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Random ideas and thoughts on film making.

Gloucester Rugby Wooden Spoon Charity Event

Random Side ProjectsPosted by Benedict Mart Sun, May 14, 2017 19:03:36

At the end of April I helped out operating the big screens at Gloucester Rugby club for the charity wooden spoon - Wiltshire branch. It's a worthy charity that helps disadvantaged kids though out the U.K.

I built up the slides for the event and mix the live cam from the gantry during the matches using Vmix, which is a fantastic program for live mixing events and streaming.

Here's a couple of photo's from the day...

All the kids(and parents) had a fabulous time... raising money and awareness for the charity.

A big shout to Gareth John- the organiser of the event & Wiltshire group, Keith, Graham, Helen and the Hartpury College students. If you want to know more on the charity please follow link here.

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Collection of my photography over the years...

Random Side ProjectsPosted by Benedict Mart Wed, May 04, 2016 13:56:38
From a bygone era...

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Micro Videos

Random Side ProjectsPosted by Benedict Mart Tue, March 22, 2016 16:26:59

Below are a few micro graphic videos I've done over the past few years.

These where created in Adobe After Effects.

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Orphanage Project

Random Side ProjectsPosted by Benedict Mart Tue, March 22, 2016 15:54:39
A long term side project, that I'm working on. It's an animation with a mixture of 3d and 2d elements. Below are pictures of the 3d Orphanage that I'm building in Blender 7.2

Pic 1 Photo research board - The final 3d design of the Orphanage. The building is mainly based on the Turkish wooden orphanage, as seen in the top and left of the research board. I love the extruding floors as the building extends up the levels that gives it an impressive and imposing characteristics.

Pic 2 Ground Floor - In Blender I have split the floors into layers so it's easier to manage and when it's time to animate I can remove parts that aren't needed, in order to save on render times.

Pic 3 Texture - As you can see I've used tile based textures. for the walls, a problem i came across was in the corner they just melded together with no definition and you couldn't make out the corners. To work around this I made up several tiles with darkened edges on either side and bottom and top. Then I placed the right tiles that correspond with the right edge corners. This has worked very well as seen in Pic 4 & 5.

Pic 4 medium shot of Textured walls

Pic 5 - Close up shot of textured walls
Pic 6 Starting level 2 texture walls.
Pic 7 Finished Level 2

I am currently exploring different animation packages to see which is best for this project...Below is quick test of a building, constructed in Blender. The character walking past the building is a test model from Crazy Talk Animation 2 program, which is a small (and can be limiting) but very powerful 2d animation package. It gives the illusion of 2d characters being 3d - like how they did it back in the hand drawn days. I imported each element into A.E. and brought them together. Please see the test below....

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Computer Game Group Trailer...

Random Side ProjectsPosted by Benedict Mart Mon, September 28, 2015 13:22:17

I've been keen on video games since my first computer the Oric-1, playing the text based Hobbit game, how games have advanced into the 21st century. My kids wouldn't even spend a second trying to play the old hobbit game now compared to their generation of games.

Recently I've started to create trailers based on computer games and how to manipulate the image to create a dynamic narrative. I joined a steam group called Gentleman of Mordheim that follow Rogue Factors Mordheim:City of the Damned that is currently in EA. And GOM asked me if I would create trailers for they upcoming tournaments - so killing two birds with one stone I accepted.

The video below is my 2nd attempt at game trailer using captured footage from the games and creating a workflow for the project, which due to no budget and non profit I had to first start with the music(CC's) and build up from there - so it's more like doing a music video. Work flow for the creation of the trailer...

The Brief

This tournament which is a grab and hack scenario with a plot line centering on the warband mercenaries. Since the story was complicated ie multi warbands- we streamed lined the narrative to just the Mercs vs Skaven and added a twist at the end(so not to ruin either the trailer or the written story endings)

The Sound Track

With the basic narrative in place I built up a sound track from 2 music scores using Adobe Audition to mix the tracks into a 1:33 second score these were...

'Private Reflections' & 'Voltatile Reaction' scored by the very talented Kevin Macleod.From there we recorded the dialogue and did a test premix so we could get an idea of the footage needed to capture.

The Footage

Working from the soundtrack and a rough storyboard, I sourced the external images that we were going to included - Rob Hawkings Wyrd Stone Factory photo. From there I screened captured the heads of the characters speaking and cut them out in Photoshop ready the CTA2.

To capture the game play footage, Andrew and me used 2 computers - each playing the warbands. We decided on the action and where the characters are placed then recorded the combat, to get better camera angles we used only 1 character(effectively turning him into a mobile camera) and recorded his POV shots of the action. This took awhile as we had to replay the games several times.

The Edit & FX

I edited the shots together keeping to the marker ques set out in Audition. Once all the shots were in place and tweaked the dialogue placement. I used CTA2 to animate the heads that had been cut out earlier and to make them talk. From there I imported the Premiere project into Aftereffects and added the talking heads...this was quite difficult as each character on the master shot moves (breathing) I tried tracking the movement but since its 3d didn't look right when I layered the head onto the master shot. So I duplicated the master shot, with the copy layer -I freeze framed the character, masked out the background and added a slight feather. Then enlarged the body to hide the breathing body in the master shot layer below and added the talking head shot, this can be seen at time 01:01:00. I then added the blood effects (which now Rogue Factor have incorporated into the game). Finally I tweaked the wryd stone factory picture by adding stone from the game into the buckets, adding bubbles and smoke to the pot then did a slight colour grade. We finally came to a decision on the text we wanted to use and were ready for picture lock.

The Sound Mix

Once we had picture lock I added several tracks of atmos (wind blowing in the tower etc), sound FX (explosions, spellcasting & weapons) and the Skaven noises. I wanted to use the Skaven sounds to help build the tension and the danger. Exported these tracks to Audition cleaned them up and imported the mix to Premiere for the final export.

And here it is...Enjoy

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