Monday, October 19, 2015

The Art of The Storyboard

For our video projects you may be asked to create storyboards or shot lists, read through the content below to get started on your own boards/lists:

Shot Lists:
A shot list is like a storyboard but without visuals. You simply describe the action, lighting, setting, dialogue and camera angle. 

For instance: 
  • Fade up on football field, eye level camera
  • Low camera level, player runs onto field
  • Cut to side shot, track with player

The basic idea is to create a recipe that you can follow when you go out to shoot your project...

The Art Of The Storyboard:
After a concept is established for a film, a script can then be created and storyboards can be executed to visualize the film. A storyboard is meant to represent the framing, action and elements in each shot in a sequence. It is a valuable tool to draw from when actual shooting begins.

Your storyboard should convey essential information:
  • What characters are in the frame, are they moving? Seated? Standing?
  • What are the characters saying, seeing or experiencing
  • How much time is passing, is it a long panning shot? Or a quick succession of shots?
  • Where is the camera? High, low? Over the shoulder? Birds-eye view? Is the camera moving or still?

After storyboard creation do not be afraid to change camera angles, dialogue etc... this is all part of the creative process.

Draw your storyboard in pencil so that some shots or text can be reworked. Your artwork does not need to be fancy, use basic shapes, stick figures and simple backgrounds.

Use language to describe camera angles and shot styles:
CLOSE-UP SHOT:   A close range of distance between the camera and the subject.
DISSOVLE: A transition between two shots, where one shot fades away and simultaneously another shot fades in. 
FADE: A transition from a shot to black where the image gradually becomes darker is a Fade Out; or from black where the image gradually becomes brighter is a Fade In. 
HIGH CAMERA ANGLE:  A camera angle which looks down on its subject making it look small, weak or unimportant. 
JUMP CUT: A rapid, jerky transition from one frame to the next, either disrupting the flow of time or movement within a scene or making an abrupt transition from one scene to another. 
LEVEL CAMERA ANGLE:  A camera angle which is even with the subject; it may be used as a neutral shot. 
LONG SHOT:  A long range of distance between the camera and the subject, often providing a broader range of the setting. 
LOW CAMERA ANGLE:  A camera angle which looks up at its subject; it makes the subject seem important and powerful. 
PAN:  A steady, sweeping movement from one point in a scene to another. 
POV (point of view shot): A shot which is understood to be seen from the point of view of a character within the scene. 
REACTION SHOT: A shot of someone looking off screen. 2.: A reaction shot can also be a shot of someone in a conversation where they are not given a line of dialogue but are just listening to the other person speak. 
TILT:  Using a camera on a tripod, the camera moves up or down to follow the action. 
ZOOM:  Use of the camera lens to move closely towards the subject.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Video Production Scavenger Hunt

Hello Students,

Your next assignment will be graded on your ability to accomplish 20 specific technical shots or techniques and how creative you can be within those constraints while creating a video project. Minimum video length 2 minutes, 4-5 minutes max. We will discuss all these techniques and how to accomplish them in class. You will also be graded on time management, working in teams effectively and ability to meet the deadlines.

Teams will be chosen by picking numbers. Teamwork is crucial on this project, every one must participate and contribute to the final project. You will work in teams of 4.

Teams will shoot footage and share among each other, each team member will produce their own final edit of the project for grading.

20 Video Production Techniques
Video Project Specifications:
1 Page proposal/pitch must be approved before production can begin.

Production Schedule:
Oct 16 - Proposal Due
Oct 20 Script, Storyboard or Shot List Due
Oct 27 - Preliminary Shooting Complete
Oct 30 Rough Cut Edit Due
Nov 3rd -  Final Editing Complete and ready to present to class

Format: The final format of the video is your choice, it could be a music video, action video, narrative or experimental. You could even make an instructional video about these video production techniques. Here are some format options:

  • Produce a video about the positive people and events at our school 
  • Produce 1 or more Public Service Announcements around a current local/social/environmental issue
  • Produce a "Statement Video" on a topic that is personally important to you
  • Produce a music video
  • Produce a short narrative (drama, intrigue, wizards?)
  • Produce 1 or more comedy skits and format it as a short comedy show

Grading: For full credit your video project must contain one example of each of the 20 shots listed below. Shots may be combined, for example a twin shot that is created with a green screen. Camera work should be smooth and steady. Editing should be well timed and without edit glitches or gaps. Must have titles and tails. All deadlines listed above must be met on time.

Rules: No content that glorifies violence, drug or alcohol use. Music must have family friendly lyrical content. 

Note: Each team member must take turns shooting and acting. Outside actors or camera operators allowed. Teams may help each other for difficult shots. All project storyboard/scripts/shot lists must be approved by me before production can begin.

Each team member is responsible for editing their own final version of the video, no group efforts with editing.

A shotlist and storyboard must be created and the final video must contain 1 example each of the shots or effects listed below:

1. Silhouette Shot - actor or actors must be silhouetted against a background

2. Green Screen Shot - actor or actors shot against green screen, background must be keyed out and replaced with background still image or video

3. Single Source LighCloseup - actor or actors shot closeup with single light source for high contrast

4. Shadow Shot - camera shows shadow only, can pan up to actor after, or show interaction between two characters through shadow only

5. Twins - use static camera and split screen effect to show actor and a "double"

6. Window Illusion - overlay semi-transparent video over actor or actors to simulate window reflection

7. Frame Within A Frame - look for environments or architecture that "frames" your actor or actors

8. Background Slide - use a sideways camera movement to give the impression that the background is moving behind your actor or actors

9. Handheld Dolly Shot - follow the action with a handheld shot, must use a tripod as a counterweight to reduce camera shake, change camera height during shot

10. Fall Away - camera walks backwards from actor or actors

11. Walk In - shot begins on actor 1, in the foreground or background actor 2 steps into frame

12. Camera Flow - shot begins with Handheld Dolly Shot following actor 1 walking to the right, actor 2 passes in foreground going in opposite direction and camera changes direction to follow actor 2. This change in direction can happen 2-3 times

13. Spin Shot - camera spins around actor or actors 360 degrees

14. Motionless Camera - camera is tripod mounted, focus on motion in scene, all actor or actors must be moving. extras can help add energy to a scene

15. Whip Cut - camera quickly sweeps away from scene, edit is made to seem like camera ends on a second scene, also called a sweep cut

16. Slow Motion - Video source is slowed down by 75%. slowing down any more can be done but render time is increased. Ask me how to do extreme slow motion with Adobe After Effects.

17. Pass Through Wall - Camera moves up to wall, fades to second shot inside moving towards center of room. Can also be pass through window, pass through keyhole etc...

18. Extreme Angle - camera angle has extreme foreshortening or perspective

19. Saturated Color Background - actor or actors are shot against a background of mostly a single vivid color, such as a brightly colored wall, green grass, etc...

20. Textured Background - actor or actors shot against textured background, brick wall, fence posts, tree bark, ivy etc...

Extra information about these shots can be researched online... have fun!

- Mr. W

Friday, October 9, 2015

Introduction to Editing Video

Hello Students,

Today we will begin our introduction to video editing with Adobe Premiere. You will be editing pre-shot footage to create a fun and compelling promotional tourism spot for the city of San Francisco.

Imagine yourself in the Directors Seat... it's time to make your vision happen!

Part 1 - Learning Adobe Premiere:
  • Launch Adobe Premiere
  • Watch videos 1 through 13 in the "Learning Premiere Pro" section of the Adobe TV website
  • Practice the steps that you can as you watch the videos
  • Find a sample video file to practice editing, color correction, outputting, etc...
  • If you can watch all 13 videos you are on your way to being a video editing pro! When complete watch the other videos in that section to learn how to process and distribute your movie files

Part 2 - Editing a Promotional Tourism Video for the City of San Francisco

Project Concept: The City of San Francisco has hired you to edit a promotional tourism video. They have provided you pre-shot footage and your job is to make it sing! Your commercial will play on local television stations coast to coast, so it should have universal appeal. Your commercial should promote the unique sights that the city has to offer.
  • Your final video file should be exactly 30 seconds long
  • Use music that fits the energy of your video
  • Edit your video cuts to be timed with the music
  • There should be an edit in the video footage every 2 to 5 seconds
  • Make sure your sequence settings in Premiere match the specifications of your source video
  • Use color correction to enhance the footage
  • Use video transitions to keep the video compelling and interesting, but be careful not to overuse them or repeat them too many times
  • Create text titles to create a "call to action" at the end of your video, something like "Visit beautiful San Francisco today!"
  • Add 3 seconds of blank video to the beginning and end of the video before exporting with your in and out markers
  • Have fun!

- Mr.Wilson

Monday, October 5, 2015

Experiment With Maya Physics

Hello Students, 
Your next project is an exploration of Maya Physics. Maya uses a soft/rigid body system and different fields that can modify the interactions of these simulated objects, these fields are things like gravity and wind.... 

Maya Physics Experiment:
Your assignment is to follow the simple tutorial below, then create a fun physics experiment and then render it. Don't get too elaborate or your computer will take weeks to complete the calculations in your simulation. Use all the skills you have developed up to now to set up your 3D file with a proper project folder, render settings, materials, image based lighting etc....

Part 1: Basic Physics Simulation

  1. Launch maya and make a new file
  2. Give your timeline at least 500 frames and zoom out the timeline so all frames are visible in the timeline
  3. Create a cube and shape it into a flat  surface like a table
  4. Create another cube, along with a sphere and a third shape of your choice
  5. Arrange the new shapes in a column that is positioned over your first flat table shape that you made
  6. Select the table shape and press down on the spacebar to bring up your marking menu, select "Soft/Rigid Bodies" and choose "Create Passive Rigid Body"
  7. Now Select the column of objects, the cube, sphere and third object of your choice and then press the spacebar to bring up your marking menu again and choose "Soft/Rigid Bodies" and select "Create Active Rigid Body"
  8. With your 3 objects still selected go back to your marking menu... this time select "Fields" and choose "Gravity"
  9. Press the play button to see your objects fall from the gravity and bounce on the tabletop
  10. Congratulations! You just made a physics simulation in 3D!

Part 2: Make Something Awesome
With a little ingenuity and some basic knowledge you can make a really cool simulation, try using more shapes or different types of platforms and passive solid bodies for interesting results. You can give passive objects a pivot point so they spin when hit. You can add a few keyframes to an active rigid body to launch it in a certain direction.  Here are some ideas you can do with just basic knowledge:
  • Make a wheel or sphere roll down a ramp and into a jump
  • Make a wheel or sphere roll on a track
  • Make an obstacle course for a sphere to roll down
  • Make bowling pins and knock them down with a sphere
  • Make a brick wall and knock it over
  • Make a tower of bricks and blow it over with a wind field

Part 3: Render Your Simulation
  • Once your simulation is perfect make some materials for your objects, make some shiny, some glassy and some have a matte surface
  • Set up a project folder for this simulation file, make sure you create the file directory first then "set" the project to that new directory
  • Turn on Mental Ray and load up your best settings, use an image based lighting setup to add some good realism to your scene
  • Render your scene and turn it in as a video file to mad max when it is ready