Sunday, February 17, 2013

Army of One--special effects in Adobe After Effects

Army of One from Zachary Hubbell on Vimeo.

This is a short clip I made while experimenting with adobe After Effects. I actually shot the footage a few years ago, know what I wanted to do with it and knowing how to do it--but, unfortunately I did not have the right equipment at the time, so the computer froze up before I could make any serious progress on it. Now, however, I have the equipment and was able to do it in a short amount of time.

While I realize it is pretty limited, has a few technical issues and is very short, I think it's pretty cool and is a start to learning After Effects!

By the way, you may notice one guy actually lands a blow!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

General Update

Well, things are still going on, slowly but steadily.  I've been keeping at it, working my job and studying my materials from New York Institute.  As always, seems like time just moves on at the speed of light, while I'm just trying to keep up...

However, there are a few things of note I should share.  For one, I now have a motorcycle that works at the house!  This has been a long journey, as Dad and I have tried several times to devise a plan to get the bike down to Colorado all the way from Wyoming.  But finally Dad was able to find a person who shipped it, and although it cost quite a bit, it was worth just having the bike finally!  So now I just have to get my licence...

Got a couple new post-production tools--the first I got was Windows 8.  Windows 8 probably isn't an investment most people would make--especially since I was already running on windows 7.  However, I've had to help Dad with his new netbook that has windows 8 on it, and we just built a custom PC running the same operating system, so I was able to get familiar with it very quickly.  In addition, my computer was really starting to give me a hard time.  It took a very long time to start up, and it felt like the last time I knew I needed a new laptop.  But before I bought Windows 8, I wanted to see what I could do with what I had.  So I backed up all my files on the external hard drive and reformatted my computer completely! --Or, at least, that's what I tried to do.  But apparently Toshiba puts their factory reset feature onto a separate hard drive partition, and I had to boot it in some weird thing to get to it, press f6 for 2.7 get the idea.  After lots of research, I couldn't find the answer to my problem.

That was kind of the straw that broke the camel's back, and I decided to just get Windows 8.  I knew I'd love the new features and that it had a way faster start-up time, which is exactly what I was wanting.  On top of all that, Microsoft had a special deal going on that would end at the end of the month, so I bought it at a pretty cheap price for a new operating system.

So, that was one thing that's making me feel electronically proficient this month.  But another thing happened just today.  I was in a second-hand thrift shop looking through the electronics.  Usually you can't find much for electronics at a place like that, as it's generally too old or missing a part, or something like that.  But today I found a Wacom graphics tablet for $20!  Granted, it does look like an older model, but it still functions the way it's supposed to.  I've been looking for one of these for a while now, but the near-$100 price tag at sellers like Best Buy have always driven me away.  But now that I found this, I can happily say I can draw a curved line on a computer.

What's great about these graphics tablets is that they work with programs like Photoshop and Illustrator to let you hand-draw edits in a photo.  This can come in help when I'm making detailed retouches on a photograph or designing a flyer or something. It's nearly impossible to really write letters with a mouse--try it, you'll see what I mean.  But being able to hand write on the tablet makes it easy (even though there's a little getting used to it)...

Also, thought I'd mention I'm going to the Summit Ministries Student Conference.  It's a two-week course that basically teaches about the various major worldviews that most people believe in.  I've been planning on this for some time, as many of my friends have gone and they really enjoyed it.  I think it's a cool program--you can check it out on their website, if you'd like.  They also offer college credit, which I'm thinking I might need in the near future.  Dad and I have been talking about going to college recently, what I might do in it, what jobs it might help me get, how I could pay for it--for now I'm just in the research stage, but I'd like to be sure I'm ready for it when I decide to start.

Anyway, that's how things are going for me right now...excited to see what happens in the coming months!  I'm about 2/3 of the way through the New York Institute of Photography training now, and am enjoying it a lot.  Also, the 168 Film Project, which I helped with last year, has been moved to the Spring/Summer time frame  so I'm excited for that, even though it's going to be an extra wait.