David's Blog

Tag: 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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New Showreel and How You Hope a Job Interview Doesn’t End.

A few months back I wrote a blog about a failed job interview, as people seemed to like it here is another one. Above is a new After Effects Showreel I have created too, take a look if you have a minuet free.

I knew this interview wasn’t going to go well, firstly I was called Tom straight after I had introduced myself as David. Secondly he didn’t want to see my showreel and thirdly this gentlemen was bald. For those that do not know I am cursed with hair that looks like that of a poor-man’s Dennis the Menace. It is a hair that makes even barbers sigh on the occasional time I walk into their shop. In short it resembles a birds nest, without the utilitarian function. While no birds have nested in it (as far as I am aware), it is very possible for things to make a temporary home- spiders, bees, the odd ex-girlfriend who I assumed had run away who now spends her days eating the spiders and bees.

While I have no problem with baldies per say (Darwin, Bruce Willis and the most majestic of all creatures the naked mole rat), they have a problem with me- or more accurately my hair. This beautiful mop is an affront to their shiny lifestyle, an attack of their follicle-less head. I am a reminder of their youth (a misjudged reminder of course, put a oversized- fetus and a tiny bald person next to each other and you would never work out which one was which).

The interview went like this:

Bald Interviewer: So Tom

Me: David

Bald Interviewer: Your CV ends mid 2013.

Me: I have been doing a variety of jobs, some have been based in Portugal were I work as a photo manipulator, my online portfolio shows a range of new videos. This CV is personalized for this job and contains only the most relevant information.

Bald Interviewer: Yeh Whatever. Do you play Golf Tom?

Me: David.

Bald Interviewer: hmm?

Shit, this is an unrehearsed question! Code Red. Code Fucking Red. Think fast. Do crazy Golf and Wii Sports count?!

Me: Poorly, but from the companies website I see you do. I do however play tennis.

Nailed it.

Bald Interviewer:  Tennis is a women’s sport. Everyone plays Golf at my company Tom.

My company?! Does this idiot own the business?

Me: I’m a fast learner sir.

Smooth.  

And so the interview went on rather well and then came the closing lines:

Bald Interviewer: Your a likable guy Tom*

Me: David

Bald Interviewer: But I don’t like you

Me: …So…how long until I find out I am successful?

Damn you hair!

*The general consensus is that this is incorrect. I am in fact a grumpy bastard. 

 

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.