Tag: special fx

Design, Editing, June Gloom Short, Motion Graphics


March 28, 2011

This post ties right into my Keepin’ It Real blog. My short, June Gloom, is almost done and I don’t mind sharing a couple more frames before the finish line. The below frame is from a 3 seconds long clip, right after the long shot of the prison pickup. I felt a need for the prison to be in it in order to reinforce the location and help the story line. Since it’s a handheld shot, I started with motion tracking along with establishing a cut off line. The red squares are the trackers and the purple line is my vertical guide.

I prepped my prison picture in Photoshop, a combination of a still and a screen-grab of the actual footage. I composited the jpeg in After Effects and made it into a 3D layer. I assigned a virtual camera to the layer, which had created the desired perspective (after some adjustments to the x, y and z axes).

But it was too sharp, as you can see, so I added a lens blur to soften the image and the edges. I also created a null object with the tracking info and linked my jpeg to it. Now my prison was nicely moving (shaking) along with my footage.

Lastly, I changed the depth of field settings of my AE camera to the one we used during the shoot for a more realistic feel. It’s not as noticeable here as it is on the big screen but the closer parts are actually more in-focus then the further ones.

Design, Editing, June Gloom Short, Motion Graphics

Keepin’ It Real

February 23, 2011

We’ve been making a lot of progress on June Gloom and even though the short is in the hands of the sound mixer and the music composer, I find myself still working on stuff. What kind of stuff? Things like finalizing the poster and DVD artwork and finding a decent printer. Creating title cards, quotes and end credits for the film (the actors’ cards are looking mighty good). And for the most part, some tedious special effects work. The funny part is, there are no special effects in this film…

Let me explain with an example. When we set out to shoot this film, we couldn’t find a taxi cab for our budget. Sooo I posted an ad on Craigslist for a Crown Victoria and we had our cab for $100/day plus gas. Then we dressed up the car with decals and a TAXI sign for a few bucks more. But we were still missing the main company logo so I marked its location with a piece of black tape for post work.

June Gloom ex1

What further complicated things is that we got shot down by the cops at the prison (I couldn’t afford the hefty location fee) and we had to steal the following shot from behind my car. As you can see, there’s also a post next to our man in the shot.

June Gloom ex2

So I spent some quality time adding a post and a cab sign (my design) to our footage in order to maintain continuity. In other words, I’m keeping it ‘real’. Click on the image below to see the final clip.

Design, Editing, Motion Graphics

Fox Trot

July 29, 2010

So here he is… the dancing fool in all his furry glory. Mr. Fox is making the moves and dancing his underwear off (please note, he has none). However, as Mr. Fox rocked the floor, the client danced around the subject and never picked up the spot. No problemo, this party animal will be filed away in my portfolio and will always come handy as a reference. So lets not stick a fork in him just yet, because he’s a plush fox… he might get punctured.

Design, Motion Graphics

A Fish Called Tornado

April 21, 2010

I just finished adding special effects to a Western comedy titled “Tornado the Goldfish Sheriff”. The six episodes were already edited so adding only the finishing touches to the cut was a nice departure from my usual workload. There were a few scenes that needed muzzle flashes, bullet hits, impacts, gun smoke, dust, rain, and all the other elements that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Once I finished compositing the above mentioned pieces, I closed the shades because it was time for a little TLC. I added a subtle vignette along with some dust speckles, film scratches and a sepia toned color grade. Here are three examples with a breakdown of the process.

I was also asked to design the title cards for each episode. After a few design ideas, some more peeks and tweaks, we all felt pretty good about this old Western poster-looking card.

The series will launch online in the near future so you don’t have to wait too long to witness all the madness. Until then, here’s a quick recap of today’s examples.