… for Visual Effects

Tip #1087: Get Started with DaVinci Resolve 16

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Even the free version of Resolve can create useful, high-quality projects.

Promotional image from the DaVinci Resolve website.

Topic $TipTopic

This article first appeared in MotionArray.com. This is a summary.

In recent years, DaVinci Resolve has steadily gained interest from professionals and hobbyists alike. Fueled by a surprisingly capable free version, and the constant addition of new features, the software is now more popular than ever. Not only will you find a complete set of user-friendly video editing tools, but there are also audio mixing and visual effects compositing workspaces!

Whether you are new to video editing or looking to jump ship from other software, this tutorial shows how to use DaVinci Resolve to get up and running fast.

The tutorial linked above covers the basics of editing in Resolve:

  • Step 1: Create a New Project & Import Media
  • Step 2: Add Trimmed Clips to the Timeline
  • Step 3: Add Text & Titles
  • Step 4: Add Transitions
  • Step 5: Add Effects
  • Step 6: Add Music & Audio
  • Step 7: Color Correction
  • Step 8: Share Your Project

Please rate the helpfulness of this tip.

Click on a star to rate it!

… for Visual Effects

Tip #1088: Animated Titles in DaVinci Resolve

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Once you have animation you like, be sure to turn it into a template for reuse later.

(Image courtesy of MotionArray.com.)

Topic $TipTopic

This article first appeared in MotionArray.com. This is a summary.

If you’ve spent some time editing with DaVinci Resolve, then you may be curious about different ways to create your own animated titles. DaVinci Resolve Fusion titles are a great way to build your own animated title sequence.

In this article, you will understand how to animate your own titles within Davinci Resolve Fusion and turn them into a template that’s easily accessible and adjustable within the edit tab. Plus, you’ll find some useful templates to get you started.

This tutorial covers:

  • Part 1: What is Fusion?
  • Part 2: How to Create an Animated Fusion Title
  • Part 3: Quick Tips & Hacks for Using Fusion
  • Part 4: 15 Awesome DaVinci Resolve Fusion Resources to Download

… for Visual Effects

Tip #1089: Learning Fusion in DaVinci Resolve

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Free tutorials from Blackmagic that show how to use Fusion effectively.

(Image courtesy of Pexels.com.)

Topic $TipTopic

Built into DaVinci Resolve is a powerful effects system called Fusion.

Fusion is different from many other effects systems in that it is node-based. This requires a different way of planning and executing an effect.

To help you learn it, Blackmagic Design, the developer of DaVinci Resolve, has created a series of video tutorials that span the basics of editing to creating 3D visual effects in Fusion.

The tutorials are free to watch or download.

Here’s the link to these tutorials.


… for Random Weirdness

Tip #1063: Robert Yeoman, ASC: Lighting Comedy

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Robert Yeoman, on set.

Topic $TipTopic

This article, written by Jourdan Aldredge, first appeared in PremiumBeat.com. This explores how cinematographer Robert Yeoman keeps his comedies light and helped develop Wes Anderson’s quirky aesthetic.

While Yeoman’s work long ago became intertwined with Anderson’s coffee shop aesthetic, he actually has quite a career as a cinematographer outside of that relationship. His early work garnered him quite a bit of esteem from the Independent Spirit Awards (To Live and Die in L.A., Drugstore Cowboy) and his later works have included several highly successful comedy blockbusters (Yes Man, Bridesmaids).

This article contains interviews and videos illustrating how such cinematically recognizable films as Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, Life Aquatic, and The Grand Budapest Hotel so successfully elevates arthouse indies and blockbuster comedy franchises alike by combining his craft of kitsch with his artistic and comedic sensibilities.

  • Finding Your Creative Process
  • Developing a Visual Grammar
  • Lighting for Clarity and Comedy
  • Old School Whip Pans and Slow Motion
  • Developing the Wes Anderson Look

When looking back through Yeoman’s career so far, it’s important to recognize that he isn’t simply a means to bringing a director’s vision to screen, but in fact, he’s very much a developer of the looks and aesthetics that we’ve come to know and love.

Check out the link at the top to watch all of these.


… for Apple Motion

Tip #1060: Shape Styles Are Magic

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Shape styles can be applied to any element that allows a border.

The Shape Styles menu in the HUD.

Topic $TipTopic

Any shape, path or element that supports a border can have its boring white border replaced with one of hundreds of much more interesting styles. Here’s how.

  • Select a shape, path, paint stroke or any object that supports a border.
  • Display the HUD (Option + Cmd + L).
  • At the bottom of the HUD, click the Shape Style menu to display over 100 colors, textures, object, lights and fluids that can be applied to the border itself. (See screen shot.)
  • The border width determines the size of these styles.

I have many favorites in lights, textures and abstract.


… for Visual Effects

Tip #1065: Introduction to Particle Effects

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The updated Particle Editor, from Babylon.js, simplifies creating particle systems.

Images created by Patrick Ryan (left) and Gabriel Aguiar (right).

Topic $TipTopic

Thomas Lucchini, part of the team at Babylon.js, posted this article to Medium.com. This is a summary.

Creating effects with particle systems is a fun way to learn visual effects. This article illustrates how to create a Magic Orb, using an updated tool the Babylon.js team just released: Particle Editor.

For those completely new to Particles, particle systems are commonly used in 3D scenes to simulate phenomena like fire, smoke, or visual effects like in our demo. They uses small 2D sprites which always face the camera to give the impression of volume. A particle system is displayed with one single draw call which ensures good performance. The magic comes from the parametrization of a particle system (e.g. shape of the emission source, evolution of the speed of the particles, lifetime, color, rotation…) combined with the chosen 2D sprite.

What’s new in the Babylon.js Particle Editor is that you can now create and edit particles not only in your code but also via an Editor accessible via our Inspector. The Particle Editor is part of our efforts to simplify Babylon.js.

The article linked above goes on to provide introductory tutorials to their particle system, a step-by-step tutorial, and more. (The screen shat was created using their system.)

With GPU Particles you can have millions of particles, with noise textures you can apply custom changes to the direction of the particles, with Sub Emitters you can spawn new particles from existing ones,… and the list goes on.


… for Visual Effects

Tip #1066: Creating Fog on Set

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Fog and haze can help create looks, fill space, soften colors and add drama.

(Image courtesy of Pexels.com.)

Topic $TipTopic

This article, written by V Renée, first appeared in NoFilmSchool.com. In it, Film Riot’s Ryan Connolly shows how to use fog to help add depth to shots, diffuse light or simply create a creepy atmosphere.

There are many different ways fog can help create a specific look and set a tone for your film, but it also helps to give your scene, as Connolly says in the video, a “Spielbergian vibe,” because it not only diffuses light, but it carries the color of the light throughout the space you’re using for your scene.

The article, in addition to linking to the ten-minute Ryan Connolly video, also includes examples from:

  • E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
  • Jurassic Park
  • Lincoln

There also a discussion about the difference between fog and haze; and an inexpensive way to create them.

Fog isn’t the only way to pull off light diffusion, depth of field, or even fog effects (you could apply it in post if you really wanted to), and you may not even want the look it produces. (Maybe you’re going for the high contrast.) But, after reading this article – linked above – you can go forward with a little more understanding of just how versatile fog actually is, and use it in the future to create some awesome effects!


… for Visual Effects

Tip #1067: Animating a Gothic Horror Anime Series

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

One of the creative joys for the Castlevania production team is designing the various demonic creatures.

(Image courtesy of Project 51 Productions and Netflix.)

Topic $TipTopic

Castlevania launched as a video game in 1986. In 2015 a creative partnership forged between Frederator Studios, comic book icon Warren Ellis, Project 51 Productions, Shankar Animation, Powerhouse Animation Studios, MUA Film and Netflix produced an anime inspired adaptation that debuted in July 2017 and has been renewed for a fourth season.

In this detailed article from VFXVoice.com, the production team describes how Castlevania came to NetFlix, how the show is created and discusses many of the challenges along the way.

Castlevania was always going to be 2D hand-drawn animation. Anime and the artwork of Ayami Kojima for Castlevania: Symphony of the Night were influential in deciding upon the animation style. “The early character design passes for the series were somewhat bland,” recalls producer Kevin Kolde. “Evaluating those designs and looking for a recognizable visual entry point for fans to the series, we realized that for most Castlevania fans, when they thought about the look of the game series, they probably thought about the stunning art that Ayami Kojima had created for the series over the years. Beautiful gothic women and maybe even more beautiful gothic men. We focused in on Kojima’s work and pushed the designs in that direction. All of our characters had to be beautiful. It took some iterations to get there, and somewhere I have a long email chain discussing the amount of eyelashes a character should have, but in the end I think our director and Production Designer Sam Deats really captured the essence of her work and did it in a way that that we could actually animate.”

One of the creative joys for the Castlevania production team is designing the various demonic creatures. Given the nature of the source material, there is an extensive amount of onscreen blood and severed limbs. “The show was always intended for adults.” states Kolde. “We had a brief discussion in Season 1 around the dead kid we see in the street during the night creature attack on Targoviste, but we decided it was important to show the results of Dracula’s revenge. We wanted to show the other side of a character that the audience had likely been sympathetic to up until that point.”

The entire article is worth reading for its behind-the-scenes insights on how these shows are created.

Here’s the link.


… for Random Weirdness

Tip #1050: 7 Tips to Spice Up a Demo Reel

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Demo reels need to evolve with your career. Here’s how to keep them fresh.

(Image courtesy of MotionArray.com)

Topic $TipTopic

This article first appeared in MotionArray.com. This is a summary.

Chances are, most people reading this will have some experience in throwing together a demo reel. But as your body of work continues to evolve, so too should the 90-second video compilation you use to represent it.

Here are seven tips to add impact to your demo:

  1. Cut the Fat
  2. Brevity is Key
  3. Play Up Your Niche
  4. Don’t Be Afraid To Show Your Process
  5. Reconsider Your Music
  6. Chase Those Views!
  7. Get a Second Opinion

EXTRA CREDIT

This article has more details and lots of links. And, for additional help, check out these tips which cover the basics of creating a demo reel.


… for Visual Effects

Tip #1034: 60 Years of NASA – in 60 Seconds

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Creative teams don’ t need to be together to be successful. If they communicate.

The Oxcart Assembly logo.

Topic $TipTopic

Recently, Frame.io published a blog detailing how a new team of creatives – Oxcart Assembly – collaborated to create the identity package for NASA’s Launch America. As Frame describes it: This “covers the creation of NASA’s new Launch America brand by a coast-to-coast team of visionaries who enjoy pushing the limits of what’s possible—and how they overcame the boundaries of time and space by using Frame.io.”

This detailed blog covers how the team met, how they pitched NASA and won the project, how they were able to winnow 60 years of NASA video to fit into 60 seconds, and their creative approach to the project.

This is a fun article to read, with plenty of illustrations and inside insight.