Wednesday, January 18, 2012

And the first greenscreen attempt is a...?!

Failure?  No!  I find that I refine most of the things I know by mistakes.  Like this one?



So it must be said, greenscreens, unless used well, are going to be cheesey.  I went ahead and embraced the cheesey-ness by finding flames to put behind me and adding the 2nd guitar in there.  And for that matter, most of my tests are cheesey anyway--why am I apologizing again?

ANYway, things I learned:
-Make sure your greenscreen is stretched tightly (but note that stretched fabric makes it more transparent--more about this in a minute).
-Guitars are shiny.  So what?  Well, if your guitar is reflecting the GREEN fabric all around it, the color that is being taken away (keyed out), then, well...parts of your instrument are going to be keyed out as well.
-They take planning and space.  This screen is relatively small in comparison, and it takes up quite a bit of my parents living room.  There's a good bit of hassle to take it up and put it down.  Go in with a plan, setup as necessary from there and make changes as you go.
-Cheap greenscreening is actually rather inexpensive, but as you try to do more advanced techniques, they quickly become really expensive and quite difficult.

That's a lot to take in if you really break it all down, so I won't say too much more about it in this post, but there will Definitely be more to come.  The main other thing is that I set up in front of some windows, no big right?  Wrong.  You'll see that my fabric was loose in the posted video (watch to the right of my head from 0:30 forward) because I had yet to buy the right clamps to fasten it, but after I did get nice and tight, I realized you can see light Through it quite easily, so when I was going to play with it some more today, the light from the windows was shining right through the fabric.  The key to a good greenscreen is to make it all one solid color.

Here's a picture of the setup (so far).  I really want to save up and buy some nicer video cameras, but that will be a long way away.  I need to focus on getting a job first.

Classy, right?

Friday, January 13, 2012

I'm not dead.

I never finished out posting videos from last semester, and I just crammed a lot into the post I did little while back.  But anyway, here it is, the last project (pretty much) of my undergrad college experience:




I really enjoyed making this video.  I did it with my brother Matt and a good friend of mine, Neal.  It would be quite easy to make a sequel to it actually.  When making this last video I realized quite how much I sometimes overdo the work, trying to make things perfect, with some of my videos and projects.  After watching the (great) movie Troll Hunter, I realized how nice it must be to embrace the simplest of things, like a shaky, home-video camera.  I've always hated a shaky camera effect before, but there was just something about it that I thought would work well with this project.

I'm also aware I overdid the static-y effect...these are the things you learn from experience.  Oh well, it still worked for what I wanted to do.  I was able to condense all the footage I had down into a shorter time period from it, which was really the whole purpose of it.  Problem--I had over 20 mins of footage to use.  I could have just made normal cuts and edits, but I wanted it to be suspenseful.  Solution--Use static, breaks in the footage, as a way to not only add to the intensity, but also condense all of it down.

I also love the black.  I'm just saying.  What if you were in a room alone watching this with the volume really loud?  THAT was the effect I was shooting for.  It's a select audience, I'm aware, of people who do that, but still...quality experience.

Also, I've made progress with my dad's website, here's a screenshot: