More Lights!

One of the primary techniques in the recent Light Casting tutorial is the ability to add multiple lights in your scene. These additional lights will automatically interact with the surface based on intensity, distance and color so you can worry about more important things like building robots.

Watch the 2009 Light Race! HD 720p

NEW TUTORIAL: 3D Light Casting

In this jam-packed tutorial we will build an energy ball that emits natural light onto the road’s surface. Plus, we will be utilizing ‘reverse-tracking’ to lock the 3D effects in-place, while maintaining the original camera movement in the exciting final shot.

Video Sample Video

Watch Tutorial

The displacement effect at the end uses the Energy Wipe tutorial:

I also added some camera shake with the AFTER SHAKE preset:

Oh Yeah:
Today and tomorrow are the last two days to receive free shipping on the 2K version of our new stock footage collection, Action Essentials 2. Of course the 720p version is still available at the great low-price of $99.95 so be sure to show your support by using it to blow something up

PS: We have all new discs and every package goes out within 24 hours!

Check out the features and Trailer!

Surface Lighting

OK, I like making “cool” effects like this energy ball but the real challenge is finding a technique that goes beyond building a single effect.

In this example, the street is generating a specular gloss from the light source that is uneven based on the surface. This makes the effect seem more realistic and blends with the road naturally. I used a similar technique in the VFX breakdown example for Action Essentials 2 in order to create the glow on the ground caused by the explosion.

Start the Montage

As promised here are some shots from my trip to NYC. The weather was great all day on Saturday and so was dinner. I shot everything with the Sony EX-1 on a tripod as well as some hand-held stuff. I used Premiere CS4, even though it would hang during editing and crash occasionally. I’m sure they will work it out. Please?

Back on subject, the clip contains a variety of shots, as well as some tracking shots taken from the back of a bycylce carriage. Now I just need to intercut some cops and a district attorney then add some 80’s music and I could have a hit TV show. Then I could stop all of the crime.

Watch Video

Still Image to see Detail

Filmin’ in NY

I made a last minute trip to NYC on Friday and spent today filming all over the city with a Sony EX1 for fun. Pretty cool camera and the interval (time-lapse) mode is incredible too, very easy and the results are great. When I get back on Monday, I’ll post some of the footage.

If anyone at Sony is reading, feel free to send me some free stuff Thanks in advance.

Ground-Breaking Intro

We are working on the new video blog soon to be called…

“The Video Copilot Show”

The (not really a) show will be a compilation of useless information and long boring speeches. The good news is that the 5 second intro is ground-breaking. And not actually cutting-edge or original but the same old cliche of the ground breaking up into pieces It’s going to be great.

Sure we’ll have some tips and maybe some behind the scenes action but mostly it will contain as much random stuff as possible. I want it to be the worst show you have ever seen. Now that I have your expectations down, we’ll see what happens.

It sounds like a show I would want to watch!

Release date is unknown.

Tricky FX by Digital Domain

Here is a familiar story of hard work by one of my favorite studios Digital Domain, the studio behind the Benjamin Button VFX and other iconic films. This story is about a shot from the new Transformers movie that took 3 months to finish only 2 seconds of film. Possible spoilers, so be warned.

Check out the Article at Gizmodo

And please, no movie reviews here. Whether you loved-it or hated-it, this is NOT a movie review site and I don’t want to start frivolous debates. Now, if you can relate to this story from a professional stand-point and would like to share one of your battles, please do.

BTW, I don’t usually post outside stories but I think it could be a fun thing to share interesting articles related to motion graphics & visual effects from time to time. What do you think about that?

String Energy

Back to more AE experimenting… this string-like energy ball is created with standard plug-ins like vegas and polar coordinates. It works in 3D space and the depth of field is from the AE camera. I’m trying to work this in to something more useful and then I’d like to release a project file or maybe a short tutorial.

Sample Video in HD

Question: How do you like watching sample videos in HD? They have this new thing on the internet and thought I would try it out. The internet that is.

NEW TUTORIAL: Blueprint Reveal

Now that we have released our new compositing collection Action Essentials 2, we can finally go back to sleeping every day and making tutorials.

In this new tutorial, we’ll combine several techniques to self-animate a blueprint style logo right before your eyes. This fun technique uses basic built-in tools and can be used to ‘reveal’ a logo, a product or possibly a power tool.

Watch Tutorial

View Sample Video

New Action Essentials 2 Trailer!

Action Essentials 2 has a new trailer. You may not learn anything new, but we had fun making it! We got it out just in time!

Watch New Trailer