Week 12 – Assignment three – You Tube Too

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/67633069″>Tube You Too</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user13055091″>Victoria Osborne</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>


You Tube Too (subtitle ‘In one ear and out the other’) is a piece of music from an unpublished album called Cromtraption by Noel Crombie. The clip starts with Noel playing bass in a relatively normal video clip kind of way. The style, informed by the quirky music, is jerky and oddball. We zoom into his head and see that his ear pulses. We zoom closer and enter a colourful tube inside his ear. We zoom through the disco wiggle hall seeing musical symbols and come out the other end into A Beautiful Land. Musical notation flits through the air like butterflies. Noel discovers a beautiful Goddess surrounded with musical instruments. She provides a magical instrument and we zoom out of his head again. Back in the real world, Noel plays the magical tubes and super energy flows from him.

• Our process, decisions and/or challenges (including mention of the main Video Effect applied in your sequence).

I had the beginning sequence so cut Noel playing bass in a jerky style. I made a spinning tube-like title credit based on a tutorial using duplicate slices of CC Sphere, animating them to spin with a Lens Flare animating over the curve and off when not passing the light. To complement the zoom into the ear and the animated scale up and down, Jonathan suggested a Radial Blur as we approached the ear. I animated a mask over Noel’s earhole, then made a tube by laying out a lot of little Wiggling, Glowing spheres on one comp, applying CC Cylinder and then moving a camera through with a Lens Flare to brighten up the whole thing and some CC Particles for fun. Mort gave me some musical symbols to blend in as we approached The Beautiful Land. There is a mask over The Beautiful Land footage, growing in opacity, feathering and expansion as we approach.

I sped up the vortex up after our roughcut showing, plus a much quicker tube backing through the ear and finding footage showing Noel looking surprised with the magical tub and beginning to play. The final credits use the same slice of sphere with a Spirit Light to make it pretty.

I had a lot of challenges with a wonky hard drive, footage not saving and having to re-do things but mostly my bit was pretty straightforward.

• Finished product comparison with the original idea?

The script as it appeared in Celtex was pretty much as the video appears now. David’s first impulse was the forest adventure and that’s what evolved into The Beautiful Land.

• How the group worked together?

We went through the pre-production phase, with each of us taking on roles on paper. However, once storyboarded, it became apparent The Beautiful Land was a one person job, so it fell out that we divided the clip into beginning, middle and end for simplicity’s sake. We had planned to pre-edit before taking the footage to Ae so that there would be consistency of style and timing but the challenges of clear roles in a student group are sometimes best solved by a let-it-go approach. David deserves Best and Fairest Man of the Match.

• A short list of main Video FX applied in Adobe After Effect.

I used at some point:

CC Sphere, CC Cylinder, Box Blur, Radial Blur, CC Particle System II, Ramp, Lens Flare, Hue and Saturation, Glow, Wiggle, Colour Balance, Curves, Brightness and Contrast and Spirit light. Do masks count?

Week 11 – We can fix it in post

Ignoring David’s well planned schedule, we divided the clip into three.

I lucked in with the first section.

I edited Noel’s music to time in Audition and sent it to Mort and David and uploaded it to dropbox. Now, we are all working on the same music!

Surgically removing Noel's break before the last chorus. I had the composer's permission.

Surgically removing Noel’s break before the last chorus. I had the composer’s permission.

In Premier Pro, I tried to remove every third frame from the clip to get a jerky effect. It’s very arduous!

Editing in Premier Pro, removing everythird frame strangely smoothed out the footage rather than the jerky effect!

Editing in Premier Pro, removing everythird frame strangely smoothed out the footage rather than the jerky effect!

Bringing test footage into Ae, I tried puppet tool on Noel’s ear. It looked horrific. Obscene and rejected from the butcher’s shop.

Then I followed a long tutorial on how to make a vortex  in Ae. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cglZ8z50_f

nice looking vortex

I thought I was doing okay here. Swirling, colourful, all going according to plan.

One of the comments about this tutorial is that it is tragic. I spent hours on this. Aaaaaaargh. I’m going to have to abort.

The third comp - the tutorial's sound had dropped out, I couldn't see what he was pickwhipping to, I simply couldn't work out how to proceed.

The third comp – the tutorial’s sound had dropped out, I couldn’t see what he was pickwhipping to, I simply couldn’t work out how to proceed.

Disappointed. Exploded and deleted.

Found a simpler tutorial creating a cylinder:


Jonathan was able to work out how to extend it but it became so unwieldy in Ae I had to redo it to get the dots in the right position.

Making the mask for the ear hole and trying to get the scaling right was a challenge. I was thinking about how to solve this portal problem at the most inopportune moments. Fun.

I spent a lot of time trying to find a cool tutorial to make the credits look tube like but ended up following this one:

After my Wednesday class I called in to see David who was still working on his electronic tapestry, masking Noel. I joined Mort’s Beautiful Land footage to the end of my tunnel clip. As we watch it, David and I decided the spinning footage was difficult to read – you couldn’t see the entry into the ear – so I sped up the journey down the vortex/tunnel and fixed up the opacity of the Beautiful Land without the spinning.

Once all connected, David made some adjustments for the music and we watched the entire rough cut put together for the first time. It was quite funny.

Week 10 – The shoot

Last Sunday we prepared ‘the beautiful mind’ section of our script.

Where would be the site of 'The Beautiful Mind' inside Noel's head?

Where would be the site of ‘The Beautiful Mind’ inside Noel’s head? Could Wattle Park offer enough sky?

Expanding and shrinking dramatically in the dark, an example of Dreamer's blacklight effects done in real life as opposed to our Ae fx.

Expanding and shrinking dramatically in the dark, an example of Dreamer’s blacklight effects done in real life as opposed to our Ae fx.

Could we embed the blacklight images underwater?

Could we embed the blacklight images underwater at Huntingdale Creek?

During the week:

David prepared a schedule, a costumes comparison for the dancer and a post-production schedule. We would shoot the main footage and the green screen on the coming Friday.

Mort worked on his storyboard.

David and I signed off on the script.

four versions of the music

Noel edited four versions of the music for us to choose from.

I prepared a shot list, release forms and organised catering. Lunch for the crew and afternoon tea for crew and talent.

On Friday we picked up a 600D, a tripod and a lighting kit from the tech office. Then we went to the library and picked up an HD camera and tripod.

Initially we shot the first part of the script in Noel’s music room (bedroom). It was pretty cramped so we just placed lights and cameras where we could fit them in. Mort squashed into the corner with the 600D which we thought was the best choice for closeups and cutaways.

Light in shot.

Noel indicates presence of his ear. Note slightly flawed framing with light in shot.

David was running the HD camera. I directed. The initial footage was possibly flawed by a light and Mort’s knee!

Mort in amongst the action!

Mort in amongst the action!

Then we progressed to the greenscreen (inside Noel’s mind). He frocked up into a purple suit and acted amazed at all the wonders that Mort had described so clearly in his storyboard. Our main issue was lighting as the greenscreen tended to show shadows.

Maria and Odet arrived just as we wrapped Noel.

David acts like he's recording sound but he's actually dangling a drum.

David acts like he’s recording sound but he’s actually dangling a drum.

Noel assists to string up his instruments with mono-filament that will hopefully not show up on the greenscreen.

Noel assists to string up his instruments with mono-filament that will hopefully not show up on the greenscreen.

Two girls in front of Sally's famous strainer screen curtain

Odet (David’s fiance) and Maria (dancer) plan make up and cozzie choices

We thought the floaty dress using the sari material would be the best cozzie choice as the greenscreen is only 2.8 metres square and Maria would not be able to move much. She could react to the movement of the sari, however, and once Noel turned on his big fan the movement of the fabric was pleasing. It was also the same colour as Noel’s suit.

Noel directs Maria

Noel directs Maria

Mort photographs Maria after the shoot is finished. See the difference a bright light can make?

Mort photographs Maria after the shoot is finished. See the difference a bright light can make?

We cleaned up and made it back to Swinburne in time to load the footage onto all our harddrives and return the cameras etc.

Waiting for the footage to down load onto harddrives.

Waiting for the footage to down load onto harddrives.

After some discussion David and I agreed to deviate from the schedule and split the clip into three – I would rough cut the first section, Mort the second and David the third. We will all test fx and meet up on Tuesday night to discuss our findings so far.

Week nine – Script meeting

Mort and David brainstorming

Captain Red and Captain Blue brainstorm

Victoria and David contemplate zen script

Victoria and David calmly discuss developments


In one ear and out of the other.



Noel stands in silence. (Altered footage: possibly remove every third frame? Not quite right.)

Thinking of music? Pondering. How to … ?

We begin to hear faint music.

We close into his head.

CU ear. What’s in there?

(hardly relevant amusing ear clip for fun:

Ear pulses and enlarges.

We drill into the ear.



We travel through a tunnel or gateway of some sort.

(Ae tunnel in eye tutorial:

(Ae Dr Who Vortex tutorial:



We find ourselves in another world, a magical musical world.

This may be Wattle Park plus matte painting plus composited black light theatre effects.

There might be a magical pond with a magical fish leaping.

(Ae sky replacement tutorial:

(Ae magical fairy tutorial:

There is a character (circus, dance, fairy) magically creating musical instruments.

Noel is inside his own mind – amazed by the sights.

The character hands Noel a magical instrument (agricultural pipe?).



We zoom out of Noel’s other ear.

Noel swings a piece of agricultural pipe around his head. Magical sparks and energy zips around as the music comes to an end.

(Ae particles tutorial:

(Ae sparks tutorial:



Captain Red and Captain Blue storyboard

Week 8 – Setting up dropbox and Celtex

Still no clear decision on our project.

We might use Noel Crombie’s music for a little video OR we might devise another film and just use a soundtrack.

I set up a dropbox account to share with Mort and David including a word document with all the roles we need to consider dividing up and sample rough sound edits of the two tracks we have narrowed Noel’s album down to.

I also drafted up a little script for both, including links to examples of the instruments.



In the bush.

Noel swings a piece of agricultural pipe around his head.

We move in closer to his ear.

CU ear

Birth of an egg.

The egg is covered in swirling glowing black light theatre images.

The egg floats off into the bush.

Noel gives chase.

The egg cracks open and a train comes out and travels away

around a corner until

Noel swallows the train.

Noel looks pleased with himself.




Wattle Park.

Noel plays on a berimbau


The wooden chainsaw sculpture (from near his front door) bounces past.

Noel gives chase through the forest.

Noel swallows the sculpture.

Noel looks pleased with himself.

Noel bounces away.

We are meeting in the library on Tuesday evening to discuss our next moves.

Week Seven – Preparing for the big one – Assignment Three

Mort, David and I have an opportunity to make our 60 – 90 second clip using unreleased music. The musician, Noel, would like a fun video to sell his concept before releasing his album of percussion sounds on the net.

We agreed we would like to use one of his songs and arranged to meet at the library after we’d all listened to the album, called ‘Cromtraption’

2013-04-28 13.57.10

Our first brainstorming session in meeting room 1G.

We listened to our music, made notes on paper and created a short list of two tracks.

Then we visited Noel in his natural habitat. Noel makes most of his own instruments out of things that are lying around. The first track on the short list is called Tube You Too and features aggie pipe spun around.

The second is based on a single string instrument played with a bow, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berimbau, and is called Wow Bow Wow.

Noel was very encouraging and agreed to appear in the video and do whatever we wanted to except for falling down. Mort is keen to have an attractive young lady appear in the clip. So is Noel.

We agreed to continue to listen to the tracks over the next week and keep thinking before we start pruning down.

Week 6 – Assignment Two (for reals)

The footage was filmed on a SONY A77. AVCHD 24fps Progressive 17M(FH) format. I used the Sony continuous auto focus which also uses auto exposure (usually fixed at f2.8) for the people but when we got to the blue screen I prefocussed and then shot manual, aiming to find the golden glow around the focussed object.

Apparently this camera is a DSLT. It has a fixed transmissive mirror unlike conventional DSLRs which have a moving mirror. Amazingly.

Also it was a Sony 17-50mm f2.8 lens. 16 – 50 mm.

Somehow I don’t think I’m going to fit in all our footage into less than 30 seconds. Choices have to be made.


Here is a screen grab of my electronic tapestry. It has been picked, and unpicked, several times. Currently I’m saving after every keyframe change as I appear to be going over the same work repeatedly.

Tiring of the constant clicking and reclicking of the yellow masks, trying to make shadows stop flickering, I realised I was stuck in a rut. Time for magic effects!

Watched a couple of tutorials, this one was particularly helpful:

I used most of the suggestions; lightning to make the energy appear from the wizard’s mouth and hands, lens flare and the ball of light. I loved the particles flowing out of the mulch so much, I applied them to the two workers comp as well. Once I’d colour corrected, or rather, curve corrected the top layer (2 workers comp), the entire comp seemed much better. I still have a lot of work to do on the masks. AAAAAAAARRRRRGh …

Instead …

Time to make the magician disappear at the end. Here’s a good tutorial. Let’s do this!

The roto-brush was slightly less hassle than the masks I’ve been doing over the 2 workers but I still ended up correcting frame by frame. I used a different lens flare instead of buying the optical flare as recommended but it’s much the same effect. The man in the tutorial chose to be a bit more subtle than my magician!

Again, I’m about half way through the mask alterations so I need a distraction. When the magician clicks his fingers he needs Sparks!

Having been kicked out of two classes today and disrupted the third by unwittingly playing loud death metal through the speakers (while wearing headphones) I am trying desperately to stick my little assignment together before class.


I used some lovely free music from Jamendo.com: screams from Dehumanise – My Puked Secretions (that’s the one the computer lab enjoyed)

and mostly

Vomitt – You’re eggin’ my cogito

plus a free finger snap from Freesound.org

It looks like the Vimeo post hasn’t worked so I’ve uploaded it a second time. Hopefully one will stick.

Week Five – epic masking exercise!!!

Some days things don’t go according to plan.

The masking exercise was one of those days.

My main issue was with the actual layers, or tiles, or whatever you call those strips, as they move along. When I tried to trim them to size, as I did with the text layers, there remained a ghost of the footage underneath.

Every time I moved the layer, I’d move the ghost and I became incredibly confused as the section I thought was woman on the right became woman in the middle and all around the park. Even using Alt [ or ], I still had the ghost footage. I’m assuming that anything generated within Ae such as an effect or text will just chop off and become its own little block.

Then I kicked out the power cord.

Sunday brought a new day and a fresh start. I figured I had to live with the ghostly layers so was very careful arranging the stack of clips.

Then I managed to put in the masks and play with the pen tool in the process.

I did slow down the first woman to avoid a collision.

I decided I really had to move on and though I could see the trouble with the shadows and so forth I decided to wack on some feathering and hope for the best.

Consistency is bizarre. Sometimes the masks seem to lock so I couldn’t adjust them down away from the smoke screen over the legs but most of the time for the purpose of this exercise, and the fact I have to do much masking in my assignment, I thought I’d best render and be done with it!

Yet another issue was the composition time; the final product is 2 minutes long while the actual footage is only twenty seconds. So I have to change the time of the composition before rendering. All these little mistakes add up to experience.

Here it is with all its faults but done nonetheless and I again learned the hard way!

Week 5/6 – Preparing for Assignment Two

IMG_1156 IMG_1157Here is the story board for my assignment two. It’s tentatively called Mulch Magician. We took delivery of 2 cubic metres of euckie mulch for the garden on Saturday. What an opportunity.

Three characters; Council worker, Hardworker and Magician. I may have made it a little complicated. Well, if ambition ‘aint my middle name …

Light was our main issue but may be a benefit. The shadows could provide good places to cut across the images.

Neighbours stopping for a chat was also interesting as the Magician worked his miracle moving the mulch!

Not sure what I can do about the ball of mulch lifting out  of the pile when the pile doesn’t change.

I put it through Prelude to name and examine footage, then did a rough cut in Premier Pro.

I watched this tutorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VFkXZlGb3I

I thought I’d bring the edit into Ae and be all super cool editor about it. Best to split the project into three compositions; 2 workers, magician and magic effects. As I began to split the 2 workers into pieces I realised I was in deep trouble. After some agonising I deleted that, imported the raw footage and very quickly managed the masking and got the two workers vaguely in time. Back to Premier Pro, bit more editing and I’m just under 30 seconds. Not sure how many magic effects I’m going to squash in. There’s room to cut some more workers but at this stage I think I’m pruning the original idea back to magician zapping the workers. At least I’ll be able to get that into the time!

So I had the two workers, brought them back into Premier Pro, rejigged the edit and took that back to Ae to bring in the magician. Well. I spent a few hours painstakingly going around the edge of the two workers. Many problems with shadows and lighting but I think the viewer is more interested in the mad performance rather than the fact the shadows are shifting around like snakes on the ground.
Next day, and because you asked for it, here is the moment when I realised I’d just shifted around the two workers footage stuffing up my pristine little edit. (The magician should not be there.)


I’m going to have to start the whole thing AGAIN!

Boy, am I learning a LOT!