere. I can’t wait to get to start using this, and if it works as well as it does in the promo video on their site (which, aside from the Apple videos, is one of the best promo videos I’ve seen in a while), then this could take the no-budget world by storm. It looks awesome. Basically, where Celtx makes global networking possible for people in a given project and is most useful for pre-production and even production (with its powerful scheduling features), SpinXpress is its equal in the post-production arena. This program gives you the ability to communicate with people involved in your project all over the world, giving you a built-in Wiki, message board, file sharing and then after you’re done you can publish your work right to the Internet Archives or blip.tv right from the program. Their promo video blew me away and got me super excited to start working with it on a project… only problem now is I need to find some people to work on the project with. This won’t be necessary if you can afford to have everybody in one place (writer, producer, key players that don’t need to be on set), but if you’re like me and hopefully most of my readers, it’s going to come in handy hugely when you’re working on projects with people in completely different states or countries to have a program of such capabilities that you’re not relying on emails anymore, and you can communicate, share files, and even create a Wiki site for your project with all kinds of information about the project so it straightens and clears up communication and collaboration on a project for your long-distance filmmaking endeavors. It looks awesome, but I haven’t used it as of this writing, so any user testimonials will be greatly appreciated. Oh, and did I mention it’s got a searchable database of Creative Commons licensed works for your video projects? And you can remotely access your project’s account via the website as well, if you’re on a machine that doesn’t have SpinXpress installed on it already. And yea, it’s free. Holy #$@#!! Yea, that’s what I thought. Enjoy!
Nov 12 07
That’s right, I stumbled upon a free media conversion app today (both for Windows and Mac) due to the monthly newsletter from Studio Daily. It’s a great newsletter that’s always got some interesting articles and videos, reviews, etc.
But this time, I noticed a link to an eternal website full of DIY rigs and gear by small-time filmmakers like you and me. This was wonderful. The site’s slogan itself is “linking filmmakers to helpful resources,” which in effect is what I try to do, but they’ve obviously made the jump to bigger promotional venues (like Studio Daily). However, their list was quite good, with links to other sites with tips and tutorials and even a video tutorial on making a jib/crane made by the fellows over at IndyMogul. I’ve seen most of the tutorials that they linked to before, but it was an admirable effort and a great thing to do for low-budget filmmakers. It’s like the tutorial version of homebuiltstabilizers.com, another good resource for, at the very least, inspirational photos of rigs from all different angles and some test footage with said rigs made by amateurs.
It was a great pair of discoveries to make today, and something definitely worth blogging about. I am in the midst of a research project on self-promotion and distribution for super-small-time filmmakers like myself and will hopefully come out at the end with a 10-12 page research paper on the subject, which will most likely be slimmed down for internet use. I’ll post it here when it’s completed and advertise it as many places as I can think of. Enjoy the links, and happy filmmaking!
Oct 10 07
I never would have thought that a storyboarding application would need to be this complex or capable, I never really would have even thought that I’d want a separate application just for storyboarding needs. However, after watching this video about Toon Boom’s Storyboard Pro, I am blown away by the capability and usefulness of this program. It can do things I wouldn’t have thought necessary, but end up being incredibly useful, like drawing huge pictures and then animating a complex camera move around that picture at different zoom levels and it’s all 100% quality because it’s a vector-based program, so you don’t lose quality of image and you get a whole lot more value and specificity in your storyboarding without using up tons and tons of paper and an expensive artist to communicate the thoughts clearly. I think this is an awesome tool for any cartoonist, director or even playwright to figure out how their script translates visually into an exciting and effective (or not) piece of visual entertainment so they can best suit the needs of both themselves and the audience. It’s a great tool and a fascinating video click-through tutorial. I will warn you though, the narrator has a pretty heavy French accent and an obvious skill with a stylus pen and drawing talent, so the accent can be hard to understand and if you’re discouraged for some reason by awesome artwork, then this might not be for you (as well this profession might not be quiet for you either, you might just want to take another peek around the ol’ world for something intriguing, heh). Enjoy the video, link’s below, leave comments or questions and I’d be happy to hear from you.
Sep 09 07
This is a cool little video series I found today while taking a render break from editing a project about the Canon XH A1 HDV camcorder that actually gave me a bit more information that I’d already known, just about HDV itself. I’ve only watched the first episode so far, but I’ll post all three for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy the information and go check out filmmaking.com, the site that hosts a few featured videos on the top of their page as well as links to tons of other resources around the internet for filmmakers.
Hope these videos are useful or at least informative. Enjoy, leave any comments or questions below and I’ll be happy to address them as best I can.
Sep 06 07
Well here’s a little gadget I found today that looked quite cool. I wouldn’t really use it in the small, one-room studio setup I have now… in my bedroom… but in a larger setup with multiple rooms all making up a studio or something, or if you just have better satellite reception in one room than another (of which I don’t know the technical possibility, since I thought satellites were supposed to reach most anything and everything… except sometimes in bad weather… heh), then this tool might be useful for you. You plug it into your workstation (editing, effects, whatever), it converts your audio/visual signal into a radio signal which gets sent to the receiving end of the gadget (presumably in a different room), and that converts it back into an audio/visual signal and is plugged into your TV console or monitor for previewing purposes and what have you. I thought it sounded cool and possibly useful in a studio where maybe you want to preview your final or even rough cuts of your films on a big screen to get more of a feel for it, but can’t buy another monitor and don’t want to waste a DVD – plus you want to see it in full quality – that would mean lengthy exporting and authoring to watch the DVD (depending on your system). This would potentially solve that, since you could, I imagine, just set it up to preview just the comp window of your editing app, render out all the preview files in the Timeline and then go into the other room and hit play. Oh yea, and don’t forget to add a couple of seconds of black first so you don’t miss anything while running from room to room. You could even trick your hot date and tell her your new movie’s on TV at 8, check it out at your place in your home theater. Aww… romantic.