Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Visual Effects artist and Director, Thomas Egger recently sent us links to this beautiful new spot. It takes the "tilt/shift" concept to a whole new level. mocha was used for stabilization and roto. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Friday, 18 December 2009

Tutorial: Dealing with Foreground Obstructions Part 2 - Final Cut

We delve once again into the world of tracking and rotoscoping as I show you how to get tracking and shape data from Part 1 of the tutorial into Final Cut Pro. It's a rip-roaring, rollicking journey using mocha for Final Cut and mocha Shape for Final Cut.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll copy and paste a lot. It's magical.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Random tip - Use mokey to make a panning shot widescreen

Keith over at our forums had an interesting request the other day: He wanted to know how to convert a panning shot of Standard Definition footage to widescreen by using mokey to create a clean plate for the edges.  We had a ponder and tried it out, and here's what we came up with:

  1. Take your footage and comp it into a widescreen frame in your compositing package so you end up with black edges to the left and right
  2. Render this sequence out and create a project with it inside mokey
  3. In one layer create two closed rectangular splines that cover the exact height and width of the black edges. You may need to overlap the edges a tiny amount into the moving footage
  4. Create a background layer behind the first layer that covers the whole frame and uncheck the "Link spline to track" button
  5. You may want to create a third layer in between the background layer and the foreground edge layer to mask out any moving objects you don't want to effect your background track
  6. Track the background layer (selected only)
  7. Select the foreground and do a removal

    There are obviously some things this won't work with, such as crazy amounts of moving background from frame to frame or very little camera pan, but it can be just enough to fill the edges of frame if you need it.
    If you had enough camera motion in the scene you could potentially convert an SD clip to HD!
    We might even make a video tutorial of this some time in the future once we've looked into the possibilities.  

    Let us know in the comments if it works for you!

    Wednesday, 16 December 2009

    New Greyscalegorilla Five Second Project: “Milk and Cookies”

    Nick Campbell, the greyscalegorilla, has just posted up a new Five Second Project over at his splendid blog.

    The new theme is:

    About 5 Second Projects
    Every couple of weeks, greyscalegorilla posts up a new theme that entrants have to base 5 seconds of animation/motion graphics around.  Winners get picked and sometimes prizes are awarded, but the main goal is just to have fun and make some cool pieces for your demo reel.
    We were delighted to sponsor Nick's recent 5SP theme for Halloween.

    Thursday, 10 December 2009

    Unplugged 16: Ross Shain

    While it can be difficult to watch oneself onscreen, I just wanted to share this link. Our friend John Dickinson at Motionworks interviewed me for his unplugged series.

    John's interviews in this series are great because he explores how and why various people got into the post industry.

    My interview is here: http://www.motionworks.com.au/2009/12/unplugged-16-ross-shain/


    Holiday Sale!

    Imagineer Closes 2009 with Huge Savings for Customers on its Entire Family of VFX Tools; Welcomes 2010 with Major New Product Releases
    GUILDFORD, UK (December 7, 2009) Imagineer Systems today announced it is closing out a highly successful 2009 with its Third Annual Holiday Extravaganza sale. Beginning today and ending on December 31, 2009, the VFX and post production community can take advantage of huge savings across Imagineer Systems entire family of VFX tools, including monet, mokey, motor and the entire mocha family.
    Promotional prices for the 2009 Holiday Extravaganza are specific to node locked versions of each product and include:
    • monet placement station: $699.00 US
    • mokey removal station: $699.00 US
    • mocha (full version) tracking station: $349.00 US
    • motor roto station: $349.00
    • mocha for After Effects planar tracker for After Effects: $110.00 US
    • mocha for After Effect v2 Upgrade for CS4 users: $80.00 US
    • mocha shape for After Effects roto shape import plug in: $55.00 US
    • mocha for Final Cut planar tracker for Final Cut: $110.00 US
    • mocha shape for Final Cut roto shape import plug in: $55.00 US
    The Company also announced it will be rolling out powerful new upgrades and new versions of select VFX tools in its arsenal, and will be offering attractive upgrade paths and incentives for all customers participating in this month’s Holiday Extravaganza. Formal announcements regarding specific products will begin in the first quarter 2010.
    “2009 was an excellent year for Imagineer Systems. We have a lot to be thankful for and we’re taking the opportunity this holiday season to say thank you to our loyal and enthusiastic customers,” said John-Paul Smith, chief executive officer of Imagineer Systems. “As excited as we are about our successes in 2009, we’re even more excited about 2010. In the first half of the year, Imagineer Systems will be unleashing powerful new upgrades to many of our tools, built on an entirely new codebase and packed with exciting new features. In addition to our evolution to a 64-bit architecture, our monet and mokey customers will see exciting new versions this spring - all new developments we’re confident will be lauded in the marketplace.”
    Smith continued, “Our new management team has also placed tremendous effort and planning into ensuring that our customers are well taken care of, and much of the planning for our Holiday Extravaganza sale includes attractive incentives and seamless upgrade paths to any new product or upgrade released in 2010. We want to make it as easy as possible for our customers’ workflow to evolve effortlessly as we continue to grow. Stay tuned in 2010 and as we roll out the news!”
    The promotional prices for the 2009 Holiday Extravaganza are effective immediately and will be available through December 31, 2009.