Need For Speed

For this assignment the task was to make a “musicless music video” by taking a music video, muting the audio and then using a variety of appropriate sound effects to make up the audio to the video.

My inspiration for this assignment was from the short example given on the assignment page giving examples of how they’ve replaced sounds and showing that I didn’t have to the whole video for a song. Alongside this the assignment reminded me of a very funny “bad lip reading” video I’d seen recently where the creator had replaced the original audio with his own lyrics/music to create a song. Through looking at a couple of music videos I had also thought that the best type of video to use would be one with quite a lot of action so I don’t have to find lengthy sound effects that fit and minimal artist singing footage since I didn’t want to have to replace speech.

I settled upon choosing a section of the music video to the song We’ll Be Coming Back by Calvin Harris and Example. I chose this because the selected section of just over a minute that is mainly action shots  which would be good to edit to. The video is also largely a car chase which is of interest to me meaning it would be quite fun to edit/match audio to and I do quite like the original song.

I started by downloading the video using this YouTube video downloader. I then imported the video into Sony Vegas Pro 12, dragged it onto the timeline and then muted the audio track to get rid of the video music. I then set about searching for the sound effects to edit into the video using YouTube to find videos with appropriate sounds and using this YouTube MP3 Downloader to download the audio for them.

Firstly I used this LaFerrari Hillclimb video to substitute audio for the Ferrari in the video using the different segments of it for when it’s shown in the video.  These segments were trimmed to the right lengths using the Trim and Split tool and positioned into place on the second audio track. The same process was done for this Porsche Onboard video to substitute audio for the Porsche in the video. The same process of splitting up the full audio to use segments of it was carried out and this audio was positioned on a third audio track. For the motorbike sound effects it was difficult to find any audio of them at slower speeds so I ended up using a small section of this video from a YouTuber I watch occasionally. Again this was trimmed and positioned on a separate audio track.

To fill in the remaining parts of the music video I used this Popup Headlight video for the sound effects for the headlight/engine turn off part in the video, this Paper Sound Effect video for the map and conversation parts, this Gravel Footsteps video for the conversation/bag burying part and this Car on Gravel video for when section when the car brakes/stops on gravel.

A screenshot of all of the audio tracks below the video track in the Sony Vegas project file can be seen below:

Sony Vegas Timeline.PNG

The finished Musicless Music Video can be seen below:

**If the video does not play on YouTube above because of Copyright Reasons please view it here**

 

The assignment was actually quite fun to do since I usually don’t like audio work. It was quite challenging to find appropriate sound effects to match in well with what’s being shown in the video which is why I used YouTube rather than other sound effect specific websites since there is more content to choose from. The other key to making it sound realistic which I aimed to do was by layering the sound effects as shown in the Sony Vegas screenshot to add depth. For example layering the different car/bike noises together while they’re on screen together.

To me the final video uploaded to YouTube doesn’t play because it’s blocked on copyright grounds which is slightly expected since the video visually is an unedited direct copy. This is why I’ve included another file link to it underneath. It’s understandable why the content owner has monetized the video but I think by most video uploaders is seen as a restriction on freedom of expression if this content is completey blocked to some people (244 countries in this case for my musicless music video). Other platforms have also started clamping down on content creators/remixers and putting these blocking features into place such as Instagram which have for video music and with Facebook planning to introduce one soon.

Content ID.PNG

 

Gold Squad

For this assignment the task was to create a “find the difference” picture with at least 6 differences by editing things out of a photo.

My inspiration for this was my photography work in which I edit objects and things out of photos all the time to get a polished “perfect photo” look. For example this piece of previous work below comparing a “before and after” of the editing of a photo:

I therefore decided to take a twist on the assignment by editing a photo that I had taken beforehand. I would remove some bigger elements to create differences like the assignment asked and then would go on to do my “perfection” editing where I remove everything I find annoying or distracting within the image to create the best/cleanest photo I can.

I started using Adobe Lightroom to edit the image using Spot Removal Tool which works by specifying a source circle and then a destination circle for the source to be pasted over. You can also speicify “Heal” or “Clone” to determine how the source is pasted over it; whether it is just copied identically or healed/merged into place. The Spot Healing Tool view with my edited circles can be seen in the image below:

lightroom

To perfect the image I also used Adobe Photoshop to finalize some of the editing that I started in Lightroom and to remove some other parts that wasn’t possible with the Spot Removal Tool. I used the Spot Healing Brush Tool to get rid of minor parts since it fills them in automatically and then used the Healing Brush Tool to specify appropriate areas of the photo, position these copied areas over the parts to edit out and then blend them in using the Eraser Tool. My Photoshop Editing screen can be seen below:

photoshop

Here’s the final “Spot the Differences” or “Before and After” photos:

IMG_9196-2.jpg

img_9196-edit

As you can see there are quite a few big differences in the photos as well as the small minor “polishing” changes. The big changes include the guy in front of the door on the right, the guy by the Range Rover on the left, the red car/line in the bottom left and all of the Michael Kors and Dior branding on the shop fronts.

I was very happy with how this photo turned out since I edited it to the point where it is as good as it can be that I actually decided to post it online. For this I re-imported it into Lightroom, square cropped it and re-watermarked it in the new crop before posting it to Instagram as seen below:

I think my finished “before editing” and “after editing” photos shows some of the power of modern computer image editing and manipulation. There has been quite a lot of controversy online over this sort of “extreme editing” with relation to pictures of models/people edited by businesses or the media which set unrealistic standards/goals to society. For example this recent story demonstrates a magazine possibly trying to make a model on the cover look slimmer than she actually is. Another example of Photoshop editing being caught out which I find particularly funny is these North Korean state-published images which most are quite blatantly not real.

Here’s My Card….

For this assignment the task was to create a business card.

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Whenever I think of business cards I think of this scene from The Dark Knight. Image from here.

 

My inspiration for this assignment was from my Photography work which I actually needed to create a business card for at some point in the near future. This assignment therefore served as a useful opportunity to actually create a business card that I may actually use in the future.

Other inspiration was taking a look at other people’s business cards like this one from another automotive photographer and other general photography related business cards on this website. After viewing these I had thought that I wanted to have one side primarily of example of my photography work and possibly my logo while on the other side have the standard contact information.

I started making the business card in Adobe Photoshop using two project files. One for the front and one for the back. In the front file I simply pasted in some of my best/favourite photos into the document and resized them in an equal pattern to fit the standard size (3.5 x 2 inches). For the back I inserted my logo and then using the Text Tool to write my contact information. I also used three small icons on the back, two of which I adapted from logos and one which I created using simple shapes in Adobe Illustrator .

This first attempt can be seen below:

However after doing the first attempt I wasn’t overly happy with how it turned out so I went on to make more changes. to the design. For the front of the card  decided to reduce the number of images so that I could position the logo and about line on the front. I took 2 photos from the first attempt and found another that fitted well together having the horizon treeline lined up and sky above to provide a minimal background for the logo. On the images I did have to add in more of the sky to fill the height of the card which was done using the Content Aware Fill Tool which automatically creates pixels in that area based on the surrounding image. For the back I just rearranged the remaining content and made it larger so it’s easily readable since the card would be quite small if it were to be printed.

The finished product can be seen below:

I think the finished product looks quite good and I’m glad I was able to find 3 good images of mine to edit together for the front. The card could potentially look cleaner with one single image on the front however one image doesn’t show a “range of work” so that may need some thought before I go about actually printing any. Also on the card I need to finish making my website before I go about printing any. As mentioned making business cards was something I needed to go about doing as over the past couple of months I’ve had quite a few opportunities where it would have been very useful to have some to give to potential contacts/clients at various events I’ve attended. So I will definitely continue to develop what I’ve created above and probably get feedback from people before progressing to printing.

The Dark Side

For this assignment the task was to create a mashup of two iconic movie scenes. It was said that we should aim to be as subtle as possible with the mashup image.

When viewing the assignment page I thought that the main given example simply puts the “Wilson” ball from the movie Cast Away as a second moon onto a minor scene from the 5th Star wars movie. So this main example isn’t exactly meeting the assignment brief with using iconic scenes. So on viewing another example of what someone had previously done for the assignment which also wasn’t fully meeting the brief I was given inspiration from their work to create a mashup which also had a different take on the assignment.

Their assignment work which inspired me can be seen here on their blog and as the image below simply took a Range Rover and placed it onto the moon.

moon
Image created by Emily Atkins as seen here.

When I read the description of their finished mashup on the assignment page before I saw it I had pictured something different in my mind to what they had actually made. This inspired me to use their idea as a starting point to create a better mashup like I’d first imagined upon reading this example where I would place a Range Rover or other 4×4 vehicle into a Moon scene and then possibly add in a couple of other elements around it.

I started by gathering the first two images for the mashup which were a photo of a Brabus 700 Mercedes 6×6  from here and a photo of the Moon’s surface from here. These can be seen below:

I opened both of these images within Adobe Photoshop and began to blend them together using the Magic Wand tool, Quick selection tool and Eraser to remove the background of the 6×6 image. I then used the black and white adjustment layer to remove the sand colour from the shadow and window since the moon is monotone.

I then gathered some more images to put into the background of the mashup image to give it some movie relation for the assignment and to make it more interesting to viewers. I felt that the space theme and menacing looking Brabus 6×6 lent themselves to relation to the evil characters (dark side) in Star Wars. I gathered an image of a star background from here, an image of the Death Star from from here, and image of an ATAT from here and an image of a Death Trooper from here. These can be seen below:

I then inserted these into the Photoshop file to blend into the mashup. The star background was placed over the moon scene and was erased until it just covered the black “sky”. The death star was scaled down, placed in the top left corner and the opacity was reduced to make it blend in with the “sky” more. The background of the ATAT image was then removed using the quick selection tool and then scaled down to be positioned near the horizon.

The death trooper image was then positioned next to the 6×6 and scaled to be appropriately size in comparison to it. To make it look realistic I then created a shadow by selecting the area of the trooper and on a new layer filling in this area with the paint brush tool to get a silhouette. This was then positioned, scale, angled to the same degree as the 6×6 shadow with the perspective transform tool  and the opacity reduced which created a realistic shadow effect.

Using the paint brush I then added a white highlight to the right of the trooper and death star to add even more realism by making them fit with the scene lighting and also used dark grey to cover the 6×6 number plate since I wanted the finished image to be as good as possible.

The finished mashup can be seen below:

mashup-assignment

I’m quite happy with the result of the mashup and while the image is obviously not real or subtle I think that the cleanliness of the Photoshop adds to the effect that it “could be real” as you can’t see where I’ve cut out the images and that they have been blended well. Looking at the finished image it also reminds me of a car advert with the perfectly lit and central car and the other elements engaging viewers into looking at it. (Also slightly somewhat related to the Nissan Star Wars Advert)

I also tweeted the finished assignment to the DS106 participant that inspired me to create this!

 

Exploring London 28/01/17

For this assignment I had to create a video of the a “day in my life” which meant filming what I did or what happened during a particular day and editing it together into a video.

When thinking about this task I took inspiration from the YouTubers Casey Neistat and Sam “SeenThroughGlass” (who I ended up seeing while filming). When Casey used to create daily vlog videos I would find that his cinematic shots, especially the use of timelapses along with his general fast-paced editing style would make the videos engaging and fun to watch. I also wanted to take inspiration from his “intro sequence” to his daily vlogs where he would simply write the video location and date over the a particular shot. With Sam’s videos I take inspiration from the cinematic shots he uses to break up his vlog style shots since he always uses interesting camera angles and shots.

casey
Screenshot example of Casey Neistat’s opening sequence from this video.

When thinking about the video I wanted to create I had a few ideas of what I wanted to include: Firstly I didn’t particularly want to include myself talking to the camera since I don’t like doing it but instead use point-of-view shots to add a personal feel that it is of my day. This meant I would have to edit the cinematic shots to music as the assignment suggested to engage viewers while using interesting camera shots/angles to get the viewers attention.

To film the video I would be using my Samsung S4 phone, a GoPro Hero 4 and a Canon 700D camera which would potentially pose some issues with differing video looks and video quality. However I felt that this differing quality wouldn’t matter since the video was about making the video to show the content/story and not necessarily to make a polished flawless product. For example on many social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram & Snapchat it’s more important to users to make a bad quality post rather than not to post at all. For example how Casey Neistat keeps filming and uploads it when his external microphone breaks even though the sound quality is worse like in this video or adds in phone shots like in this vlog since it’s better to have the worse shot to make up the story rather than leave parts out because it’s not as high quality. Alongside this something about creating the video which would be difficult for me to do would be making the video solely out of video footage filmed over that one day (since I was doing other things rather than just focus on filming) and also to edit using the footage in roughly the same order it was filmed to create a logical story throughout the video which is not something that I usually do.

During the day while filming it was slightly tricky remembering to try and film every single thing; especially in front of other people in the street when “aimlessly filming” my surroundings. I think I managed this to an extent as I took quite a bit of footage however it would have been useful to have recorded more so that there was better choice during the editing.

For the edit of the video I mainly used Sony Vegas Pro 12 but however used Adobe Premiere CS6 for the editing of some of the timelapse sections. I started out by importing all of the video clips into Vegas and began putting the first few onto the timeline. After the first few I placed the intro scene using a timelapse clip that I sped up using the rate stretch tool in Premiere, added text over it and then went in search of a piece of music which could be faded in here for the rest of the video to be edited to. This chosen song was “Seinabo Sey – Pistols At Dawn (Lucian x Mickey Valen Remix)” which I’d heard before in this video and was good since it has quite regular beat/vocal changes which can be edited to. After this was inserted then I dragged the other video clips on the timeline and set about editing them together using a variety of tools such as the orange markers for positioning important cuts, trim tool for resizing clips and fade tool to fade between clips. Some of the video audio was then muted while some was isolated and increased in volume to make it audible above the music.

To create the best video possible I then set about stabilising (where possible) and colour correcting some of the video footage to make sure it looked as good as possible. Some of this colour correction was done using the standard “Sony Colour Corrector” plugin while some like the example below was done with the more advanced Magic Bullet Looks plugin.

 

colour-correction-exampleScreenshot of the video before (left) and after (right) the colour correction process.

Visible below is the finished Sony Vegas project file for the video which shows all of the used clips and editing within the timeline:

Timeline.PNG

 

Embedded below is the finished video assignment: