Note-- All of these videos were experiments and encompassed the process of me
learning to rotoscope and use particle effects. Yes, I know some of them had better particles than others. Deal.
The videos were made 100% by me.
No one helped with the camera, effects, props, acting, etc. Just me, a tripod, a
camera, and a computer.
My first lightsaber video. I de-interlaced the footage by dropping
odd-numbered fields rather than by blending, so the twirl
doesn't look as smooth as I'd like. I'm tempted to go back and re-do
that, but it means adjusting the blade rotoscoping for the entire
video. This one took a while because the blade spends a large amount
of time relatively still and at a medium distance, with a prop that's
hard to see clearly while editing. This means it's pretty exacting and
painstaking relative to most of the other videos.
The audio sync isn't as perfect as I'd like. The youtube version makes
it slightly worse than in the WMV and MOV formats. But some of it was
because I just didn't want to do 20 takes on recording the theremin. :)
Techniques for the Everyday Dark Lord Unclogging a Toilet
I particularly enjoyed using some particle effects to make swirling and puffing mist
on this one. I think the saber ignition effects worked well enough for not using a
prop blade at all.
Techniques for the Everyday Dark Lord Changing a Light Bulb
In the first version of this, the undamaged light bulb was still visibly
reflecting light from the lightsaber. I've since attempted to hide it by
adding a glowing cut. I think it works well. :)
It took several takes, but I managed to time the light going out to the exact
frame that the blade crossed it.
Techniques for the Everyday Dark Lord Shaving
While seeming very simple compared to the others, the effects were a bit more
ambitious than those that preceded it, with four smoke emitters, several masks,
and at times up to 5 neon objects (I opted not to use masks for the blades since
it masks out the auras and not just the cores). I think it was roughly 10 hours of work
including about 45 minutes to render.
Techniques for the Everyday Dark Lord Self-Tanning
Idea suggested by my girlfriend. :) I finally got to use the compositing software,
in this case to achieve the gradual tanning effect. Masking for that is somewhat tricky
since I didn't want to color-change non-skin objects, such as teeth, sunglasses, hair.
The blade motion almost looks a
little mechanical, but I rotoscoped over the prop pretty closely.
Techniques for the Everyday Dark Lord Brushing Teeth
I got a little sloppy with the blade alignment, but whatever. :) I focused my
attention on the saber accident. Note that the blade tip comes into frame and
swings around briefly. That part was done without a visual guide since the prop
blade was only 12". The blade also gets partially occluded by both sets of teeth
during this sequence, and as I've been doing lately, chose not to use masks for this
because it would mask out the aura too. I used a freehand object with about 20 points
to shape it around the teeth.
Techniques for the Everyday Dark Lord Fixing a Computer
Yes, the computer rack is actually there, and not composited in. I used a
Blue Screen of Death Screensaver (that's being distributed by Microsoft!!!) to get
the BSoD on command. :) If you look closely, when the saber turns off, there's a small
glowing hole on the computer that I rotoscoped in.
Techniques for the Everyday Dark Lord Slicing Bread, Version 2
This is the revised version of this video. My dad suggested the more humorous ending.
The first incarnation had more use of interactive smoke, though, and a lot more work
on the masking.
It started out as a proof-of-concept. Sure, many other people have already
perfected the art of cloning via compositing, but I hadn't done it yet.
This film was done 100% by me. No additional hands to help with cameras,
props partially in frame, or anything of the sort. It also had very little
in the way of planning. I used my spare time over about 5 or 6 days to throw this together.
My biggest complaint is that the fight is so short. I may do another one someday and
make it longer and more elaborate.
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