» Posts Tagged ‘tutorials’

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GoPro tipWhether you’re shooting on a large cinema camera, DSLR, or even your smartphone, there is no shortage of stabilization tools out there that are built to help you keep your footage steady. If you’re shooting on an action camera, there are a bunch of options for you, too, like the EasyGimbal, STABiLGO, Morpheus, and a host of others, but YouTube user MicBergsma offers a super simple stabilization trick that quite honestly made me say, “Man, why didn’t I think of that?” Continue on to check out the video. More »

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Miss ShockMaking films often rides on being well-connected — knowing someone somewhere who can perform a service that your film needs. Most of the time, finding financial backers, a DP, sound/lighting techs, actors, and editors is fairly easy regardless of who you know or where you live. However, finding a good FX artist is a little bit more tricky (In 6 years, I’ve only met 2 in my hometown), and if you’re unable to find one, you might have to do the next best thing — learn how to do it yourself. And who better to teach you some excellent techniques than Oscar-winning special effects makeup artist Rick Baker. More »

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wormholeGetting anything done in After Effects, Element 3D, or pretty much any other compositing program takes time — sometimes loads of time. And chances are, if you’re a beginner working on a visually complex-looking project, it’s going to be difficult. Unless, of course, you’re making a wormhole using this method from Tuts+. Adrian Jensen shares an excellent tutorial on how to create a “quick and dirty” wormhole (great choice of adjectives) using one of the primitives (in this case, a donut) found in Scene Setup. Seriously, for the seemingly complicated product, this is one of the quickest and easiest tutorials I’ve seen yet, so continue on to find out how to pull it off. More »

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Forced PerspectiveSpecial and visual effects are great, but unless you’re a skilled SFX artist or post magician, they tend to be pretty spendy. If you’re gearing up to work on a film that calls for characters of varying sizes (or just really into The Lord of the Rings and hobbits), there is an inexpensive alternative to CGI. This tutorial by Ben Lucas of Tuts+ will show you one method the TLOTR filmmakers used to make the towering wizard Gandalf look so much bigger than his little hobbit friend Frodo — a practical effect that uses forced perspective to sell the illusion. More »

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Video thumbnail for youtube video How to Remove an Unwanted Logo in After Effects - No Film SchoolYou’ve probably seen it or had to do it yourself before: blur out a logo that is being used without permission. If you’ve got a little time, you can head into After Effects and get a much nicer result than simply blurring it out — which is especially important if the video is supposed to have a polished look. The tutorial below will lead you through the process of tracking a logo, making it disappear, and then even putting in a brand new logo in its place. 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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DIY JibAs no-budget/independent filmmakers, achieving the look of high production value and not spending a ton of money are always at the forefront of our mind, and finding the optimal point at which those two things meet is our main concern. Often, that means a DIY solution. Chung Dha shares with us his process of constructing an inexpensive DIY jib with a remote tilt, which will give you more versatility and control over your film’s aesthetics, while not causing you to break the bank while doing it. Continue on for his tutorial. More »

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Pixelated GraphicsThis is a safe place — we can all admit that at one time or another in our childhood, we wished we lived in a video game. (If we’re really honest, we’d admit that desire hasn’t subsided in our adulthood.) Evan Abrams shares a helpful tutorial that walks us through how to create and animate health bars and apply a “16-bit looking” mosaic effect make them look like our favorite vintage games. Continue on to check it out. More »

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ParallaxWhen I first started dabbling in After Effects and Flash several years ago, the first videos I made were simple animations (think cave drawings.) Not really knowing anything about layers or expressions made for interesting results when I tried to achieve the parallax effect — the illusion that objects move more quickly or slowly depending on how far away they are. Mikey Borup shares a tutorial that makes parallax scrolling a little bit easier. Continue on to watch the video: More »

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film ltk links tutorials knowledge filmmaking camera shooting cinematography tips tricks directingLast year, NFS readers heard from Tobias Deml when he did something awesome — rigging an Android tablet not only as a Canon DSLR monitor, but also a touch-screen controller. Now, Toby has shared something even more awesome. Over the course of a year or so, he thought it may be useful to compile an organized list of filmmaking links on everything from shooting to rigging to costuming to distributing. The result is FILM LTK — standing for links, tutorials, and knowledge — and useful it most understatedly is. For Toby’s breakdown of over 250 links to all things filmmaking, check below. More »

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Lights Film School SoundUnderstanding the limits of what you can do when recording sound will help inform your decisions from the very beginning — making your job easier and your work better in the end. Lights Online Film School is currently open for enrollment in their online film courses, and they’ve shared some material to give filmmakers a taste of what the coursework looks like in the form of several sound tutorials. Check them out after the jump. More »

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Digital ZombiesIf you’re making a zombie flick, but you don’t have a talented makeup artist, but you do have a talented digital effects artist who can composite the bloody, rotten, festering features of the undead, then maybe it’d be a good idea to go digital with your characters’ zombification. A recent tutorial by Ryan Connolly of Film Riot shows us how to use a handful of digital tools, such as After Effects, Mocha, and MonsterFX Undead, to create a believable, decaying, and altogether disgusting zombie for your film. More »

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Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 10 Public BetaBlackmagic announced DaVinci Resolve 10 at NAB 2013 just a year after introducing DaVinci Resolve 9, which has become one of the more popular color grading suites out there (with Resolve Lite being the best — and possibly only — free grading program). Resolve has become the go-to grading application for many productions, especially since Lite gives you almost all of the the features of the $1,000 version (Noise Reduction being one of the main differences). Resolve 9 still comes with the now $2,000 Blackmagic Cinema Camera 2.5K, but the company is giving all current and future owners a free upgrade to Resolve 10, which was officially released today during the IBC show. Check out some of the new features below. More »

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Let There Be Light DocMany new filmmakers spend a lot of time honing different crafts, such as screenwriting, camera operation, and editing. While those skills are important to develop, light and shadows are a large part of the foundation of filmmaking, and learning how to control light is one of the most important skills for filmmakers to learn. Check out Let There Be Light, a short documentary/tutorial (docutorial?) by Mark Vargo, a second unit DP who guides us quickly through the history of artificial lighting, the Inverse Square Law, different light fixtures, and how they are used in filmmaking. More »

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Slit ScanI’m sure most of us are familiar with the scene in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey where Dave is flying through the stargate, but have you ever wondered how the filmmakers achieved that trippy effect? Well, today you can obtain this using animation or editing software, but the mechanical special effects technique is called “slit scan”, and John P. Hess from Filmmaker IQ walks us through how to achieve this effect digitally with After Effects, as well as physically with a camera, a mechanized slider, and LEGOs. More »

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Video thumbnail for youtube video Here's How You Can Create Your Very Own Textures in Blender - nofilmschoolJust because software is free, does not mean you can’t get incredible results out of it. Blender is a free 3D program that has a ton of capabilities, and it has helped create a few movies so far, including the completely open source live action film Tears of Steel. If you’ve done a bit of 3D work (or if you’re brand new to the 3D world), and you’ve wanted to create some of your own textures, the tutorial below from Cgtuts+ can help you get started. More »

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AetutsPlus After Effects Network RenderingIf you don’t have the latest and greatest system (and even if you do), there is a great way that you can actually speed up your renders in Adobe After Effects. If you’ve got another computer system or two hanging around collecting dust, you can put those machines to good use by setting up Network Rendering in AE. Check out the tutorial below from Aetuts+ to get the full scoop and get your renders flying: More »

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Independent VFX Scale Model TutorialWith the visual effects industry in turmoil, perhaps it’s time to look to simpler solutions to our VFX needs. South Africa-based visual effects artist Scott Newman has released a new channel that is just that: simple VFX tutorials and tips that can be made on the cheap using Adobe After Effects. As a craft, for me, VFX work is often over my head, but these tutorials are very well articulated and easy to understand. Hit the jump for his first tutorial on using VFX with scale models. More »

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Video thumbnail for vimeo video The Summer Blockbuster Colour Grading Tutorial - nofilmschoolIf you’ve seen a big tentpole movie release in the last 5 years, there’s a good chance the color grading has skewed heavily towards teal and orange. Countless movies have used this grading scheme for one simple reason: it works. The fact that only a handful of post houses handle final color correction and grading for most of the big Hollywood films probably factors into its popularity, but if you’d like to give your movie a bigger budget feel, check out this tutorial from Juan Melara below: More »

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Shot depthSince we shoot on a 2D plane, creating the illusion of depth is an important aspect of cinematography. Sometimes a few blocking choices, like filming your subjects against walls, can (not always) make a scene look flat and uninteresting. So, let’s take a look at what gives a scene depth, and if there’s a lack thereof, what options you have to bring your subjects from the dark and boring abyss of the background.  More »