Prayers via Video – Collection

Within the tears of sorrow exists tears of beauty and hope. I have gone through moments where hope was tested. I have even tasted the salty words, “Hope is disempowering.” However, this hope is now what holds the tears in my eyes, relaxing and washing these windows into my soul. Sometimes these tears are allowed to river down my cheeks and other times I hold them there, pooling loosely. A natural balance of awareness. The watery distortion helps me see the world a bit clearer. Mixing sorrow, strength and even laughter. In the process of merging some of these frequencies of feeling, I have been fortunate enough to come across these most excellent tools… these prayers

…starting with…

Charlie Chaplin’s incredible speech (that needs a better YouTube thumbnail)

Nahko – Great Spirit – mindful, stay mindful

ZakAndWhatArmy’s God Fractal

JFK via Prince EA
“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.”

Dance Video Collection #2

The first collection just got too darn big!  Started another chain.

Shannon referred me to VIBEXX.

Fik-Shun – Holy cow this is nuts.

Detroit’s Soul

All-Nighter On VFX Shots : Time-Lapse

A few years back, while working on shots for Killer Mountain, I set up my Nikon in order to capture the last 18 hours of my self-induced crunch time.

The last half of the video looks much better, as corrected my camera settings.  You might even be able to make out some of the shots.

Video Stabilization in Linux

The left is the unstabilized video.  Right right was stabilized using the vid.stab plug-ins in transcode.

I use a few different processes for getting ride of the camera jitter from when hand-held shots, but I needed quicker methods for when I have a ton of videos to process.

I found that vid.stab has some plug-ins for transcode that are working great for me.  I followed the instructions here and then used the commands below to encode my videos.  Other than some of the quick jumps in the stabilized videos, the results are great (and fast). I’m noticing the jumps occur when objects in the background are being revealed, so I’ll have to fiddle with this in the future to see how I can clean these up.
transcode -J stabilize=shakiness=8:show=1,preview -i mvi_3816.mov -y null,null -o dummy

transcode -J transform=smoothing=60 -i mvi_3816.mov -y xvid -o mvi_3816_stable.avi

Youtube’s Got Variable Playback Speed?

You can play at normal, double, 1.5, 1/2 or 1/4 speed.  No joke.  Check this link and see if it works for you.

But now that I’ve shared the link, the feature isn’t there anymore. WTF?  Ok, I’m doing a video screen capture while this is still up. This is a pretty cool feature and a VERY cool feature for those that like to dissect visual effects in film OR for all the animators who are studying animation. Dear Vimeo, take note.


The Speed option is back again. It’s probably because I was jumping between browsers. I don’t see it in Firefox, but I do see it in Chrome (Chromium). I really am digging this (obviously).  It seems that it’s an HTML5 feature that you have to opt in to.

Moments Gallery

Today we visited a new gallery downtown. I took some video, which I will have to re-record, as the location is pretty deserving of it.

An interesting story…

The owner used to own 18 Rogers locations. He sold them all, then went off to travel India for a year, collecting art. Now he’s slowing moving the art over here to a restaurant that he’s opening up. I expect there will be a more complete article coming in the future.

My Photos in Pummelvision

Last night I set up Pummelvision to scour my Facebook and Flickr photos to create these two video presentations. I set it up to go through my videos “very fast” which is 8 photos every second which matched the default soundtrack nicely. Pretty neat, eh? Apparently they’re taking the site down on January 24th, so if you want to make your own collection, you better act quickly.

Star Wars Crowdsourced

I could go on and on about why I love this, but I’ll have to share those feeling for another time. In the meantime, grab a bear or tea, sit down with some friends, and enjoy the hundreds of fan submitted clips that have been painstakingly put together into this Star Wars Uncut: Director’s Cut. I will have to start scouring the internet for more projects like this.

WebGL with Danger Mouse in Your Chrome Browser

Ok, this WebGL stuff has officially blown my mind (have I used that phrase yet?).  It runs so smoothly, i cannot believe it mon.  Cannot believe!

If you haven’t checked it out, and you have the Chrome browser, please take a moment to checkout the ROME: 3 Dreams of Black music video featuring Danger Mouse. I’d post a link to a Youtube video, but although visually impressive, a video doesn’t do it justice.  The original is interactive… and a video screencapture on Youtube is not.

Check it out already!  And when you’re done, Miranda has some concept art and other behind the scene info for you.

After you’ve seen that, there’s a whole library of WebGL examples to play with.  This library on ChromeExperiements.com has a few dozen online WebGL experiments (thx to Kjrsten Holt).

3 Days Till Lift-Off

In about 4 days I will be in Vancouver attending another Siggraph. I have not been since… 2006? This will be my 4th Siggraph and the first time it has been held in Vancouver. Luckily I have a light laptop this time around. Damn am I excited.

Below is a video that I recorded from Siggraph 2004 in Los Angeles. I finally put it online.

Tickets acquired and RSVPed for parties.

This calendar should give you an idea of all the parties I plan on attending. That’s right, I have my priorities in order. 😉

After Siggraph, I’ll be attempting to get things organized in Vancouver before heading off to Burning Man.

Seems I was smart to purchase my ticket far in advance, because they are currently sold out.

Chipmunks in High Park

I just completed Week 1 in downtown Toronto. All these years of loving this city, yet this is the first time I’ve actually stayed her for an extended period. No more 4 hour drives to just party on the weekend. Instead, I can visit nearly all my friends via a 15 minute ride on transit. My place is small…  “tiny” actually, but it’s starting to grow on me.  I’ve never lived in such a small space before, which is proposing challenges to me.  So far, so good. I can now truly appreciate Apartment Therapy. I also now have my workstation built.  It feels good to again be using Linux.  I suppose it must sound crazy for a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer to say that he’s happy to be using Linux. Just consider it an educated decision. Won’t be getting any work using open source software, any-time soon, but I’m on break and building new skills. Been loving this time off.

They say that Parkdale is the creative hub of Canada (at least, “one of”). Last week I ran into a mixer right in the middle of Liberty Village. I met a few people in marketing, animation and information technology. Areas I’m familiar with, so there was much to talk about. I feel like I’m following the right path and I find it funny how everything fell into place. Not interested in “work”, but it was good to connect with a familiar vibe.

A few weeks back I brought my camera out and took some footage in High Park, and here’s one of the highlights.  One squirrel chasing around another squirrel, with a cameo appearance by a bird.  These little guys feel a little bigger when running around in slow motion, but their personality really shines through.

Unfortunately, I decided against doing my own voice-over.  Next time, I promise.

Music Video Collaboration

A friend of mine recently posted this Ted Talk video of Eric Whitacre’s virtual choir of 2,000 voices. The beginning of the first song presented sent chills up my spine. I find it eerie and beautiful how there can be so many voices, singing in unison, yet none of them have ever met face-to-face (for the most part).

Click here for the uncut version of the choir (1.0).

It reminded me of these two other videos.

The first video contains clips that were hand picked from Youtube, and put together into a melody.

This music video doesn’t contain musical collaboration like the previous two videos, but the clever use of video (Brady Bunch style) pushed me to mention it here. Similar enough for me!

Dear internet, you truly are an endless glass of liquid potential.

PILLOW FIGHT!! Toronto 2011

On Saturday, April 2nd @ 8 PM
Yonge-Dundas Square

Newmindspace hosted their first nighttime pillow fight in downtown Toronto. The event was kicked off by a group playing out some tribal rhythms, which continued through all the pillow bashing. I recommend for those that are in a creative slump, to just pull out the camera, and capture the world around you. If inspired, take that footage, edit it together and SHARE IT!! When money isn’t involved, there is so much freedom. Explore it.

Filmed on a Canon 60D and edited with Super Loiloscope.

High Dynamic Range Video is Sexy.

How using two cameras, you can create HDR video. It’s looks creepy cool and I’ve love to give it a try, but I don’t see where I can get the software.

Taking Video w/ Digital SLR Cameras

I am upgrading my DSLR for video.
A pleasant situation occurred that put me in possession of a Nikon D300. I LOVE this camera, but it’s making me a bit of a snob when it comes to image quality. Please keep in mind that I am NOT a professional photographer, but I can recognise washed out colors and artifacting when I see it. This camera has neither.

So that brings me to the point of this little post. I currently have a JVC Everio HD camcorder and a Sony MiniDV. I love my Sony because it is feature rich (i.e. time lapse video & night vision) and has been very reliable till recently. Since I’m working with tape, it sometimes gives me some digital artifacts. Also, due to the mechanical moving parts, it’s not as light as my JVC and the battery life is about 1/5th that of modern camcorders.

I’m seriously thinking about purchasing a DSLR that takes digital video. Some key things that I am focusing on is the quality of video taken in low lighting conditions, weight, price and the severity of rolling shutter.

Big questions I’m asking myself is do I want to consolidate? Can I find a single camera that would replace my Nikon D300 camera, my JVC and Sony camcorders? Something that takes pictures as good as my D300 (“good enough”), yet can record video and be relatively light weight.

The D5000 has video capabilities and seems very comparable to the D300, though is about half the price ($700). This article compares the ISO quality of the Nikon cameras. From what I can see, the D5000 is approaching “good enough”.

This article
compares the the latest offerings from Canon, including video examples of the rolling shutter. They recommend the Canon 7d ($1500 USD) for those on a budget. Gizmodo also has a good articles showing the 7d’s capabilities.

The Canon 7d and the Nikon D300 are both around 2 lbs. The D5000 is about 1.25 pounds.

This forum thread seems to be doing a great job of doing a comparison breakdown of the Canon 7d vs the Nikon D300.

A perfect example of rolling shutter. Notice the vertical lines bending as the camera moves side to side?

What about video on the cameras vs the camcorders? Do the camcorders also suffer from rolling shutter? Most do not. Most camcorders use CCD sensors (Charge-Coupled Devices), while digital cameras, including the famous Red cam, use CMOS sensors. According to Wikipedia, “CCDs use what is referred to as global shutters which take a single snapshot representing a point of time and do not suffer from these motion artifacts.” Therefore, camcorders using CCDs don’t suffer from this bendy rolling shutter effect.

I’m going to hang onto my D300 and look into purchasing a better camcorder that will be a good substitute for my JVC and Sony. This article discusses how I can record video from my D300 using an attached PC.

I decided to purchase a Canon 60D for video and have sold my D300. I have manual lenses for my Canon for video and everything is looking great. The manual focus is helping train my imperfect eyes as well as building respect for nice “glass”. The rolling shutter effect has not caused me any issues with my 3D tracking using Syntheyes, so far. A review of my Canon D60 is overdue.

Dancing In the Rain

This video with some pop and lock dance stylins, at a street corner, is making it’s way across the internet like wildfire.

Mechanical 4 Letter Words

I suppose sometimes words do not fail us, assuming they are mechanically driven and illuminated.

Four Letter Words from Rob Seward on Vimeo.

Or maybe when it’s sliced up and reprojected on an iPad in front of a long exposure.

Making Future Magic: iPad light painting from Dentsu London on Vimeo.

Daily Digest – 2009-01-26

  • Video Jug – Life Explained On Film: Lots of great educational videos here, from explanations on meditation to how to share a bed. –  # 

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