All-Nighter On VFX Shots : Time-Lapse

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 -y null,null -o dummy

transcode -J transform=smoothing=60 -i -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 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 lived here. No more 4 hour drives to party on the weekend. Instead, just a 15 minute ride on the “vomit comet”. 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.

I live in Parkdale, a few blocks from Liberty Village. They say it’s 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.

Included in the benefits, I’m now minutes away from High Park. A few weeks back I brought my camera out and took some footage, 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.

“Forget about guns
and forget ammunition,
’cause I’m killing them all
on my own little mission.”
– Lily Allen

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.

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