Works- Creating a character animation with duik

Recently I was asked to put together a short animation for the new 24/7 kids channel over at my work- Wisconsin public television.  DuIk is a tool I’ve wanted to learn and try for a little while, and this was the perfect way to start getting comfortable with it.

Here is a Time-lapse of my work animating the spot.  The completed spot can be seen on WPT kids channel over the next 2 years!

The characters were created by graphic designer Scott Stetson.
Music is Castlevania adventure Remix by Mcvaffe. (great work jams)

VFX timelapse of commercial

Last Month I was fortunate enough to work on some VFX shots for a local company- Flip 11.  My tasks were to:

  1. Create “a perfect storm” of clouds coming in
  2. Sky replace the footage
  3. Track and Match Move the clouds
  4. Roto out the people in the scenes
  5. add additional rain elements if possible
  6. Screen replacements
  7. Add ight flare effects to sell the brightness and contrast of the hot blistering day.
  8. Composite in more steam/smoke
  9. track the car hood and match move the steam and smoke.
  10. Deliver within 48 hours.

I used mostly particular to create the cloud animation in layers. I was lucky enough to have lots of stprm clouds immediately after picking up the footage to use as reference material.

Particualr was great but also VERY resource intensive. Im running a majority of my work on a 8 core i7 with 2gb of video ram and had a hard time getting the particles to preview.

I additionally used several stock photos and even an instance or two of video co pilots “real Clouds” pack from like 10 years ago! (never throw away old stock).

For the tracking most of it was dove with the tracker but due to crossing the area of tracking I had to manually track the horizon point.  I had to blow out the scene just to see the horizon.

Additionally I had a few people crossing the scene that needed roto and one main one with curly hair that made things a bit challenging.

The sky was no where near a clean mattable color so I hade to rely on extract and a few passes to seperate the backgrounds.

In the second scene alot of that just wasnt possible and I had to layer a few masks in the trees so i could better Sell the trees withanother foreground layer of it.  Each scene didnt really have a horizon track point so I had to pick any feature that I could make work. A tree branch, some mounttain etc.

once the clouds were created in several layers and animations I pumped each one out as its onw alpha matte and recomposited them into all the scenes. So i eneded up creating about 8 layered weather systems and reused those.

Screen replacements were done with Mocha. I love using screen replacements with mocha. Its quick and its easy and it works!

The lense flares were creates with video co pilots Optical flares, and each exported as a tintable matte. Most were used at a very low opacity just to give a little extra bump.

Filming in Thailand with the a7s and Atomos Assassin.

Filming in Thailand

Recently I decided to take a trip to Thailand and Shanghai. Most of it was for scouting locations and also to build some footage for my reel. I knew I wanted to have high quality footage and wanted to be able to shoot in 4k as well as stills.  Lastly I knew there would be times that I wouldn’t have access to power so having batteries and different power options would be very important. In this post I’ll be talking about what I brought,  why I brought it, as well as what I didn’t bring. lastly Ill be talking about my challenges when filming in these locations.

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Using iMovie on the iPhone 6 Plus

This was shot with an iphone 6 plus. Incidentally it was also entirely edited on the iPhone 6 Plus using the iPhone version of iMovie.
I am using the time-lapse feature on the stock camera app and some basic settings in iMovie.
I was pleasantly surprised to see how well and easy it was to work in iMovie for iOS.
In my experience this is what Premiere Clip was Trying to be but lacked so much.
It was easy to add fades, retime footage, trim footage and audio. If this ends up having seperate tracks or storylines it could make a lot of editing very interesting. Id love to proxy edit fcpx on this thing.

I will absolutely be using iMovie on iOS in the future. All around awesome.
Music is Andrew Bird.

I’ll be putting together a larger review because I am so impressed with this product.