Monday, April 30, 2007
Paul shot footage of his girlfriend over a greenscreen and took the footage into Adobe Illustrator and performed Live Trace on the sequence. He composited with some 3D and effected the footage even more and combined this all with some experimental designs. He ended up with a really cool music video!
Friday, April 27, 2007
Chris shot the band over a portable green screen one weekend this winter, and I must say, his footage was really dark and I was a bit worried that he would put hours of work into it and come out with a mediocre project. I was amazed at what a good looking video he made with that dark footage. Here and there there are a few issues with the key, but overall, the color effects and correction have fixed most of the dark footage. He compostited the keyed footage over stills of the woods and added some interesting luma mattes and vector paint effects. I was very pleased with the outcome of his project.
This guy is going to do very well in this field. Well played, Chris. Well played.
Unfortunately, the file size was gimungus, so I compressed it into a small file. I just don't feel like dealing with bandwidth issues this month.
I'm a huge fan of music videos as you've probably noticed from my posts here. What other mainstream media genre can you make art for arts sake? TV commercials? Not if you want to sell anything. Yes, music videos are basically a commercial for the band, I know that, but I love a good video.
The Moonbabies have very cool videos. The Moonbabies are a Swedish band who makes etherial pop and just really nice music. I have a soft spot for Swedish pop - damn you, ABBA! ;-)
Over My Head
Directed and produced by Magnus Hedberg (2002)
War on Sound (Space Version)
Directed and produced by Eric Althin & Shannon Henegan (2007)
Labels: Music Video
Sin Destroyers - Gifts to the World was sent to me by Jim G. (aka Apple Jim). His buddy Andy is in the band. The band members are all animators and designers from Brooklyn, NY. The video is hillarious and the band rocks hard... like Iron Maiden hard..., but if you don't feel comfortable with pure blasphemy, you probably do not want to see the video. Just a warning.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
PBS Frontline - When Kids Get Life was sent to us by Steve Audette. He was kind enough to give us a look at his work process. It's great to have a behind-the-scenes peek at a popular show like Frontline. Thank you, Steve!
"This FRONTLINE promo was cut entirely on Adobe's After Effects v.7.01. Originally I built the sound track and blocked out all the video elements on an Avid Media Composer using the AniMatte key, but given the limitations of that effect I quickly moved to After Effects. I brought all the files in as Quicktimes using the Avid Codec. however, next time I will use Wes Plate's Automatic Duck.
The music in the spot is from APM and was chosen by the producer, as were the sound bites and narration. The narrator is, of course, the signature FRONTLINE voice of Will Lyman. The weave of voices that surround Will Lyman are cut to fill out the negative spaces and give the over all effect of a what I call a Voice Fugue. There are three sound effects mixed into the music. A piano string strummed opens the spot. A tympani roll mixed with a hum a buzz of an old TV set closes the spot.
The opening shot is one of the most complicated. I wanted the PBS and FRONTLINE lens logos to blend within an on the coil of concertina wire. Ultimately, I had to use a combination of a screen mode blend, track mattes, and a luma key. I also added transparency keyframes to help the transitions.
To get the shot right, I had to scale up and then position the the wire layer to center the coil tunnel. I think this scaling maybe distorted the wire edges too much to really see, but I still like the overall effect.
The first child mug shot (Justin at 14) is a layered composition I made in Adobe Photshop. I separated the boy from his background and cloned the lines to appear behind him. It was a low resolution file so I was pretty much stuck with this scale factor.
The idea was to offset the younger Justin with his older counterpart as he comes on screen to give his analysis. The older Justin is masked out over his own background which dissolves out to the first of several newspaper headlines. The headlines not only add a text element, but reenforces the program content. These elements then fade to a background plate of chain-link fence.
A second younger/older set is masked out over the fence with a second headline. The primary narration begins, and a pair of haunting frightened eyes of a younger boy peer over the headline "Locked up for ever."
The headlines start out scaled back and defocused with fast blur. As they scale up, I transition out the fast blur before bringing the transparency to zero. The original artwork for the headlines were from microfiche, so I decided to invert the luma of the layer to give it that look. I think the negative elements adds to the spookiness of the audio track.
The mask of the imprisoned boy dropping his head was the most difficult. I originally started by adding key frames to the mask every frame. I dropped that approach on preview because the shape around the boy's head was too animated and didn't follow a smooth path. Instead, I created a mask with fewer points - and fewer keyframes (at critical motion starts and ends). The mask may not be perfect, but I think it is much less distracting than the frame by frame mask I originally started out with.
The woman also has a simple mask with few keyframes. Her hair was much more wispy than it appears in the spot, but again it is on so short a time, that I think the effect works. If you look close you can see where I missed a bit. Behind her is the the last of the headlines.
The father sat very still so his mask was easy. I went back to a full background plate before the last shot to give his voice the feel of a "reasoned response."
Finally there is the flash and blur of a security camera tuning in. Because this was such a low resolution file (VHS on SLP), I really felt it would not withstand scaling up - like the camera was zooming in. Also I wanted the negative space for the FRONTLINE title and logo. My solution was the warp mesh (under the distort menu tree). After applying the effect I reduced the center grid points down to push the boy back, while the walls and floor used stretched pixels. I then created an adjustment layer and added venetian blinds effect (under transition menu tree). I used the preset "Bad TV warp." It seemed to work so I kept it.
The original version of the spot had a cooler font treatment for the title, but was toned down to helvetica condensed to fit within FRONTLINE font standards. I think that was probably a good idea. The rest of the end packaging is pretty standard FRONTLINE stuff. I offset some of it to match the center of the table.
It took four days to edit and finish. I did the final mix myself in the Avid. I hope that something about all this inspires you and your work. As the spot says, you can watch the program online (and many, many more) at the FRONTLINE website."
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Surrender Your Heart was done by Peter Max with a PaintBox. I used to use a PaintBox back in the day. Sadly, I never did anything this cool... mostly just worked with corporate logos. Yay. Well, ya have to start somewhere.
This music video, Montreal for Seattle electronic artist KJ Sawka, is beautiful and creative and is the absolute definition of eye candy. Director/animator/designer/editor: Clay Lipsky. There's an interview with Lipsky about the making of the video at ShotsRingOut.com.
I got a kick out of Lipsky's equation for music videos:
final cut + photoshop + illustrator + 3D (cinema 4d or MAYA) + After Effects - sleep + coffee = video
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Is stop motion hotter than habeneros lately or what!? Seems like it's popping up everywhere. This one has some clever tracking and animated cutouts too.
It was directed by Drew Lightfoot at Revolver Film Company, made the stop-motion video with literally no help from the band. Drew Lightfood was Tim Burton's righthand man on Corpse Bride, according to Brian Rosenworcel, Guster's drummer.
There's an artist comentary at Roxwell.com and they talk a bit about the making of the video.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
The Dutch duo called Microbia, Floris Kaayk and Sil van der Woerd, produced this amazing piece.
Isobel Knowles of Architecture in Helsinki, directed the video. She also worked on a stop motion piece called Clara, which was a selection at Cannes and Sundance.
Labels: Music Video
Monday, April 09, 2007
The singer has multiple faces which reminds me of the Hindu God, Kartikay. He's riding on an animal that morphs from a rhino to a horse to an elephent and several other animals. There are layers and layers of flowers, then world leaders surrounded by guns and liquor.
So many layers and so much movement. So many cosmic zooms, so much rotoscoping. The color scheme is gorgeous.
Coolest. Video. Ever.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Kind of like the Truman show, except without the sunrise on queue.
Friday, April 06, 2007
Labels: Music Video
Thursday, April 05, 2007
"Mangolo", who is working on the film, posted a question to our Forum about the Liquify plug-in in After Effects. The trailer looks fascinating. Check out the Strange Frame website.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
The best stuff is here:
Magic Bullet Editors helped Alex Ferrari create three signature looks for the indie short, Broken, an action suspense movie that has been accepted at over 90 film festivals around the world. The DVD includes over three hours of helpful tips on production design, costume design, lighting, color correction and props. Magic Bullet is covered in the section called How to Make Video Look Like Film.
This excellent clip was done by Impact BBDO and directed by Joeri Holsheimer. Apparantly, there are two versions. One is slightly longer, presumably the director's cut, and it features a different song by Snoop Dogg and Limp Bizkit. Here it is.
Oh, and: yes, it is a tv ad. But you can't tell until the very end. So, who do you think it is for?
I love the microfilm projector look with the animated tape and other objects in the beginning. This is reminiscent of What Barry Says, but takes it to a whole other level. They have some supa cool transitions and mix the 3D elements flawlessly. I love this piece!
The smokestack graphic looks like Noise Industries logo (are you guys doing some subliminal advertising? ;-)
Monday, April 02, 2007
Directed by PES, Cinematography by Ivan Abel, Animated by PES and Ivan Abel.
Labels: Music Video
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