torstai 26. syyskuuta 2013

Thoughts about [PMV] Cubed

So. I made that PMV called "Cubed". Now that I have some spare time today, I might as well write some thoughts about it just like I wrote about my other PMV, "The Dive Game".

Here goes.

Cubed was the second (well, technically third) actual PMV on which I started working on, right after the PMV for Fluttershy. I started from the idea of a single cube with the mane 6's cutie marks, since a cube happens to have six sides. I managed to split the music I used into multiple sections, so that there would be a slower part in the middle for the floating streaks of light, and it turned out to work quite well, at least in my opinion. Overall I planned this video on paper quite extensively, which felt kinda weird, but really helped in the end.

After I had gotten to the part where the streaks of lights re-attached to the cube, I left the project to work on "The Dive Game". The reason for this was the fact that I wanted to have something awesome to show at a brony meetup, and the deadline for Bronycon's PMV contest (which I submitted Cubed to) was a long way away, so I had loads of time to work on something else.

Having finished TDG, I continued working on Cubed. I noticed that I had definitely gained more skill with AE, and my style had changed a bit. At least I can see the change, it might just be due to the fact that I've watched it way too many times. Probably more times than is healthy for me. But anyways, I finally finished it, and submitted it to the contest. Then I had to wait.

Cubed ended up winning first place in the Action category. I definitely didn't expect it, I didn't think it was that good, but I guess the judges liked it ^_^ . I wish I could have been at Bronycon to attend the show, it would have been amazing.

Now for some more specifics, if anyone's interested...

The music

DotEXE - Run Away From Me. I should have used a different song. First of all, like some of you have pointed out, the pace of the song was kinda slow. That forced me to make the animations a bit more sluggish, which kinda annoyed me now that I think of it. But overall it still worked out fine.

The second problem with it was that it was copyrighted by Monstercat. Since I had gotten my YT partnership over the summer, I had a contract which stated that all my public videos must be monetized. Thus I couldn't use the song without Monstercat's permission, since that would have probably gotten me un-partnered. I tried to get a permission from Monstercat twice, but they never returned my messages.

Thus I had two choices: to never upload it, or to upload it somewhere else (Monstercat lets people use their music on Youtube if proper credit is given, and you don't make money from it). If you're reading this, you probably know which alternative I chose

The scenes

I started working on the PMV with my previous PMV still in fresh memory. I wanted to avoid making a huge mess of the project, so at first I tried to make everything as "perfect" as possible. By that I mean that I animated basically everything by using specific numerical values instead of animating stuff by hand. That way my sight couldn't fool me, and I knew exactly where each element was.

Later I realized that that way of animation wasn't really the best way to animate stuff, but instead I eventually switched to animating stuff by hand, but making sure that the positions are still perfect: if it seems to be in the middle of the screen, it is exactly there.

The cube & streaks

The cube was interesting. There is no easy way it and the streaks could have been created without using expressions, and knowing a bit of geometry. Also, it helped me out that I'm naturally good at math, so different equations and expressions are pretty clear to me. I basically didn't even move the 3D objects around straight from their transform controls, but had made different sliders and angle controls to move them all simultaneously in unison. Thus it was possible to make the streaks as symmetrical as they ended up being.

The composition camera was also animated with expressions since I wanted it to be smooth and perfectly aligned with the sides of the cube, so that all the cutie marks would be exactly the same size when the camera turned around. (Note: if making 3D camerawork in AE, I'd suggest learning how to make a "camera rig" expression. AE's 3D camera doesn't really like to work all that smoothly without expressions...)

Making the 3D spinning motion around the cube with the streaks turned out to be a tedious task. The plugin I used, Particular, didn't know how to render each of the streaks in proper 3D space, thus I had to manually tell AE which streak was on top of what object. It took a lot of time, and it didn't even work perfectly since I wanted to get the job done as fast as possible. I'm sure there's a way get it to work "automatically", but that's something I'll have to look into if I ever need more streaks...

So that's about it. I could talk about the project way more, but that would require even more typing, and this text is already way too long for my preference. I hope I cleared up some things about the project though!

keskiviikko 24. heinäkuuta 2013

Answers to Q&A video questions

Hey everyone, here are all the comments from the Q&A video, with answers to each and every one of them! This list is quite long, so here's a small tip: if you don't want to try searching for your own question from the long list of other questions, press "Ctrl+F" to use your browser's search function. Type your username in the field, and your browser will find and show you all the places where your name is, so you can find your own question!

The structure of this post is simple: First, there is the name of the person asking the question. After that, the question/comment they made. All of my answers begin with a dash (like this one: -), so you know what I have answered. So yeah, hopefully this post is somehow readable...

Pavorish The Brony
Hopefully it's not to late...
Best Pony?
- Rainbow Dash!
Hardest Animation?
- Right now, it's a scene in my next video "Cubed", where smooth 3D strokes were involved.
How old are you?
- 18
When and why did you become a brony?
- I became a brony in the spring of 2012. I guess there wasn't really a reason, I just started simply enjoying the show and the other people watching it.
Who inspired you?
- Initially, Feedsy, BronyVids and MLV. Without MLV's 24h PMV contest I wouldn't have tried making motion graphics ponies, and probably wouldn't be making PMVs in the first place.
Plan on doing collabs with other people?
- I have a few projects going on with other bronies, but not PMVs. I'll be notifying you when they get published!
Muffins? Favorite flavor?
- I love muffins! :3 I'd have to say either blueberry or chocolate.
This isn't a question, but your videos are awesome and mind boggling. Keep up the great work. I love your style and the creativeness.
- Thanks, it means a lot to me!

i have an impossible question for you... who is best pony and why?
- Rainbow Dash! I'm not sure why though, I don't know why I like her so much...

Do you know me?
- Yup! ^_^

Your visuals are amazingly animated! And you chose the right songs you can make the visuals out of! You really deserve more subscribers!
If I have to ask a question, it's nothing much: Your next project? :D
- Thanks for the comment! My next PMV will be "Cubed", which is an entry for the PMV contest at Bronycon. My next project will probably be a PMV for Twilight, but I still need to find a song for that.

Questions: What animation program(s) did you use for the dive game and the assertive fluttershy?
How long did it take to make them?
And what type of classes did you take to learn animation. (Unless you taught yourself, if so how'd you teach yourself)?
- I used Adobe After Effects to animate both of the videos. They took about 2-3 moths to make, but I didn't work that fast. I haven't taken any classes to learn animation, I've learned from tutorials and experimentation with different effect. I started learning by trying to make a simple effect with camera tracking, and after that worked out, I started understanding how After Effects works.
Everypony is on fire and there is no water! What do you do!?
a) Laugh at them.
b) Escape Equestria.
c) Warn Celestia.
d) Lol what is there to do it's the end of the world NYYYAAARRRRGGHHHH!!!
- If I'd actually be in Equestria, I'd probably warn Celestia. I don't want ponies to die D:

You know you are very hardworking and to all of you out there spread the word he is here so he will have more subscribers like this comment so that he knows hes appreciated.
- Thanks, I appreciate the comment!
Show us your face
- I'll leave that to the future, I don't want to fill your brains with too much information!

Are you gunna make a video for the main 6 and the 3 crusaders?
- Probably for the mane 6, but I haven't thought about the crusaders at all... I kinda like the idea though!

What is your name?
- I'm probably not going to share that at least yet, I'll see if I'll do so in the future.

With After Effects, do you use any Plug-Ins?
If so, what're they called?
- I use a bunch of the plugins that come with After Effects, but I also some 3rd party plugins. The 3rd party ones include basically the products from Trapcode, especially "Particular", it's an amazing tool to use, I definitely recommend it!

Your epic, do you agree?
- I'd have to say that I don't agree, I still don't think I'm all that special...
Who will your next video be?
- The next one will be about the Mane 6, but after that, I'll probably make one about Twilight.
How did you start off with After Effects? As in, who taught it to you or did you teach yourself?
- I started with After Effects one summer when I was bored. I taught it to myself with the help of tutorials from all around the web, mostly from Youtube. When I started, my progress was really slow, but I still had the motivation to continue, which is something I'm very happy about.
How did u find the show my sis made watch one episode and I loved it thnx for the awesome vids
Ps4 xbox one or pc
- Definitely PC

How long, in general dose it take to get one of your amazing videos right out of our imagination?
- Roughly 2-3 months, depending on how much time I can spare to work on it.

Which effect is your favorite to use in video production?
- Probably Trapcode's plugin called "Particular", it's the tool I use for basically all the large numbers of moving particles you see in my videos.

What program do you use?
- Adobe After Effects CS4 and CS6 (I have two computers, I still haven't upgraded the other one to CS6)

will you add me into your pmv videos pls
- I'd have to say I can't add anyone just yet, since I'm making videos about the mane 6. If I do end up making a video with OCs, I'll definitely inform about it on my channel!

how did you reply all these questions?
- It took way more work than I ever thought, typing out replies to 100 comments is quite a large job after all...

What kind of games do you play?
- Casual games mostly, like Minecraft and Terraria. I'm also playing "Dust: An Elysian Tail" at the moment.

Will you make Videos that represent all the main characters. Like for example: you made one for Fluttershy, and Rainbow dash will you make one for twilight?
- Yeah, I will most likely make a video for all of them, but I'm not 100% sure yet.

Who wouldn't love anything you do? /)<3 (\
- Aw, thanks :3 . But probably non-bronies or at least brony-haters wouldn't like the stuff I make.

Can you make more pony videos like "The Dive Game"?
- I probably will, I might try out a different style though, making the exact same thing over and over again isn't really going to make me learn anything, thus I want to experiment with new kinds of stuff.

Would you consider doing a livestream or making a video showing how you do your videos? Would be interesting to see c:
- That could be pretty fun, I'll have to think about it, and figure out how it would be possible!

What do you look like in person :3
- Like an average Finn. Blonde hair, pale skin, grey eyes.

Do you only use After Effects to make your PMVs or any other programs as well?
- For the animations I use only After Effects. I use Premiere or Sony Vegas to put the whole thing together, at least for now

Awkward question... Are you a clopper? o__o jw
- Nope, and I don't think I'll ever be. I like the show just as it is, it makes me happy just to watch it. I feel like R34 could actually ruin that for me, so I try staying away from sites which might have that kind of content.

Can u show ur face ??? :3
- Maybe in the future, I don't want to fill up your brains with too much information about me :P .

- I dunno... But I'll take that as a compliment!

how old are you?
- 18


How long does did your fluttershy and rainbowdash animations take? And what did you use? (Post this on Q+A vid if you can, i don't feel like reading blogs.) you're vids are awesome!
- They took roughly 2-3 months, and were made with After Effects. And thanks for the compliment!

Do you like bananas?
- Not really, at least not without anything else with them, for example, ice cream.

whens your next pmv coming out? and what song's it gonna be too :D
- It'll probably come out in a couple of weeks. I'm probably not allowed to reveal the song, so it'll be a surprise when it does come out!

What's your YouTube channel? :P
- I'm pretty sure it's "TheAcleps" .

How do you make this awesome music :D!!!!! I dont want to steal or copy anything, but... can you tell us what do you use to make this songs and videos ? I am an artist - or well... I think that- and i want to do music but Im a novice - NOOB!- so... i dont know if you will even see this but... Please? Can you help me?
- I'm sorry, but I don't make music. I use music made by other people, and make videos on them. I'd suggest asking the artists of the original songs for some tips, I can only say that you need practice to become good at something, no matter what it is.

Are you going to bronycon? If so, will you be taking any extra animation or drawing classes? If you're going you should take some footage and post it on your channel. And brohoof to anyone who bought on pre-registration, because $70 a day is insane.
- Unfortunately, I'm not going to Bronycon, since I'd have to fly there all the way from Finland, which is pretty expensive, not to mention all the money I'd spend at the con. I probably wouldn't take any lessons, since I have survived on my own all this time, so I would most likely be able to continue like this in the future as well.

When did you start liking MLP and will you do a song for the rest of the mane six. I love your vids
- I started liking MLP roughly in the spring of 2012. I don't do music though, I just make the videos for the songs. You can find the original artists for the songs in the descriptions of the videos!

What are your thoughts on alicorn twilight? Who is ur favourite pony? Favorite crusader? Favourite alicorn?
- I'm pretty neutral about Alicorn Twilight. One on hand, it opens up a lot of new doors, but on the other, it could change the direction of the show in a bad way. My favorite pony is Rainbow Dash, my favorite crusader is either Sweetie Belle or Applebloom, and my favorite alicorn is Luna!

Do you hav a favourite pokemon?
- I'd have to say Pikachu, it's really adorable!

Hello and congratulations on 2000 subs! Are you a good joke teller? What's the funniest joke you know? :D
- Thanks! I can't really say am I a good joke teller, I don't really tell "jokes" anymore, the humor I use is more spontaneous. That's why I don't really have any funny jokes...

Do you like bacon?
- Yeah!

''Are you a brony?''
- I'm pretty sure that I am.

How much ass, do you think Megaman gets?
- I'd guess quite a lot.

What program do you make your music with?
- I don't make music, I only make the videos that you can see on my channel. There are links to the original videos for the songs in the descriptions of my PMVs!

What are you?
- I'm pretty sure I'm a human, or possibly a pony.

Are you planning on doing any weekly or monthly videos now you got a lot of subscribers?
- I'm not sure, I'd need some ideas on what I could/should make. I would like to get some more content to all of you, but it would need to be something that would be enjoyable to watch as well.

How long does it usually take to come up with an idea for your pmvs?
- The ideas usually come to me pretty easily, and I make the effects as I make the video. The whole process takes about 2-3 months.

are you a Man Or a Woman?
- A man

Are you are you a are you a you are a you are a you are you? (What do you use to animate your videos?)
- Adobe After Effects

Q: why u so awesome!
- I didn't even know I'm awesome, but thanks!

Q: Is Dashie your favorite character?

No question because I cant think of one, I just wanted to say your amazing at what you do, and now over 2000 people know that, heres for 3000 /)
- (\ Thanks :3 .

How do you come up with ideas for the next effects when making a PMV?
- They usually come to me pretty easily, they just pop up in my head. One thing that helps me is listening to the part I'm working on, and trying to visualize what could happen next.
What are you thinking when you making a Pmv ?
:3 I'm just Sooo cute !
- Probably what kind of effect I would make next. Most of the time I'm busy concentrating on making the videos, and thus I don't really think about anything specific.
What are some of your favorite songs?
I would like to know of you have ever heard of 'moonstuck' and if so what do you think about the fact that it is done for good now?
- I had seen quite a lot of images inspired by the series, but I never knew there was an actual comic-thingie about it. I started reading it, it seems like an awesome story! It's always a bit sad when something ends, and if I ever finish Moonstuck, I'll probably feel a bit sad about it. But every story has to end, nothing can go on forever.

Here is a question for you. Do you need any help in any way? You've made such awesome stuff that has been insperational for me in my stories that I want to ask if you need any form of help.
- Concerning PMVs, the only problems I've had are with finding songs for them. So if anyone has any song suggestions, I'd be more than happy to hear about them! Otherwise, there isn't really much I need help with, I've taught myself to do a bunch of stuff by myself.

How do you make your videos?
- Using a program called "After Effects". I make different kinds of effects that go with the music, add ponies and effects, and after working on a video for a LONG time, it finally gets completed.

Can I have some pie?
- Yeah, what flavor would you like?

How old were you when you started to become interested in making PMV's? And how long does it usually take you to finish 1?
- Well, PMV stands for "Pony Music Video", and I started making those at the age of 17, so that would be the age you're asking. As for video editing in general, I was about 13 or 14. I first became interested in After Effects when I was 15.

Based on your recent success, have you considered devoting more of your time towards producing more excellent PMV's and videos? ^^
- I'll have to see how much time I have to spare once school starts again. Making videos is a hobby for me, and I do them for fun. That's why I don't really want to force myself to do too much, it might make it seem like a chore, and make it not as enjoyable.

Why don't you make more videos? Also you make the best PMV's
- I don't really dedicate all my spare time to making videos. And I have real life stuff to worry about as well. Like I said, I might consider trying to make more stuff, but I can't guarantee anything.

Are you going to make some tutorials?
- I'm not sure, it is an option that I haven't decided on. If a lot of people would like me to make a tutorial, I might actually do so. I'd also have to decide how advanced it would be.

make a Rinbowdash PMV
- I already made "The Dive Game", so I probably won't be making one for Rainbow soon. Even though she's the best pony.

Will you be doing a Luna PMV?
Will you?
I insist on knowing.
How did you got into MLP?
- I started seeing pony reaction images all over the internet, and eventually my curiosity got the best of me, and I watched the pilot episode. I wasn't hooked instantly, but I was a bit curious why people did like the show, so I kept watching. After a while, I was hooked.

Gratz on 2k subs! Anyway, how often will you post new videos? The dive game is probably my favorite video on youtube right now :D
- Thanks! It kinda depends, if I only keep making PMVs, I won't be publishing them at a very fast rate. But if I end up putting other content on my channel, I might publish stuff way more often.

Why are your videos SO AWESOME /)^3^(\
- Aw, thanks :3 . Possibly because they have ponies. Ponies=Awesome.

Make a PMV for the remaining 4 characters. Take your time and don't rush them!
- That's probably going to happen!

Make something of rarity like assertive fluttershy
- I'm probably going to end up making something about Rarity, but I might experiment with different styles, so it might have a different feel to it than the one with Fluttershy.

Congrats on 200 subs! How open about Bronydom were you after you first joined the herd?
- I was quite curious, I thought that watching ponies was a bit weird, but I still could imagine me watching them. I never hated the fact that people watched MLP, it's just a show that people like for various reasons.

Cangrats on all your success my Q. Is who all are you sub to or who do u watch watch the most youtube
- I can't even list all the people I've subbed to. These days I watch quite a lot of brony videos, but I do watch non-brony videos as well. I can't really say whose videos I watch most, I follow so many people!

Congrats on 2000 subs. Now for the question. Would you ever consider taking what you've learned and turning it into a career? If your not in such a field already.
- Thanks! I have done some freelance stuff, but nothing that big. I'm not sure if I'd like to turn making videos to a job, it might take the fun out of it. I also don't really like to be told what to make, it's more fun when I can choose that on my own. But I still haven't ruled it out!

what did you thinked of brony and pegasister fandom before joining and do you like Dragon Ball Z or The Walking dead
- I didn't know there was such a big community watching the show, I thought it was just a small group of people. I never hated them, but I never really thought they were the best people in the world either. I was pretty neutral about them. I used to watch DBZ when I was younger, and I really liked it. I haven't watched The Walking Dead though...

Are you on Steam?
If so, what is your username?
- Yeah, but I prefer Skype, since I don't really play that much games. My username on Steam is is "wazup125".

will you put download links to you'r vids
hopefully WMV's
i use Dreamscene and your videos would make awesome background's
- I might, I'll have to figure out a place and a system to actually put them. I'd probably put up the AE files as well while I'm at it.
have you seen equestria girls? if so did you enjoy it?
- I have seen it, and I thought it was way better than expected. I also liked the songs in it, they could have easily been in the show itself. I will definitely watch it again when the DVD comes out, so I'll get to see a higher quality version of it.
What's your favorite PMV you made and why? Btw congratulations on 2000 subs! You really deserve it ^_^
- My favorite would be "The Dive Game". It flows way better than my other PMVs and it felt really smooth to make for some reason. And thanks! :3
When did you start liking mlp? I love your songs especially the dive games. Rainbow dash FTW. Anyway will you do a song of the rest of the mane six
- I started liking in the spring of 2012. Just to clarify, I don't make music, I take already made songs, and make music videos with ponies in them. I most likely will be making a PMV for the rest of the mane six, but it's still not carved in stone or anything.
Who, or what has been your inspiration (other than ponies) to continue making fantastic videos? And how long have you been working in After Effects?
- In the beginning, making impossible things happen in the real world was my inspiration, and it still is. Other people's PMVs also inspire me to make more. Not to mention all of you who keep watching my videos, you motivate me to keep making content for you. I've been working in After effects for roughly 3 years now.
I've been a secret fan of yours since about 3 months ago, and you know, I've always wondered how you have the free time to do your PMVs.
I tried making one once and it took 5 hours to finish the first 47 seconds. I gave up and don't plan on going back to do start again. Now, as you see, I have this here gaming channel.
So tell me, Acleps, how DO you do it? Programs? Time taken? Effects? Anything else I'd need to know?
- 5 hours for 47 seems quite right, I usually take AT LEAST that when making my videos. I use After Effects, and Premiere to edit my videos, with some plugins. I usually take all the time I need to make the kind of stuff I am happy with, and I do like to experiment with different techniques, which usually takes up a lot of time, since they might not work. The main effects I use are blurs, color correction tools, glow effects, and Particular (a 3rd party plugin). I suggest not rushing anything, and making stuff you're happy with. And don't force yourself into doing anything you don't want to do, that'll never work out well.
What did you do before ponies?
- Nothing very different from now. After I started watching ponies, it just became another aspect of my life, that ended up being amazing.
What did you do before you started making PMVs?
- Nothing that different from now. On Youtube I made some videos, mostly with real-life footage with visual effects. I still do stuff like that, but I definitely prefer to use up my time with ponies.
When and how did you join the fandom?
- I started seeing pony reaction images all over the web in the beginning of 2012. I did't really mind it, and I wasn't that curious. On the 13th of January, I decided to download and watch the pilot episode. It wasn't a magical experience, I wasn't really hooked on the show immediately. I kept watching the episodes, and noticed that I had gotten hooked. After catching up with the pace of the rest of the fandom, I started interacting with them, and realized how amazing they were.
What are you planning for your next video?
- My next video will be called "Cubed", it's an entry for the contest at Bronycon. Right now I'm thinking about making a PMV for Twilight, but I'm still on the hunt for a perfect song to go with it.
What is your favorite color?
- Green/light blue-ish
Boxers or briefs?
- Boxers.
Would you consider using one of my songs in one of your PMV's, such as my Style and Speed remix for example.
- I'll have to go through your music and see if there's something that immediately inspires me to make something specific. Usually when I find a song for a PMV, I know I want to use the song as soon as I hear it. When I get that kind of feeling about a song, I know that making a PMV will be easier than if I'd make it to a random song. Also, I definitely like your music in general, keep up the good work!
Do you like video games also favorite pony?
- I do like video games, but not as much as I used to. My favorite pony is Rainbow Dash, due to reasons I don't even know.
Did ponies inspire you to make PMVs or have you been making them long before
- Well, PMV stands for "Pony Music Video", so in that sense, ponies did inspire me to make them. As for motion graphics in general, I have been making smaller stuff in the past, but ponies definitely made me make longer, fully computer-made videos.
Have you considered doing a typography video? (Like this one?) i would love to see that!
- I actually started making a typography video, but I didn't get very far before giving up, due to me starting the video way too spontaniously. I might make one in the future though, I'll have to think about that as well!
How did you find the show in the first place? What contry are you from? why do you like ponies?
- I found it through the internet (like probably most bronies :P ). I am from Finland. I like ponies because they're adorable, funny, and the show is really good overall. Also, the fandom makes the ponies even more amazing, especially with all the content they create.
could you give a basic tutorial on making PMVs please :)
- I still haven't decided whether I'll be making tutorial, I'll have to decide later! And I'm not sure would I start with basic ones, I might go straight to showing how to make more difficult stuff.
Is that possible to send you my OC and you will use it in some PMV? :P
How'd you enter the fandom. How'd you end up making music?
- In the beginning of 2012, I started seeing a bunch of pony reaction images, and thought it was some sort of new internet trend. I didn't really pay attention to it, until the 13th of January, when I downloaded the pilot episode, and watched it. It was one of the best decisions I've made. The start for me was a bit slow, but I ended up getting hooked on the show nevertheless.
How many layers are in your projects often? (I see you use a lot of solids in them)
- In the "The Dive Game", there are about 460 layers, which is one of the highest number of layers I've ever had in a single project.

There, that's all the questions. If I ever end up making another one of these videos, I'll have to somehow come up with a better system to answer them, this took way more work than I had wanted it take.

perjantai 12. heinäkuuta 2013

PayPal Donations

Even though I do not make videos to get money, I have decided to start accepting donations through PayPal. Getting a PayPal account has been something I've been meaning to do for a pretty long time, but not only for donations, but for online stuff in general as well. This just came as a side-trait, and didn't really require that much work to put together, so it thought: "Why not?".

So here it is, if you happen to feel generous:

If you do end up donating, you will definitely make my day shine brightly!

tiistai 25. kesäkuuta 2013

An AE Composition

This past week has been basically constructed of me going to work, and editing on my spare time. I'm in a bit of a hurry to finish my PMV for the contest at Bronycon, so I'm working really hard on that. While doing so, I decided to take some screenshots of what my composition in After Effects can look like. This is the more complex stuff with expressions and keyframes, but eh, it's something that I've had to get used to doing. I won't be explaining what's exactly going on in each picture, this is just a quick look at what it looks like when I'm editing.

The scene I'm working on is basically a scene with "light strokes" in 3D space. I wanted them to be symmetrical, so I decided to use expression and linking everything together to make sure they were perfectly symmetrical.

Starting the whole process:

Here I've started writing down some of the expressions. If you don't know, you can use Javascript to code different kinds of stuff in After Effects. When used properly, it's a very effective tool:

I decided to use a path based on a circle for the streaks, so I dug up the mathematical equation for a circle, and utilized it in the code:

Here I've managed to get the basic code written out, and making sure it's working:

Now to duplicate the same effect for each pony, while tweaking them for each one:

Here's what the expression basically enabled me to do, and now that I think about it, there actually would have been a simpler way to do this... but oh well...

Lastly, I've added keyframes to tweak the movement to be exactly what I want:

And that's basically the hard part of the scene. The rest will be animating the different elements (including shapes and the camera), but that's basically a normal routine for me nowadays, so it's nothing that special. That stuff can basically be found on youtube anyways...

But now, back to editing. Or sleep. I haven't decided yet.

torstai 20. kesäkuuta 2013

After browsing Youtube for a while, I stumbled upon the section of youtube that I had once roamed actively: the "simple VFX and editing" section. If you've never happened to wander there even during the small hours of the night, I recommend not to check it out. The overall quality is - to put it blankly - a bit bad. The tutorials have a very limited view of how different stuff is made, they only show how specific effects are made, and don't really discribe why they're made like that. The actual non-tutorial videos do have quite a lot of views as well, which kinda confuses me.

But anyways, I saw a thumbnail which somehow looked very familiar. I clicked on it, and remembered seeing this video from when I had started my journey with all kinds of visual stuff, many years ago. At the time, I only had worked with Sony Vegas, and had not even heard about After Effects, and in general, I had not understood how wide the the film industry actually was. As for the video, the effects seemed really awesome at the time, and I could only dream of making some of them. Those kind of videos were one of the reasons I kept working with videos - to get better and better (insert Pokemon theme).

After all the time that has passed, I feel like the video is quite simple, I could see a lot of room for improvement everywhere. I find it amusing to see how my personal views have changed that much. While viewing it, I felt happy. I realized how much I have actually learned on this path I've decided to take, and at the same time, I still have a lot to learn, even though I do know a bunch of stuff already.

One aspect that I have yet to try, is the world of 3D animation. I'll have to check out what it's all about, I might as well try it out when I get the perfect blend of time and motivation - hopefully pretty soon!

sunnuntai 16. kesäkuuta 2013

Thoughts on "The Dive Game"

So... I finally finished my second "real" PMV, with all kinds of fancy custom animations. It took quite a lot of work, and I feel like I want to get my thoughts about it written out, so this blog thingie is probably the best place to write about it.

If you haven't seen it, you probably should check it out here, since this piece of text will be based on it.

So... It all got started when there was an announcement for another Helsinki meetup over here in Finland. It took place on the 15th of June, and I decided that it would be awesome to showcase a PMV over there. I thought about showing my previous PMV, "Assertive Fluttershy - Boo Hoo (Silva Hound Remix)", but I felt like showing such an old video somehow wasn't "right"... Thus, I began making another PMV, with a deadline so that it would make it to the meetup.

Before I started making it, I was in the process of making a PMV for the contest at Bronycon, but I was already halfway done with it, so there wasn't a real rush to finish it. This meant that I would have time to make another one before finishing that one. The point of that PMV was to make something with precision, so that basically everything was planned out before on paper. This enabled me to create elements which would have been very difficult to create without a plan. I learned  A LOT while making stuff for that project, and used some of the knowledge with this project.

My initial plan for "The Dive Game" was to create a simplistic PMV with elements that would work together as well as possible. I wanted clear colors, contrast, and specific movement. Also, after remembering Feedsy's "Dork" video, I wanted to try to create something that wasn't overly populated by ponies, but instead, use cutie marks. The point with this was that the viewer wouldn't be viewing a 100% pony video, but a motion graphics video, which was inspired and dedicated to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. This could also open up the magical world of ponies to non-bronies, since the video is enjoyable even though it does have ponies in it (I did link it to a chat that includes my friends, and they reacted positively, which made me feel even better about the final result).

Choosing the music wasn't as difficult as I had predicted. I wanted to find a song that wasn't too known, because YouTube could have blocked it in one or more countries, which is something I didn't want to happen. As I was working on another video, I stumbled upon Alex S.'s album, and started listening to it. After a while I fell in love with "The Dive Game", and realized that it could work as a PMV. Working with dubstep was quite hard, and looking back at it, I think I'll try to evade dubstep for various reasons - at least for now.

After deciding the music, it was time to decide what the PMV would focus on. I immediately thought of Rainbow Dash, which proved to be a good choice given the style of music. Also, like everyone knows, she's the best pony. No question about it. Since RD is one of the mane 6, I knew that a lot of material straight from the show did exist of her, and thus I decided to only use material from the show, and a cutie mark vector. This way I was sure that no one would be upset with me using their art.

Like I said, I didn't want to fill the video up with ponies, but still be related strongly to them. Most of the colors I used were different shades of blue, and the colors of the rainbow. This also loosely linked the PMV with Rainbow Dash, which was something I was striving towards.

I made the video in Adobe After Effects, sometimes rendering parts of it and putting it together in Sony Vegas so I could see the work I had done come together. The hardest part of making the video was coming up with all the ideas for different scenes. I also did some experimentation with different stuff, some of them worked better than the others. I'll probably be making some adjustments to my workflow in the future, but that'll be something I need to think about.

Overall I do like the final product. It did turn out to be a bit short, and some parts felt like they were out of place, but I didn't have the time to change them. PMVs - and MLP in general - have taught me more than I could have ever imagined. And I'm still learning more and more every day, which is absolutely amazing.

I'm extremely happy with how people have reacted to the video, I can't thank the brony community enough for what they have done to my life. Making videos has always been an interest of mine, but being able to link it with My Little Pony is absolutely amazing. Without the community, nothing like this would have ever happened.

Thank you bronies, and everyone else who support me, you're all amazing.

sunnuntai 9. kesäkuuta 2013

Isn't summer meant for relaxing?

The first week of summer is almost over, I can't believe it's only been one week. As far as videos go, it has probably been the most active week in my entire life.

Besides progressing on my PMV, I have two other projects in the making. The first one is a bollywood flash mob video that we filmed and are now editing. It needs to be completed in less than 12 hours, so I guess I'll be missing out on some sleep tonight... I'm also making a video for my friend's dad's company, all that's left with it is post production, which needs to be completed by Wednesday (or Thursday, I'm not sure). Thankfully it only consists of 4 shots, so it'll be relatively easy.

The bollywood thingie was filmed yesterday (Saturday), and we started editing it as soon as we got to our school, where we have computers with AE and Premiere. I spent the whole of today editing, but it's still not finished... During the week we also had meetings for both of the projects, and shot the non-bollywood one, which took up a couple of days. Also, during nearly every night, I've been working on the PMV, since it has to be finished for Thursday. So all in all, most of my time awake has been somehow related to the magical world of moving images, which - in a way - is pretty awesome.

Looking back at it, this text is really unstructured, but I can't think clearly enough to fix it. At least the stuff I wanted to say is all written down, this gave me a nice time to relax before the next editing session.

I really thought summer would have been really boring, but apparently it's just the opposite.


I'll get back to work now.

sunnuntai 2. kesäkuuta 2013

The section of the year when there's relatively more sunshine when compared to the rest of it

School ended, it's time to concentrate on non-school stuff, like being more creative. Now that there's more time to spare, I can actually make stuff without it taking months to complete. Then again, I do have a summer job this summer, so that'll take up a bit of my time. I'll see how much I'll be able to do alongside with it. I do have deadlines for both of my current PMV projects, and those deadlines can't be postponed, so I'll definitely have motivation to finish them at some point.

The first couple of days of summer have passed really quickly, I've basically just celebrated the end of this school year with my friends. It has been fun, but at the same time, I've lost a bit of faith in humanity again. But then again, I can't really decide what others want to do with their lives, so there's no use in complaining about it.

At the moment I don't really have much to say, I seem to be a bit disorientated, my brain feels as if it's stuffed full of smoke, and concentrated thinking seems impossible. Thankfully I don't have anything to do today, so it won't be a problem.

Now that I think about it, I should probably learn to make good endings for these blog-thingies, they seem to be left somewhat "open"... But oh well, I'll think about it another day.

tiistai 28. toukokuuta 2013

Giving this a try

I have nothing else to do, so why not give this a try? Here goes nothing!

First of all, I guess I should start by telling something about who I am, and what I do. My nickname is Acleps, I'm an 18-year-old student, and like you've probably already noticed, I'm a brony. It's not a big deal, I just like to watch pastel-coloured ponies. I definitely don't think it's that special, but it definitely makes me happy. I've done things I would have never done without the brony community, which is amazing. Simply amazing.

So I live in the chilly north, in Finland to be exact, in a city called Tampere. I remember reading that it's the most populated inland city in the northern countries, but I'm not exactly sure about that, and to be honest, I don't really care either. Currently I'm in high school, to be more specific, in "upper secondary school" (in Finland the school system differs quite a bit from the rest of the world). The school I go to is amazing. It's a school specialized in self expression, and thus the atmosphere is really relaxed. Looking back a few years, I can't believe I ever doubted about going there. I would be a very different individual if I wouldn't have gone there, most likely in a negative way...

My main interests include making short movies and videos, and playing the guitar. I've been working with video since the 5th grade, so it's been a long while now. At the moment I'm working on a couple of videos, which I'll talk about later. I do play the guitar at times when I'm bored, and I'm actually thinking about making music for a movie myself someday. We'll see about that.

As for what I'm working on, I have two PMVs in the making. If you didn't know, PMV stands for "pony music video", which is kinda self explanatory. I still haven't made more than one "good" one, but like I said, more are on the way, with all kinds of fancy custom animation thingies and music and ponies and awesomeness! So stay tuned for that... I definitely like to make "real" movies as well, they differ a lot from the graphic-based PMVs. I actually spent the last weekend by taking part in a 48-hour film competition. It was amazing, I can't wait to do it again! I still have to recover from it though...

So that's the basics of who I am and what I do, so now you know that. I'll just add a few links over here at the bottom for your clicking pleasure.


Now that I look at this page, I should probably add some images and stuff like that in the future. Right now I'm too lazy to do that, I hope I didn't murder your eyes with all this boring black-and-white text...

What is this?

...So I've decided to set up this blogger thingie. Basically just to have a "website" for myself, but also for possible future purposes. I think Youtube monetization needs some sort of page, so I might also use this for that later. Who knows.

So what will be here?

I don't know.
I might start writing about my life.
I might only post updates.
I might start doing some other stuff.
I might never use this again.

I have no clue.

But anyways, it's here. I'll see what happens.