Posts categorized ‘Tips’
May 14 09
Yes, my link dumps are almost all eclectic, but there’s more than just web show type stuff in this one, but nothing I could categorize under one name that fit it all nicely. Anyway… it’s a pretty light dump this week, but there’s some good stuff in here, I promise. I’ll dispense with the usual sell-you-on-my-post type stuff this time and simply get to it…
May 07 09
This week’s link dump post is a bit more article-based, with little to no free stuff or tutorials in the mix. I know, a more heady load, but it’s good for ya! Get those gears workin’ and thinkin’ and maybe something sweet-ass and original will come out of ‘em. Anyway, it’s basically a roundup from the usual sources, a few announcements, some cool case studies, and some food for thought for those of you of the filmmaking persuasion but not in the ‘I-need-to-know-this-effect-now’ category, go ahead and read past the jump. You other lot, check back at a few previous posts an’ git yer learnin’ there. Otherwise, on we go…
Apr 23 09
As promised, here’s a pretty mondo list of tutorial and resource sites for your educational pleasure. I’ve organized the list, just like last week’s, into what made the most sense at the time. If you’ve got additions, suggestions, objections, or anything else, definitely feel free to comment on the post and let me know about more knowledge available for free on the ‘net. Yess…knowledge….
Oct 27 08
Alrighty… I think I stop trying to come up with meaningful titles for the topic part of each entry, since most of my posts are so scattered. Hopefully there’s some good stuff in there for you guys though. Anyway…since I didn’t get to it last night, here’s this week’s showcase entry. Gimme the goodies…
Oct 02 08
Alrighty…firstly, sorry for the no-Showcase-Sunday, it was a really late and full weekend of getting work done for presenting our final reel project idea to our teachers, so there was no time and no energy left by Sunday night…and really not much more at the moment. But, I have collected quite a few links this time, so hopefully it makes up for it. Here we go… Gimme the goodies…
Sep 25 08
Alright, well I haven’t collected any links that are new to me, but I started digging through my collection I’ve amassed over the years doing research for the project, and came across a few things that will be helpful. We’re not actually building rigs for the shoot, but it was a thought in the beginning, so naturally I got excited about it. So, here’s what I’ve got to offer right now, feel free to leave additions and whatnot in the comments. Gimme the goodies…
Aug 28 08
Alright, this one’s going to be really quick because it’s 11:30 in a series of late nights and early mornings and I’m trying to beat the pre-sleep hunger and save it for morning. So, here goes…
We’ve been doing keying in school a lot recently, so while investigating that, I decided to collect resources and share them with you here tonight (did you notice I’m back on schedule? ). So, first off, Videomaker.com had an article on The Keys To Chromakey, basically a how-to for greenscreening, covering the basic production theory and offering some suggestions for equipment and tools. The ABCs of Chomakeys also looked good. Also, while searching through the site, I discovered their collection of video tutorials I didn’t know they had. Score!
Moving right along… of course I always check out After Effects tutorials, having some sort of fascination with the application, legally owning it myself, and loving the guys who make the tutorials I’ve found, and so I found this very useful tutorial about light wrapping around your greenscreen subject. Breakdown: basically what happens when you shoot something is light from behind the subject will bend around that subject, leaving little traces of the background on the edges of that subject. You’ll notice it the most in silhouette shots, where the edges seem semi-transparent. During a green/bluescreen shot, this happens just the same as normal, only since you’re keying out the blue/green in post, you often key out the egdes or parts of the subject with those shades of blue/green on them. Which is clearly a problem. This tutorial offers some tips on creating a preset to help you with fixing this problem and creating realistic light wrapping based on the new background image you’ve replaced your blue/greenscreen with. Nice long tip there from me… that one’s free . Following in the After Effects vein, this was just a cool little note I found for Mac users, getting a color picker while inside the AE interface. It sounds like a great help for motion graphics creators. Less for compositing work, but still a useful tool if you’re on a Mac.
Alright… into the more industry-friendly stuff… Shake tutorials. I found a nice trio of Shake keying tutorials using Keylight, which actually also ships with After Effects now, so some of this stuff might be useful there too. I wasn’t watching in that frame of mind though, so I couldn’t say for sure. All three parts are good, the audio’s just really low, so you’ll have to listen carefully with loud speakers (or headphones). Thanks to CreativeCow.net for those.
On the last – but not least – note of this post, is a new episode from Photoshop For Video about saturating reds in images without exceeding broadcast/video limits. Good stuff.
Enjoy the new stuff, and I’ll be back as always on Sunday with some new showcase stuff for you guys. Happy filmmaking and good luck keying. Send in commenst or questions or test footage if you like, I’d love to see something.
Jul 21 08
Alright, it’s been a while and the site’s design is still in the works, but I’ve got some good news to share.
Firstly, in recent events, today I went to a screening of Apocalypto followed by a discussion and Q&A session with Dean Semler, the DP on Apocalypto and many other great films (Road Warrior, Beyond Thunderdome, Waterworld, Dances With Wolves to name a few). It was interesting to hear stories from the set and listen to someone talk about their business from a still-active, first-person point of view.
On to things I can share with you… Andrew Kramer’s done it again with TWO great new tutorials from Video Copilot, the 3D Offset possibly now my favorite of all his installments. So definitely check those out, even if you’re not an avid or current After Effects user. A basic interest will surely be inspired by this guy and his knowledge. Among other online tutorials, I checked out CreativeCow.net today and found this one by Grant Swanson, which is absolutely brimming with tips and tricks and knowledge surrounding the main theme of the tutorial: making DV footage look more cinematic. It’s basic, quick, and works beautifully. Best of all, most of it could even be done in other programs like Premiere or Final Cut, if After Effects isn’t available where you are.
I’ve got a few more resources lined up to check out, but not having done so yet, I’ll hold off on posting about them until I’ve reviewed their quality. However, one’s a video on DVD vs. Digital distribution, a hot topic these days, and the other’s a video of John Knoll, VFX Supervisor on Pirates of the Caribbean talking about the role of VFX Supervisors in modern cinema. IndyMogul‘s posted some good stuff in the last few weeks and are always worth checking out, and though I haven’t read it yet, this article on Color Correcting might be good for anyone interested in the idea. I’ll be sure to post at some point about other findings I come across as I come across them, but for now, enjoy the wealth of stuff I’ve posted this time and best of luck in your films. Happy filmmaking!
Jun 20 08
Holy wow. First off, it’s been a heck of a long time, and there are some big changes afoot that I’m going to get into in the near future. I promise. No really. I swear.
Secondly, I found this video today and thought “what better way to ‘re-begin’ the AV blog than by showcasing someone else’s work?” So here goes…
Having become a subscribed Geekologie reader recently, I was looking through my GReader feed and discovered this little goodie of a filmmaking post, and had to share it. The amount of work and effort and even time that went into that little piece is evident in just watching it, but what I thought about the most while watching (and laughing) is the fact that nothing they did made any kind of permanent mess. Typically, when you approach a filmmaking venture with the sort of storyline, you want fake blood, guts, drama, all kinds of serious acting and whatnot. But taking it the other way can often not only offer way more flexibility, simply because it’s an abstract from the real thing you’re portraying, and more freedom to interpret the typical war scene in your own way, using what you have available to you under the constraints you’re working with.
So, thoughts aside, it’s a great short film, and a funny five-or-so-minute watch. Take a break, watch a video. Laugh and daydream about it in your own cubicle. But please, oh please, don’t go nuts fo’ real (not really) as this guy.
Jan 15 08
Alright, I know this is by a fairly known actress and I know she may have had a budget to do it, but that doesn’t cancel out the fact that the same film could definitely be made with no money. Just take a look at the film, there’s very little light, hardly any makeup, the film’s strong points are its intangible ones: the acting and the writing. (The sound effects and the ending only raise the bar). With some dedicated writing time, a few redrafts, and a day of shooting with some actor friends and you’ve got yourself set on the way to a film like this.
I recently saw Angel-A, which stars Rie Rasmussen, and I was surprised to discover it was her at the end of the film, since she looks nothing in that film like she does in Thinning The Herd. That’s partly the costume and makeup, but the acting is definitely there in both parts, separating her characters immensely. The main point I want to make in this post is that good acting, with or without dialog, is one of the key assets in any film. As long as the writing’s good, the acting can pull it through with no budget at all. If someone’s performance shines, it’ll shine out no matter the visual constraints. (Obviously, you’ve got to do your best to help it shine, throw some oil on the flame and the like, make sure it can be seen to start with).
Essentially, the point is this: write a solid script with a basic storyline, a some characters that aren’t too simple (give them habits, dialects, things they like the most and play off those in the dialog or actions with the other characters), and then find someone who can portray that character in the way you like, with their own spin on it as well. Always let the actors take the character to their own level, in addition to fulfilling your needs. They need to be challenged, not typecast and factory-assembled into their characters. That’s destructive to the very nature of acting.
Back to the point, after you’ve written your solid script, and found someone to act, find money if you can, and some kind of light, and something to bounce that light off of (you’ll rarely want the harsh light coming right from the work light you found). Tin foil works great. After that, let the light and the performance shine as your camera rolls and captures the whole thing from the angles you’ve pre-planned due to your careful thoughts on the project (do not leave that part out!)
Rie Rasmussen might have a name in the business; she might be known for doing a good job in her projects; she might even be known for being a sexy bitch; but you can make yourself known by making something with a solid base and the only frills being the talent that brings the idea to the screen. Best of luck, check out the film and send in any of your work you want an article written about!
Jan 08 08
This was quite a useful little tidbit of information that I’m sure applies to videography just as much as it does to photography. The idea is to wear a white t-shirt and position yourself at an angle from your light source and subject, so that the light bounces off your shirt and onto the subject, giving it a softly lit look on the opposite side of the light source. This isn’t going to be super powerful, but sometimes all you need is that extra glow. I did the same with a little piece of tinfoil I taped to a window opposite a work light in my last shoot about a week ago. Have any experience with DIY reflectors or any other ides for on-the-fly methods of lighting? Yap on about them in the comments.
Dec 29 07
The Waiting Room is finally completely shot and locked! I’m super excited to finally have this done. We fiddled with lighting more than usual on this shoot, and I liked it quite a lot. Direct light from my work light was too harsh, so we simply bounced it off a tinfoil-covered piece of cardboard sitting on the desk on the opposite wall, which gave a perfect soft back light from behind me. Next, we taped a piece of tin foil on the window in front of me, pointing the two track lights on the ceiling toward it, bouncing that light off the tin foil and onto my face, giving a nice soft glow that looked almost like it was coming from the paper I was writing on. It was a very nice effect, and perfect for the scene. Michelle really helped out on this shoot, being the cameraperson, the lighting technician and whatnot. It was fun to play with the lighting and get the shots I wanted to get in a relaxed, small-scale environment. Unfortunately, I only had the chance to take four pictures while shooting this stuff, but at least it demonstrates the lighting configurations I had set up. Take a peek at all of them here.
I think an awesome thing about low- and no-budget filmmaking is the ability to just improvise with what’s there at the time, with what you’ve got and what you know. I knew I had two little tin foil reflector type pieces (actually I just knew metal is reflective and I had some at the time), and I could use those to light up the scene in the way I needed and wanted. I’m excited now to relax tonight, and I have all day tomorrow to cut the thing together, start figuring out music, and finish up my school violence piece I’ve been not-so-diligently working on since last Spring.