» Posts Tagged ‘effects’

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Life After PiAs many of you know, Rhythm & Hues, the company responsible for the incredible visual effects work in Life of Pi, filed for bankruptcy just weeks before the film took home multiple Academy Awards, including best visual effects. Outside of the theater, during the Oscars ceremony, hundreds of local VFX artists were protesting the dismal state of the industry. Matters only worsened when VFX Supervisor Bill Westenhofer’s acceptance speech, in which he attempted to shed light on the financial troubles of Rhythm & Hues, was cut prematurely. Clearly the VFX industry was in a state of turmoil. Life After Pi, a short documentary focused on the downfall of Rhythm & Hues, looks to examine the underlying issues that are causing the VFX industry to become less and less economically viable. More »

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All Is LostTwo years ago, JC Chandor’s first feature film Margin Call did the unthinkable. It humanized the people responsible for the banking disaster of 2008. His second feature, the devastatingly titled All Is Lost, attempts an even more outlandish filmmaking feat. It’s a dialogue-free, yet entirely gripping story of a single character, masterfully played by Robert Redford, who is marooned at sea when his boat is irreparably damaged by a stray shipping container. What’s even more impressive, from a technical filmmaking standpoint, is that most of the effects in this epic survival tale were accomplished practically. Here’s a brief look at how it all came together. More »

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Hollywood Titles tutsNailing the opening title of your film is important for a number of reasons. Usually it’s the first thing your audience sees on-screen that introduces them to your story, which means that it has to capture its tone and prepare your viewers for what is about to unfold. They don’t necessarily have to be intricate undertakings (Lars von Trier’s simple opening title from Antichrist is probably one of my favorites), but if you want to learn techniques that will help you create something epic, Aetuts+ shares some tutorials that break down how to recreate the titles from some big Hollywood movies. More »

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FilmConvert Save 25 PercentFilmConvert from Rubber Monkey is a unique film stock emulator because it’s not just about applying a look to your footage, it’s about replicating the exact color profile of specific film stocks on specific cameras and color profiles (standard, neutral, etc). Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, the best results come from using cameras and profiles that are supported. Recently Rubber Monkey added an OFX plugin version, which means that the software can now work directly in DaVinci Resolve 10 or Resolve Lite 10, along with other programs that work with those plugins. They’ve also got a Black Friday sale going on through Monday that will give you 25% off any of their programs or bundles. Click through for more on the sale and to see the new OFX plugin in action. More »

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Shanks FX_cosmosYou can make pretty much anything with visual effects software: other worlds, new creatures, even sharknadoes. With so much creative power at our digital fingertips, it’s easy to forget the incredible effects that we can pull off in the real world with real objects. About a year ago, we shared a few practical effects tutorials by Shanks FX (aka Joe Schenkenberg or Joey Shanks,) which showed how to create warp speed effects with steel wool, as well as alien atmospheres with a fish tank. In this demonstration, Shanks shows us how to create the cosmos with a few dirt cheap household items. More »

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Screen shot 2013-10-20 at 2.04.10 PMAvid’s Media Composer is a powerful piece of software, especially in terms of its media management and collaborative editing capabilities. However, Media Composer also boasts a powerful palette of effects that go well beyond the effects that are included in most other NLE’s. Despite the fact that some of these effects aren’t particularly easy to use, they do give editors the ability to create temp or finalized effects without the need for a specialized compositing program. Woody from Splice Training has put together an in-depth tutorial on how to create sci-fi energy blasts directly in Media Composer. Check it out. More »

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Break Media Prototype CompetitionIf you’ve had a dream of making an action, sci-fi or effects-driven film, but lacked the funding and resources to make it come true, you’re in luck. Break Media and New Regency Productions have teamed up to bring you the Prototype competition, which will award 8 finalists with $20,000 to make and distribute their short films. One of those lucky filmmakers will go on to win a feature film development deal with New Regency. All you need is a short film script and a vision for the feature version. Details on how to submit after the jump. More »

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FilmConvert Standalone Version 1.047During the NAB 2013 show, FilmConvert, the film emulation color grading program/plugin that actually maps color profiles to specific film stocks, was updated with support for the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, GoPro HERO3, Canon 7D, and 60D, as well as newer profiles for the Canon 5D Mark II and Mark III. Now, in the newest update, they’ve added the Panasonic GH3, Nikon D800 and D7000, in addition to the Canon T2i/T3i. Read on for more about the update, including a new ability to apply film color and contrast separately. More »

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A solid color grade can very quickly take the edge off an image that looks “too digital.” If you don’t have much time to spend on said color grade, but you’d like to get a great look very easily, a film LUT that attempts to recreate some of the magic we get from Kodak and Fuji stocks could serve you well. We’ve discussed FilmConvert a bit before, but basically it’s either a standalone program or a plugin for the major Apple and Adobe products that uses the color science of the specific camera you’re using in order to precisely match the film stocks they have in their system. Now they’ve introduced another update, this time including support for the Canon C300 and the Arri Alexa. More »

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Not too long ago we told you about a color corrector plugin/standalone software solution from Rubber Monkey that not only tries to mimic the looks of many film stocks, but does it in a way that is particular to the exact camera you’re using. Until now the only cameras that were guaranteed to work properly with FilmConvert to achieve the specific look were Canon DSLRs and RED cameras, but now they are adding support for the Panasonic GH2, as well as support for more Canon picture profiles, and a brand new plugin for Final Cut Pro 7. More »

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We’ve written a lot on NoFilmSchool about the tutorials available for editing, visual effects, and color correction, but there’s one area of post production we haven’t really touched upon: DVD authoring. However, once you watch these tutorials from Creative Cow’s Andrew Devis, you’ll have the knowledge you need to start creating content for your DVD’s: More »

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We’ve said a lot about the digital versus film debate, and a lot of people have a lot of different opinions. Film still had a technological advantage over digital until really the last few years or so, and now we have digital sensors which can match or exceed film stocks with dynamic range. Either way, with digital sensors being “too clean” for some people who have loved the look of film, there is a program called FilmConvert that takes the color information of specific cameras and actually uses that to determine how a specific film stock could best be represented using that sensor. Click through for some videos of the program in action. More »

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The tilt-shift effect is nothing new — if you’ve ever been a large format photography shooter you know how interesting it can look. It wasn’t until the Lensbaby line of lenses that tilt-shift really became widely used in everyday photography. DSLR video, on the other hand, brought a whole new group of users to the beautiful effects that can come from these lenses. There is an interesting project on Kickstarter right now for a tilt-shift lens called the Lynny Lens System. It’s nearing the end of its crowdfunding campaign and it’s aiming to be a cheaper alternative to Lensbaby. Check out more details as well as a sample video below. More »

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Celluloid is expensive. And besides, literally nobody makes film cameras anymore. But it does have a very particular aesthetic, one chief component of which is grain. There is a grit to film that today’s digital cameras lack, and while there are plenty of plugins out there to simulate this grit, there are no substitutes for the real artifacts. The guys at CineGrain took dozens of different film stocks and painstakingly scanned them in, delivering authentic grain, dirt, headers, tails, lens flares, and flash frames on a nice branded hard drive. Film grain isn’t appropriate for every project, but if you want your video to look like grainy 35mm, 16mm, or 8mm — but can’t shoot the real thing — you’ll find CineGrain to be a handy addition to your toolbox of tricks. More »

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I like grain. Photochemical film grain, that is, not digital noise. Maybe it’s just because I’m used to seeing grain on 100 years of film-originated material, but even one of the best-looking digitally-shot films in history — [easyazon-link asin="B001U0HBQ0"]The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button[/easyazon-link] — added grain in post. So if you’re trying to give your digital footage an analog aesthetic by adding grain, you can do it by using any number of filters (I like Magic Bullet’s grain filter, because it includes highlight suppression options), or you can go buy a boatload of actual film scans and composite them on top of your footage, which is what the new CineGrain collection offers: More »

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Digital cinematography often looks too clean to my eye, and I like “messing up” the images a bit (whenever appropriate). To this end, I bought a Lensbaby Composer Pro earlier this year, and, as always, my timing seems to be the opposite of impeccable: Lensbaby has just released a lens kit specifically for movie makers, aptly named the Movie Maker’s Kit. Here are the various lenses in action: More »

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Adobe has just previewed “Warp Stabilizer,” a new After Effects-bundled tool that fixes camera shake and rolling shutter artifacting with a simple drag-and-drop operation. Or so they claim; their technology sneak peek certainly makes it look like magic. While there are plenty of camera stabilization plugins on the market, this one fixes camera shake across all axes and will presumably ship with the next version of After Effects (instead of requiring a separate purchase, like many stabilization plugins). One thing I had in mind as I watched this demo: 4K. More »

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The go-to slow motion plugin in many an editor’s toolbox is RE:Vision Effects’ Twixtor. Twixtor can often stretch a shot originally filmed at 30 or 60 frames per second into Matrix-like levels of slowness. However, the enterprising guys at Crumblepop have come up with a way of achieving this same effect using the Optical Flow filter that ships as part of Apple Motion. Here it is in action: More »

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Gareth Edwards’ appropriately-titled monster movie Monsters opened earlier this year and has grossed $1.7 million to date. With a $500,000 budget, Edwards shot the film himself on a Sony EX-3 and a Letus 35mm adapter; here’s a look behind-the-scenes. More »

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Now that everyone is shooting digital (at least on the low end), it takes a few tricks to achieve an analog look. Beyond adding film grain and burnouts in post, one way to do this is to slightly detach your DSLR’s lens and let in a bit of outside light during your shot. Thus the term “lens whacking,” i.e. letting light in from the sides and creating lens flares the analog way. Don’t literally whack your lens — but through subtle manipulation you can allow light to refract through the rear lens elements, giving you some interesting-looking flares: More »