What REAL talent, a disposable video camera and Blender will get you…

Troy James Sobotka has left a few very constructive and useful comments on my blog from time to time. We’re now doing a little back and forth related to how best introduce people to using Blender as a video editing application with some screencasts. And while I haven’t yet posted another quickie screencast on Blender (I’m at war with my arch nemisis Free Time right now) my discussions with him have led me to believe he knows quite a bit about it. But aside from that, if you visit his blog and read his ‘About Me’ blurb, you’ll see he’s got a penchant for creative endeavours. In fact, he just blew me away with this comment to one of my posts about the Flip Video camera and the resulting link:

Hard to believe it but some of those teeny, fixed plastic lens, fixed focus, disposable cameras can now do a relatively crude 720P HD!

It’s all your fault Richard! I started reading your Blender articles and decided I’d give it a go.

I set out on a project to create a music video (of sorts) out of the output from one of these cameras and post it onto YouTube. Here are the details:

$160.00 for a pocket, disposable camera like the Flip.
Two hours of shooting.
Four hours of distracted production.

Couple that with a few hundred Blender developers and you end up somewhere around where the following link led.

So Richard, without further ado:

Thanks for sparking the mind again.

Troy, I find it hard to believe you needed someone like me to ‘spark’ your mind. ;) I am completely amazed at that video. Only two hours of shooting and four hours of distracted production?

You sir, need to screencast. :)

Although I have a whole bunch of  “how the hell did you do that” sort of questions, I’ll keep it to just one or two:

– I’m assuming maybe you used a tripod for the rotational shots, but how the hell did you do the nice smooth pans? I refuse to believe it was handheld. ;)

– The out of focus shots and the over-exposure type effects.. were they done manually somehow or was that some sort of effect processing done in Blender?

Simply beautiful and so well done Troy.

I now happily call BS on anyone doubting what can be done with video in Linux.

6 thoughts on “What REAL talent, a disposable video camera and Blender will get you…

  1. W O W ! Nicely done. One of the things that I thought was interesting was the “flicker” effect that Troy used that kind of gave it a subtle grunge feel for just a second or two. Somewhat apropos to NIN music. ;)

  2. Hmm…I’m going to have to give Blender a go for video editing–I just recommended to a non-techie friend the other day not to use Linux yet, because he was wanting to do a little bit of home video editing.

    I’ll have to give it a try.

  3. It always scares me when I see my name pop up online.

    You can expect that I was doubly petrified when I saw it as the subject of a blog post from one of the folks that got me dabbling back into Blender. To the outside readers, Richard and I used to duel our arch nemesis FreeTime together. I wore a lime green set of leotards back then, he wore a lovely fuchsia cape. Alas, that was another time…

    After watching Richard’s entry screencast on Blender, I decided I’d attempt a short project from beginning to end with it.

    Needless to say, I poked around R’s Flip section and started to think back to an amazing little piece I saw done on the Fischer Price PXL2000. That was enough inspiration to give it a kick.

    Hope you like it… and I am uh… gobsmacked that someone actually filled up their personal blog space with a reference to some of my dribbling. I am quite honored.

    Blender suffers from not having a single hand position / vi-like “never remove your hands from the keyboard” keystroke editing approach that appears in both of the higher end NLEs (being Avid and FCP).

    That said, it is tremendously powerful. I’ll try to briefly reference a few reasons:
    1) You can operate on series of stills of infinite per-channel bit depth. Being also a nodal compositor, Blender wins here with a workflow that is similar to the higher end production workflows.
    2) You can quickly generate proxies. Yes, you can edit full HD footage on a netbook once your proxies are rendered.
    3) OpenEXR and other industry standard image formats allow you to get your sequences into a deep bitdepth and lossless format. No degradation. Do your offlines with low grade proxies and build your online / conform from the originals.
    4) Nodal compositor built in. Wow. Not worth getting into here, but Google Shake and Nuke if you don’t know the value and abilities of a nodal compositor.

    All in all, it’s an amazing piece of software that is growing more and more powerful every second.

    Thanks go to all of the comments and emails…

  4. @Troy: Wow, amazing job on that music video. Really enjoyed it.

    Richard, thanks for putting the link here or I wouldn’t have found it and I’m glad I did.

  5. I am all for great new software, and thank you for sharing this post. I just loved this music video. What fun it must have been, I’m dying to create a video of my own, not music, but a short film. I enjoy reading all I can on creation of videos and I get so much out of them. I do hate rendering videos, but I’m learning, and having success.

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