Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fire & Smoke

The ruins of the Tridib building experienced a major explosion and fire in the early hours of the morning. The cause of the explosion remains a mystery but experts suspect that it definitly was an overloaded build machine that could not take it anymore. In an earlier incident the building had been reduced to ruins by a similar phenomenon leaving the exterior of the building intact. It seemed that all the employees within the building had imploded. This, to day, remains a mystery...

Sounds like a promising story ? Well check it out yourself...

Well this infact is just another weekend VFX composite. Created using the usual after effects and photoshop CS5, which has a great tool - the content aware fill that was used to reduce the Tridib building to ruins. The other elements are from action essentials by video copilot. All composited with various matte layers, a little color correction and motion tracking. That looks something like the snapshot below...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Creative Crash

I guess we all have seen this before, some point in our lives, maybe not everyone but mostly the ones who spend hours in front of a "PC" have experienced that at times the windows display freezes, any attempt to click any buttons or the start menu are useless and moreover if you get the task manager running you can drag it around and its previous position does not go off the screen, so what you get is a pattern of windows all over the screen as you drag 'em around. Now i am not quite sure what this phenomenon is called but i bet its the display driver getting messed up. Since the only way to recover is by a cold reset, you can call it a crash.

So here i am surfing facebook, checking mail - the usual time kiiling stuff when everything freezes. Nothing works, so i bring up the task manager to kill some running processes, killed them, no use, i move the task manager only to see the phenomenon described above. I am bored, i am pissed.....

CLICK TO ENLARGE THE PICS BELOW ( 4000 x 3000 pixels)

Snapshot of a PC disaster

And so i just kept dragggin the windows till eternity hoping for a complete system crash, but that does'nt happen. Well, this kind of stuff is unpredictable and rare, so what you gonna do when you get this crash - get Creative, after all how many operating systems have a feature like this ;)

The text below was made by dragging many notepad windows in the desired patttern....

Look !!! Its the Untitled Notepad Express

A small video of nothingness and boredom

Well that was the end of it, had to restart the PC to get back "online". Will cook up more ideas when / "if" this happens next time, might carve a face or something....i suck at MS Paint :-P

P.S - For the over-inquisitive, nothing here is photoshopped. I am betting Microsoft on it...

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Wheel

[ Click to enlarge ]

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Today's Pics

Something i found on my terrace. Something left behind by someone, long forgotten, lost...

Another surprise at Planet M. Never expected to see Armin Van Buuren's latest album Mirage stacked here. Price Rs. 399. Got mine pre-ordered on the day of its release for $ 46.95, priceless ;-D

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dark Energy II : VFX Breakdown

Today was the day i  was not supposed to mess with After Effects at all, but alas !! i had to do this breakdown video just to show the non sci-fi public that the video is not any Diwali cracker or a rocket or a nuclear explosion on a runway and god knows what else. This video quickly describes the entire process layer by layer till the final composition. In a nutshell *ahem* what you see is a crude representation of an alien mother ship shrouded by bright light hovering at 50K feet & sucking the life off this planet through energy blobs transported via a light bridge. And it happens right here in Bangalore city. Thats it !! Simple as cake. The soundtrack is from Pirates of the Carribean at Worlds End, What shall we die for by Hans Zimmer  (for the copyright infringement man).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dark Energy II

As i mentioned earlier, the previous composite (Dark energy) lacked a few elements and some extra sfx. So this time i added an additional flare, moving along the perpendicular beam path as though the anomaly in the sky was sucking out the life force (or Gaia - as Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within so eloquently put it) of our planet. Having done this it was time to add some sound to the composite. For this i used sound from the original clip and mixed it with one of the scores from the movie 300 - Xerxes' Final Offer by Tyler Bates. In a nutshell this was accomplished using After Effects, Optical Flares for video & SFX and Cool Edit Pro for audio. With all the elements in place, here is the final movie Dark Energy II ( P.S - This is the last one & no more sequels to this :-P ). Channel link -

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dark Energy...

Here we go again, another of my crusades in After Effects. This time using Optical flares from video co-pilot i was able to mesh together elements representing a dark energy source far off in the distance. I wonder if Gordon Freeman was there, hmmmm. Neways as shown below the actual footage was shot in broad daylight from my terrace, so i had to convert a day scene to a night scene and an environment that would have an impact from the anomaly hovering in the sky. The original footage was actually not meant for a staging of this type but i used it neways. With help of matte layers, masks and color correction i was able to construct the necessary environment to some extent. Motion tracked a point to determine the position of  the glow element and applied the tracking data to a matte layer. Being a programmer i would say its got a few bugs if examined closely but hey i bet its pretty decent composit on a beginners basis ;).. As usual the rendering was done as an AVI file with ffdshow codec. This is the first version of a series to come. Got to add a little more eye candy to the composit.

This is a frame from the original footage

This is frame from the composit

And here is the world premier of the video (Heh..)

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Biped...

This is a small version of a biped integrated with live footage from my lighthouse composition which i had posted earlier. Added a little special effect at the end ,as though the biped is weilding a powerful weapon that goes off at the end of the sequence destroying the entire human race and giving me enough time to write this post (LoL i am so full of shit). As usual it involved the use of 3DS Max for adding the biped system to an imported camera solve from Boujou and then integrating all in After Effects using Optical Flares from Video Co-Pilot for the glow effect. It does however have some inconsistencies like absence of shadows and no interaction of the glow with the surrounding environment..hmmmmm got to work on that. Spent three days going through all the material at Video CoPilot by Andrew Kramer. These tutorials by Andrew Kramer are the very best i have ever seen. Neways here is the video posted to my channel. Reviews are welcome as there is always a chance to improve with evolving techniques. This roughly took 4 hours to create on an iCore 3 machine (..will make you realize that an iCore 3 is not worth to handle these applications when they are pushed to the limit).