27 December, 2007

Music Video for the Potential Citizens

We will be getting together soon with the people from the band the Potential Citizens, to make a music video for them. Expect more posts to do with this video in the future.

05 November, 2007

Video Instrument

This is a short movie showcasing recent work I've been doing into interactive media forms, and new media. We all love new media, and doing funky new things. This is an example of connecting a Wiimote, motion sensitive device to a computer, waving it around like a maniac, and having pretty colors displayed on the screen.

video

05 October, 2007

Sound Mind Music Video Sample

After coming home this afternoon and feeling inspired I put together a little video clip sample for a song called The Power to Dream. I based it around the two visual concepts of chromatic separation, and celestial images of the cosmos.

The song is by a band called A Sound Mind. They are a great Melbourne based band and you should really check them out.

I really like the look of some of the scenes in 2001: A Space Odyssey where planets are aligning, and other celestial bodies are moving in space, if I was going to extend this I would have the Sound Mind Logo, rising out of the sun, and turning into another planet, speeding through the solar system. Then there could be some sort of fetus being born out of it. It could then begin turning into a thousand little particles, a each piece could be absorbed by different points on the earth. You know, to go with the theme of things, being born... and inspiration flowing through the universe.

video

30 September, 2007

Frank Miller Graphic Novel Style

So just a quick art tip, while I was playing around on my drawing tablet, I discovered how to get a really cool Frank Miller, graphic novel look. I simply drew a fairly standard toned arm, with a small narrow brush, to get some chaotic line action round the edges of the shading, and then applied a “charcoal” style half-tone screen filter... and here is the result.



Here is another great effect to try, simply try using any dry-brush simulations on a black canvas. Here I got a nice looking sky-line at night, with a white paint dauber.

27 September, 2007

Lens Distortion Correction for Apple Motion

I've spent the last couple of days working on a Core Image, Image Unit that can correct for radial lens distortion. If you have ever used Apple Shake, then you will know that it had a node that could correct lens distortion on a video source. This feature is missing in Apple's Motion 3, so I thought that if I wrote an Image Unit to do the correction, then it could be used in any program that supported Core Image, including but not limited to Motion, and Final Cut Pro.

I just downloaded and digested a paper I found on the subject of lens distortion correction, it's really quite a good read (see:Automatic Correction of Lens Distortion by Using Digital Image Processing). After that I followed Apple's reasonably well written tutorials on the subject of creating a Core Image plugin: I have to say that the devil is in the details, because it was really hard to find any documentation on non-executable (GPU-only) plugins, for reasons beyond the scope of my knowledge, these simply don't work inside Motion. They work in Core Image Fun House, and Quartz Compositor, but not inside Motion. This got me frustrated enough to think about reprogramming my graphics card with my fists. So in case your wondering, GPU-only Image Units don't work inside Motion 3. (like you care!) I did get it all working in the end, but had to program some Core Image glue code to make all the little micro-chips happy!

Well without further ado, the results:



Before
video

After
video


There is some great software out there, for doing lens distortion correction on still images, if that's what you need I would try Lens-Fix CI (I assume it also uses Core Image). Lens-Fix CI comes with a database full of correction parameters for different optics at different focal lengths. My plugin is more designed with movies in mind, and doesn't come with a sweet user interface.

To correct your images, you'll need to know the calibration polynomial coefficients of your lens — If you have no idea what this means, then twiddle the sliders back and forth until the picture looks right. If you want a mathematically accurate correction, you will need to calibrate your lenses with a grid or something, and probably some software. Google it. Seriously.

You can download the Image Unit (Universal Binary) and Source here: UMLensDistortionCorrection.zip

To install simply copy “UMLensDistortionCorrection.plugin” to “/Library/Graphics/Image Units/” and away you go, it should appear in the category “Distortion Effects”.

26 September, 2007

Creative Commons Music

While poking around on the internet I found a really great site called ccMixter (ccmixter.org)

ccMixter is a site that allows people to share loops (beats, riffs, vocals, etc.) under a Creative Commons license, people can download these samples and mix them into their own songs, which they then upload.

The Creative Commons is an organization that is an advocate for copy-left licenses and ccMixter was started as a site to support freedom of ideas in music. You can go there and simply listen to some of the music, or download it and for use in your next movie. It's a great resource for indy film-makers who would like some free, quality music for their next short film. Many songs are under a non-commercial license so if your planning to sell DVDs or something, you may need to contact the author of the work and ask nicely. (visit: creativecommons.org for more info).

Creative Commons is a really great idea, and we've been seriously thinking about making putting the Identity Man movie under a CC license and distributing it over bit-torrent with an option to buy a DVD, the idea being that people should be able to acquire the movie, and share it with friends unrestricted. But can buy the DVD version, as a way to support Independent Film.

25 September, 2007

Look Ma' Faceless People

Just a quick post of some cool concept art...