Tag Archive: how to


First off let me start by saying, ‘I Hate iPads’. I think they are a gimmick, pretty much a useless piece of technology and a massive waste of hard earned cash brought to you of course, by the gimmick masters at MAC.

There! Now that’s out of the way, we have this; an interesting new use of old techniques brought to you by ‘Dentsu London’, who are some sort of advertising agency.

Now i’m going to teach all you guys how to use this technique so you can subvert it for YOUR ‘real’ messages and stories other than creating ‘cool’ demo reels and advertisements for corporations. As my esteemed Comrade Mdot Strange says, ” FUCK “COOL” put some heart and soul into it! “COOL” shit lingers in peoples minds for as long as it takes them to say “COOL” to some other shiny vapid thing “.

And here is another interesting piece of text i’ve been reading lately, on subversion of corporate culture and tools from ‘Re-Imagining Animation’ by Paul Wells and Johnny Hardstaff.

‘RESISTING CORPORATE AGENDAS

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Where once the dreams and visions of practitioners led the development of CGI technologies, now CGI technology can shape human dreams and visions, and it is important that the software does not determine an approach. Arguably, corporate agendas can lie at the very heart of even the tools we use to design, develop and deliver our work. Corporate culture provides, refines and sells tools, and it is crucial that animators and artists filter out corporate political doctrine from the visual and privilege personal work with integrity and challenge.” (p.78)

Essentially the technique utilises any portable screen, tablet pc(urgh) or laptop to light paint cross sections of a CG object. It also looks like they’ve use Cinema 4D as opposed to other CG packages to create this which interests me as it’s the software i’m most comfortable with.

Things you might need to know:

Light Painting: Light painting is where a camera is set for a long exposure time in a dark shot, often over 1-5 seconds. While the shutter is open, a light source such as an LED or in this case a PC screen is moved in the shot. This will create a luminous pattern or stroke in the photo. Doing this for several shots can create light painted ‘stop-motion’ animations.

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I’ll take you through how to do this in a few steps now.

1. To learn how to create text and seperate sections of the letters in cinema 4d, check out the first half of this modynamics tutorial on creative cow.

2. The second step involves you rendering out the cross-sections of the image you wish to ‘light paint’ into a video file such as a .mov quicktime file.

3. Then just set up your camera(you need a tripod) for a shot in the darkness. Make sure your shutter speed is really long. The speed will depend on how long it will take you to move the screen in the shot. I reccomend 5-10 seconds, however you will need to experiment with the aperture to get the effect you need.

4. Take the shot and while the shutter is open move your screen through the shot. Make the screen play the cross section in full screen so it is surrounded by blackness while you do this.

5. Do this several times(12 shots will create 1sec of footage at 12fps), perhaps with different cross-sections if you wish your ‘light painting’ to move or morph.

6.Then import the image sequences into After Effects or your editing/compositing program of choice.

Now that you’ve just learnt this animation technique; pass GO, collect $200 and go subvert this technique to create something great and interesting.

😀

-PERMIAN

Projection Mapping + Stop-motion Test

This was a test to experiment with the possibilities of lighting a stop-motion animation scene with a single projector.

Over all it worked really well and the possibilities for this technique are endless.

I used VDMX 5, a live VJ program to projection map the lighting. To do this I used a ‘quad warp’ quartz composer patch from ‘memo’ to resize the different video channels.

I then moved the video files along 1 or 2 frames each time I moved the oil pump. This enabled video and other digital sources to be mixed with stop-motion animation outside of a post-production setup.

It’s a pretty rough test(camera shake etc.) but the possibilities are amazing. Perhaps having characters in the projection interacting with stop-motion characters. Using the projections for atmospheres and backgrounds, or just using the projection for lights and shadows much like an easily controlled ‘gobo’

If you reading this and wish to try this technique on you own projects read on.

You’ll first need a projector. I borrowed a crappy NEC with 2100 lumens and hooked it up to my macbook pro.

For software I used VDMX 5 which costs $300, HOWEVER, the good folks at vidvox have released VDMX 5 as a trial version that is exactly the same and as powerful as when you buy it. The only feature missing is the save preset function which means you’ll have to set up all your windows everytime you open it but this is not a big deal unless you’re using it for VJ work, or need everything set up for a performance as soon as you open the program.

Once you’ve gotten VDMX 5, you’ll need to download a Quartz Composer patch. A patch in this case is essentially an effect you can download and place on your video channels in VDMX.  It’s all explained pretty well here. Download the ‘quad warp’ and ‘quad mask’ QC patches from Memo. Once downloaded you will need to cut and paste them into your ‘qcfx’ folder. Now they’ll show up in your fx manager in vdmx, and you just have to apply them to layers.

Once applyed to your layers it’s as simple as moving the four corner points of your video layers until you’re satisfied. If you have overlapping video i would suggest using the ‘quad point mask’ to crop off overlapping video.

Finally, I assigned the move forward button(not play) on each layer to my asdfghj keys respectively, then slid the move forward bar to 1 or 2 frames. After it is all set up in only requires you to press asdfghj, adjust stop-mo pieces and shoot the frames with a camera.

For anyone wishing to do something similiar on a Windows setup, there are several programs for you. The free program Video Projection Tools works on both Windows and Mac.

Modul8 although another Mac program, also has this ability if you need more control.

I hope this helped any of you out there.

If any of you have any questions or need any help, feel free to contact me.

-PERMIAN 0___0