Space Visual – Early Period (v2) (2011)

May 24, 2011

[blip.tv ?posts_id=5195101&dest=-1]

Video may need to load first for smooth playback! A smaller Flash and a high-res open-source encoded version will be posted later. Thank You! (You can also right click “Click To Play”, then “Save Link As…”  to download the video and use the VLC for playback!)

Space Visual – Early Period (v2) (2011), 3:48

Music: Jan Joachimsen Video: Valentin Spirik (CC) 2011 BY-NC-SA

The above video is version 2 of this project first posted last October.

Some thoughts to the project

Overall Space Visual (v2) is closer to where I want it to be than version 1 was, yet a couple of things are not quite there yet:

technical:

– there is an issue with the toon edges, they appear in places where there is a certain 2D/3D logic, yet where they don’t make real sense. Not sure if this can be fixed easily… Overpaints (can be time consuming and not so much fun) will be the most practical solution here. If so then for a full HD rendered version:

– it is still only rendered in 960×540, Full HD simply takes that much longer and files are that much heavier to handle (in compositing). A hardware upgrade will make it much easier to go full HD with my online videos.

– there are a couple of features missing that I originally wanted for version 2 but then left out for various reasons: a believable cam shake, stars and grass (on the outside)

– it’s not been colour corrected in a technical sense, most of my online videos are not. There are practical reasons (effort vs necessity) and then there are artistic, or rather philosophical questions that I still have: basically the artist in me wants this to be a fully trust-your-own-eyes-and-feelings-process whereas the reality of colour correction is a rather cold, technical one with neutral-Grey-workplace-calibrated-monitor-trust-the-scopes-readings.

I want to understand how a Leonardo, a Van Gogh or a Turner could do what they did in a pre-digital time and why we today need all this complex high-tech equipment and then still are rather limited and have to make sure we don’t e.g. broadcast “illegal colours”. The artist in me says: no colour can be illegal. It’s simply a limitation and therefore can/should be challenged.

concept:

– while the minimalism of it is fully on purpose, I am wondering if part 1 (going down) works as well as it could. Since in part 2 we see halo light it may work to have dust/sun rays in part 1, this could further help with getting a feeling for the room (this I already tried to improve via textures and light:)

workflow:

– this was my first Blender project where I was not able to do an all in one render at the end: (in addition to a Sun and a Spot, and Sun/Sun for the Color/Shadow pass layer) I was using AO, Environment Lighting, toon edges and that Color/Shadow pass. So I had 3 copies of the same mesh in different layers for light/compositing reasons. Now in this setup, even if you exclude AO/Environment Lighting from the Color/Shadow pass layer, it seems that you will still get an “overall” AO/Environment Lighting render for this mesh once combined in the Compositing Nodes (=unwanted effect of meshes on top of each other)…! There is a certain logic to it, yet it also seems limiting (at least in this setup) and not quite right at the same time. So I ended up rendering my main layer first without any nodes, and then do a second round and render toon edges as well as Color/Shadow over that first render plus add other 2D effects on top (all by going through the Compositing Nodes, loading the first render and adding the rest).

As with all things 3D: there may well be a better solution for this workflow, I just may not have figured it out yet… Non photorealistic rendering (NPR) can be more tricky than you first think!

(Note: The 3D/visual part of this project was entirely made with Blender 2.57b.)

encoding:

– I still find it ridiculously hard to do open-source video (e.g. VP8) encoding (and no Blender is not the problem…). I really want this. I’m really trying. (See here and here). I’ll get there, our tools are about to get there.

Yet I also know who is to blame for high-quality open-source video encoding not being there today in every video “app” – on all platforms – in the year 2011, about 15-20 years (!) after the digital post-production “revolution” took place:

There are forces out there, multinational corporations as well as specialised law firms, who want a monopoly on a particular video codec since:

– it would be the key to control content ($$$) (imagine the possibilities if you were to own parts of a Hollywood film studio at the same time as well as an online store for movies…)

– it would be the cash cow of the century if you could just get people to pay fees for every single frame of video that is shown (“commercially”) at every given moment on this planet!

Just think of it: you could first sell them the cameras (or better: sell them a “smart” phone with a camera), and then make them work for you! Imagine a whole generation of minors, working for free for you and uploading their videos to Web 2.0…! You could make the video platform pay licensing fees and those stupid kids who work for free for you will on top of it then pay for it via having to watch yet more ads! Wouldn’t that be a plan or what…?!

I know who to thank if high-quality, open-source audio/video encoding still does not work out of the box in 2011.

I know who took care of this and who is to blame.

And I won’t forget!

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space visual (early period)

October 19, 2010

[blip.tv ?posts_id=4277312&dest=-1]

space visual (early period) (2010), 3:48

watch the flash video above or download (xvid, 960×540)

music: jan joachimsen

video: valentin spirik

license: by-nc-nd 3.0 *)

a theora etc. encoded version will be added – this one needed to be in xvid for a submission!

as of today the flash video above and the download linked above feature an optimised encoded version (as opposed to the original upload to my blip.tv account from two days ago): same source but the more accurate gop size (from 15 to 5 now) got rid of a semi-visible encoding artefact and overall improves the quality without adding much to the file size.

*) 26.10.10: I will upgrade the license later to a more remix culture friendly one – the plan is to do this for a yet to do full HD rendered version that will also only be available in a real open-source codec that is actually compatible with remix culture. (The Xvid one then will be removed!)


“Sintel”, the new Blender made open-movie is here!

October 1, 2010

Download

Discussion

or

get Blender


Sintel Open Movie Trailer

May 17, 2010

Here a first glimpse at what should be another milestone from the Blender Foundation: the trailer to the current Blender Open Movie project “Sintel”.

This is also the project used to test the later this year to be released Blender 2.5, a pretty big leap forward from the current 2.49 series, specially but not only in terms of usability.

I am also one of the many mini-investors of this movie and you could be too! The Blender Foundation presells DVDs and you’ll get your name in the credits. Check out the Sintel (was: Durian) Blender Open Movie project blog!


Open-source animation tools, indie media links and end of a journey

June 30, 2008

P2P Audiovisual Wiki: open-source animation June 08 update

With the June 08 update I am stepping down as the maintainer of the P2P Audiovisual Guide, I’ve been working on this project for the last two years and now need to focus on being productive with some of the tools we list. The June update features a small but fine selection of the best and most promising free and open-source animation tools (2D, 3D and code based animation) that could be of interest to both beginners and experienced animators: P2P Audiovisual Guide (scroll down for the June 08 update…)

Indie media links

A couple of weeks ago I already decided to stop updating another one of my online project, remixlinks.ning.com, one reason being that since the latest ning.com update it became clear that “older” apps like mine (I was an early adopter of the ning platform about three years ago) would not remain fully functional in the future without extra work on the app’s code – while I am now starting to look into Python scripting for my blender 3D works I am still far away from being a programmer and don’t want to spend time fixing my bookmarks app…

Both the P2P Audiovisual Wiki and remixlinks.ning.com feature selected (open-source) tools, sites and services that could be of interest to indie film makers, artists or researchers… I am still thinking about how-to organise my future online projects, I am not sure if the Wiki format is ideal for me, nor do I want to start using another web 2.0 service that might not function properly in a couple of years time or (like previously del.icio.us) sell out to a company that I don’t feel comfortable being with. Probably an open-source solution running on my own server will be what I’ll end up doing, but those are just plans for the time being…

End of a journey

In a way this is now the end of a virtual journey through the Wild West of (indie) online web services and projects for me that has been going on since about 2004: after surfing on del.icio.us waves for a couple of months I started my own link collection on del.icio.us, moved on to ourmedia.org (first as a user then as a moderator), started remixlinks.ning.com and for the last two years now helped building the P2P Foundation’s Wiki by writing/maintaining the P2P Audiovisual Guide. See this page for all my (other) online projectsfor now I am putting all of them aside, including my indiworks channel that I probably will not update any more. The current video RSS feed solution via videobomb is far from ideal. Still, my indiworks channel/video RSS feed will be available as long as the videobomb service remains functional. Later this year, once I’ve found a satisfying solution for all my online projects, I plan to offer some sort of replacement for it. In any case: all my videos will of course remain available for download via the Internet Archive, I have no plans whatsoever to change that, the IA is the best and most reliable service of its kind that I’ve had the pleasure to use since I uploaded my first online video to their open-source movies section around autumn 2004. (Note that the download numbers on a video’s IA page only include the downloads made directly via the video’s page – those made via a link or a video RSS feed are not included…)

And now…?

After exploring (indie) online video distribution, researching free and open-source media creation tools, learning (and still learning…) blender for two years now and recently switching from OS X to Ubuntu the time has come for me to focus on the production side of things as well as finding a more satisfying way of presenting and distributing my work. I’ll keep (updating) this wordpress.com blog for a while to come, but plan to have a better (= more online video friendly) solution in place when the reorganisation of my online projects is done…

See you in Cyberspace!


vivaldi rock – new flash video and sketches

June 18, 2008

new flash video

two flash video conversions (320×240 and 640×480) have been added to the vivaldi rock page on the internet archive – the new 320×240 640×480 flash conversion is now also the one on the video’s blip.tv page.

*** still for an optimal viewing experience downloading of the medium resolution or even better the high resolution version is recommended! *** (or who would want to go to an art gallery and only get to see cheap photocopies of the paintings…?!) also try to adjust your sound (settings) accordingly before watching… thank you! ***

vivaldi rock (2008, 4:13, visual music video)

sketches

when working on a video like vivaldi rock i make a lot of tests – here are some of my digital sketches: test renders and design tests made during the production. they appear in chronological order (left to right, top to bottom) and give a bit of an idea of how the project evolved from the creator’s point of view – not everything might be perfect here, but it could be interesting to see what kind of ideas made it into the final animation and what was left out…

note that the final design for the visuals is of course heavily inspired by existing (2d graphic) design from the 60’s and 70’s of the last century – vivaldi rock is among other things a personal homage to a somewhat demanding yet fascinating colour combination that those who grew up in the 1970’s might never (be able to) forget…

click to see larger versions – file names = descriptions… (you can click the images once more on their individual pages to see them in full size!)


vivaldi rock – stills gallery

June 16, 2008

visit the vivaldi rock page on the internet archive for all permanent download links (as in previous blog post)

as you might notice there is something missing from the series of images above… what about the ending…? watch the video to find out!


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