All new #VideoQuestions is live!



Silence is golden, Planning is key!

A new #videoquestions is out today on how to plan your video production so it runs smoothly, and is within your time and money budgets!

I’m out for a pre-vis meeting this morning for a video that combines animation, where planning has been a very important role in creating a narrative and generating an estimate price for the production. I’ll share my work with you in this#videoquestions later today!

saul bass alfred hitchcock psycho shower storyboard

Creating ambience in motion graphics

I’ve been working on the title graphic for the Rotolight BVE video, sometimes I can get going straight away with designing and animating however (and I presume this is due to getting up early to start working) I was stuck for ideas..

VideoHive is a great resource for re-made graphics sequences for After Effects, but they are also great for getting inspiration on how to create the atmosphere and effects for your own work. I spend a good half hour looking through the pre-made effects and gathered some ideas.

One key point I’ve found to make the graphics seem realistic, and to give it an ambience there are a couple of things you can do to make it more life like. Number one is to use a particle generator to create dust to naturally drift around the environment. The particles can be given physical attributes like gravity and wind, which makes the animation more realistic.

after effects particles atmosphere ambience rotolight

Number two, using light and lens flares; this leak of light appears to give the environment in which your text, graphics etc seem to be in a 3D space shot through a camera – these are naturally occurring when out filming and in our eyes, so it can be used too.

Number three; textures and patterns; for a graphic based (not so much vfx based) title, tiling textures and patterns to create a wallpaper background is visually appealing, as is only using a number of tones from a simple colour pallet.

Number four; interpolation and motion blur. Again just like in real life, our brains process the images we see at around 16 frames per second, and fills in the spaces in between. In graphics this motion blur needs to be added, to correctly interpolate the animation and blur of a subject or object. The local and global motion blur (bouncing ball) icons are easily found on the timeline so be sure to click!

Number five; depth of field. In cinematography the director uses the depth of field to move the audiences attention through the frame to reveal new parts, to uncover secrets and ideas. This can be done in motion graphics too, by using a Camera. When you have a camera in your composition, be sure to check ‘enable depth of field’ and to set your aperture to a low F stop (F/1.8 for example) and increase the blur amount. After Effects then generates depth of field using the camera settings; making objects close and far away from the camera blurred.

rotolight title graphic after effects camera blur

Here’s a snap of the working-graphic for the title, for a cinematic look to the video I have also applied an anamorphic aspect ratio overlay. I might make some changes later, but for now it is off for comments and feedback. If you have any questions about the graphics or videography then give me a shout!

rotolight rotomic ring light tiele motion graphic video


Andrew Kramer (VideoCopilot) does it again!

I’m a big fan on Andrew Kramers work and contribution to the industry, running the After Effects tutorial and blog website, creating the title sequence for Star Trek Into Darkness film, it has had a big impact on my learning.

tron_1[1] videocopilot

I first started using VideoCopilot when I was 16, designing a title sequence for a series of webisodes I had written and was planning to film, direct and produce. It never got made, and I’m sure I’ve got the original work somewhere. My point being is that to this day I still use this amazing resource for my work now, learning new techniques for effects creation. If you haven’t checked it out before, I urge you to do so immediately!

Here’s the latest tutorial, creating ‘3D’ volumetric light rays which will look great in mysterious, dark trailers or titles!

Mesmirizing fractals in After Effects

I’ve often pondered whether it is possible to generate geometrical, point and fractal graphics using algorithms in After Effects. Fascinated by expressions since starting in CS3, I have always experimented with different types of generation and control to create more organic motion graphics, and animate them.

After learning and working with Trapcode Particular and Form, which specialize in amazing particle effects, I further played around with ideas and animations combining the particles with expressions, auxillary particles and physics to recreate a realistic particle graphic. I had varied success, but I still couldn’t find a unique effect.

It has been a while since I stepped back into After Effects; I usually float between applications until I need to use them so I got myself back up to speed with AE and tried my hand back at fractals – not the ones generated by fractal noise or turbulent noise either.

After a couple of days experimenting (bearing in mind I am still working on my laptop, and not my editing supercomputer) I had got to grips with generating graphics, but with this technique the results are partly random generations so occasionally I end up with a result that is completely different to what I expected but looks fantastic! With the curves following Bezier, they look naturally pleasing too.

My fractal tests –



I’ve been busy over the last couple of days, working on both John Sinclair videos, as well as the arrival of the professional camera rig I designed. It is still a prototype so some changes will be made, but so far it is a great fabrication of my design I proposed 18 months ago!!

DSC_0260 rig1

I’ve since been working on the John Sinclair documentary, which I’ve titled ‘Behind The Smoke’ in Adobe Premiere, which has been going very smoothly. I’ve also finished the title sequence using footage from the Amsterdam gig rehearsal, as well as using outstanding quotes from John, it is accompanied by the track Mohawk of his new album with Steve Fly.

I used the layers blending modes to merge the layers together, as well as distorting the text (in a bold font like the 70’s John Sinclair posters) and animating them in a style that conveys the subject.

I will post the video up later!