24/01/2016-Another bust-wanted to film another full moon piece, however, the cloud cover ruined this idea. I started in Civic Park, where I shot Blue 1, but because there was no moon to set-up a shot…all I did was wander around the park looking shady. Even downloaded a moon tracking app, I don’t even know if this app works because the moon was totally obscured last night. Very disappointed.
19/01/2016-Gosh went back and looked at Purple 2 to fix the bass issues in the audio, and the actual Vegas file was a bit of a mess. I’m not sure what happened. Purple 2 was done in the cut-down version of the software, so it might have been this. I really wanted to get in there and fix the audio, so each finished piece for this project was at the highest standard. Because Purple 2 was edited at 16 bit and at 48khz-it’s not the highest quality. Semantics, I know…the audio is fine; however, I would have liked to have everything matching. At least I can bounce the finished piece out, and render the video in the correct format. I really like the material quality of this vid, even though it’s not 60 or 50fps…just the old standard of 24fps-the roughness suits the subject. This is the art deco lamps, here in Newcastle. I really need to get out and do those fps experiments. Next month is the plan.
Overlooking Newcastle on a stormy summery Monday night - The Heaven’s Cried.
17/01/2016-And finally, after a week of trying to iron out the bumps within new video piece - I finally achieved it. It’s not perfect, a couple of the transitions still feel a bit heavy handed, but I’ve done everything I can. I have learnt a little more too. I feel I have mastered the transitions, and I’ve almost understand the masking technique, however, more reading is needed. I’ve also decided I needed to look at some of the other finished pieces. I am very happy with Pink 2-Abstract 1 and Blue 2-Moonbeam 1, however I felt I needed to fix the bumps in Blue 1-Fountain, and also tone the mids down within the audio for this piece. I will have to go back and fix Purple 2-Globes too. The sound is too bassy. I’ve also been wanting to experiment with a loop type of 'painting', when it came to me I could use some of the Yellow Spring footage. The bees, and there is one particular shot where the sun shining through the trees that creates a fractal pattern would be good to experiment with. I will start this tomorrow night.
16/01/2016-Every time I think I’ve ironed out the bumps in video, another appears. This is very frustrating. I think I’ve managed to fix the bumps to the best of my ability, but will not declare that I have until I see finished product. I’ve had to experiment and use the stabilize effect in Vegas. This is a correction effect, so I’m not really adding any 'bling' to finished product. At least I’m getting better acquainted with Vegas. I’ve learnt how to separate a clip and create a sub-clip, which made it easier to apply the stabilize effect.
15/01/2016-Ugh, and again…I’ve almost ironed out the kinks in new video piece, but finding these kinks and removing them are proving to be problematic. On top of that, the bouncing of the finished product is taking up-to 4 hours at a time.
14/01/2016-Ugh…I bounced out video last night, after thinking I had fixed the camera shake issues…nope, and this was after it took 4 hours to render the video. This also, does not include the 3 hours spent experimenting with other render formats, however, the video is looking even better after some minor editing. Another 3-4 hours of bouncing video awaits.
12/01/2016-After editing the main video last night roughly, including some of the audio; today I finished the audio editing and finished cleaning the video up. I’ve started to understand the masking process in Vegas, although I still need to do some reading on what all the different options mean and do. I am starting to push the limits of my system, pushing sometimes up to 3 or 4 gig of video and sound data through the computer is slowing the system down. In particular, it makes editing really hard because it slows the vision down and when you are trying to work out kinks…it’s very hard to nail where the exact spot is. As an example, they’re two very minor camera shakes in the finished video, they’re not huge but distracting in an otherwise amazing and perfect video. The issue is going back to fix these kinks will be hard, and do I bother? Particularly when it took over 3 hours to render the finished video. The audio for the video was spectacular, I’ve really taken some leaps and bounds when it comes to this part of the project. All the mixing and mastering I’ve been doing is paying off. For this vid, I’ve layered up to 3 or 4 separate audio tracks - much like the video. After I joined all the audio together, I bounced this out as a stereo file for more processing in Sonar. In Sonar, I separated some of the more obvious sounds i.e. the thunder via R-Mix, and did some individual processing on these sounds. These complimented the stereo master. I also did a granular layer, and because I have a very good idea of how to use this synth now - the granular layer was gentle. I’ve then dropped all these sounds in and out of the final mix, creating a really cool final stereo master. I think I will try and iron out the visual kinks, because the piece is beautiful…and it will be even better if I can get rid of the kinks.
11/01/2015-Finally got off my arse and went out into the world to film. I’d planned this for a few days, as I had not done any practical work for a while. I kept missing beautiful colours and the right conditions, and I wasn’t going to miss out again. I’ve started to work out the weather and how to use the weather to predict the colours and light conditions. I knew tonight was going to be right, because tomorrow was going to be hot. This meant the sky would have apricot and orange hues with some blues. I also knew there would be some chance of cloud, and this meant it would add some variation to the finished work. It actually worked out even better than I had hoped, this was because there was a thunderstorm…if the footage is good - it will hopefully look spectacular. The problem was it rained and I had to put the camera away for 10 minutes while I waited for the rain to stop. This might mean the footage won’t layer properly.
25/12/2015-Another bust, the cloud cover made it hard to locate the moon, and when the moon did rise…I couldn’t find the right shot. I should have trusted my instinct and compass, because the moon did rise in the right spot. If I had set-up and trusted my instinct, I would have got the footage I was after. I might try one more time tomorrow night, the moon will still be full.
24/12/2015-Today, went for a dry run of next moon piece. I hoped some usable footage would also be shot. This did not occur. I should have chased the sunset, which I knew would be great. I was too rigid, however, I used the compass on my watch to locate the moon - this will be useful when chasing the moon and the sun for particular effects. Tomorrow I will try something different…weather permitting.
Blue 2 (Moonbeam)
The rising full moon, a rose...symbols' of love and growing awareness.
26/11/2015-I’ve started to slow down in regards to the video work I am doing. After shooting Blue 2 (Moonbeam) last night, I felt it best to edit it today rather than push myself to complete piece right away. This gives me some time to think about the piece and what I am trying to achieve. After some reading, expanding the colour range in Vegas i.e. 8bit to 32bit is a viable technique, however, what I have read so far is confusing and more research is needed. For Blue 2 though, the effect was extraordinary…taking a very dull lifeless set of videos and vividly transforming the colours. I’m not sure if it is the new lens, or the lack of light, but the videos seemed a bit grainy. It may also be the expansion of the colour spectrum or frame rate, and this needs to be investigated as well. I’ve worked out a cleaner editing process, which is making editing much easier…I can actually follow the process and not get lost. This is the problem of having a small monitor, however, I am not in complete control of the layering technique, the masking options are great and are adding to and enhancing the video pieces - but I have no real idea what each of them do or how they work, again more research and experiments. I’ve taken the sound editing to another level now I have 96khz from start to finish - the audio is crisp and easy to sculpt. By using the first video layers’ sonics as the bed, I am able to blend the sound layers to cover any wind or noises that distract from the visuals. I now use five layers of sound to sculpt the final sonic layer. Layer one is the mostly untreated au natural layer - just some EQ and compression to get the level nice. This is generally done in Vegas using basic plug-in effects. The second layer is slowed down in Reaper (DAW), using varispeed and imported into Sonar for further sculpting. For this piece I’ve cut out a sections of layer two and realigned the sounds. I’ve then fed these sounds into a convolution reverb that is has been reversed. The third layer is the first layer with a filter over the top and fed into a granular delay. The forth and fifth layer are sculpted using Padshop granular synth. These five layers allow me to mix the various sounds dropping them in and out, much like a DJ. For Blue 2, I start with just the first layer and slowly bring the third, fourth and fifth in as well-dropping the granular delay layer out once and building that layer back up. I also was able to drop the first clean layer out too, and to excellent effect - at the very end creating a climax in the sound. This is something I feel has been missing from the sound of previous 'finished' pieces…a sense of control and dynamics. The final slow backwards reverb sounds are amazing too. For me this is the best piece I’ve done for the project so far…it is the perfect blend of sound and vision and I’ve yet to fully understand all the various processes involved in video editing. I’ve still got to work out the camera properly too, and when I get the devices to control the sound I think this new digital retinal art will go to another level. Finally, the experiments I’ve been conducting in regards to 'wrong' shutter speed, colours and white balance are starting to create even more and exciting results. By understanding the 'rules', the 'rules' can be broken to change the notion of film style painting and create a new framework.
25/11/2015-Finally felt like trying out the new zoom lens I purchased a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been wanting to do a full moon piece for a while, and whilst the weather is warm - an evening shooting schedule is more practical. I felt Nessca Park where I’ve experimented with clouds and sunset before would be a good spot. This is because the park has old style lamps, which I use as an effect when the lamps come on, however, trying to get the rising moon and a lamp in shot was harder than I thought - because I had to guess the moon’s trajectory. I used the rose garden at the entrance of the park, and lined up a rose, the lamp and the moon. I’ve used roses before as a form of symbolism, but on this occasion because the colour and the light wasn’t quite right…the symbolism is probably lost. I’m still trying to master the new camera, which isn’t quite as movie friendly as the Canon 600d, because of this I’m not happy with the final colours, however, when I did Pink 1 I discovered by changing the colour range in Vegas - it enhanced the colour creating a watercolor effect… almost. This is something I will experiment with another time. I should have stuck with 24fps perhaps, rather than 30fps, because I felt it effected the colour and the light somewhat. I think for these low-light and low colour pieces, 24fps is better than higher framerates - although I’m not sure why. I really need to complete the experiments I have planned. I also experimented with colour profiles, shutter speed and white balance - trying to expand the palate. It will be interesting to see how and if I can use these pieces of film. I’ve got some new ideas about blending and looping pieces too, which need to be investigated. If I can, I will try and do another moon piece tomorrow…this time trying to use the yellow street lights and green leaves with the moon to see what effect I can create.
Blue 1-The transformation of sunset into dusk, from yellow into blue has fascinated artists since time immemorial.Today's digital technology allows the artist to capture this in such vivid detail - the seamless colour transformation into a shimmering light display - from the warmth of day to the cold blue of night.
31/10/2015-Finished editing video, then started on the audio. Am starting to experiment more with audio by adding another layer - now that I can edit at 96Khz/24 bit. This time I took the edited stereo wave file and speed it using Reaper (DAW). I was trying to enhance the sound of the fountain and the water. When I finished editing the sound, I wasn’t as happy as I could have been, however, when viewing the footage with the sound…it turned out better than I expected. What’s needed now is a couple of controllers to draw envelopes in the granular synth, and a guitar midi controller to use as a painting or sculpting device for the sound.
30/10/2015-New camera arrived today, not as excited as I should be…decided to test it out and experiment with 60 FPS - the reason I got the camera in the first place. It’s like the upgrade to Vegas Video, nothing is familiar…meaning another steep learning curve. Decided to try and film the fountain in the park near my house, this is after going to the waterfront…but it was too windy. This is going to be phase two of my research…the refinement of 'film painting'. After working out what it is I am trying to achieve - now I’ve got to refine this idea to create an aesthetics framework. For example, 60 FPS seems to be good at capturing movement and water, 24 FPS seems to be good for clouds, however, more experiments are needed to prove these ideas. Another experiment I have been engaged in is using the wrong shutter speed when filming. The 'rule' is double the frame rate, so a frame rate of 60 means 125 shutter speed…I know, nothing is an exact science. I did one film sample at a shutter speed of 60 - I think- and this created a jerky movement…in Pink 1 and because it was almost dark…it created light spots that looked like planets. But as always more experiments are needed. In editing, there are a raft of new settings in Vegas and these are creating ideas for aesthetics too…sometimes it’s the mistakes that create opportunities. The editing was seamless, and I managed to complete the video editing although some refinement is still needed.