pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
So, in the Maya class, the instructor has required us to do 15 minutes a day of work in Maya. The idea is sort of like the Artist Ambushes. Give yourself a topic and you have 15 minutes to create it. We're currently working on modeling and basic texturing, and of modeling, we've so far mostly worked with NURBs revolve and the sculpt surfaces tool. Though this week we also got loft, extrude, duplicate, and the all-powerful project curve and trim-surfaces tools. He also gave us a tutorial on Paint Effects, but I have far from mastered that yet as seen below.

A week's worth of 15 minute Maya Projects )

Nerdtastic

Oct. 12th, 2006 09:26 am
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
I am officially a total dork. (As though this weren't already old news)

I don't want to carry around a 3 ring binder to shove class notes into but I was getting a big pile of them for this quarter, so I cam up with a better (read, more horrible) solution.

Scan page -> OCR with images -> PDF output.

Took a couple of hours of playing with it to get the text readable after the OCR was done with it. Schools seem to specialize in bad copiers.

5ome ot the text st;ll 1ooks l;ke th;s
but most of it is considerable readable.


One of my instructors was generous enough to print all of his class notes in a nice clean 14pt arial font. Those scan well. Some of the others I had to save just as compressed images, but hey. Now rather than stacks of messy papers, I have tidy multi-page PDFs that fit on my USB thumb drive and I've propagated copies for myself to a couple of places so I'll be able to find the notes much easier than if they were on paper.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
So a few years ago, I joined the nerd society. Phi Theta Kappa because of my GPA. They've sent me mail ever since and I can't get off their freakin' mailing list.
Okay, I'm also still a student so maybe I should just tolerate it.

Anyhow, they're have a picnic soon. I should go, dressed as awful as I can manage and wearing my pin just to rate the contempt of all the stick-up-the-butt straight A types that think people who look/dress like me are all slackers.

Probably this kind of attire classism isn't a big deal any more. Also, the more obnoxious and oily sorts would just look at me as an opportunity to get a 'business contact'. Yeah. maybe I'll just skip this. Its on a friday anyhow, and some of us 4.0 types have jobs. Well... At least this slacker-looking one does.

Classy

Dec. 1st, 2003 04:33 pm
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
So... Looked at the winter catalog. Pressure is off at work for the moment and I can theorhetically take whatever classes I want but I've learned that my boss can be sort of fickle about this so I should not be overzealous. It looks like if I took non-art classes I could potentially take more classes though as some of them can be stacked on the same night. Most notably, I could take classes my SO is interested in so we could take classes together... Geez. That sounds a lot more juvenille and highschoolish when I write it instead of just thinking it. "I'm like gonna take classes that my girlfriend can take! Fer sure!" Of course, my second ulterior motive with math and language classes would be to bring my GPA up higher.... How warped is that? I consider Alegbra, Trig, and Japanese the 'easy-A' classes and art classes the hard ones. o_O Anyhow, here's the schedule.

ClassDays/TimesCOMMENTS
Japanese6:00-8:10 M/WOnly quasi-interested here. I think I'd get more from French or Spanish classes honestly but I could study with Stacey and that'd be a big plus.
Intro to C8:20-11:00 M/WEasy A. Sooo easy of an A. Stacks nicely with Japanese and Stacey might be interested in it. I could manage an A in this class but it would require significant work.
Intro to PERL8:20-11:00 M/WNot as easy of an A as C. Line-noise languages make my head hurt. Still. Not as good in PERL as in most other languages so it wouldn't be bad and I think Stacey might be interested in it.
Data Structures5:30-8:10 M/WThis class is in C and would actually be interesting to me. I would almost certainly get an A in it and I could apply it directly to my current job and it has good future job-market potential.
Algebra 18:20-10:30 M/WAn easy A, probably well-below my current math understanding but maybe not a bad place to start at this school. Also, has no pre-requesites.
Algebra 28:20-10:30 M/WAlso most likely an easy A. Probably about where I should start since I've been out of math classes for a while. Placement testing would be helpful.
Trigonometry6:00-8:10 M/WAn A with work. I actually really liked trig when I took it in highschool. It has some application for work and a lot of application for Maya. Might be worth it.
History of Cinema 1895-19506:00-9:40 TI started to take this class at Cabrillo several years ago but found the instructor had changed the course significantly and it was not a class that interested me as a result.
16mm Film6:15-11:55 TOoooh. I could like actually use my Beaulieu or something. But until midnight? Yipes!
Audio Production6:15-11:55 ThThis would be very helpful to animation and isn't always offered int he evenings. OTOH it might require buyign some new and expensive techno-junk and I already have a lot of techno-junk.
Story Boarding6:30-10:00 WStoryboarding for animation... I think I have this down for my own purposes. Maybe I should leave well enough alone.
Animation Workshop6:30-10:10 MMy standard favourite animation class and a good fallback. Unfortunetely it falls on a Monday so it's probably a no-go this quarter as there's other things I'd like to take.
Independing Animation ProjectAny timeWOO! I pitch a project to Marty, I work on it and show him slices now and then, no actual classtiem required. I think I'll definetely take this class!
Intro to Maya7:30-10:10 T/ThYes. I feel I learned nothing in intermediate Maya but this is taught by a different instructor and might be better although it's in the same lab so probably not, and the class times are sort of obnoxious too so... Unlikely I'll take this one.
Classical Guitar5-6:40 TI might gain something form a classroom environment here but it does say this is for nylon-string guitars. I don't know if I can restring mine to use nylon or not, or if they'd accept a steel-string guitar or not. This might be a good relaxing class but if I take it between hard classes on Tuesday Monday and Wednsday it could be stressful. Haveta think about it.


So... Those are my picks. Any feedback would be much appreciated. I think 3 nights a week is probably pushing my luck with work but maybe not. I'm tempted to go like 'Japanese, C, Guitar, and Independent Animation'. Challenging class, Easy A where I can draw, Relaxing class, and credit for my personal animation projects.

The japanese and C might also be good because Stacey could take notes for me if I was stuck with work so my schedule could be a lot more flexible as a result. Hmm. Definetely needs more thought. Any input would be appreciated.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
So.. It's been what... almost 7 months since I stopped biting my nails but they're short again now.... Though not bitten. Heh. After the years and years of angst about having such short nails, I finally stop biting them and what's the first thing I do once I have them long and pretty? Start playing guitar. This from a person who three months ago actually CRIED when she broke a nail because she'd been trying so long to grow them out. I'm such a dork.

Other recent changes:

Started using Safari instead of Internet Exploder. Seems decent so far. At least it doesn't explode on me the way IE did.

Switched to bicycling to work MWF (school T TH) already feeling my energy level picking up and a little weight going away. Yay! Now I just needta start bicyclign the whole way instead of just 1/5th of the way. (About 2 miles each way) =) figured I'd work up to that though. =)
Next week I may try riding 3/5ths of the way (bike/train in; bike home)
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
So... I did my bouncing ball animation. In all honesty it still needed some fine tuning to really be stunning but it was enough to make most of my class glare at me and my new instructor to notice me.

http://circle.twu.net/animate/maya/balls.mov

Lotsa things I would improve. Make the little ball more consistent in its rubberiness. Make the big one emote its personality a bit better and 'jump' a bit better. Still. It isn't terrible for an evening of work, is it?

Class

Oct. 1st, 2003 10:58 am
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Uf.

So... Used Maya 5 in class for the first time last night. PAINFULLY slow. I mean like 386 days type slow. I HATE PCs. I hope it's just that they have the wrong drivers installed for their video cards and nothing more because otherwise class time is going to be insufferable.

OTOH, I got to use my new little USB drive thingy for the first time last night. Nifty. 256M in a little capsule about the size of my thumb.

So... For an intermediate class this sure is amazingly slow. We're working on a bouncing ball? guh. I animated, AND rendered my homework in class before the class was half over. Really non-challenging stuff. So... Being me, I have a much more complex interpretation of the assignment that I'm going to work on tonight. :) Wish me luck!
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
So... I got this letter in the mail today that reads:
Dear Prospective Member of Phi Theta Kappa,

Congratulations on your academic achievement!  As a result of your dedication to
scholarly success, the Phi Theta Kappa chapter at De Anza College extends to you an
invitation to accept membershp in the international honor society of the two-year college.  
Membership eligibility is based on your maintaining a cumulative GPA of at 
least 3.5, being currently enrolled at De Anza in at least three units, and your having 
completed a minimum of 18 letter-grade units; therefore, membership is a special
honor afforded to a small group of outstanding students.


... Eep. I'm a nerd!
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Checked my order status thinking Maya would arrive before the 3-Day weekend so I could play with it. found out it is backordered to September 8th. *sulk* I want my object I spent $600 on darnit! 'n' whats worse, now I'm hardly going to have any time to study before school starts. I'd hoped to be Maya goddess girl and made a movie by then. Rats.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Did I mention I kissed a monkey yesterday? Er. Well. Okay. Not a whole monkey. Just some monkey lips. :) Our instructor brought several of the replacement mouths for MonkeyBone to class last night. They were so cool! Resin casts! I wanted to steal one but I didn't. Anyhow, there was a kissy face one and just being the wingnut I am I went, "OOOOH! *SMOOCH*" Ista lucky thing that animation students are all weirdos and people just thought it was funny. Various people were also trying the mouths on their ears and such like.

They were very cool. Basically just a registered resin cast of an original sculpture. I'm not sure though if they were two-part mould and detailed with a dremmel tool or if they were a 1-part using a lost wax cast type of thing. I guess they must have been 2 part moulds now that I think about it, but they were way way way above my skill level. O_O

To wrap up animation news for the day, I got a lot done on the cat yesterday afternoon and I read a book on working with clay so I'm feeling more armed on that. Especially for sets and lip-synch.

Oh! 'n' Stacey bought me a 14ft Firewire cable so now I can move the camera around my work area and get much better shots and lighting. Yay! I'm gonna try to do a couple different animations this weekend. Wirehead skating around and shouting, "WHEEE!!!!! WHEEEE!!!!! LOOK AT ME!!!! I'M FRICKIN' GUMBY!!!!" and then plowing headlong into a Physics book. I think I'm also gonna try doing some Strata Clay. I have a semi-ambitious idea for an FCTV thing. I may wait a week on that though.

Err. right. Did I mention that Film Finals submission deadlines are next Thursday O_O No problem. I only have about 3 minutes of cat to animate. (Witness my dillusion) Oh... And I ran into my digital video instructor from the fall quarter and he strongly hinted that I should clean up and submit my 'Sam Antha: Private Director' movie. O_O... Eeee. Well. I think I can only submit stuff from winter and spring quarters so I may be off the hook on that one but he definetely expects me to submit something, so I'd better get back to work on that darn cat.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
I love school. Every class I come home charged up with new ideas and things to try. Last night we got tutorials on doing a basic walk with an articulated model and Strata Clay.

Strata Clay is _SO_ cool! I really really really wanna try it. It looks like it uses a lot of material though and I think I need a macro adaptor lense for my camera before I can really start doing stuff like that.

Definetely gonna need the macro adaptor soon anyhow, honestly. I wanna do some extreme closeups in stop motion and I think I'll wanna use it for my animation stand so that camera moves seem to travel much larger distances than they otherwise might.

In other news, my animation stand arrives tonight! I can hardly wait! Its been an incredibly long and slow journey but that makes it kind of neat, in and of itself. In this world of instant transmission of thoughts and ideas, the slow boat is actually kind of an interesting novelty to me.


So. Tonight, I'm back to working on the cat. I need some moulde release and a couple other little things before I can move on with Wirehead. During class last night, I sculpted a whole new body and boots (with a lot of thanks to Stacey for heating up the clay for me so it'd be easier to work!!!) I still need to detail and fire them. I don't know when I'll do that. Probably Saturday afternoon, I'm thinking.

I also have MORE comic book work to do! OY! The guy with the movie called and asked if he could get some more work from me. (two covers) I thought about it and said I'd do it, since I have a vested interest in his movie doing well. Anyhow, he's put a lot of time and effort and money into his project, so I'd feel weasely if I left him swinging in the wind. Besides. Two covers is only two hours work at my current rate of production and probably less than that because they're variations on the same image.

I'm babbling. This getting up at 6 and getting to work at 7 thing is making me loopy!
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
So... Yesterday I got to work at about 8:30AM and stayed until about 1:30AM today and was back here at 10:30 today. I really got quite a bit done. I'm a little tired though. On the bright side, I'm going from work to Motion Control Camera Operation class tonight! That class ends at abotu 10:30 so if I eat real quick, I should be able to get in bed before midnight, which'd be good because I have class from 10AM-1:30PM tomorrow. :) I've got plenty to do in the interim, but I'll put that in a seperate post. :)
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Second session of stop-motion class last night. Still trying to figure out what I want to do for this class this quarter. We're supposed to produce between 15 seconds and 1 minute of animation which conveys some kind of mood or scene. No problem, I can do that standing on my head. In fact, I can knock out a 2 or 3 minute movie in a weekend in stop motion. But... (We knew there had to be a but)

What do I want to do? My 2D animation instructor kept asking this question in class last quarter, "Can this be done in live action?" as a question to students on their projects. IE: Is there a good reason to animate it. This has stuck in my head and been expanded a bit. I keep asking myself, "What can I do in stop motion that I couldn't do easier in live action, drawn, or computer animation?" Of course, there are lots of reasons someone might want to do something in a particular medium or style just to get a certain feel, but I think I'd like to play with this idea. What kind of concepts are strongest in stop-motion? I've narrowed this down to two answers: 'Detailed models and lighting' and 'Found Objects'.

Detailed models and lighting: Things like the Death Star just look better as a model than they do computer generated. Maybe some day computers will catch up, but it's still a ways off, and you can still create a more believable scene in stop motion than you can with computer animation. Compare Jarjar Binks to the Rancor or the big imperial walkers if you don't believe me. ... While appealing, I'm not a great model maker and this venue of stop motion is probably beyond my skill level.

Found Objects: This would be like Gumby jumping in and out of picture books or dolls coming to life. Scenes that have interest in part because a mundane object becomes something extrodinary. This is a MUCH more likely media for me and one that holds the most appeal.

So.. I've selected a .. genre? But I'm still stuck with that question of what I want to do. I've been leaning towards something a bit more dark and depressing.

For my stop motion camera operation class, I think I am going to replicate a move I saw in 'The Joy Luck Club'. The actress is talking to her husband who is sitting at the table, seemingly angry with her, then it cuts to a camera move from table level, standing up suddenly to above her head, looking down at her and moving suddenly towards her. VERY powerful and dramatic use of camera movement. It gave me a very real sense of being afraid and in a dangerous situation. Anyhow, if I spend all the time to program the camera for this move, I really would like to use the move in an animation.

I've had some other vague impressions about doing something related to gender, though much of this seems to involve a circular theme and I'm not sure how I could break from one circle to the next without seeming redundant or disruptive. Things like a circle of post-op stents arranged like a stonehenge with the character in the middle. High angle, low lighting, the shadows cast down on her. I also have a recurring iconic drawing of a circle of women holding hands (paper dolls would be very effective here), all facing outwards with their backs turned on the character in the middle, and above the scene is a reddish purple face-like iconification of a uterus with ovaries on falopian tubes somewhat like eystalks and the whisper in the wind, "You are the alien, not I." But there are SEVERAL problems with this.
  1. There's no connectivity between the scenes. It's just disjointed snippets.

  2. I have a weird duality about being out On the one hand, it makes me feel akward and alien. On another, I remember the sense of being alone when I was younger and wishing there were more role models for me. On yet another, it feels like a crutch. A film like that would almost necissarily get awards just due to subject and the way judgings tend to work. On another another... Heck ya! How much do I care its a crutch if it nets me some big bucks? That's just making my handicap less of one, and deeper still... I'm bothered with myself for considering the money angles because the idea was spawned of something important to me.

  3. Another problem is that my spouse has a hard time dealing with my blacker artwork. I turn into something of an emotional black hole and suck in all energy around me. I need to do this sometimes but I try to do it when I'm alone. I'm not sure I could find enough private time to do this kind of project though. Unless maybe I worked in the garage.

  4. And finally... Skill level and nerve. I'm not sure I could present this project to the class in its concept or in-process forms, and what if my work was ham-handed and ended up making people laugh? That's always a serious risk with dramatic work. Even moreso when you have personal emotions invested in it.



Of course, I could do something lighter. Last night we did a demo on making hands in clay and I had an idea for a funny short piece that, while not exactly found objects, would be poking at the medium a bit. A young child playing with a doll, her mom calls to her that it's time to leave for school, so she puts the doll down and runs to the door, turning and waving to the doll, then closing the door. The doll waves back as the door closes and we do an over-the-shoulder of his hand as he waves, then he stops suddenly and looks at his hand and we dream-bubble back to the kid waving, extreme closeup on the hand. ... He counts his down fingers. He counts the fingers in his memory of the child, then begins looking for his missing fingers. A few silly things ensue where he repeatedly needs 10 fingers for various tasks. (counting stuff, maybe hanging on a ledge, each finger slipping off one by one as something that might save him moves towards him, but he runs out of fingers and falls, etc) Maybe he also finds something he thinks is a finger. An inchworm or something, or he tries on different prosethetic fingers, a toothpick, a foam novelty sports finger, etc.

This story has good potential and requires a lot of godo characterization in the media. However, it isn't quite my thing. The role needs a male character and I'm finding I mostly animate male characters 'n' I'd rather do a female character this time around. Also, it requires a child actor, which I haven't got access to. I think it also works out to a longer story than I really want to do. So... Possible, but still needs work.

Last, there's WireHead. Wirehead is an action character. I don't know when I made her exactly. She's drifted around in my head for a long time, and I've sketched her once or twice. She's a derranged gadget-girl. Basically a mini-me wearing coveralls and army boots, except instead of hair, she has a bunch of brightly-coloured bits of wire... That writhe, and spark with electricity when she gets ideas, and occassionally plug into things. Sort of a TehcnoMedusa. She'd be neat to animate and pretty easy to build. She'd also be a gadget-making weirdo so it fits the found-objects thing pretty well. The problem is: What's the story? Okay, I've got a psychotic punk-thrashing cool-haired gadget-obsessed weirdo! Great character, but what does she do in Episode 1? I thought about a 'creation story' for wirehead. A beat up one-eyed barbie with all her hair cut off is thrown into a junk bin, then there's a rag fire n the garage and it melts the barbie into the pile of junk and they merge and WireHead emerges. Very cool so far, but what does she DO after that? I know she A) Builds things and B) is totally insane, but where to go from there? ... The other problem, of course is that this creation scene involves destroying a toy, which is something I have real trouble with doing. I guess I personify things a whole lot and disassembling a toy would make me feel like a murderer probably. I guess I could search for a pre-mangled barbie at a thrift store, maybe but I'd still feel weird. 'n' also, I'd want a real Barbie, not one with the panties printed on.

Oooh... WireHead having difficulty walking on the junk heap at first and then finds a wrecked GI Joe, admires his army boots then looks disdainfully at her own diminuative Barbie-feet and then RIPS HIS LEGS OFF and attaches them to herself.

Strangely, I feel no remorse at dismanteling Joes. I should investigate that dichotemy further, but now I'm rambling. So... That's all for now.

Classy

Apr. 9th, 2003 10:41 am
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Went to the first session of puppet animation class last night. Oooh. New instructor at the school this quarter Webster Colcord He's worked on a lot of pro stuff. Did the spider animation in Minority Report and stuff in James in the Giant Peach (one of my favourite stop-motion movies), pieces of Antz, Monkey Bone, and Evolution and a lot of other stuff. Oooh. So I'm suitably impressed, but what's more, he's CUTE! *^_^* Also really nice to talk to, and not full of himself. Must work hard to impress. :)

So... Last night we talked about various types of armatures. I'm really looking forward to getting started. There's a couple of people in the class that have done professional model making and such, but I think I can compete and maybe even bring in some new ideas that they haven't thought of because I fiddled around on my own for so long. Just for instance, I've bene experimenting with using old HD magnets (which are really strong) to hold my characters in position instead of screw-downs. This means I don't have to drill/plug holes in my stage and my work is a little faster. I've also been fiddling with canned air. Turn it upside down and it becomes freeze-spray, which is a fantastic innovation when talking about clay under hot lamps. :) Anyhow, looking forward to getting started. Woo. So, I've now got three balls in the air. 'Free as a Bird', the project with Paka, and stop-motion at school. That should keep me busy! Still gotta edit Roon's tape too. Haveta do that this weekend! :)
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Yesterday morning Marty finally called me back and said he'd made arrangements to get the new compound for DeAnza. It's a rather small animation setup but it looks pretty nifty and it was free. We're told it was used by the guys who did Crusader Rabbit but not for the Crusader Rabbit project (as this stand was made int he 1960s) Anyhow. It's that blue painted steel like my Manfield 16mm film splicer. I'm really looking forward to being able to use it.

In addition, I got to do something I've wanted to do for MONTHS... ... CLEAN the animation lab. Since we needed a space for the compound we had to move some of the floor-to-ceiling piled junk. Felt REALLY good! I've been aching to clean that place for months.

Anyhow, I teasingly told Marty that if he ran across another donation that I'd like my own. He said he might know of another compound somewhere in the bay area here, and new of a full Oxford desk I could have if I wanted to go to Indiana to get it. (Only weighs about 1 ton... Hmm. Worth considering. :) ... I probably need something smaller. I guess really I can do all the work on the computer. I just lke having/using the old equipment. It's kinda funny. I guess I'm a very iconic creature. I perform better when I dress the part for what I'm doing.

Speaking of which, I'd better get dressed! I need to go do some filming for Roon

PS: After playing with an Alan Gordon Magna-bar disk in the lab yesterday I'm happier about not winning that e-bay auction. That one looked sturdier and the AG ones are made of aluminum but it was REALLY inferiour to my Chroma.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Hi again,

Well just a quick update, my instructor got my e-mail and said he'd be happy to re-review it so I'm seeing him at 12:30. Now on to the making of.

I discovered that making a film is a lot more challenging than making an animation. With animation, I can just sit down and do it. I don't need to worry about cast, crew, camera angles, weather, lighting, etc. Live action film is a LOT harder than it looks!

My first project for the class had been a complete disaster and I had to rush to create the second one, so with this one, I wanted to make sure there was nothing that could cause me the same kinds of problems that caused me to abandon my first project. So.. First thing was a story. I'd checked with friends and discovered that I really couldn't count on anyone to act in my movie. I am also very untrusting of the weather this time of year, but my instructor made it clear that I'd need to use more locations to get a good grade and I didn't have access to any indoor spots. Also, people are a real hassle when you're trying to film something. They're either oblivous to what you are doing or actively frustrating.

So.. I needed
A plot where I was the only actress.
Locations without a lot of people.
A way to get out of the rain.
A way to handle weird lighting caused by weather
A place where I wouldn't get arrested or chased off
Costumes and props that wouldn't cost a fortune.
And it had to be interesting and look like a real film.

So.. Sepia or black and white would have masked the
sky changes pretty easily and the Sepia mode on my
camera looked very sharp. This made me think about old
silver-screen movies. Detectives usually dressed in
cheap suits and the movies were generally shot on a low budget. I felt like I was onto something! A film about filming would be interesting to my class (which is my target audience) so I hatched a plot to film a murder mystery where I was all of the characters. I knew I could pull off the effects and make it work.

I got permission to shoot outside the museum Stanford which looked the period... trains also brought out that sense of nostalgia... Whats more, the CalTrain currently was not running on weekends, meaning that I could film at an abandoned train station all weekend with few interruptions! It was perfect. The train station nearest my house was under a bridge so it was a public place I could get out of the rain and continue filming, should anything have gone wrong. It is also the one of the most remote stations on the line. No bathroom or drinking fountains, in an industrial park. IE: Totally dead. The other stations were near nicer places and would probably have had hikers and bikers stopping through to use the facilities or sit on the benches but I knew this station would be abandoned.

So... I made arrangements to be late to work one day last week so I could film the three scenes of Ann with the train in the shot. Then I went back on the weekend and did the rest of my filming. The next day I went to Stanford and did some more filming, then finished up a couple shots at the train station... And sure enough, it had been sunny the first day but rained the second. (Which is why the walks are wet at the end of the movie as Sam is walking away)

Most everything else was just a lot of hard work in the planning department. What scenes I could shoot back to back without moving the camera much or changing costumes a lot.
The shots that had both characters in it were surprisingly easy. I would finish a set of shots as one character and we'd set up the camera on the tripod. Stacey stood in as the other character and read the lines back to me. Then I ran and changed clothes (which was a little akward at the train station because I had to do it behind the car right on the side of the street, and garnered me some strange looks at the museum) and came back, then did the shot as the other character with Stacey standing in again for the first character. (This is so I would have someone to react to, look at, and time my lines against)
Basically, in a split-screen shot, you draw an imaginary line in the shot and neither character can cross that line.

Once I had all the footage, I imported it all onto the computer. The Matte shots are SO easy with Premiere.
I just found the frame where a character was closest to the line, exported that frame to a TIFF, loaded it up in Photoshop, then cropped out the area around that character and made it all black, then I inverted the selection and made that half all white. Then I deselected and applied a gaussian blurr to the matte so there wouldn't be a hard line between the two sides if the lighting was different or the camera got bumped slightly. Then I just put the two clips in the video1 and video2 tracks and the B&W TIF
in the video3 track. On the clip in the video2 track, I selected 'Transparency|track Matte' And that's all there was to it! (Well and some jog editing to line up the timing, but that was easy!)

My favourite shot, of course, is the scene where all three of me are in the shot, though I wish I had the space in my living room to pull out more and show all three characters in the shot in full body and motion. That woulda been fantastic!

Anyhow, it was a lot of fun to make! There were lots of other little tricks I used but I did so many effects in my other film that I wanted to do a film that was raw editing to show my instructor I could. I think in the end he was really pleased with the end result. I created a complete fantasy world on a budget of $80... ($60 for the hat and $20 for the rest of the male costuming)

It was fun! With today's equipment, virtually anyone can make a movie. :)

-Sammi
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!!!!! I was _FINALLY_ able to see the movie I spent so much time
working on in it's entirity and there's a good chance my instructor will get to see it before giving my final grade.

I can see now that there are some flaws in the editing, it's not perfect and there are several little things with timing and audio I will clean up, but still. For a student film, I think it's pretty good!

If you wanna watch the film, it's at http://circle.twu.net/video/sam_web.avi It's like 16M though, so only watch if you have the bandwidth and nothing better to do cause it is still a first-year student film made in a relatively short amount of time.

In that same directory, there's some production shots. One for each of the characters in the movie (All played by me) SamAntha.jpg (The detective) AnnActress.jpg (The Female lead), and MrActress.jpg (Ann's late husband)

I'll go into more detail about how I made the movie later because it was fun and I think a story I'd like to perserve. Anyhow, I should get my little butt to bed!
Night! -Samantha
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
That's what this post feels like. A nanosecond of information in a river of tailights. I'm currently going about a million miles per hour and don't expect to be able to stop for about two weeks. You guessed it. Finals time and me WAY behind schedule.

It was worth it though. I went with my partner to visit her family in Washington State. A twelve hour drive each way. I was really concerned about making a good impression. We've been legally 'married' (a notarized domestic partnership agreement) for approaching five years and this was my first visit to see her family, though I'd talked to her mother several times on the phone.

All in all, they were great and the trip went really well. Her sister is 12 but a really great kid. We took her to see Treasure Planet and went to watch her play indoor soccer (which is a really rough sport) So now I wanna play. Looked like they were having just too much fun. :) I wish we'd had more time, but I could barely get out of work for as long as I did and I really am gonna pay for letting my schoolwork get so far behind. Que sera sera. It was worth the trip. :)

-Sammi
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Well. I finished my editing project. I had to abandon the cooking one. We spent two nights of filming, had a delicious dinner, and then I went to work on it and realized that I was missing some really important scenes and we had already eaten the props. It was also very over length and lacked some of the organizational components and visual dynaticism I had hoped for. So.. All in all.. I did get some good shots. Stacey did a fantastic job of lighting and camera work, but... It was not to be.


Further adding to the fun, on Friday, I had an allergic reaction to the penicillian
I had been taking and turned all red and lumpy and got to go visit the doctor. That
really didn't help my timeline much. :/


So, yesterday, I had to come up with a whole new idea. This time I did all the planning up front. Figured out every detail, properly storyboarded it, composed a shot list. All the things I usually do but skipped, due to the nature of the cooking project. I did most of the camera work and acting in this one, so it's by no means as good as the cooking one, but it'll do for the project I guess. *sigh* The end result is really pretty amateur-looking. I'm sort of embarassed by it, but I guess something is better than nothing. I am definetely NOT going to take so many classes next semester. This is crazy. Anyhow, if you want a good laugh or willing to dole out some sympathy, you can see my latest travesty at Last Minute Project This one is saved as an MP4. In theory, MP4 is readable by both MicroSoft Media Player and Apple QuickTime. So if you do view it, please let me know if it works okay or has any problems. I really need to put all of my animations into a single format type that everyone can read. (BTW, it has no sound)


Anyhow... I really should get to bed. I have to turn this in tomorrow.

-Sammi
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Well,

The entire quarter, I have only three projects required in my digital video production class. The first, the group editing assignment, was disasterous. Now I'm on my own.


The editing project is supposed to be 1 - 3 minutes in length. It cannot have sound or use camera zooms. I'd been struggling to come up with something that would have some challenging camera work in it, require good editing, and engage my viewers. It also needed to be something that wouldn't be impossible to do. Something I could do largely at night at home. Finally, I think I hit on a good plan...

Like me, most of the people in my class work and come to school from work. I'm often hungry. I bet they're hungry too. So my film is all about home made food. Hand kneaded, fresh hot bread still steaming when you break it open, savory cornish game hens with crisp golden brown skins, steamed vegitables with a thick rich sauce slowly poured over them, a bubbling hot cherry pie, and wine poured into a pair of glasses.


The actual story depicts me answering the phone, a cut to my SO on the cel phone in the car, me looking at the clock, the cooking sequence, and then greeting her at the door just as the last dish is placed on the table. The film ends just as she's about to take the first bite. Basically, I'm going to try to visually stimulate my audience into being just painfully hungry, then tease them and cut, leaving no satisfaction. The actual filming presents a number of interesting technical challenges. Baking multiple dishes in synch with filming, for one, lighting for another, and trying to work within the small confines of an efficiency kitchen. Yesterday we did some testing and I realized my camera is small enough to fit inside my oven and still be able to photo dishes being put into the oven, so that's an added bonus. I should be able to get some really interesting shots that way. I also plan to do some good closeups of things being prepared and some pans across scenes of food being laid out, but beyond that, I'm not sure how much shot variation I can get. If anyone can think of anything that might really stand out, I'd be happy to hear it. :)


Of course, the _best_ part of this filming project is that at the end, we get to eat it. :)
-Sammi

February 2012

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