David's Blog

Category: After Effects

Slow Motion on the Cheap (ish)

Above is a video I helped shoot and edit for a Lisbon fashion designer. She came to us (Memory Box) with an idea and it was our job to turn it into a reality. One of her requirements was that a large percentage of the video had to be slow motion. I was unsure about this, but never one to turn down any money I said it was fine and spent the next three days prior to the shoot obsessively looking up every single tutorial possible.

What I found was with the right equipment and an awful lot of luck a Slow Motion effect is a surprisingly easy thing to do, although will take a lot of rendering time, if like me you have a macbook that’s a few years too old. However you do need the right stuff:

1. A camera that can shoot higher than 25fps, I shoot on a 600D and 70D both with 50fps.

2. After Effects (I used CS6, but have since experimented and got the same results with CS4)*.

3. A lot of luck.

But what about Twixter?” I hear you ask.  “This is a program everyone from Philip Bloom to a youtube stoner tells me I need to use. Who are you to go against the grain?” Well my dears, I am someone who will happily save you $500. I experimented with Twixter and while I found a improvements, I didn’t find anything that blew me away.  However I leave it up to you, here is perhaps one of the best examples of Twixtor use I saw, watch and be amazed:

 

 

DAVID’S  SHOOTING INSTRUCTIONS 

1. Shoot at a fast shutter: anything 1/2000 – 1/4000s. [so your lighting needs to be good]

2. Shoot against a plain/solid colored background – sky/wall etc etc.

3. When you shoot really close/tight, slow the action down manually ie – move slower and fake slow motion. Its easier to get good results when the action is shot from a distance

4. and perhaps most importantly TRIPOD THAT BITCH.

 

DAVID’S EDITING INSTRUCTIONS 

1. Import Footage into a new AE composition

2.Right click, enable time remapping.

3. Give composition more time so you can stretch out the footage

4. Find where you want to slow down and back to normal speed and add keyframes.

5. Move the keyframes to “stretch out” the time

6. Movement will be choppy, to overcome this go to Frame Motion> Pixel Blending.

7. And perhaps most importantly YOUR FOOTAGE WILL PROBABLY SUCK, DO NOT DESPAIR JUST TRY AGAIN.

 

I have since done another, perhaps even more slowed down film, which will be uploaded shortly. Until then, go out into the wild my young Zack Snyders and  see what you can create. But before you go, one more thing, see if you can of what i cannot: create a slow motion film that has a narratively driven reason for being in slow motion!

Enjoy.

 

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DIY 3D: 3D we can all be impressed with?

A feeling I am sure most people can relate to is my antipathy towards 3D, the light-loss glasses, the cost, the complete lack of any narrative point. I am a regular cinema goer and given the choice I will always go for the traditional 2D screening. However these quite fantastic Gifs (one above one below and the rest here) give me a new-found love.

Who would of thought that defocussing the background and two white lines could give such an impressive effect?  I feel a week of 3D experimentation is ahead of me…

Embrace Your Mistakes #4: The Night Sky

https://vimeo.com/81217253

A few months back when I as visiting Scotland I took a few star photographs which can be seen on my flickr page. With my wonderful girlfriend I also created this time-lapse that you can see above. I thought I would talk you through it, whats good, whats not and how it was created. 

This 10second film is actually 250 still images taken over the course of two hours. I do not have a remote shutter so it was taken by hand with the exposure set to 20seconds. For this shoot I used the Helios 44, an old Russian lens which was at hand. Converted its about a 55, It would be interesting to compare this short with one taken with a wider angled lens, but I don’t think the crop is necessarily an issue.  The sequence was shot  on RAW and brought into After Effects through Adobe Bridge. It is 25fps. 

What is an issue is the slight tremor of the camera/tripod set up and the slight delay in the shot, it is never exactly 10 seconds and sometimes it shows when I wasn’t paying full attention to the time (to give us some credit it was about zero degrees out there!) This shows that a remote release is necessary! Even if you had perfect timing it would combat the shake, however slight it might feel when taking the shot.

The footage is a bit noisy, this could be combatted with a noise reduction with color or after effects but this would downgrade the sharpness, for me that is far more important than a bit of grain!   

But there is still much to admire, if not in this video then with just looking up at the stars themselves, moving at a slower rate

 

 

 

   

Silver Wedding Anniversary E-Card.

A few days ago it was my Parent’s silver wedding anniversary. As always i had completely forgotten about it and had nothing to send that would arrive on time. So they had something they could open (be it in email form) I created for them a .mov text animation as an ‘E-card.’ The version you can see above is a shorter ‘de-personalised’ version. I created it using After Effects CS5 and a few sandwiches in-between renders.

If, like me, you have a family or friend’s 25th Wedding anniversary coming up that you have completely forgotten about you’re more than welcome to download and send it to them. I am a live action filmmaker with a strong interest in AE rather than vice versa, however if you’re interested you can see my 2D animated work portfolio here.