Here's an unofficial music video for Saint Mary
by Sparklehorse. Best viewed non full screen to avoid any nasty
compression artefacts - I had problems with some of the more
subtle parts of the film when compressing it for the web.
It was done using my Dad's old slide projector from the 1950's, with a bit of
after effects cheating. The projector allowed me to have two slide cases in at
a time, and each of them could have three layers within them so I could change
the focus of the lense between each layer. Although I only actually did this
on a couple of shots. Here are some of the slides I drew for the video...
And here's the projector - you could actually open it up and slide a longer piece
of acetate through, which is how I did the scrolling trees at the start.
- I Done A VJ Gig!
Me and Garry volunteered our services for a
charity gig held in a music library the other day, doing visuals
for a band called Found. I'll hopefully get a bit of footage
up soon - I especially enjoyed scratching the duracell battery
in and out of Mr Birdie's arse :D
5 is on the front page of the BBC Film Network
website at the moment - here is a picture of it, in case you
don't believe me :) It's also being screened on the British
Shorts programme at the Lichtspielklub
Kurzfilmfestival in Berlin on the 18th of January.
13/11/09 - McDonalds On The Brain
Here's a little film I made over the last couple
of weeks in my spare time. The song is McDonalds On The Brain
and it's by Daniel Johnston. It's been good to bang something
out really quickly - I just felt I needed to get away from
the slightly boring precision and technicality of the 3d Zoetrope
stuff for a bit. I might do another one next week :D
- Sound Design at Ink.Digital
Just thought I'd post a few of the sound design
projects I worked on during my time at Ink - click on them to
have a look at the movies on the Ink website.
This was the first professionl sound track I'd
ever done, so it was a bit of a stressful job, and I only had
three days to get it done. I'm pretty happy with it, although
they had to lower the volume of all my lovely crunchy coiny monster
noises in the broadcast version cos they drowned out the voiceover
And no, I don't get jetted out there to attend,
I'm pretty chuffed it's been chosen though - seems like the
Imagine Science Film Festival is a really up and coming event
aimed at promoting collaboration between scientists and film
20/07/09 - Marvin Returns
I got an email the other day from 'Bones
on Vimeo saying he'd re-designed the sound for one of my films!
He's done a pretty decent job too, certainly better than the
rushed rubbish I did for the original...
Thanks very much Bones :D
22/06/09 - Hello!
And welcome to my new blog, which will mainly
be about me trying to figure animation stuff out, but also
hopefully sharing some of the knowledge I've built up over
the various things I've been playing about with for the last
couple of years. I've tried to include a bit of insight
in making some of my films (linked to on the left) as well,
although it's hard to remember many of the details - if you're
interested, take a look at my old
student blog as it may have
some more relevant information.
there's some catching up to do
so this will be a bit of a
My current ideas have all sprung from this one little video I
caught on youtube about 6 months ago. It's essentially a 3d zoetrope
where the illusion of movement is achieved with the shutter speed
of the video camera instead of a strobe light or the slits
of a traditional zoetrope. The minute I saw these little guys
passing the parcel I knew I had
to email the guy who made this video, Jim
Le Fevre, to see if
he could help me out and luckily, he turned out to be a top bloke
my willingness to spread knowledge. Basically, he gave me the
magic formula to get it working, and saved me having to attempt
a lot of horrible maths,
so I could just dive right in with the fun stuff. Thanks Jim!
It still took a few goes to get it working though. Below is the
very first version I made - a peice of wood, going up and down.
eh? It didn't work though because for some reason I decided to
completely ignore Jim's advice and used the wrong numbers - 30
of a 25cm diameter circle instead of 33 divisions of a 30cm circle,
which meant the animation slid around the circumference instead
I think the mistake helped me grasp a deeper understanding of
the technique though, and made me think about why it had gone
I tried this first test out with a couple of VJ-ing mates, as
I thought it would make a nice live video feed to mix up with
I was still
srtuggling to get my head around the idea of working in 33 frame
loops though, so I copied Jim and did some tests with drawing
pins, just to help me figure it out. I had to film these with
a stills camera though as I had no access to my brother's fancy
DV camera yet, so these are stop motion.
this frame by frame lead me down a slightly different path for
a while and it got me thinking about how I might incorporate
the record player technique into a film, and how I might come
up with different applications for the spinning, rotating
also done using the record player and
but I had an idea of how this might also be developed later using
the 3d zoetrope. I made some paper mache domes and pricked lots
of little pinholes in
and animated them rotating on the turntable, just to see what
I could do with them in After Effects really...
this little detour (which took longer than you might think),
I finally got around to figurnig out the 3d zoetrope properly.
to keep it
did a really basic arc loop in After Effects so I could just
print the frames
straight onto acetate and they'd be exactly the right length
for the circumference of the disc - all I had to do was stick
them onto the edge of the wood with blutac. And
it worked! Woo!
a really good feeling when you get this working properly for
the first time, there's just something magical about seeing
animation happen right in front of your eyes. Although, strictly
speaking, it didn't actually happen right in front of my eyes
because the display on the camera I was using wasn't deinterlaced
was just a big blurry mess until I took the footage into FCP.
Yet another bit of the learning curve scaled - I didn't twig
this would be the case until I'd spent a good few hours despairing
that I'd never get the bloody thing working.
The next step was to combine the paper mache dome idea I'd done
before, with the 3d zoetrope. Construction of the giant nipple
This is the first test run of the big dome I did, just
to make sure it was working properly. (The reason the lighting
is so poor, by the way, is because I had yet to realise that
I could adjust the settings on the camera to allow more light
into the shot - the high shutter speed needed for the effect
to work shuts out most of the light, especially if it's artificial,
so I had to use a torch).
And finally, this is where I'm at now. I needed to shoot this
during daylight hours so I'd have enough light to film with the
high shutter speed, so the dome had to be painted black on white
and then inverted in post. Some of these shots are layered up
in After Effects, but they're mostly pretty close to the original
footage, no extra animation added or anything, just a few glow
and some colour correction.
pretty confident with the technique now, and I feel I've developed
it into something I can call my own. All I need to do is
figure out exactly what I'm going to use it for and how I can
combine it with other techniques and ideas.
Just to round off this post, here are a couple of videos by other
people working along similar lines. I'll keep you posted on my