Final Project

https://ucsb.box.com/s/ne5n6dt82t10zlhrajqng0a5auu648q6

https://streamable.com/yvhtx

My final project for this class will be a live motion video of one of my best friends, that I have known since kindergarten, demonstrating his amazing juggling talent. Coming into this project I had no prior use of any editing software other than photoshop, and I wanted to show that with a little inspiration anyone could illustrate the beauty of motion.

The beginning frame of my video starts with a visual blur of the juggler for multiple second, then unblurs showing clearly who the juggler is and what he is doing. I wanted to  add my beginning frame like this to add mystery and really draw the viewer in. I also added a text effect that moves around I used a basic text tool animation to do this and the use of anchor points to make the text move around and off the screen.

My second frame will be from a vertical point a view showcasing a large background, I am doing this to compare how small the balls are to the rest of the area around, continuing with the scene the juggler will throw the ball out of the frame, hopefully causing tension among the viewer and then the ball will then come back into frame all while in slow motion, this is to really showcase the motion of each and every movement that the juggler makes to catch the ball and the movement the balls make getting from point A to point B.

The third frame will be of the juggler in a tree juggling the balls however the way I take the video, I will be able to create a reverse effect making the ball actually go backward while everything else is going forwards, I want to do this to showcase that not everything is always as it seems and with good editing, you can alter motion. The balls will start from the air and work their way into the jugglers hand during this time the frame will be black and white and when the balls hit the jugglers hand the color will come back in.

The fourth frame will be a pan view of the camera moving from left to right and the juggler will slowly be brought into the frame while on his back juggling the balls and then he again will slowly move out of the frame as the camera continues to pan away. While all this is going on I will add a text animation titling the name of the song and giving credit to the band

The final frame will be of the juggler juggling all the balls in the air and then hitting them all down, this is just to signify the ending of the video and add a little humor to it as well.

My song choice for this video will be “4” by Aphex Twin. I decided to choose this song because of all the little beats in the background I think they will go really well with the motion of the balls and the two will look very in sync.

My biggest take away from this project is that prior to it I had never had any video making experience, and this project was my first. So I just wanted to be able to show that with hard work and iteration you can create anything and thats what I ended up doing and I’m very happy with how my project came out.

A Golden Girl

Video

 

Art Design

Abstract

This piece is more or less an exercise in color and tightly composed effects. It opens with a black frame, which zooms out and is revealed to be the pupil of an eye. A woman beautiful woman is revealed in black and white, except her brilliantly bright green eyes and red lips. The camera continues to zoom away from her until her head is floating alone against the black background. Using something like a double exposure effect, her face will “fill up” with golden white wine or champagne until she has gone from a somber black and white to an elegant, still bubbling, gold. Her face continues to ease backward into the blackness, all happening very slowly, and then begins to twist and spiral until the blacks, golds, reds, and greens have spun themselves into a floating sphere of blended color. Rising from the bottom of the frame is a splash of water and ripples, which meets the spinning orb at the droplets zenith, turning what was once her face into a ball of water. The water falls back into the black and white site of impact, dispersing its colors into the water until it is a deep liquid gold. From there we watch the water calm and the colors disperse, replaced by tiny black and white ripples. The water stills and we are back again at a fully black frame, which can be looped back to the beginning of the sequence to make a pretty neat loop should one desire. A continuous drop of gold in an eye, the direct stare, combinations of moving color, a dark space, and liquid flowing are hard to ignore or look away from, this piece combines all of this to try and really capture peoples’ attention.

There is not much meaningful purpose behind this piece other than an appreciation of color and a disposition towards pretty women. The woman from the mood board is Ava in Sin City, which I recently watched and loved the use of accented black and white throughout. Commanding focus and attention absolutely with just a few blots of color on a black and white image is an example of the power editing and color hold over film audiences, which is why this effect was selected and expanded upon. The ending is an overwhelming flush of bright colors and reflections in an otherwise slow and dim piece, calling further attention to her eyes, gaze, and lips in each successive play-through of the loop. That’s all this is really, playing with power and attention drawing editing can command when done in interesting ways. Her face is a post production powerhouse literally staring audiences in the face, forcing them to acknowledge if not appreciate the countless hours editors spend getting their perfected work to them.

Now, as a novice editor, the above description of the piece has not yet been completed. What I had assumed would be a simple stringing together of effects and masks turned out to actually be quite difficult for someone with my skill-set. Even had I spent five times as many hours on this piece I do not think I would have been able to recreate the image I’ve kept stored in my head, which is unfortunate because I really wanted to show that image to people instead of this admittedly lesser version. It would have been far wiser to create something with clearer purpose and simpler sets of problems, learn how to create it online, and then produce a video using those simple skills at a masterful level so that I could repeat them efficiently in future work. Making this video had me learning masking, color correction, level control, scaling, and so many huge topics all at once making it quite overwhelming at times. However, despite being an utter pain and the final result nowhere near as interesting or dynamic as my imagination, creating this piece lead to hours upon hours of reading and watching tutorials, which has given me a vast albeit shallow understanding of many new features in After Effects I am eager to delve into more deeply. So, even though I spent most of my time trying to learn a double exposure effect that I never even got into the video, I will remember this project fondly and definitely come back to it once I know my way around Adobe, and photography in general, a bit better. Improving at After Effects skills is a great feeling and I can do so much more than when I began this project, and still there are innumerable features that I am yet to even try yet alone learn how they interact. It’s both daunting and excited, because once you get something down you don’t easily forget it. Even so, I hate knowing there is a way to do something in After Effects and just not knowing how to do it the proper way, many of my effects were done very inefficiently using tons of layers and masks when they could have probably been done with only one of each. It will be awesome when I can finally look back at the long hours I spent on this project, laugh at how I struggled to complete it, and recreate the same piece in a single afternoon and at a higher quality.

Another challenge I faced lie in finding footage to use. The smart thing to do would have been to shoot my own footage on a greenscreen and work from there, that way I could be in complete control of what assets I had available. Instead I learned a valuable lesson about assuming a particular type of shot exists online without a double or triple digit licensing fee. I had planned to use five different video files, a woman looking seductively into the camera as the subject, a glass of white wine or champagne being filled in slow motion for the double exposure effect, a smoky haze to create a backdrop indicative of an old fashioned nightclub, a droplet of water shot in slow motion from a profile angle, and a can of gold, red, and green paint/ink being mixed to color the water once the drop of colored water falls into it. Clearly, these are exceptionally specific shots, and while I was able to find similar every single one of them online, I could not get to them without paying extremely high prices for licensing. If one is going to make what they imagine, they must get the footage themselves and do it using the proper method, and if that option is not available then the only feasible choice is to gather footage and alter your vision to fit what you can afford. My mistake started to become evident when I was learning how to create a double exposure and every single tutorial included green screen footage, and I was quite disappointed when I finally felt the need to give up on that effect.

The sound for this is an excerpt from the soundtrack for Sin City called Old Town Girls, which references the all female band of feisty prostitutes, strippers, thieves, drug dealers, and weapon smugglers who operate their own quarter of Sin City free of cops. They’re very inspiring figures, and I wanted to give this piece some undertones of their menace. The video was originally in color, but I made it black and white then recolored the eyes and lips each with their own masks and motion tracking. During this my perfectionist nature got the best of me and I personally adjusted nearly every frame to keep her lipstick mask from sliding onto her chin and the whites of her eyes white, so I’d say those masking effects are the strongest part of the piece. There is a vignette around this video so there were no harsh edges while her frame shrinks. I then scaled her back into the darkness until she was the size of the water drop I found, spun her colors together by using distortion effects and making her eye and lip coloring masks ten times larger so the colors became pronounced enough to create a full sphere, and matched the sphere up with the path of a falling drop of water. The color explosions are far from professional level, but they get the basic idea across. For them I used a different mask and layer for every single ripple and expanded the masks a few frames after one another. As to what this work could be used for, I would say above all else a learning experience as I doubt anyone will experience the wow factor I envisioned. There is an easy way and a hard way for After Effects projects and production in general, and the hard way works, but why in the hell would anyone want to do it that hard way? This was a lot of fun to create, and I can’t wait to get to work on another, more coherent project using what I learned with this one.

Final Story Board

My final project for this class will be a live motion video of one of my best friends, that I have known since kindergarten, demonstrating his amazing juggling talent. Coming into this project I had no prior use of any editing software other than photoshop, and I wanted to show that with a little inspiration anyone could illustrate the beauty of motion.

The beginning frame of my video starts with a visual blur of the juggler for multiple second, then unblurs showing clearly who the juggler is and what he is doing. I wanted to  add my beginning frame like this to addmystery and really draw the viewer in.

My second frame will be from a wide angle point of view showcasing a large background, I am doing this to compare how small the balls are to the rest of the area around, continuing with the scene the juggler will throw the ball out of the frame, hopefully causing tension among the viewer and then the ball will then come back into frame all while in slow motion, this is to really showcase the motion of each and every movement that the juggler makes to catch the ball and the movement the balls make getting from point A to point B.

The third frame will be of the juggler in a tree juggling the balls however the way I take the video, I will be able to create a reverse effect making the ball actually go backward while everything else is going forwards, I want to do this to showcase that not everything is always as it seems and with good editing, you can alter motion.

The final frame will be of the juggler juggling all the balls in the air and then hitting them all down, this is just to signify the ending of the video and add a little humor to it as well.

My main inspiration for this video was the first project we did in this class when we had to draw motion around us, I took that idea with the fact that I have no prior experience  with making video, to show to audiences that anything is  if you truly want to learn how to do it.


Story Board and Abstract

midterm-storyboard

midterm-mood-board

Trevor Wallace

Sakr 8:30-9:50 TR

14 February 2017

Abstract

Title: Linked: An SSB4 Combo Video feat. Scizor (Joel Jimenez)

My motion graphics project for this class will be a highlight montage of the performance of a semi-professional gamer named Joel Jimenez. Scizor, as he goes by in tournaments, is a well-known player from the Inland Empire in Southern California. He plays Super Smash Brothers for Wii U, the most recent installment This project is inspired by an almost two-decade-long legacy of similar montages, which are called combo videos in the Super Smash Brothers community. Typically, these videos use motion graphics, music, and outside images that complement the techniques that the players in the videos use. The term is “combo video” because in fighting games, a combo is an uninterrupted series of attacks that requires the aggressor to correctly guess their opponent’s defensive decisions many times in a row.

The inspiration to make Scizor the subject of my project came when I realized that despite the hard work he has put in over the years, no combo videos for Scizor currently exist. Scizor plays Link, the same character that I use. As a fellow Link main, I understand Scizor’s struggle: Link is a difficult and technical character, and out of a total of 58 playable characters in the game he is ranked 43rd. I feel that Scizor deserves recognition for succeeding with a bad character. I also feel that the premise of this project lends itself to an interesting aesthetic that is appropriate for motion graphics. Super Smash Brothers is a series where all of the playable characters come from other Nintendo games, like Mario or Pokémon. Link is the protagonist of the Legend of Zelda series, which has existed since the 80’s. Because of the series’ longevity, there is a cornucopia of Link-related art that I can use for this project. Since all of Scizor’s opponents in-game are other Nintendo characters, I can use footage of them from their original games too.

For the introduction, I will use simple white text on a black background that says “Linked: an SSB4 combo video by Purp”, then I will put the song credits in the same font. To clarify, Purp is my gamer tag. Then, I intend to use footage from the original (eponymous) Legend of Zelda game from 1986. An old man in a cave helps Link begin his journey by giving him a sword, saying “it’s dangerous to go alone! Take this.”. This will be mixed in with the introductory countdown to some of Scizor’s streamed games. Specifically, the encounter with the old man will come first, followed by “3” in the countdown in Scizor’s game against K9SBruce. Then he will say “It’s dangerous to go alone!”, followed by the “2” in the countdown against Zenyou. Lastly, “Take this” and a zoom into the sword will be followed by “1, GO!” as the match against Meepinator begins. The combos footage will proceed based on the reverse order of foes seen in the introduction. Between some of the clips there will be footage from the home games of the opponents’ characters of said characters in defeat. For example, since Meepinator plays Ganondorf, his segment will be the first 9 seconds of his match with Scizor, followed by 5 seconds of footage of Ganondorf’s defeat from the end of the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The next opponent to suffer at Scizor’s hands is Zenyou, who plays Mario, so the combo against Mario will be followed up by the cutscene in Super Mario Sunshine that happens when Mario dies. This will be repeated with defeat footage of Sheik, Luigi, Shulk, Ludwig Koopa, Luigi again, Star Fox as Scizor vanquishes K9SBruce, Mr. Concon, Nicko, Vicegrip, Elegant, and Xzax, respectively. To wrap up the video, I will use footage from the ending of the original Legend of Zelda game, where Link is thanked by Princess Zelda for saving the kingdom of Hyrule.

Since most combo videos use a song, I intend to use a remix of Song of Storms from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time by Deon Custom. I believe that this song syncs well with the timing of Link’s moves, and it is appropriate as it is from the Legend of Zelda series.

 

Meta tags/keywords: Super Smash Brothers, SSB4, SSB, WiiU, Link, Legend of Zelda, Scizor, Video Games, Sword, Song of Storms, Mario, Luigi, Shulk, Ganondorf, Sheik, Ocarina of Time, Xenoblade Chronicles, Star Fox, Koopa