This is three mini-posts smashed into one.
1: Catching Up.
It has been over a week since my last post. That’s just deplorable. I all honesty, I have lacked inspiration over the past few weeks. That might be partly due to the increasing workload as AP Exams approach. I will be taking three AP Tests in late April: AP Language, AP US History, and AP Chemistry. I have tried my best to manage the massive workload these three classes place upon my shoulders while at the same time trying to find time to work on Mac Lab stuff as the projects are only getting larger and more numerous. People don’t appreciate just how difficult it is to get an A in an AP class until they try. I have had to take a sort of break from my usual Mac Lab work to focus on maintaining my straight A’s, which has not always been possible. Unfortunately, I will have to find a way to work more on both regular classes and my Mac Lab projects at the same time. Oh, and I have to learn Final Cut Studio and After Effects as part of my duties to the video team, which I am now a member of. I have Adobe CS4 Design Premium and Apple Final Cut Studio on my home computer, but I don’t have After Effects, which means I will have to work on that during class.
While on the topic of video, I have to say that last Saturday was quite the day. I arrived at school at 5:30am and was the first person there, other than Mr. Skocko. A minute later, Danny and Cody arrived, followed by Philip, Fadi, Kyle, Aaron, Nikki, and a few others over the next three hours. We light painted for a few minutes while it was still dark, but the pictures didn’t turn out. When the filming for the Dodgeball video started, chaos broke out and it took us five hours to film a commercial that is less than a minute long. The finished product looks great, but it didn’t always look so good. Danny saved the day in Final Cut and After Effects. The best part of the day was that I learned a lot about video. I was Assistant Director (Danny was Director) and I set up about a third of the shots without his help. By the time the filming was over, I had gained a new skill and the confidence that came with it. High resolution version: right-click and download | Low Resolution version.
At 2pm, Danny and I filmed the Theater Department’s production of Thoroughly Modern Millie, which was fantastic. I had never been to a school performance before, and really liked the play. Fadi tagged along but didn’t really do anything. By 5:15pm, after 11 hours and 45 minuets of work, we all left school and went out separate ways. Twelve hours working for the Mac Lab was a lot of fun.
2: A New Focus
Quite simply, my focus in the Mac Lab is changing. CRDESIGNLAB started out as a photography blog, but I think it will follow me and transition more towards other forms of media, most importantly video. Changes might be coming.
3: The 9 Days of Light Painting
Over Spring Break, I will have three tasks and only three tasks: finish Specialties for AP US History, read The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck for AP Language, and devote every other waking moment to the Mac Lab. As for the third of those tasks, I intend to spend most of my time light painting and working on tutorials. It’s about time I stop being lazy and actually get something done. Other than creating tutorials for light painting, I will try the new techniques Mr. Skocko has been urging me to employ over the pst few months. I will completely revamp my approach to light painting, and will hopefully produce the best work the Paint the World With Light project has seen yet.
As for these tutorials, I will use a combination of screen captures that explain the basics and camera setting and actual video footage of a light painting shoot, which should be filmed tomorrow.
I also have to work on the Valhalla 840 poster, which is coming together slowly. I am in charge of the Photoshopping, which is the majority of the project. Zack, Fadi, Philip (I think), and Kyle are also helping. We will have to combine our skills in Photoshop, Illustrator, and Cinema 4D to create a realistic poster. I don’t know if I am supposed to keep the theme a secret or not, so I’ll take the safe route and let you all just guess as to what masterpiece is sitting behind this Safari window on my computer right now. (Hint: if it works, it will be AMAZING!!!!!!) Photoshop CS5 and these tools would make the job infinitely easier. If only I knew someone with CS5…
That’s it for now. I bid you farewell for now and start planning the screen capture portion of my light painting tutorials.
Fun fact: for a few hours tomorrow I will have both of the Mac Lab’s 5D Mark II cameras. I will be carrying around $12,000 of technology as I go the site of the light painting tutorial.
Let the 9 Days of Light Painting begin!!!
On March 20, 1945, the USS Midway, the largest warship in the world for ten years, became a part of the United States fleet. The first ship named after a World War II battle, The Midway was a terrifying military machine that ruled the open seas for 47 years. I have been aboard the museum-ship three times and two weeks ago Kyle and I decided to make it the star of our light painting.
We went downtown and photographed the city skyline and passing cars, and just before calling it a day, walked a mile down the street to Navy Pier. The long walk was well worth it, as we located a perfect spot to capture a beautiful angle of the Midway. I took about ten pictures before we finished for the day.
Over the past few days, I have been playing with the best of those images in Photoshop. I applied a new technique that allows me to extract massive amounts of detail from an image while at the same time creating a cool artistic effect. In total, I have taken the same image through Photoshop for the initial edits four times. Bad luck seemed be following me around, as the first three times, I “misplaced” the edited file. Well, the current version took less than five minutes to make, and I used skills I learned from Calvin Hollywood and Steven Moyer to create a wonderfully detailed and hopefully-mostly-color-correct image. I hope you like it.
On a different note, I spoke to Mr. Skocko at MLSS™ about joining the group of Mac Lab students working with video. I hope to join Danny Owens and Philip Behnam as they work towards mastering cinematography.
Update: Attention world!!!! We have moved. We are now our own site: crdesignlab.com!!!!
About a month ago, my sister came to me and asked for help on her English Lit Circle project. I have spent many hours helping her group work in iMovie and build the best presentation that a group of annoying Freshmen can make. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t so good with computers.
However, this is not the point. The point is that it is good to help people. This goes back to the whole “With great power comes great responsibility” quote. I know I am good at making movies and working with digital content, so why wouldn’t I lend a helping hand? The point is that if you can help someone, why not? If you know how to do something, why not tell someone else? Why not use your skills for the betterment of the people around you. Plus, you might actually learn something in the process. I have learned that no matter how fast your processor (3.06 GHz Quad Core) or how much Random Access Memory (8GB) you have, it still takes forever to render something.
And so I slave on, writing this as I wait for two different things to render, because I know that in the end, my sister will get an “A,” like she always does, and her friends will be happy.
By the way, I hate iMovie.