If you’d asked me this question last week, I would have said no. What a difference a few days makes. Ruslan Pelykh, a New York City-based videographer and photographer, is creating outstanding video with a Leica D Lux 6, a 10 megapixel, $600 point and shoot. This post is a kick up the butt for anyone hanging on for a piece of gear as being the reason they can’t create with what they have. Welcome to creating more, with less.
Recent VFX Articles
Joey Shanks is at it again – this time with an awesome stop-motion homage to the Millennium Falcon portion of the new “Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens” teaser trailer. He combines light painting with a practical model of the star ship to create an awesome gravity-defying recreation that’s sure to impress special effects gurus and Star Wars fans alike. Check it out!
How The Film ‘Anomaly’ Is Changing The Game For Us All (BTS And Interview With Co-Director Salomon Ligthelm)
Last week saw the release of ‘Anomaly’, a film that is redefining the approach and model for independent, narrative film making. Co-Director Salomon Ligthelm outlines how he managed the project as it grew from “a 2 minute art film” into the astonishing 38 minute-long final masterpiece, and provides key takeaways for all of us that we can apply to our own stills or motion projects. If you have any interest in what's coming over the horizon for cutting edge, independent, visual media production, this is for you.
With 2014 nearly behind us and the list of this year's summer blockbusters almost forgotten, we have a treat from the incredibly talented team at Industrial Light & Magic that takes us back in the form of this behind-the-scenes video of the CG that went into "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." What never gets old about these badass behind-the-scenes videos are how they blow away the background of big-budget movies, essentially revealing the digitally constructed landscapes surrounding our beloved actors in films.
This video reminds me of my college days– spending time working with a friend while having next to no budget, but coming up with a fun idea for a short video that would allow us to flex some creative muscle. Corridor Digital may have a (small) budget for these, but what I enjoy about them is that the fun and creativity feels authentic, which you often only get when no agency or corporate sponsor is pushing creative decisions. In this video, you'll see the final clip, with the behind-the-scenes video inside the full post.
"Mayokero" may be the best music video that came out in 2014, yet you probably never heard of it before. In the video, famous vinyl album covers come to life and they all lip-sync to Roy Kafri's singing. Michael Jackson, Abba, Madonna, The Beatles, Elton John and Bob Dylan are only few of the "collaborators" in the video. Check out the BTS video below and also the amazing final result.
Through Premiumbeat.com's Vimeo channel and blog, motion graphic designer Kevin Gater did the world a huge favor by recently providing a tutorial on creating realistic, falling snow with RED Giant's After Effects plug-in. There are a ton of settings in After Effects, let alone in the RED Giant Trapcode Particular plug-in, that would take forever to navigate; but Gater does a great job going through which settings to ignore and which ones to pay attention to so you'll know exactly what to tweak for your needs. Thankfully, in 15 minutes, you can be ready to add great snow effects for the holiday season or that high-mountain horror short with just a few careful clicks.
Patrick Rochon is a world-reknowned light painting photographer who recently produced a project with Infiniti, where he used their cars as paintbrushes themselves, in a manner of speaking. This video shows off what is possible when a skilled artist is given the reigns to create compelling images of vehicles, and has the support of a technical and creative team. And to top it all off, the really cool part is that everything was done in camera– there was nothing digitally added.
If you’re interested in getting big budget looks in your low budget indie film, then you should be very familiar with the Shanks FX channel on YouTube. If you’re not, you should get acquainted with it… like now! Joe Schenkenberg aka Joey Shanks is the man with the know-how when it comes to creating Hollywood effects out of simple household items. He teamed up with PBS Digital Studios to bring you quality behind-the-scenes content online and has recently partnered with Red Giant to explain how he created a black hole effect very similar looking to the one in the recent movie Interstellar – all captured in-camera.
Undoubtedly, audio is one of the most important story telling tools in cinema. Improper use or overuse of sound can dramatically affect the impact of the viewing experience. After the recent release of Christopher Nolan's Interstellar, there has been a lot of buzz about the 'mix being muddy'. Many theater goers are reporting sound issues; that the booming sound effects are too loud.
BeeWorks 5 Camera Stabilization Unit and Kinetic Remote Bring New, Intuitive Functionality to Steady Cam Operation
Smooth video is critical for a professional touch on any video shoot. Currently, there are a number of stabilization options from traditional and expensive Steadicam systems to simple weight-balanced gimbal-based rigs like the Steadicam Merlin. Arguably, none do the job more intuitively, however, than the BeeWorks 5 Camera Stabilization and BeeWorks' special sauce, the Kinetic Remote.
If you've played a few shooter video games in the last two decades, chances are you've seen at least one with a point of view that is looking from the top-down. The team over at Corridor Digital wanted to recreate this style in a video short (which also meant doing it all in a single take!) so they partnered with DJI to make it happen. This video takes you behind the scenes on their shoot, but check the full post for the final video and a second BTS piece.
Earlier this summer we saw the release of Brett Ratner's "Hercules". The movie was a mild success despite critics' anticipations. Recently Milk VFX and Double Negative VFX houses have both released breakdowns of how they created the visual effects for the movie. Mike Seymour of Wired walks you through a detailed featurette on how Double Negative created the numerous creature effects for the film. In the second breakdown we get to see how Milk expanded the world in the movie with set expansions, matte paintings and other special effect touches.
Going back to that moment when Easter morning comes and my mother, the "Easter Bunny" at the time, had purchased two of every single X-Men character on the market for my older brother and I. Since then I have had an extreme passion for super heroes and all that comes with it, especially when in movies!
The Maze Runner, a new film by Fox and Dayday Films, is a new film in what seems to be a trending list of young adult dystopian movies to be released recently. In these behind the scenes featurettes we can see a small glimpse at how they filmed the movie and how the special effects were created.
You might have heard of Stu Maschwitz before, possibly from his work on these Red Giant video projects, or perhaps the Plastic Bullet app he made a few years ago. His latest creation is a custom set of presets that integrate with Lightroom, and gives the user a set of vintage photo looks to choose from.
What happens when you take a technology from the early 90's and use it in your photography business in 2014? Just ask Jeffrey Bennett, a professional wedding photographer based in Detroit who in 2011 decided to start producing GIF animations for each one of his engagement sessions and wedding nights, which resulted in many happy clients, a lot of interest from potential clients and of course beautiful results he can then share online.
First-person cameras, such as the ubiquitous GoPro, have been filming hours of footage from their owner’s journeys for years now. These lengthy uncut videos don’t hold much interest to most people, but a team of Microsoft Researchers are aiming to change that by using some remarkable technology they hope to release as part of an upcoming app.
The guys from Film Riot catch ‘Guy Ritchie Disease’ and in the process teach you how to create the "Guy Ritchie" freeze frame effect. Whether you need an awesome intro title for your film or even a great effect for your own behind the scenes photography vlog, this Film riot video shows you how to create it in Adobe After Effects. If you’re more comfortable in Photoshop, you can put it together in there and then animate it in After Effects.
The ever talented team at Scanline VFX have posted their most recent BTS video of the popular wight fight scene from the Game of Thrones Season 4 Finale. In this run down you can see the incredible detail and heavy visual effects work that goes into each and every scene from that fight. This one sequence has been remored to be one of the most expensive scenes created for the show.
The hit TV show on HBO Game of Thrones has some stunning practical and visual effects. Season 4 was no exception, and the team has behind the VFX just released a behind-the-scenes video showing what they did. If you haven't watched the season yet, be aware, it contains SPOILERS.
Slow motion is, certainly, one of the most beautiful cinematic inventions of all time. It can show us so many things that are not normally visible and can make any "normal" scene look magical and unique. For the past few years the slow motion technologies have continued to improve, and just last year the Phantom Flex4K Digital Cinema Camera was announced introducing some groundbreaking slow motion abilities like shooting at 1,000fps at at 4K resolution. Shortly after its release, Director Brendan Bellomo and cinematographer Greg Wilson got their hands on the camera and took it for a test and created this beautiful video called "Let Me Know When You See Fire."
Exclusive Fstoppers Giveaway – A Chance To Win Free Tickets To The 'Cutting Edge Video And Post Production Tour'
Big things are happening in the world of video editing and post-production. If you ever thought you’d like to develop (or improve) your video editing and post production skill set (and get a chance to do so for free) read on.
The combination of two visually striking methods resulted in this surreal video by Vincent Brady. After checking the video, read on for some more information on the rig Vincent used to shoot with, and some insight on the programs he used to painstakingly stitch his images together for the final timelapse video.
Earlier this year Lukas Renlund, a 30-year old professional photographer from Scandinavia, sat down and tried to imagine what the photography industry might look like in 5 or 10 years. That imagination-session lead him to quickly start a new photography/media company named 'Not So Fast | Media'. Instead of offering still photographs to their clients, the new company focuses only on creating motion photographs- Beautiful moving images.
Frozen, The Hobbit, Toy Story, Wall-E, Jurassic Park... these are just a handful of the blockbuster movies over the years that have utilized Pixar's award-winning VFX software, RenderMan. In fact, RenderMan has been around since 1984 - used to render computer graphics in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. Now you have the chance to own the software yourself - for free! You read that right - FREE!
From time to time, we show of some behind the scenes videos of popular movies and TV shows that highlight the hard work done behind the camera to make the stories come alive. However, rarely do we get to see a side by side comparison of a visual effect heavy movie such as Final Destination 5, showing us all the hard work that is done to seamlessly create exciting moments on a budget.
Wired's Design FX has given us a great behind the scenes video of everything that was involved in the updated Helicarrier crash scene for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The sheer scale of the project is astounding as FXGuide.com's Mike Seymour and ILM's Digital Models Supervisor Bruce Holcomb take us through the design of the crash and its scale to the actors on the green screen.
Photojournalist Jonas Ginter always wanted to take the idea of the still-2D spherical panoramas and somehow make them in video format. It took him 2 years to develop the idea and tools, but finally last week he achieved his goal. Jonas used a 3D printer to build a special mount that holds 6 GoPro cameras, and placed them as close as possible to each other to make sure they overlap. The result is simply great.
Software company Red Giant has been making the plugins that video editors have been using to sweeten their edits since the days of MiniDV. Fan favorite Magic Bullet Looks has long offered stylized, preset looks for its users. It has just been announced that Red Giant will be updating Magic Bullet to version 2.5, along with updates to PluralEyes and BulletProof.
James is not one of the ordinary kids in town. James is a superhero shooting lasers from his eyes and flying around. These super powers are all possible thanks to his dad, Daniel Hashimoto, who is a DreamWorks animator and a visual effects specialist based in LA. Daniel decided to use his visual effects skills and upgrade his own home-videos of his young son James, who is now also known as "The Action Kid".
Red Giant, the plugin supergroup that is responsible for filter packs like Magic Bullet Looks, Trapcode, and PluralEyes, has recently announced a new plugin model, Universe, where new and updated filters will be provided to members at low to no cost. If you're a motion graphics designer, or love sweetening your video edits with funky filters, check out the video and see if Universe is for you.
Prime Focus World’s Richard Baker and Matthew Bristowe breakdown a scene from Gravity, explaining how they converted the movie from 2D to 3D formats using View-D™ and how the special effects were fully integrated in the process. The videos below show the full breakdown of the special effects used in the film with interviews from director Alfonso Cuarón and more.
Tom Guilmette and Jon Connor got together at Kessler HQ to have some fun with a FasTec High Speed Camera mounted to a Kessler CineDrive. The CineDrive is able to perform programmable camera moves at high speed, and in this behind the scenes video Tom shows us their setups for various shots, which revolve around food.
Working at high altitude is always a challenge, but trying to follow fast moving objects that are actually people defying death is a whole other level of intensity. In this behind the scenes video for a Verizon Fios ad, Director Rob Cohen has wingsuit flyers recorded jumping off of a cliff, but then has to get creative to shoot the not-so-real landing. See how they did it and check out the final ad inside.
This brilliant video edited by Nelson Carvajal shows just how much visual effects have changed throughout movie history. The video starts with 1977's Star Wars and ends with this year's nominees for "Best Visual Effects". It wasn't until 1977 that the Academy Awards created an official category for "Best Visual Effects". Although, until 1995 the Academy Awards occasionally fell back to its old umbrella of "Special Achievement Academy Award".
"Beauty" is a short video by Rino Stefano Tagliafeirro, and it's a captivating 10 minutes that brings to life still paintings with a somewhat eerie soundtrack that almost forces rapt attention. The manifesto is described as delving into the "enigma of beauty." I would say more, but this is just one of those things that needs to be experienced. Warning, this does contain painted nudes.
Marc Donahue from Permagrin Films keeps popping up with new and interesting timelapse or GoPro projects– and his latest work features the gorgeous city of San Francisco. Using unique motion timelapses, Marc and his team put together another amazing piece of work. Marc shared some insight on the production, and we've also got some behind the scenes video too so you can see how it was made.
The Academy Awards nominations were recently released and it's no surprise that "The Wolf of Wall Street" received nominations in the "Best Picture" and "Best Actor" categories, but what about visual effects? The visual effects for the movie while extremely subtle are outstanding to say the least. The company behind the special effects for the movie is Brainstorm Digital. They released the VFX breakdown of "The Wolf on Wall Street", and proves just how much special effects can have an impact on modern storytelling.
Few months back we featured a great video showing how Joe Fellows creates his stunning parallax videos. After posting the article, many of you had follow-up questions on his techniques and methods, so he decided to release a 'part 2' video explaining some of the cool tricks he uses to transform a 2D photo into a 2.5D video.
Follow Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) as they explain how they created the design for the city of San Francisco in the year 2259 for the film Star Trek: Into Darkness. They also go into depth over the creation of the visual effects for the scene where the USS Vengeance crashes into the city and exactly how large some of the files ended up being.
Featured last year for his "Wedding Day Zombie Apocalypse" composite, Photographer Josiah Moore is up to his old tricks again. This past fall he shot a wedding where both the Bride and Groom were car enthusiasts. He decided to make a fun chase scene out of a photo from the reception, and this video shows his process in Photoshop.
Last week Jerusalem had one of the heaviest snow storms ever recorded in the region. Media outlets called it a "Historic Storm" and "Biblical Snowstorm," and thousands of people lost power and got stuck at home. Some even got stuck in their cars on the highway. This didn't stop photography student Nitzan Yogev (24) from going outside, hopping on the light-rail train and recording one of the most captivating snow videos I've ever seen - and all shot on the iPhone 5s.
I’m calling it. It’s nearly impossible to skim through your newfeed without being barraged by stories about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s latest antics or Volvo Truck’s commercial featuring Jean Claude Van Damme. So, what is the logical step? Combining the two in a perfectly executed parody entitled #VANFORD.
There is something magical about having your 2D photos seem like they're actually 3D. It brings them to life in a way none other method can. The depth, the complexity and the subtle movements give your regular 2D photos more meaning and context, and it makes the viewer focus on the image much more than normal. Joe Fellows is a master of the 2.5D (Parallax) Effect and in this short video he shows you everything you need to know to make this effect yourself on your own images.
The team at Red Giant Films, working with special effects guru Stu Maschwitz, have yet again released another compelling short video. Unlike other shorts such as Spy vs. Guy and Plot Device, this is actually a pitch trailer for a film based on a video game that they hope to create. Check the full post for the behind the scenes video too!
As filmmakers, we often find ourselves in less-than-perfect circumstances; we may be losing sunlight at the end of a shoot or trying to capture a fleeting moment before it disappears. Often times you’ll find that you've captured great moments with an undesirable camera shake. I've found myself in this situation countless times and I want to share something that has changed the way I deal with shaky footage.
Whether you’re a photographer or you focus on video, this article highlights the high octane visual set piece created by Slaughterhouse Pictures, who successfully combined principles of both stills and motion work to create high impact visual media with zero budget and very limited resources. Read the exclusive FStoppers article and watch the BTS video to get some simple and highly effective little tips that you will be able to apply to all aspects of your own work.
Grand Theft Auto 5, which launched yesterday, is the most expensive video game ever produced, at a cost of $250 million of production and marketing costs. It also set records for day one sales. Most of the short time I played over the last day was spent inside the house one of the one of the main protagonists. I moved from room to room and realized I’d just spent almost an hour trying to work out how to position the character for best dramatic lighting effect. As I stepped outside and watched the sunset and saw the lighting change, it got me thinking - can Grand Theft Auto (GTA) 5 actually help us to improve our photography?