Here’s a neat little trick to add realistic background objects to your footage in Adobe After Effects. In this case, I wanted it to seem like the footage was taken in the lobby of the client’s office. This could work for things like posters, hanging artwork, or logo plaques. Check it out.
Cinemagraphs are little looping animated videos that are actually pretty simple to make, especially if there isn’t any movement in the scene.
In this quick tutorial, we’re going to add a video on a polaroid in about 10 minutes using Adobe After Effects. I’ve provided the source files to get you started.
Ok, so let’s get to it. First I took a picture of a Polaroid of my wife and I. I know, I know, we’re cute.
Next, I found the video that I wanted to use as the looping video on the Polaroid. I used a night timelapse that I shot last year of the Austin 360 bridge. Finding a reason to recycle old footage is always fun.
Next, import both of them into After Effects and make a new comp with the Polaroid image. You can do this by dragging the Polaroid image onto the “new comp” icon in the project window.
Next, with the pen tool, carefully draw a mask around the picture on the Polaroid. Add a slight feather of 10 to the mask. And expand the mask a bit with the “mask expansion” parameter.
Next, add your video under the Polaroid image layer and make the video layer 3D. The reason we do this, is so we can rotate it to match the angle of the Polaroid. Scale the video down and rotate it so it fits in the Polaroid. Notice how the guide box roughly matches the edge of the Polaroid.
Next, let’s add some depth of field and blur the edges so they look out of focus. You could do a couple things to achieve this. The way we’re going to do it is by adding a camera to the comp and use the built in “Depth Of Field” parameter on the camera.
So, create a new camera by going to “layer/new/camera” (option, command, C). You can use the 80mm preset since that matches the focal length that the actual image was taken.
Now, we need to enable “Depth Of Field” and set the focus distance to the timelapse layer. Twirl down your camera options in your timeline, or press AA to show them. And enable “Depth Of Field.”
Now, to automatically set your focus distance to your timelapse layer, we need to select both our camera and our timelapse layer, then go to “Layer/Camera/Set Focus Distnace to Layer.” Make sure both your camera and the timelapse layers are selected. You can select multiple layers by holding command.
Nice. Now, let’s adjust our depth of field to match our shot. By bringing up the “Aperture,” it will make the focus plane narrower. And by bringing up the “Blur Level,” it will increase the blur of everything that’s not in focus. Play around with these two parameters until it matches. I landed on Aperture: 960 pixels and Blur Level: 250%.
Now we’re rocking. To add some final touches, I added a “Vintage FX” preset to bring it all together. A GIF isn’t a real GIF without a vintage filter. I added this to an adjustment layer so it affects both the Polaroid picture and the timelapse video. You may have to brighten up the timelapse footage so you don’t loose too much detail in those shadows.
GIF’s are better when they’re short and when they loop seamlessly. Let’s make it 3 seconds long. And let’s adjust our timelapse video so it loops seamlessly at 3 seconds. Basically, split your timelapse layer at 1.5 seconds by going to “edit/split layer” (command, shift, D). Then drag your beginning layer to start at 1.5 seconds. Drag the other layer to start at the beginning. Then fade the top layer out so it fades into the bottom layer. And set your work area so it’s only 3 seconds long.
Boom! Now export it and convert it into a GIF. The easiest way (that I’ve found so far) is to use an online tool called “GIPHY.” But, you’re only limited to a few seconds and the converted GIF’s are tiny. If that’s ok with you, then great, use GIPHY! If you want more control, you can use Photoshop’s “save for web” tool. It’s kind of finicky, but it works.
That’s it! You just made a cinemagraph. Now make sure to show your friends and tell them you found a magic Polaroid from the Harry Potter world. I’m sure they’ll totally believe you. If you have any questions or maybe additional tips that would make this better, post them below.
In this quick video tutorial, I show how to add atmosphere in Adobe Lightroom. This is a technique that I often use when adjusting photos taken with backlighting from the sun. I do this by using the graduated filter tool in Adobe Lightroom. This little tool is powerful for adding a splash of style to a specific section of an image.
I get asked alot how to trim a song to a desired length. Instead of just trimming the end down and fading it out, this is a tip that uses “markers” in your song to seamlessly cut sections out, or add section in.
In this quick tip, I show you how to use audio in Final Cut Pro 7. The file type needs to be exactly AIFF, 48 Khz, and 16 bit to work natively in FCP. It only takes a few seconds to convert to this format.
If you are experiencing glitches or “pops” in your audio, this is your problem.
In this Final Cut Pro 7 quick tip, I show you how to copy and paste attributes to other clips. I also touch base on the “scale to sequence” command.
On Thursday, September 8, filmmakingwebinars.com is hosting a free live 90-minute webinar on “How to get started with DaVinci Resolve for any NLE editor.” DaVinci Resolve is a high-end color correcting application that has a very steep learning curve. There is free version of the $30,000 suite to download for all you adventurous color-graders, and also a $1,000 software-only version.
The webinar is free to watch live, or $15 after the live viewing. Here is more info straight from the webinar website.
Using a project based approach, we will walk you through your first Resolve project from start to finish. We’ll take a TV Spot that was cut in Final Cut Pro 7, grade it in Resolve, then return to Final Cut Pro for titling and final delivery.
We will also discuss working with Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere Pro as well as using the built-in scene detection for projects without the sequence metadata.
Where applicable, we’ll tell you the differences between the paid version and free version of DaVinci Resolve.
Prepping your Final Cut Pro timeline.
Conforming the FCP 7 timeline in Resolve.
Grading, adding nodes, using secondaries, PowerWindows and tracking.
Round tripping back to Final Cut Pro.
Working with Avid, Premiere, and using scene detection.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND
Any NLE editor interested in leaerning more about DaVinci Resolve. Final Cut Pro Editors wanting to learn about the specific workflows between FCP and DaVinci. Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere Pro editors wanting to learn color workflows with DaVinci Resolve. Any other professional interested in professional color grading workflows.
Basic knowledge / interest in color correction and editorial workflows.
Barry Goch is an online editor working in Hollywood, CA. His recent work includes Falling Skies (TNT), Traffic Light (FOX), and Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory Season 4 (MTV) and is currently working on the new show, Awkward (MTV).
Barry is also an Autodesk Smoke Certified Instructor, the developer of Smokeys Smoke Keyboard Stickers, has presented other webinars at FilmmakingWebinars.com and has written many articles for the Editors Guild and is Post Magazine’s West Coast Contributor.
Marcelo Lewin is the CEO and founder of NewMediaWebinars.com, LLC, owner of FilmmakingWebinars.com, which creates webinars for and by digital media creators on various topics (e.g. Filmmaking, Coding, Photography, etc.) Previously, he founded various other companies including Pixel Heads Network which was acquired by ProMAX and MyInternetDesktop.com which was acquired by Internet Appliance Network. Prior to starting his companies, he has worked for Walt Disney Imagineering, NBC, Toyota, and J.F. Shea.
It can be a hassle sometimes to search for a particular filter or transition in Final Cut Pro 7. Luckily, if you have favorites, you can put them aside and make them easier to find and use. This video tip shows everything you need to know about using favorites.
In the video, I use hotkeys to quickly add an effect. Below is a chart to help explain which hotkey corresponds to which effect. Click the image to enlarge.
Also, keep in mind, sometimes there is an issue where the order of the filters for the hotkeys gets mixed up. This also happens when adding multiple effects under a folder as one preset. If this happens, you may have to remove a few of the problematic effects from your favorites.
In Final Cut Pro 7, the ripple and roll tools are great to quickly adjust edits with a simple drag of the mouse. But, what if you only need 2 or 3 frame rippled out? It’s pretty annoying to have to zoom in, and use the mouse to roll 2 frames to the right, then adjust again if it’s off. Well, there’s an easier way to do this.
Select the edit that you want to adjust either by simply clicking on it, or by pressing V on the keyboard to select the nearest edit.
Decide if you want to roll or ripple. Press U on the keyboard to toggle through roll, head ripple, or tail ripple. You can jump to the next edit with the up or down keys on the keyboard.
Press the bracket keys on the keyboard to shift 1 frame at a time. Left bracket adjusts to the left, and right bracket adjusts to the right. Add shift and it will shift 5 frames at a time.
Another hint: after you make your edit, press backslash on the keyboard right next to the bracket keys, and it will play a preview around your current time indicator. If you loop the playback (control L), it will continually play that preview. While it’s playing, if your edit is still not quite right, you can use the brackets to adjust on the fly while the preview is still playing.
One of the best things about the film and video industry, is that there are so many free and cheap recourses on the internet. All you have to do is look. One thing I love to do is watch the on-set behind the scenes, or “BTS,” footage of upcoming movies. It’s a great way to learn from watching the pros work. It’s crazy to think about how much goes into a movie. Acting, Directing, Producing, Lighting, Wardrobe, Props, Location Scouting, Extras….the list is nearly endless. Watching these “on-set” videos is a great way to learn your craft.
Whatever specific job you want, just look into what all of it entails in just a simple scene. If you’re an aspiring AC (assistant cameraman), watch the focus puller. Does he look at the talent, or the monitor primarily? Does he even have a monitor, or just rely on the distance meters? Watch the director, does he constantly interveen during a scene, or does he let it play out naturally. How much freedom do the actors get on improv in a dialogue scene?
There is tons of tips that can be found just by watching these BTS clips. Below is on-set footage from the new Harry Potter. Watch and enjoy.
Green Lantern BTS on-set footage.
Friends with Benifits BTS.
Water for Elephants BTS.
Larry Jordan: Especially with all the hooplah recently about Apple’s new FAIL, Final Cut Pro X, Larry Jordan has been on many stages talking about everything filmmaking. Larry has many years of experience being a producer, director, editor, author, and trainer.
Norman Hollyn: Norman can be described easiest as a “media expert.” He is a long-time film, television and music editor (HEATHERS, THE COTTON CLUB, and Oliver Stone’s WILD PALMS) who is an Associate Professor and Head of the Editing Track in the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts.
2ReelGuys is a podcast by these 2 filmmakers that covers everything from simply framing and lighting a shot, to working comfortably with other crew members, to wardrobe on set, and they even talk about filming dancers on set. This is definitely a video podcast that you want to have in your subscription list. You can view all the curent episodes below, or on their YouTube page. But you’ll have to subscribe in iTunes or another podcasting service to receive any future episodes. You can check out there website here.
Subscribe via iTunes.
Gale Tattersall, the Director of Photography for the TV show HOUSE, is putting on a FREE, LIVE 3-day workshop this weekend. The even is brought to us by CreativeLIVE, and starts on Friday, July 8.
“Ready to spend a weekend with the Director of Photography for the TV show HOUSE? We’re getting the creativeLIVE classroom ready for Gale Tattersall’s special weekend.”
You don’t want to miss this. You can sign up on their website, here.