Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Angry After Effects

The submission has been completed. After 15 hours on long work, screaming at the top of my lungs and wanting to punch every ounce of Adobe Software I came in contact with (even though that's not possible because software isn't tangible), Nona Poehler and I completed our submission to the Wilkes video contest.

The video contest at our school was a student competition to submit videos that promote our school in a good light. "Come to this school because it's friendly, warming, welcoming and have a promising future," this was my girlfriend and I's mission. Considering both our lives revolve around our ability to create from scratch, this wasn't an impossible task. Our competitors consisted of every other student on campus with little or no technical skills in relation to film editing, graphics and motion animation.

At Fox 56 (my current internship), I taught myself all the basics of After Effects and how to "key" type for unique effects. If I was never forced to be in After Effects for every project at Fox 56, I probably would have never committed to learning the program. I am happy I learned, learning is fun! Now, I love it. I can't wait to learn more when I get my MacBookPro charger back. Ugh... my charger broke: sad face.

It all started with these ugly cords... 
Much of my life I have dabbled in video editing. It was my self-proclaimed calling ever since I laid a simple audio track by manually pulling an audio cable out of my external dvd burner to plug into my CD player. A simple music track was enough to fulfill my want to create. This was before there was a such thing as a .mov file to drop on my computer; back in the day I actually had to use Firewire to capture standard definition video off a mini-dv tape. Digital files are the best. Hooray for technological advances in the film industry.

During those gray days, I wanted to be Steven Spielberg. I dreamt of making my actors fly across the screen on white unicorns but then I realized I needed to learn the Adobe Creative Suite first. And I also needed to have have talent, talent is important. If you aren't talented at anything, you can't make those actors fly on white unicorns.

Over the course of a week, Nona and I filmed our video separately so we would't influence each other's shots. Nona gathered facts about the school and I tried not to be too intrusive with the student actors. I said "Hello, I am filming a promotional video for our school, do you want to be in it?" And for the most part they said absolutely but their were some rotten eggs who said "Woah dude, woah, woah dude" and I said "Okay, Okay, Dude." Why wouldn't you want to be in an educational promotional video?

We started with a wonderful stop motion animation, all credit to Nona for thinking of... it consisted of a paper folding to reveal our names. A white paper.

Then we started rattling off random facts about our school, trying to put the most important facts in throughout. The "random facts" part was a bit hard for me though because it was my job to keyframe and think of a creative entrance and exit for the text. I made a lot of alpha mats and did a lot of keying (what I consider a lot). A real animation is one big happy keyframe, something I have little interest in... but a simple text animation can make all the difference when you create a video. It makes the video look complete; it looks like a cohesive unit, a big happy family consisting of raw footage, keyframes, graphics and a bit of love. And chicken nuggets from McDonald's, who doesn't love those?

Watch our video below!

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