Digital video presentation
For this task we had to find two examples of digital videos and discuss why video was used, what the purpose was, what the format and genre is, and how the the purpose, format, and genre influence the content and aesthetics. I chose to look at the trailer for the Justice League.
From this task I learnt how the aesthetics of a video can be influenced by the purpose of the video and this will help me when doing the project as I will need to think about the purpose when I am deciding on the look and feel of the video.
This task was about teaching us the different shot types that are used in videos so that we can use them in our project.
One shot type that is used is the Establishing shot. This is a shot that sets the scene and shows us where the scene is set. It is typically an exterior shot and is usually a wide shot to show as much of the scenery as possible in order to give the audience as much information about the setting as possible.
A similar shot to this is the wide shot which will include the characters on screen as well as their surroundings, so that the audience can focus on the characters and be aware of what is around them.
Another shot type is the long shot. This shot type will show the whole of a subject, such as a person, so the audience will be able to see everything from their feet to the top of their head.
Medium long shot will show the knees to head of a person as well as showing some background.
A medium shot will show a person’s waist to their head. A medium two shot is the same as this except there will be two people in the shot.
A medium close up will show the head and shoulders of a person.
A close up will show the whole face of a character and is used to show a characters emotion.
A big close up just shows the forehead to chin of a person and is used to show extreme emotion.
An extreme close up is a shot that is very close to a subject, such as a door handle or a person’s eye.
An over the shoulder shot is a shot from behind one person looking at something or someone else. It is usually used during conversations and is usually a medium close up of the person in the background as well as including the person in the foregrounds head and shoulders and maybe a bit of their back.
An overhead shot is one that is looking directly down over the subject of the scene.
A high angle will be used in shots to make an object or person look small and powerless. A low angle shot will have the opposite effect and will make an object or person look powerful.
A deep shot will have something visible to focus on in both the foreground and background of a shot.
Screen direction and Continuity
The purpose of this task was to create a thriller genre video using our work on shot types and continuity, including the 180 degree rule.
The 180 degree rule means that if two characters are talking to each other they should remain in the same position relative to the other, so one character has to stay on the left side and the other on the right. This rule should only be broken if you are going for a specific feeling for the shot, for example in The Shining during the bathroom scene Stanley Kubrick breaks this rule to reflect the main characters feeling of confusion.
From this task I have learned about some of the conventions of video which will help me when I’m making the video for my project as I will know the rules and how I can break them if I’m trying to create a certain effect. Also I have learned about how to film the different shot types.
3D particle effects
This post is about creating different particle effects using 3D animation. The purpose of these tasks was to learn more skills in 3DS Max so that if I want any particle effects in my project I will know how to create the effect I want.
To create a particle effect we first went to particle systems in the create tab and then selected super spray. Then we went into the modify tab, selected load/save presets and then selected shockwave.
Then we created the shockwave on our grid and went to particle generation and changed the emit start and emit stop of the particle system to control at what frame particles would start being emitted and when they would stop. We then changed the Display Until and Life duration to set when the particles would stop completely. Then we went into particle type and changed the particles to facing so that they would always face the direction they are being viewed from.
Later when we were working on a different particle system we created an Udeflector with the system so that the particles would bounce when they hit the ground. To do this we went to pick object and selected the plane we were using for the ground and then added particle bounce.
Terminator crash sequence
This task was to create two alternate endings for our terminator sequence that we had filmed using the green screen, to allow us to have an interactive video on YouTube.
The first thing we did for this task was create the room that the car and brick would crash through. We did this by creating a box and going into Editable Poly and selecting edge to create the beams going up and across the wall, so that we could create the door. We then created a camera so that when we rendered it the footage would be from the right angle when compared to the original sequence from the film.
Once we had created the door we detached it from the rest of the box by selecting all the Pollys of the door and then selecting detach. Then we went into the modify list and added a shell to the door so that when the car made impact with it the door would shatter separately from everything else. Then we did the same with the glass panels in the door.
Then we went into the scripting tab and selected run script and we used FracturVeronoi_v1.1 to allow us to make the door and glass break. Then we animated the door shattering by using the MassFx toolbar, selecting the door and setting it as a Dynamic rigid body at the start and then set a point for it to become a MassFx rbody. We set the preset of the door as concrete so that it would shatter realistically for a door. We set the car and brick as a Kinematic rigid body and then turned autokey on and animated until the frame we wanted it to stop.
Once we had animated the car and brick smashing through the door we went into simulation tools and selected bake all.
For the brick alternate ending we created a note to be attached to the brick. We did this by creating a plane and increasing the height and width segments and then added noise to it. We then went into Edit poly, selected vertex and then used soft selection to make the note look a bit crumpled. We then created bands to go around the brick to make it look like they were keeping the note attached by going to the create tab, then shapes and then line. Then in the modifier tab we selected sweep which made the line extend around so that it was in the shape we needed it to be to put it over the brick.
Terminator title sequence
This task was to recreate the title sequence from the Terminator using the tools available in After Effects. The purpose of this was to teach us the skills we would need for when we create our own motion graphics for our videos.
The first thing we did was create the Terminator text. We spilt the text in two so we had a TERMI text layer and a NATOR text layer that just had strokes and no fill. We then positioned these layers just off the screen so that we could animate them moving into the centre and connecting. Once we had done this we made copies of the text layers but added a fill to them. After this we added an outer bevel to the text to make it look smooth. We animated the movement of the stroke text layers by using the position tool and once we had them in the center of the screen we brought in the fill text layers to make the text look more solid.
Once we had done this we split the stoke text layers and parented the new layers to the fill layers using the parent whip tool. We then duplicated a stroke and fill text layer and set the text to say THE, and then positioned it just above the TERMINATOR text. Then we used the scale tool to make all of the text smaller to make it look like its moving away from the screen.
To add the gradient to the text to give it a futuristic look we went to layer styles on the layer, and then selected gradient overlay. Then we changed the opacity of the gradient in order to make it look as much like the reference as possible.
To create the glow that goes across the TERMINATOR text as it zooms out we created an eclipse and set the colour to almost white. Then we added an inner glow to it and blur, and changed the size and spread of the glow to make it stand out more. Then we animated it moving across the text using the position tool. To get the glow to go across THE, we duplicated the eclipse and animated it going across THE when the glow on TERMINATOR reached a certain point.
To create the effect that the text is being viewed on an old monitor we added a new solid layer and placed a grid on it. We then added an adjustment layer and added a blur to make the grid look like scan-lines on an old TV screen.
To create the text for the credits we first created a rectangle and added a white fill and animated the opacity so that it would blink on and off. We then created our text and went into the Effect tab, transition, and then selected line sweep. Then we added a glow to the text. To make the text and rectangle turn green just before they disappear we went into the Effects tab, colour correction, and then went into Hue and Saturation and changed the colour of the text and rectangle from white to green and animated it so that it would start white but then become green.
Terminator “I’ll be back” scene
For this task we had to recreate the “I’ll be back” scene from the first Terminator film. We did this by analysing the actual clip from the film and then setting up actors and a green screen to recreate each shot. The purpose of this task was to give us more experience in setting up and using a green screen and also how to composite footage in after effects. Also this task was to teach us how to make YouTube videos have interactive elements.
The first thing we did for this task was watch the clip from the film and note down the different shots we would need to get in order to recreate the scene. The shots we identifies were a close up, medium shot, low angle, extreme close up, medium close up, medium two shot, over the shoulder, and a high angle. Then we decided which shots would use a similar camera setup so that we could shoot them all at the same time and not have to keep setting up the camera. We then set the lighting of the green screen up so that it would look like an interior setting.
Once we had the footage we imported it into after effects and created mattes around the footage using the pen tool. Then we added a keylight to remove the green screen and remove any spill that was on the footage left by the green screen. Then we added backgrounds to the footage to make it look like it is taking place in a police station just like the original footage. After we added the backgrounds we used keylight again to adjust the lighting of our footage to make it match up with the lighting in our backgrounds to try and make it look more realistic.
We then brought in our 3D work of the car smashing through a wall and a brick smashing through a window and made them separate videos so that on YouTube the audience would have been able to choose which ending they wanted. We added that interactivity by uploading the three videos we had and then on the main I’ll be back sequence we added an End screen and linking it to the different endings.
The things I learned from this task will be useful for my video project as I will know how to create the lighting that I want for my shots. Also now I have done compositing I will be able to do it faster and better when I make my video. Knowing how to make YouTube videos interactive will be useful because our videos have to have alternate endings, so knowing how to create that choice on YouTube will save me time when I come to do it.
The process that motion graphics and compositing are produced for films has changed a lot since the early days of film. In the pre-digital era compositing was done using mattes. Mattes were images of the background of a scene that would have a piece of glass painted black in them so that no light would be exposed onto that part. Once the background had been filmed that would be covered in black and then the glass that was covering an area would be removed so that only that part was exposed to light. George Melies was one of the first directors to use this technique. Another technique used is called the glass shot. This involved painting elements of a scene onto glass and then placing the glass between the subject matter and the camera, in order to make sets appear larger than they were to make them appear more realistic to the audience. Mattes and the glass shot were later combined into matte painting so that the painters could take their time in recreating the scene on the glass. Travelling matte was a technique developed from the original matte technique. Travelling matte allowed for movement in the scene which was not possible before due to the limitations with the cameras. With travelling matte subjects would be filmed against an all black background, then copied to high contrast negatives and then have the background added to it. Later techniques included the Dunning process which used different coloured lights to light a screen, and the optical printer.
Early techniques for motion graphics, for things like title sequences of films or letter cards for silent films that explained the context of the scene, were basic and they were the job of the lettering artist to create. Eventually typesetters would be hired by film companies and they would have to make the title cards match the subject matter of a film, by using different fonts or designs. As this developed film studios would try to convey the tone of the movie through the title card. When it became possible to animate the title sequence of films directors wanted them to surprise the audience and so let the creators of the title sequence work freely to create something shocking. This led to typography not being as important to the title sequence, as it was more about what was happening in the background.
Contemporary compositing shares similarities to compositing before the digital age. Matte painting is still occasionally used in modern films, and the Dunning process was an early form of green screen that is used widely in today’s films. The introduction of digital technology has changed the way motion graphics are produced for film, as they are more often produced on computers now, and more emphasis is placed on the design aspect of motion graphics. With digital one of the characteristics of motion graphics has become having an animated character introduce a film. This is very popular with Disney and Pixar. The production process for compositing has also changed with the introduction of digital technology, as now many backgrounds and sets are created digitally and added to the scene during the editing process, instead of it all being done in the camera in the old days. This allows for the effects created to appear much more realistic and on a grander scale than before, and makes modern films look cleaner and fine compared to old films.
The benefits to digital production processes are the people working on them can take time to perfect anything as it doesn’t have to be ready on the set, and also if the director is not happy with how something looks it is easier to change than with the old techniques. Another advantage is it is now possible to do things that before would have been completely impossible, which can make the films grander in scale. Also whereas with the older production processes filmmakers would usually only be able to do an effect once, because of the time it took to set up, with digital you can do something as many times as needed in order to get the shot right.
One disadvantage of digital production is the technology is always changing so some methods can become obsolete quickly and the people working in it need to keep learning new skills in order to get employed, and work done on older technologies might not be compatible on the new one. Another disadvantage is digital files can be corrupted which could result in them being lost and then all the work would need to be redone, which would take a lot of time and cost more money.
Julia (2010) The art of film title design throughout cinema history – smashing magazine. Available at: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/10/the-art-of-the-film-title-throughout-cinema-history/ (Accessed: 28 October 2016).
Greenberg—Richard (2007) R/Greenberg associates: A film title retrospective. Available at: http://www.artofthetitle.com/feature/r-greenberg-associates-a-film-title-retrospective/ (Accessed: 28 October 2016).
William Forsche (2011) The history of special effects – part 1. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGfSz8d-Z6I (Accessed: 28 October 2016).
William Forsche (2011) The history of special effects – part 2. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqDdlHmzYKY (Accessed: 28 October 2016).
Filmmaker IQ (2013) Hollywood’s history of faking it | the evolution of Greenscreen Compositing. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8aoUXjSfsI (Accessed: 28 October 2016).
Daniel Kutz (2010) Horizon’s look a ILM and VFX – part 1 (optical printing). Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwMLOjqPmbQ&list=PL_JytkVrHs-FLN1-mKNQg75oh09y5hxpw (Accessed: 28 October 2016).
Daniel Kutz (2010) Horizon’s look a ILM and VFX – part 2 (matte painting). Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mw3EvuRkQVw&index=2&list=PL_JytkVrHs-FLN1-mKNQg75oh09y5hxpw (Accessed: 28 October 2016).
Characteristics of the beat ’em-up
The typical themes of a brawler genre video game include urban settings, themes of revenge and crime fighting. My concept idea fits with these themes as the main character is going around fighting Soviet spies, who are the criminals in my idea, and it’s also set in a city, which is an urban setting. Also as my character idea is an over the top patriotic American, he could be getting revenge on the Soviet spies for them infiltrating America. This is relevant as Street Fury is inspired by the brawler games from the 80’s and so needs to have similar themes to have the same feel as games from the 80’s.
I think the appeal of these type of games came from the fact that they offered multiplayer and they were quite challenging to complete, and so people were determined to play them and get better at them so that they could complete them. Also they were very simple to understand which meant they were perfect for a wide audience. I think people would play these games now for nostalgia purposes but also newer players might play them because they are something different to the other games they would have played.
One of the problems with this genre that many people pointed out was the simplicity of the games, and how they didn’t offer much replay ability. Developers responded to this by adding deeper combo systems to the games to offer some variety to attacks, and adding playable characters with different fighting styles for the audience to master and different weapons to be used. They also added environment objects that can be used by the player or against them.
One of the key conventions of this genre of game is the variety of weapons that the player has access to throughout the game. I can use this to develop my character by giving him different weapons that he could use when the audience chooses what happens at the end of the clip. Another key convention is food items that restore lost health. I could use this in my concept for my video by having the character eat something before he attacks the enemy. Another key convention that I could implement a part of into my video is multiple playable characters with different playstyles. I could have my character have different fighting styles depending on what the audience choose.
One key gameplay element that I could convey in my video is offensive variety. This would mean my character would have multiple attacks that the audience could choose from in the video. Another gameplay element that I can use is the use of special attacks or super moves. One of the choices for the audience could be to use a normal attack with a weapon or use my characters special attack.
My character fits within the context of a 1980’s themed game as he represents American patriotism and hatred of the Soviet Union, which was a big part of the 80’s because of the cold war. Also I want my character to wear an 80’s style suit if I can get one, as this will make him feel like he is from the 80’s and will contribute to the look of the 80’s that I need. The aspect of the 80’s I have focused on for my character is the cold war and the American patriotism because of that. I have chosen these because when I thought of the 1980’s the first thing I thought of was the cold war and I felt it would be interesting to explore American patriotism through a beat em up.
My inspiration for an extremely patriotic character came from watching Kung Fury and my limited knowledge of beat em ups as I think the characters in those are a bit over the top and extreme so I wanted to create something like that for my character.