Just so you are forewarned, this post is designed to beat Christian’s latest super-post as far as word count is concerned. Here we go.
Philip, I apologize in advance (he doesn’t like lengthy posts).
Light Painting Update:
As I have mentioned many times before, I went through a dry spell as far as new work was concerned during the time leading up to AP Exams when I spent all my time studying and working on the 840 Poster. Well, as the AP Exams are over and the 840 Poster is slowly coming to an end, I have had time to consider and complete new light painting projects. As this post explains, I went to Harbor Island a few weekends ago and took 28 pictures of downtown and the sights of the city from afar. Since that post, I have edited two more images.
I think the first is good, but not spectacular.
I was getting bored with making realistic pictures of Dowtown over and over again, so I threw the “Fill Light” and “Blacks” sliders in Camera Raw all the way to the right, added a few extra crazy adjustments, and got the second image. I have no idea where the halo came from or I would have gotten rid of it (it’s not from “Clarity”).
After the District Art Show, Kyle W, Philip, Christian, Zack, and I went to Tidelands Park in Coronado to take pictures, and we had great success. Read more here and here. After browsing through my images, I counted 24 that were good enough to edit and eventually narrowed that down to nine.
Here they are:
I kind of like this shot of the Coronado Bridge, even though it didn’t turn out as good as I would have liked (I was using the wrong lens – Christian was using the right one).
With these next two images, I decided to listen to Philip’s advice and make them not as warm as the others. This forced me to approach them from a different angle and I think they turned out very nicely (some of my favorites). Thanks for the advice Philip. (But there is a point where cool (blue) turns into unrealistic (too blue/bad).)
This next one was out of focus and I tried to compensate by adding lots of different effects. I don’t really like it.
The next image is my favorite. I really like the contrast between the bluish background and orange foreground (complementary colors), even though the frame isn’t great.
I tried a lot of new techniques on these pictures, including using the “Threshold” Adjustment Layer for the first time. I also ventured deeper into Camera Raw than ever before and used the “Split Toning” panel for the first time.
I was all ready to post this post after three hours of writing, and then I realized I had forgotten to add vignettes to my new images. I had to go back and fix, re-save, re-upload, and re-add twelve images (it turns out the Dip wasn’t up-to-date too). Argh!
With more free time (now that most of my classes have toned done the workload) I should be able to produce more new work relatively quickly. I continue to get better at using the 5D Mark II as well as my Rebel T1i, which has translated into better pictures than ever before. I remember from the beginning of the year how out of two hundred pictures, maybe ten would be good. Well now maybe one hundred would turn out nicely.
The District Art Show:
As you all read here, Superintendent Collins surprised everyone when he awarded my already 1st place Dip picture (named “Night in the Light” for the Art Show) one of the biggest awards of the night. I was surprised my pictures won anything at all because they printed horribly bright (I had tailored them for the big Epson in the Mac Lab and not the small Epson at Mr. Skocko’s house). The actual print from the Art Show is hanging in my living room, and looks just fine in the dim lighting. I gave the “Navy Lights” picture to Kyle R because he hadn’t gotten a print of it yet.
For me, the greatest feeling of accomplishment in the Mac Lab is seeing something of mine being printed, and so to have had eleven things receive that honor, I feel pretty good about my year so far. Oh, and just to set the record straight, the bigger the print the better!!!!!! At only 20 inches by 13 inches, this image looks like a postage stamp next to this one and this one, which are both 30 by 20 inches. (I want my copy of the District 840 poster to be 44 inches by 70 inches, one square inch for every hour I spent working on it.)
The District 840 Poster:
The third thing I want to give an update on is the District 840 Poster. It is currently on its fourth version, which is two more than it was on when it was submitted and mass-printed. After a marathon Skype video conference and some last-minute tweaking the day before it was due, this is what the poster looked like. We (Kyle W, Philip, Mr. Skocko, and myself) all agreed that the sky was just awful and needed to be replaced, so I added some Photoshop clouds that night, which is version two. At that point, we had no choice but to submit the poster but we vowed to make it better. The poster was mass-printed 11 by 17 inches and distributed around the school and a 44 by 70 inch giant was printed for in front of the office. However, as time went on the sky looked worse and worse, so I began the process of finding somehow to make a new one. I decided to look at old photos and try to find one with an acceptable sky (we realized that the idea of making a sky from scratch in Photoshop proved futile). I turned first to the pictures in this post, and combined the skies from the two images (one, two) in Photoshop. Because the stars in the two images are different sizes, the result had a feeling of depth. I liked this third version, but had to agree with Philip when he said that it looked too peaceful. Also, adding a night sky created a different problem: night means the buildings need lights. Making that happen proved impossible with our current skills, and so I continued my search for an image that could work. I stumbled across this one while going through some old files and knew instantly that it was the one. Unfortunately, two problems arose: first, it was a JPG and second, it was VERY noisy. We had no choice but to live with the first problem, and the wonderful noise reduction features in Camera Raw beautifully solved the second. Instead of trying to add the new sky to the same file with the other two skies, we went all the way back to the beginning, to the version two trips through Camera Raw before this version: the big 1.38GB main file with all the components on their own layers. This made adding the new sky a piece of cake and also allowed some problems with the edges of the buildings to be solved relatively easily. However, this also meant that we had to repeat the Camera Raw steps, but in the end that proved to be a good thing too. After a week of work, Kyle and I managed to get the new fourth version looking much better than its predecessors. A few last-minute fixes made for a truly great poster, but since the Mac Lab is out of paper it will remain solely digital for now.
Looking at all the versions of the 840 Poster side by side, I think that the buildings in the final version need to be darker. That’s an easy fix, but I need to run it by the group first.
Over the past couple of months when I couldn’t go out and take pictures because I was supposed to be focusing on my other classes, I turned to Photoshop. I learned dozens of new skills and have become truly great at using Photoshop. The District 840 poster taught me a lot about image correction and the healing tools, which gave me a new appreciation for a different side of Photoshop.
Also, instead of trying to push my images to the brink of destruction, I have really tried to reign in my enthusiasm and not over-process my images. When reworking the Dip and Cars images, I took special attention to this and ended up decreasing the vibrance on both images quite a lot. This took the edge off the bright and somewhat blinding colors and created two images that were pleasant, not painful, to look at. The main thing I fixed in the Dip image was severe over-processing, and it was only through some creative Camera Raw-ing that I was able to same the image. I experienced a moment of desperation and hopelessness while working on that picture, when I ran out of ideas and felt the pain of failure. Then I reached for the Adjustment Brush and blurred/desaturated/darkened the over-processing away. Miraculous, in my opinion anyway. Just look at the road in these two versions (one and two). See the difference? In this post I called the previous version a masterpiece, and now I feel foolish for doing so. There is a point when too much of a good thing (like Photoshop) can be a very, very bad and very, very destructive thing indeed, and that is something I have been trying to avoid in my latest images.
The new tools in Photoshop CS5, like Content-Aware Fill, the Content-Aware Spot-Healing Brush, Puppet Warp, Lens Correction, and the new blending modes have come in extremely handy and have changed the way I work with my images. The new skills that I have learned through thousands of hours in front of my computer have truly transformed my skills as a digital artist in the past six months. (Example: in three days I was able to capture, edit, and print a District Art Show-worthy picture. Unfortunately, when Mr. Skocko learned he could only submit eight things, he had to cut it, leaving only two of my images in the Art Show) Now I feel like whatever the challenge, I have the skills to overcome it.
Also, I have been using Camera Raw on a scale I would never have imagined before. I was just starting to really appreciate the power of Camera Raw 5 in CS4 when Camera Raw 6 was launched with CS5. The new version has a totally new engine that allows for better edits than ever before. The new noise reduction features may be my favorite, but then again the new lens correction software in the 6.1 update just may be cooler. I never realized just how distorted the images straight out of the camera really were until I tried out this new feature!
I almost forget to talk about the wonderful Adobe Digital Negative file format that I discovered a while ago but only started using with CS5. The Digital Negative format allows for increased compression without data loss (which is great when taking high-quality 30MB pictures) and does away with the old XMP sidecar files that CR2 files had. I especially like how if I start editing an image in Camera Raw but don’t finish, I can save the image directly in Camera Raw as a DNG without loosing any edibility (or the edits I just made). Basically, if it’s a picture and it’s not a PSD or a web-ready JPG, it needs to be a DNG. It’s that simple (in my opinion). DNG’s are smaller, store more information, and are more versatile that CR2′s, so why not use them?
I haven’t done much to CRDESIGNLAB in the past months except remove all of Kyle R’s work. That means all the Digital Art pages are looking quite empty, which is likely how they will stay for the rest of the year (along with the 3D pages). I have been searching for a new blog theme, but have not found anything intriguing yet.
I think I will hold out on making new tutorials until summer because I don’t see myself as having any time before the end of the year. I plan to make dozens of new tutorials over the summer (on light painting, Photoshop, and photography) in order to build a wonderful student resource for next year. Speaking of next year, I will be a Senior but I will not be taking any Mac Lab classes. Don’t worry though, I will go periods one through five and spend six and seven in the Mac Lab anyway helping students and working on projects. I hope to be a resource next year both through my direct aid and the tutorials on this blog.
By the way, this is the 72nd post on CRDESIGNLAB. That’s a lot of posts. (Other stats: 550 comments, 6,736 hits)
I am continuing to make final changes to the 840 Poster, but as soon as the Mac Lab gets paper it is ready to print.
Also, I have volunteered to set up fifteen new iMacs for Mrs. Ormsby and the SAGA. I have been working on just one of the computers and plan to build a master disk image that I can then transfer to the others. After some initial difficulties with InDesign, which is the primary program the journalism students use, Mr. Skocko suggested I bring the computer down to the Mac Lab for the setup process instead of working in Mrs. Ormsby’s room. Having access to a reliable internet connection allowed me to download the required updates to make InDesign work, and I was able to complete the installation of all the applications Mrs. Ormsby needs. Now I just need to here back from SAGA on what specific files need to be standardized across all the computers. Hopefully I should be done with the setup and ready to create the image using Carbon Copy Cloner within the coming week. That means that hopefully all fifteen new computers should be up and running and ready to replace the ten year old Macs in room 322 before too long.
Plans for the Rest of the Year:
Well, I have only 2 days left on my trial for CS5, so my plans for the next few weeks must include buying the CS5 Master Collection. Mac Lab Media needs to produce a video advertising next year’s Blood Drive, which I will be very involved in. I need to learn more about Final Cut Studio in preparation for leading Mac Lab Media next year. I need to continue to learn how to use the new audio/video equipment, which will be invaluable for all future video projects. I hope to work with Christian on a stop-motion light painting video, but that might get pushed until summer. The District 840 poster needs to be “finished” and printed for in front of the office. I need to finish setting up Mrs. Ormsby’s new computers. I need to edit my newest light painting pictures and capture new ones. The Mac Lab iDev Team has yet to get off its feet, but I hope that in the next few weeks I can put my iPad to good use and start working my way through the tutorials. And that’s just the stuff I can think of off the top of my head. There’s a lot more, but I think my subconscious is not letting me remember it.
Oh, I almost forgot: Kyle W and I have to assemble the Mac Lab iBook for the Final Exam. That’s going to take a while and teach us more about InDesign than we will ever wanted to know.
Sunday night I will attempt this challenge, which will help me appreciate the skill required to be a photographer before the invention of digital cameras. Plus, getting a free print isn’t bad either. My strategy is to pick four shots and take nine picture of each with different settings hoping to get something good. I will probably work with Kyle W and create some light painting masterpieces the old-fashioned way.
On Monday I have to film a group English project, but because my group didn’t want to step up to Mac Lab standards I am not allowed to use Mac Lab cameras. That’s too bad because I was really hoping to make a phenomenal video, but it looks like I am going to have to settle with what the group want, which isn’t phenomenal.
This year has been much more that I envisioned it to be. My first year in the Mac Lab (as a Freshman) was quite uneventful and, honestly, I expected this year to be the same. When I enrolled in the Mac Lab a year ago, I had no idea that I would have five things on the Wall of Fame (I think it’s five), have eleven beautiful prints hanging in my house, or have stood alongside Danny and Christian and received the ROP Champion of Champions Award (and then that totally unexpected follow-up award from the California Legislature). And as a math and science guy, becoming one of the most decorated recipients at the 24th District Art Show was something that I would never have expected in a thousand years (me, winning art awards, you can’t be serious!!!). This year has been more fun than I could have possibly imagined, and I plan to end it on a high note. I have learned so much about myself and grown so much as a person in the past year that I would not trade my time in the Mac Lab for anything.
And the crazy thing is that something tells me that next year will be even better.
Christian, I cut down the length of this post by over a thousand words because the general consensus seemed to be that I write too much. But at 3014 words this post stills claims the trophy.
Yesterday at 8 pm, after more than a month of waiting, I got an opportunity to capture some new images. My family and I drove to Harbor Island, and I photographed downtown San Diego through the quickly forming haze. I spent about an hour taking pictures of downtown, the USS Midway, planes landing at Lindbergh Field, the Coronado Bridge, and Naval Air Station North Island, with lots of success. I took 28 pictures total, and over half of those are good enough to be taken through Photoshop. So far, I have worked on two.
I couldn’t make my tripod level to save my life, so I gave up entirely and decided to rely on the Ruler Tool in Photoshop. I also decided to manually focus all my images (it’s not that hard, everyone), even though there was plenty enough to let the camera do it. First, there is this picture. I set the f-stop to 11, and 36 seconds later I had a beautifully crooked image with the front of a boat and three tree branches in the frame. Good enough for now. Now I repeated the process a more dozen times.
When I had exhausted the location directly across the bay from the city and taken enough pictures of the Naval Air Station North Island to make the Navy suspicious, we moved to a part of Harbor Island parallel to Lindbergh Field. I set up the camera and while waiting for an airplane, took this picture. Wow, I wonder if it has a white balance problem? I took a few more and then turned the camera to the sky, and captures about five airplanes as they came in to land. Those pictures are coming soon, if I decide they are good enough because they aren’t very interesting. After frantically running after some fireworks, pictures of which are also coming soon, we headed home.
Now time for Photoshop. Today I unloaded the pictures from the camera, 648MB for just 28 pictures. Each of these two images (one and two) went through the following process: Camera Raw, Photoshop, Camera Raw, Photoshop. I have sort of developed a workflow that I like for CS5. My exact methods will remain a mystery for now, but I will say that I am REALLY starting to like the new Subtract blending mode. Oh, and I should mention that this helped a lot, especially with the second image. And here are the finished products: one and two. Quite an improvement, if I do say so myself. After finishing the first image, I realized that I should have used a different one of the dozen or so similar shots I took, so I will probably be redoing it in the near future.
More images from yesterday’s shoot coming soon. Next weekend I will hopefully get the (focused) shot of the Coronado Bridge that Mr. Skocko has been asking for. Now I have to decide which one of my images to submit to the District Art Show.
As it says here, I decided to return to this image in order to recharge after the 840 Poster. Well, today I did just that. It quickly became evident that returning to the original file was a waste of time, and so I picked up where I had left off and tried to fix some of the extreme over-processing. Four hours later, I think I have succeeded. This is the new, more color-correct, easier to look at, version. Without going into the details, I’ll jut say that I used the new blending mode mentioned here and some improved features in Camera Raw, and did a whole bunch of content-aware spot-healing (about two hours actually). After four months almost to the day, I am calling this image edited to the best of my ability. It isn’t finished, but you all know why.
While I was in the mood for some heavy-duty road work, I took the content-aware spot-healing brush to this image as well, and with a little more Photoshoping, a new blending mode, and some other stuff I can’t remember, I got this image. Also almost four months old, this image has now been taken as far as I am willing to take it. There is a point in time when it is impractical to keep returning to old work when you could take up new projects, and for me that time has arrived. For now, I will try to move on and produce new work.
A couple months ago, I asked Mr. Skocko to print this image, the previous version of this one, and he told me that I should wait and see what I could learn to make it better. Listening to his advice, I also held off on asking this old version to be printed. For both of these images, waiting turned out to be the right thing, as they both were made much better with new skills and new tools in CS5. But now I have decided that sense I will not be working on them any more, I think it is time to ask for them to be printed. What do you think?
That is it for now. I am off to add a new sky to the 840 Poster.
P.S.: I didn’t put either of the new versions as a featured image because they both have been featured multiple times before and I felt like it was getting a little repetitive featuring the same images over and over again.
Ahhhh, finally! After two months of vigorous Photoshopping, the “completed” District 840 poster rolled out of the big Espon at 44 inches wide and 70 inches long early Tuesday morning. I’ll spare you the unpleasant details of the two month ordeal culminating in a frantic pair of six hour Skype video conferences, but I will say that I am tremendously happy with the result. Kyle Wheaton, Zack Tatar, Philip Behnam, Fadi George, and myself managed to construct this monstrosity. With a completely 3D Downtown San Diego (courtesy of Zack), an ominous Norsemen space ship (my creation), and a panorama of the football field in the foreground (also my creation), I’d say this is quite the piece of work. Without Fadi’s skills with the pen tool, the book buildings that Kyle and I made and that Philip weaved into Zack’s city would never have existed, and without the determination of Kyle, Philip, and Zack, this poster never would have been finished. This was a great team project that could not have been accomplished without the wonderful support of all those involved. All I have to say now is that it isn’t done yet…
Now onto another topic. After six weeks of him asking, I finally gave Mr. Skocko my picture of the USS Midway to print. It was on the Works in Progress page for a long time, but now it is hanging above the door to the Mac Lab and in my game room.
For now, I have no really pressing projects, so I will try to return to this image, which I twisted into this image, and plastered onto the desktop of every computer I work on. I think I will try to start over from scratch and try new strategies to create a similarly cool image without the massive distortion and over-processing (my specialty, which I am trying to fix). I hope to finish it and get is printed as a nice restful job while I rework the sky on the 840 Poster. Oh, and Mr. Skocko wants lights in the windows on the 840 Poster!!!!!!! How?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!??!?!?!?! I sense a job for Zack…
Today was the last of my three AP Tests (U.S. History, Chemistry, and English Language and Composition). After the last two of those tests, which were yesterday and today, I came back to the Mac Lab even though I was excused for the day. It was fun earning extra time during my own period.
That’s it for now. I’m off to Photoshop.
Info: In case you were wondering why all the new images are all of a sudden so big (1500 pixels in largest direction), it’s because all the displays I use are 1920 by 1080 pixels (1080p) or larger, and I want my images to be larger than a business card when I look at them.
It’s been a while. 17 Days to be exact. To keep it brief, in those 17 days, I have been hard at work on the 840 Poster, a couple of video team projects, and of course exploring my iPad. Now to the important stuff.
A few weeks ago, Mr. Skocko gave me a recipe for taking pictures of the night sky that he learned from this guy. He told me a the very best settings for the camera, and so I vowed to try it out. That’s what I did early tonight. I took the 5D Mark II into my backyard and pointed the lens straight up, and got a wall of white. Total failure. I deducted that this was because I was taking photos from a heavily populated area with lots of light pollution, so I adjusted the setting a little (a lot, actually) and tried again. Total failure for a second time. Fast forward 20 minutes and 50 pictures, and I have finally found a setup that worked. I took a few shots of a house up the street before going inside to see just how granulated the images would be.
When I got to my computer, I waited to unload the pictures until the trial of the CS5 Master Collection was done installing on my main computer, so I could take full advantage of the new features when editing my new photos. I loaded them into Bridge, and………success!!!!! Of the 50 or so pictures I took (of which about 10 were good), I chose two to advance to the next stage: Camera Raw. After boosting Photoshop CS5′s performance preference to eat a MASSIVE 7.5GB of my 8GB of RAM, I took the first image, which is the one featured on this post, through Camera Raw. I proceeded straight to the new noise reduction features and threw the sliders all the way to the right. And…….the amazingness just got WAY better. Man, Photoshop has power!!!!! The image went from relatively grainy but still OK, to perfectly smooth and beautiful. The only side effect was that the house in the photo got a sort of painted texture, which I think looks fine with the image. I played with the “Contrast” and “Blacks” sliders a little, then opened the image as a Smart Object and added a contrast curve before turning to the next image. (In case you’re wondering, the lighter area in the center of the photo are clouds what didn’t render well when converted to a JPG. The whole photo didn’t convert well, and looks much better as a PSD). On this one, I again utilized the noise reduction features, but because the image was not in perfect focus, there was only so much Camera Raw could do. It didn’t turn out as good as the first one, but then again it wasn’t really meant to. I just wanted to demonstrate the possibilities of these new skills and show just how cool a picture of the sky could turn out (if it were only focused!!!!!).
I have been staring into the abyss of space for a long time, wishing to capture its beauty in a photograph, and have finally somewhat succeeded. I did not totally achieve the effect I wanted, and in all reality didn’t even come close to getting the breathtaking picture of the Milky Way that I want to get, but I am happy for now. To take pictures like the ones this guy took, you NEED to be in the middle of nowhere, ten miles from the nearest person, not in the middle of Rancho San Diego.
That’s it for now, I guess. The 840 poster is coming along good and will be my main focus until it is completed.
PS: Dang Photoshop is fast!!!!!!!
I was going through my files just now, trying to trim a little off the top of my massive 68GB Dropbox folder, and I came across a couple of old images. A couple of weeks ago, I went out into my backyard and attempted some proof-of-concept work for the new kind of light painting Mr. Skocko had been encouraging. I took the 5D and one of the Mac Lab’s multicolored flashlights and walked to some cacti in my yard. The flashlight had suffered severe damage sometime during the chaos at Woodhaven Park, and so it would only give off a couple of colors (instead of 10). I set up the camera and shined different colored light at two cacti. The result looked good and I could easily envision what the final product would look like, so I files the images away without any work in Photoshop.
I found them just now, and decided to see what Camera Raw could do. And yet again, I learned something cool (synchronize settings across multiple images). Because the colors that the damaged flashlight created were only moderately exciting, I changed them significantly in Camera Raw, and put the Spot Removal Tool to good use. I happened to stumble across the exact settings that removed all unnatural color from the cacti, and so I decided to take that idea and run with it, tailoring the remaining editing so as to reveal only the light on the ground. I merged them in Photoshop, which proved more difficult than I expected, as the different angles of the light proved difficult to combine in a pleasing way. I like the finished product, but I didn’t put much effort towards it, as I have more important things to do (I uncovered some tutorials on focusing I had made a while back too). More on those tutorials later.
Another Update: There are six new movies on this page (in and around the focusing section).
On March 27, the first day of Spring Break, Philip, Christian, Zack, Aaron, Kyle, and I met at Woodhaven Park to combine our efforts in a light painting extravaganza. Well, everything didn’t exactly go as planned. We did get some cool images, but nothing as good as I would have hoped. Read more about the activities of that night here, because this post is devoted to the images that were captured that night.
Of the hundreds of pictures we took, I have worked on ten that I feel are good enough. The first two are buried in this post (but here are links anyway: Tree | Grill). As for the other eight, they are coming right now. It took me two weeks to find time to edit these images, but I have finally gotten to them.
Christian, Mark I: This is a new type of light painting that I first saw here. I have tried it on several occasions, but only started getting the hang of it while at the park. I manned the 5D, Christian posed, and Philip passed a lightsaber behind him. Learn how to do it on this page.
Christian, Mark II: This is the same concept as the first image, just with a different pose and slightly different settings. We never really got good at this type of light painting, but I think these two images are good enough to be posted.
Tree, Mark I: This is a lengthy exposure taken around 10pm. It is actually four different pictures that I used Photoshop’s Photomerge feature to combine. Right after Kyle and I finished taking the four pictures, the sprinklers came on. Yikes.
Tree, Mark II: This was taken a little earlier in the evening and I kind of like it. It was still too late in the evening to get a spark picture, but I think it turned out good enough.
Truck, Mark I: This was the first picture I edited from that night. Philip creatively used rubber banks to strap two of the Mac Lab’s multicolored flashlights to Kyle’s remote-controlled truck, and then drove the truck in circles. It produced a very cool effect, but actually being able to drive the truck in circles posed some problems.
Truck, Mark II: This is the same idea as the previous picture, except with a lantern substituted for one of the flashlights. Zack took this picture while Kyle and I were at the other side of the park taking landscape shots.
The Grill, Mark II: This picture was one of the parts of this image. I liked the uncombined version so much, I decided to work with it separately. Among other things, I extended the airplane line in the background across the entire picture, which Kyle suggested. I like it a lot, and think it is the only truly great image to come from the night. It looks darker than it really is.
Overall, I think that we got quite a few good shots from that night.I didn’t go to MLSS™ today, so I made up for that by editing eight new images and finishing the main Photoshoping of the VHS 840 poster (it looks really cool!!!). While editing the photos, like usual I learned a few new things, including the power of Photoshop’s Actions panel (which I had known about for a long time but had never tried). Oh the time saved!!!!
IMPORTANT!!!!!!!: Don’t forget what happens on Monday! Be at the Mac Lab at 8 am to see it streamed live on the big screen (bandwidth permitting). 1 Day, 12 Hours, 55 Minutes, and 25 seconds and counting….
Help Needed: Due to the fact that Kyle R is no loner a part of CRDESIGNLAB, I need a new name. The C in CR stands for Canel, my last name, and the R stands for Rodenbo, his last name. If and when he Kyle rejoins the blog, the old name will be restored, but until then, I need a new name. I am asking for suggestions.
Up until today (Thursday) at 9:00pm, I had not really been on Spring Break, as I had a massive 20 page research paper (Specialties for AP U.S. History) looming over me. After about 20 hours of work, I have finished it. So now my Spring Break begins. Ahhhhhhh! Freedom!!!!!!
The first thing I said I would do this Spring Break is make live-action light painting demonstrations. Well, some of them have arrived. I have about ten different videos filmed, but so far only four have made their way through Final Cut Studio for editing and sound boosting. It just so happens that those four have to deal with painting with beams of light (lightsabers). Please remember that I am new to making tutorials, so don’t expect them to be perfect. Check them out here. No one tell Danny that I have Final Cut Studio or he’ll make me work more. Let’s see how long it takes him to find this.
While editing the light painting demonstrations, I realized that those lightsabers of mine look really realistic when filmed. So, today I filmed some fight sequences to see how they would look. The idea needs refining and superior editing skills that I can deliver at 11:00pm , but the possibilities are cool. Man, those lightsabers look real.
All my time has been put towards this research project, so I haven’t touched Photoshop since Saturday. I’ll make up for that in the next few days.
Yesterday (Wednesday) was an interesting day. We (the video team) filmed the anti-bullying video for the iVIE awards. Read more about it here and here. I learned two things. 1) We can film an entire video in 4 hours. 2) Danny has anger management issues. Ok, so I learned that last thing a while ago. Those anger management issues were exacerbated by the fact that the fire alarms kept going off and ruining our shots. Oh and then there was the other thing (5D. Sensor. Cap. Off. For. A. Minute. ARGH!!!!!!!!). I am trying to forget that last thing. I won’t say who did it to save them the embarrassment and the wrath of Mr. Skocko, but it wasn’t Danny or me. Except for a few minor issues, the day went well. We got some Oscar-worthy behind-the-scenes clips too.
Tomorrow (Friday), I am going to Borrego Springs with my Dad and sister. I will try to do some standard photography, but the day is supposed to be a relaxing family trip. We will be back by the time its dark, so I hope to light paint a little afterwards. (If only we were there at night. That would be some amazing light painting and photography!!!!)
That’s it for now. Rally together and help push this little site over 5,000 hits. I (as it seems CRDESIGNLAB is now a single-man venture) am only 31 hits away from the 5K mark. If all had gone as planned, I’d be in Greece right now.
At around 9:30pm, my sister and I started making video light painting tutorials. Instead of going somewhere, I decided to stay in my backyard. I began with some tips on focusing, then outlined two different ways to paint with a beam of light (lightsabers). I tried to recreate this shot, and came out with something a little different, but cool in its own way. I decided to feature it, even though it is not new or revolutionary, because a post looks so much more interesting with an image next to it. (This image was a complete accident, by the way. I had no idea it would turn out good at all.)
Tomorrow, I will move on to discussing what you can do with a flashlight and how to create the picture featured in this post (which I also wrote today, for the most part). The day after that, I plan to detail the best ways to light paint with cars and the street. I have discovered that I will need to make quite a few more screen capture tutorials in order to fill in things I forgot to mention during the demonstrations.
Expect to see the first of these new live-action tutorials in the next few days, as I have to process them in Final Cut and boost the sound. For all its merits, the 5D Mark II does not do a good job capturing audio.
Fun facts: This is today’s fourth post. CRDESIGNLAB passed 500 comments a few hours ago. Because Philip just wrote a new post, I had to write one too.
I just finished making 18 screen capture tutorials, which are the first to go on this page. I made 28 movies, but only 18 of them are good enough to be kept. All of the items that don’t yet have movies require something besides a computer, like pictures of a camera or actually being outside. That’s what I am going to do after this post is finished (and I send some of Kyle’s pictures to him).
As King Theoden of Rohan said in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, “so it begins.” In his case, “it” refers to the Battle of the Hornburg. In mine, it refers to the adventure of making light painting tutorials that will (hopefully) help students become great light painters.
I’m keeping posts short these days, as I need to spend less time writing and more time working.