Posts Tagged ‘fun’

Fun with After Effects and Illustrator

Spring Break has provided an excellent opportunity to spend time playing around in my new software programs. One of the things I had wanted to do was try importing an Illustrator document into After Effects. I already knew how to do this with Apple Motion and Photoshop; but unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a simple way to get Illustrator docs into Motion if you want to work with vectors. After about an hour or so struggling with my paths in Illustrator (I’m not very good at drawing with paths), I had a basic comp I could send to After Effects:

In After Effects, you simply import your Illustrator file as a composition to retain and animate the layers you’ve made. I had four layers – the ribbon background, text, and two brace layers. You’ll want to have some idea of how you want to animate the objects in your comp – each object has to be its own layer if you want to animate it independently of everything else.

The trickiest part for me this evening was figuring out how to continuously animate the ribbon background. If I had done this in Motion, I would have used the ‘Replay’ behavior and been done with it. After Effects CS5 appears to have more controls for this sort of time remapping, but I couldn’t quite figure why it wouldn’t work for me.  The ‘enable time remapping’ option stayed grayed out no matter what I did; I have a theory it’s because my layer wasn’t footage. I could’ve tested this theory by exporting the layer out as an .mov and bringing it back in, but I opted to animate using the good ‘ol motion track option instead.  I made a 10 sec. version of the moving ribbon so I can use it again on a real project someday. That sort of concept might look good as a lower third or something.

What do you think of my little animation? Am I on to something?


03 2011

Completed Project – “Cold Shower”

I blogged a few weeks ago about participating in the Living Arts 24-hour Video Race with my friend Michael Champlin.  Bad weather forced the event to be postponed until Feb. 11, so last weekend we finally got to make a film! I had so much fun hanging out with Mikey & his wife, Lisa, and making friends with the rest of the team – Ben Champlin, Connor Wingfield, Matt Beard and Jessica Kouns. Our group got along well, which made the experience really enjoyable. I think Mikey and Matt were happy to be shooting the film on a DSLR; it’s something I know they want to do more of and I look forward to seeing other things they shoot together.

The Video Race competition had several requirements. We had 24 hours to make a film (five minutes or less) that had the following elements:

  • Theme – “The World of Tomorrow”
  • Line of Dialogue – “Devil May Care”
  • Prop – Yo-Yo

We could have no more than 8 people on our team, and we could only use material we’d created in the 24-hour time period.  It was a major challenge to say the least! We didn’t win the competition, but our whole team was really proud of the film and I think we turned in a strong contender.

It was certainly a learning experience. I’d never edited a film before – let alone come up with the idea & execution for one within a day. There are certainly things I would want to fix if we had more time, but that’s part of the experience of being an editor – sometimes, your time runs out. I do hope to get more opportunities to edit short films in the future.  It’s much different than doing documentary-style or non-fiction pieces, and I think it makes me stretch my creativity. I certainly have a deepened respect for aspiring filmmakers now, too.


02 2011

Film Fest + Friends = Fun!

My friend Michael Champlin invited me to be on his team for Living Art of Tulsa’s 24-hour Film Fest coming up the first weekend of February.  You can read more about the fest and Michael’s experience here on the Tasha Does Tulsa blog.

Dual monitors: A luxury I won't have during the film fest!

I’m really excited to be participating this year, and I’m looking forward to the challenges this festival presents.  Having a theme, line, and prop requirement in a 24-hour timetable is a huge challenge creatively and logistically.  Coming up with a great idea for a five-minute film will be only half the battle; we’ll have to manage our time well, trouble-shoot the inevitable technical problems, and do it all with limited resources.  As stressful as that may sound, it’s exactly the kind of situation that gets me excited to do video work! Plus, the film fest presents a great opportunity to meet filmmakers and video enthusiasts like me, so hopefully I’ll make a few new friends in addition to hanging out with the old ones :)

Check out Mikey’s winning entry from last year’s 24-hour Film Fest, and if you’re interested, mosey on over to Living Arts and sign yourself up!


01 2011