roXor media

martial arts, computers, dorks

Archive for May 2005

Project Orange

Now here’s an interesting idea Project Orange. Looks like the first open source movie. They will be using Blender for all the animations, and other open source software for audio and video editing.

Not only will the movie be a free download, but so will all the source. You can download and make your own version of the movie! They’re still getting the team together, but it should be fun to see what comes of it.

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Written by Dan

May 25, 2005 at 7:56 am

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Episode III


I saw it. I loved it. I even got a little misty eyed. This movie was dark, depressing and full of fear and hate. From the very beginning of the movie, when I saw the first x-wing blow up and a body go tumbling off into space I knew I was in for a deep, dark treat. I’ll also have to note here that Hayden Christensen has come a LONG way since Episode II. I’d actually classify him as an actor now. George, nice work. You redeemed yourself with this one. This movie gets an A in my book.

Written by Sterling

May 23, 2005 at 11:31 am

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Heh, you said “jog/shuttle”

I got another new toy, I love birthdays. I�ve been thinking about getting a jog/shuttle for quite a while, but could never justify it to myself. It finally just seemed time.

For those that don�t know what it is, it�s a device that allows you to easily step through a single frame at a time and fast-forward or fast-reverse. The center circle is used for single frames (shuttle), and the spring loaded ring is used for FF and FR (jog).

I got the ShuttleXpress by Contour, it�s the least expensive I could find, about $40 from 4VideoEquipment.com. I really, really like it. Yes, all it does is map keyboard shortcuts, but it�s just much easier to use. I never go to the keyboard anymore. It�s also got 5 buttons, you can map them to the keyboard or mouse clicks/wheel movement. Plus you get to feel like a pro!

Written by Dan

May 13, 2005 at 10:24 am

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Bluescreen madness

Well, I took some test footage at our dojo the other day with my sensei, Chuck. We hung a huge blue tarp across one wall and then filmed us doing some generally stupid stuff. I took it home, captured it and went to work with Premiere Pro 1.5.

I tried everything under the sun to get that blue tarp out from behind the action. I tried blue screen keying, chroma keying, and difference keying. Notta. Nothing. Zilch. I couldn’t get the tarp out without taking out my pants, too. Ya gotta have pants for cryin’ out loud!

So, what did I learn? Well, for one, you need a ton of light. Like, the damn sun shining on your set at about 10 paces away. Secondly, don’t use a tarp. It’s made of plastic and the camera appears to pick up some of the subtle colors reflected from the person standing in front of it. Hence, no pants.

My best guess is we need to use cloth, and it should probably be green (hell I don’t know, it works for the big time movie makers.) I’ll report in after I can afford that much cloth for some testing. For now, enjoy the horrible fx in this movie I made using what footage I had: Jump Test

Written by Sterling

May 10, 2005 at 3:49 pm

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New Camera

I�m not totally sure this is the right blog for a review of a still camera, but I�m going to do it anyway. I got a Canon PowerShot DS400 yesterday, and damn it�s a nice camera.

It�s friggin tiny, almost too small, but not quite. 5 mega pixels (2592×1944), and a 640×480 movie mode. The video is avi compressed with motion JPG CODEC, audio is PCM. So far Windows Media Encoder puked on it, but VirtualDub seems to be fine. The only problem I have is that it seems to drop frames. One option is a 60fps capture mode, although it�s only 320×240. I�m really happy with this camera and I�m sure it�ll be great for capturing test footage and pics for storyboards.

Written by Dan

May 5, 2005 at 1:34 pm

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Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

I went to see The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy this weekend and I was very entertained. This movie won’t win any awards, mostly because it has a small target audience, but it was really fun to watch. I read the first three books many years ago, and I honestly enjoyed some of the scenes even more than I would I have had I not read the books. I give high marks for that since often times movies made after books give me the exact opposite feeling.

The special effects were well done and purposefully on the cheesey side, which only served to enhance the whacky irony of the whole story. The casting was well done and I thought the actors did an excellent job. Aside from a few big name cameos, the main characters were small time names. I thought that Mos Def did an awesome job as Ford Prefect and Sam Rockwell (Guy from Galaxy Quest) did a stellar job of playing up the whacky President of the Galaxy, Zaphod Beeblebrox.

In trying to grade this movie I was trying to think of something bad about it…honestly, I just can’t think of anything. Everything was really good and the movie was really entertaining. I’ll give it an A-.

Written by Sterling

May 2, 2005 at 9:45 am

Posted in uncategorized