Experimented today with something called “Vanishing Point”. There is much you can do with this Photoshop filter which helps you edit a 2d photo in a 3d environment. One of the cool things is when you export it to After Effects. (Check out this tutorial from Andrew Kramer) By moving the virtual camera in the import you get this. If edited right it can look like a perfect faked dolly/crane shot. This one is just rough, but remember, the original is just a flat 2D photo. Can’t wait to try some more test out.
“I am the gorilla!”
A blog worthy of mention, Greyscale Gorilla This one covers all my favourite subjects on Post Production, namely After Effects, Cinema 4d, Photoshop and others. Some great video tutorials (video tutorials are always the best) and a competition called the 5 Second Project which is very entertaining, check out the superb entries, inspiring stuff. All this done by a fella called Nick Campbell (he is the gorilla) from Chicago, USA. Nice one Nick!
As I explore the demo of Cinema 4d even more, I have subscribed to c4dcafe.com – who have some excellent tutorials too. However it took me 3 attempts to get my subscription accepted, (you can’t view anything until you have subscribed which is annoying) and once you’ve completed their rather interrogative questionnaire, they hint heavily for donations. I hope some day they take a leaf out of other sites more accessible walk-in setups and deal with their funding issues by advertising or selling their own products, such as my favourite site Video Copilot or indeed Greyscale Gorilla! Another brownie point for them!
Had a little learn and play with the Daylight System in 3ds-Max today. Made a little weathervane from scratch to render in it that I imagine would probably sit well aloft the Twilight Ballrooms main tower. Maybe we’ll see this shot again someday in such a context, though hopefully less plain looking (Come on, I quit Art when I was 12 years old. That’s what happens when your homework is pointlessly sticking bits of dry pasta to cardboard!)
And I’m excited about seeing Gareth Edwards movie Monsters soon. Saw an interview with him on the Culture Show the other day. The guy is doing exactly what I want to be doing (if only I had the money). He’s living the dream! And I want his big flat screen TV too. From what I’ve seen he’s really committed to the immense amount of work that is involved whilst coming up with some very imaginative stuff – though I’m pretty sure it’ll look low budget compared to my attempt here at a weathervane. Now they ARE scary!
Not only a great selection of post-production software and add-ons, the website also has a great selection of videos and tutorials on how to get the best out of these products. From Grading software with fabulous presets, to lens flares, text effects (including the ubiquitous Matrix generator), vintage effects, state of the art video noise reduction, ray effects, keying software, oh to name just a few!
But Red Giant’s “Pièce de Résistance” is its Trapcode Collection of particle generators, most notably “Particular”. This effect comes in many forms and categories and Red Giant have been wise to subdivide its possibilities into various different versions of software. Also worthy of mention, and one of my personal favourites, was “Psunami” which is a sea generator like no other. Incredibly realistic, you can also have huge control over its environment including camera angles giving you the power to make some amazing effects which would only otherwise be possible shooting from a helicopter. In can take a while to render but its still significantly faster than doing it on 3d modelling software, and the wire mesh preview gives almost realtime rendering which is ideal.
So check out the website, the software, Red Giant TV and give their demos a try. It’s not so much whether you’ll buy something because you will, but more that you find the perfect solution from its vast array of offerings.
What this site hasn’t got for the serious movie maker isn’t worth knowing. It certainly has a comprehensive collection of external tutorials covering a wide array of categories, including many Adobe products, specific camera equipment and the main 3d modelling programs. And when you’re on a tea break have an explore of the rest of the site too. The showreels people have submitted are awesome and inspiring, there’s a jobs board, excellent resource and links to some other fab sites.
Have you ever wanted to create your own CGI graphics but thought it out of your price range and ability? Think again. Ever heard of Blender? What?! It’s been round for years, c’mon! Check out the website. Basically, its open source software which means its free to download and use. And like most open source software (OSS) many people use it. Which means theres quite an established community online who forum and discuss its problems and potential. So if you get stuck on something, chances are there are many before you who have had similar problems too. And those people have often found the solution you require and have posted it on a forum. Good huh! And there are numerous free tutorials, repositories, libraries, textures, links etc…Download it now at www.blender.org
For good YouTube tutorials on Blender basics, I would recommend Super3Boy’s tutorials. Okay, he does sound like a young teenager and throughout his 30 odd tutorials his voice breaks, but the guy is good and tells you what you need to know with some fun, easy to follow examples to get you going.