2017 JSB Senior Fall Festival Effects

Took a whole bunch of pictures today at the school Fall Carnival Festival. Since it’s a Christian school, Halloween is not celebrated, but dressing up in costumes is.
These are two of my most interesting shots, with a sprinkle of superpower and a dash of wizardry. 🙂



Fence climbing goats

I was at Jericho for an assignment. As soon as I got out of the car, I noticed all the goats going nuts over all the greens. Some of them were ingenious enough to climb on the fence to get the best parts of the plant. I have seen mountain goats on TV, but I never thought domestic goats would do something like this. It was fun video’ing them for five minutes, to show the world that Jericho is rich with bible history and fence climbing goats!
The bible verse in the beginning was composited in with After Effects. I was polishing up my tracking skills with Mocha.

Simulated Motion Capture

Gangnam Style craze isn’t dying out anytime soon, especially here in Korea.  Instead of making another parody, which requires a team of dancers, I thought I would animate one in After Effects, tracking each major joint frame-by-frame, much like motion capture.  It took a long time, but the result is interesting.

Technical note:  Plexus plugin was used.  The first frame is a reference frame, showing each dot’s relationship with surrounding dots.

“Miranatha” lyrics and family rough cut

GH2 is a tricky beast. It’s pickier than T2i when it comes to exposure and overall color depth. I need to trust the histogram more than the built-in exposure meter which tends to underexpose scenes in Cinema Mode. It also has a yellowish cast which I don’t personally care for. I compensate for it during post by boosting red in the midrange.
“Maranatha” is a song we sing every morning before the family bible study. I have not memorized all the words yet, thus the caption. For now, I am just filling the video part with family stuff. The shots are rough and long and unfinished, but I just want to capture the kids the way they are, for now.

720P 60fps slow motion with Panasonic GH2

The concept and the acting was cheesy and silly, but creating this video was 100% pure fun.
I decided to shoot the whole sequence in a 720P 60 fps mode, with the intent of slowing some parts down for true slow motion in the 24 fps edit line. I was a little concerned about the lack of sharpness compared to 1080p, but GH2 holds up very well — much better than T2i.
I inserted “Bill + Kathy” (dropzone and the airplane owners) at 00:13 in After Effects, for a little gag the locals might appreciate. Motion tracking with Mocha worked well, as usual. Photoshopped decal slipped a little during tracking, but you really had to look frame by frame.
I forgot about the 180 shuttle rule at 00:46, shooting it in 1/50 by accident instead of 1/125, resulting in undesirable motion artifact for some indoor shots. Freefall footage, however, shot in 1/200 shuttle speed, looked pretty good in slow motion, with the footage conformed from 60 to 24 fps.
For color grading, Magic Bullet Mojo was used for ground footage. It turned out a little dark, so lightened it a little using Colorista. For skydiving footage, Colorista was used, bringing up the shadows and giving a slight greenish tint. I added a little yellow to the midrange and a bit of red to lightend hilights.
As I use the GH2 more, I really could use for shallow DOF. I need to get a faster lens.  For technical aspect of achieving slow motion, see my other blog.

Twixtored parachute landing shot with Panasonic Lumix GH2

Twixtor is a great tool to slow down the action, but it only works decent if,
1. The background is somewhat unobscured.
2. The motion of the subject is predictable and in somewhat linear motion.
3. If the footage shot on a tripod.
For this footage, I wanted slow down the action just as the skydiver let go of the toggles, but the footage was too dizzy for Twixtor to calculate. I, therefore, had to settle for the part with a cleaner background. It didn’t turn out too bad regardless, but it isn’t exactly what I wanted.

Twixtor super slow motion on skydiving footage

To create frames between four still shots for the "Bullet Time" project, I used a morphing software, manually placing points and curves on each picture, matching the target points as much as possible. The result was pretty accurate, but it took many hours of tweaking. Since then, I was experimenting with Twixtor plugin to see if it could create identical results. Surprisingly it did a better job than what I expected, but not quite as good as manual tweaking. While I was at it, I thought I try a little experiment on skydiving footage that was shot at 60 FPS with Canon T2i.

Time Slice “Bullet Time” Effect with 4 DSLR cameras

Ever since I saw a Time Slice effect at SIGRAPH in the 90’s, I’ve been obsessed to try it myself. All I needed was around 100 SLR cameras, which was financially not feasible. Fast forward 20 years later, where there is no film developing costs and wonderful morphing software that can simulate frames between shots pretty accurately. I finally got my hands dirty yesterday. Morphing is not perfect. It’s very difficult to simulate layers. Here’s the result. Out of 4 images 68 ‘tween’ shots were replicated via morphing software and then time streched 2X with After Effects. Due to having different lenses that did not match exactly, the pictures needed to be tweaked almost perfectly with Photoshop to prevent a “rubberband” effect within a morphing program.

Compositing practice fun with muzzle flash and windshield crack

Quality time with my son. 🙂
The window was tracked with Mocha to composite the windshield crack, and the muzzle flash was a simple file from Videocopilot.com action pack. The compositing was not necessarily spectacular, but I am definitely getting better in color grading. I am messing around more with gamma setting, giving the video much more smooth dynamic range and a softer look. I really enjoy shooting video’s without an elaborate setup, with whatever light that is available and fixing it best as possible during post.