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Things I used to do but don't anymore
  • building model airplanes
  • play piano
  • play french horn and/or trumpet
  • fly kites
  • paint miniatures
  • take photos for photography sake
  • video production
Things I used to want to do once I had the means, but haven't done
  • fly remote control planes
I bet that second list should be longer. A couple of things on the first list are so rusty they should almost be on the second list, as "find out what's changed in this since I stopped doing it, and invest in tools for it."


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 3rd, 2006 03:22 pm (UTC)
that's a nice set of hobbies
I've been meaning to get a kite for a while ;9
Apr. 3rd, 2006 05:01 pm (UTC)
"paint miniatures"

We're ready! We have the occasional "painting night". I'll invite you when it next happens.

"video production"

I am very curious about how to get a certain effect on a bit of video. Maybe we can discuss this via Email? I would love some help from someone who "knows about these things".
Apr. 3rd, 2006 06:33 pm (UTC)
If he doesn't, I might.

Apr. 3rd, 2006 06:54 pm (UTC)
Cool! I meet the nicest people... ;)

This being the case, I'll just post what I am curious about:

In the Star Wars movies, when someone gets a holographic message, the image appears blue with faint lines scrolling through it (I think this is interference).

Is it possible to recreate that blue, translucent affect on a home video? I'd love to make a clip that I can use as a prop in a Star Wars RPG session.

My problem is that I know absolutely nothing about this stuff. Is there a special program one uses? (I would assume so) What kind of format does the film clip need to be in? Are there good websites with tutorials to learn more?

This is a project for the future, but I look forward to learning some pointers now.

Thanks. :)
Apr. 3rd, 2006 07:51 pm (UTC)
Possible? Yes, absolutely. I'm afraid I don't know the cheap/consumer programs in this field very well, but I do know the professional stuff, and have some of it. The Right Program for the job is called After Effects. Another program called Motion can probably do it, and I have that and would enjoy the challenge - I like that sort of thing. It's possible that non-linear editing software such as Avid XPress or Final Cut could do it too, but would not be as flexible - you'd probably end up with something that was "close enough," while Motion could probably get you exactly what you wanted, and After Effects certainly could.

You'd ideally want to start with the "message" shot against a greenscreen or bluescreen, so you can key out the screen and have an image of just the person sending the message. In the absence of professional screens, a plain old wall will do - you just want a background that is some solid color that doesn't appear in the image. If you can't do that, then you need to manually draw the outline of what you want to look spiffy, which is tedious if it changes in every frame.

Then you shoot the person receiving the message, without the message present.

Next you take the "message" into your effects program and apply whatever effects you want to make the message look cool (probably a color filter to reduce the red and green, something to add the horizontal lines, and maybe a bit of a wavering effect... I forget precisely what the Star Wars effects look like.) Then you layer that on top of the other shot where the message is being received, and voila, if you've planned well, it looks great.

Video formats are complicated. To do good video effects, you want to start with something that is not compressed much. Then once it's done you compress it to whatever you need based on how you're using it - not at all if you're outputting to tape for broadcast, MPEG-2 for burning to DVD, usually Sorenson with a lot of compression for web streaming. Most editing tools can handle most formats, and converting between them isn't *too* awful, though I'm still learning this stuff myself.

It sounds like a fun project, though. Let me know if you want a hand - I'd love a chance to practice some nifty effects and make some demos. I don't have a camera, but I've got the editing software.

Was that more information than you wanted? :-)
Apr. 3rd, 2006 05:23 pm (UTC)
Things I used to do but don't anymore

What do you do instead?
Apr. 3rd, 2006 09:30 pm (UTC)
That's a good question.

Play games, mostly. D&D, WoW, and now a little D&D Online.
Cook (less than I'd like).

Road trips to neat places to see neat stuff have dropped considerably in the last few years, I should revive that.
Apr. 3rd, 2006 06:05 pm (UTC)
If you had any time, I would say you and liz shoudl come over and we shoudl see if we can't make a band work some how.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )