Incredible Rotoscoping

So, I’m not really a big anime fan or that much of a video editor
but this blew my mind. I can only imagine how many hours this took to complete.

If you’re completely confused, let me explain. This guy noticed that Japanese cartoons or ‘anime’ tends to have a lot of running scenes and decided to do something with it. He spend hours combing over cartoons, isolating scenes and editing down shots to combine them fluidly and create one project. He wasn’t content with just cutting scenes together. He went into the video and used a process called rotoscoping to isolate individual characters from their shots and lay them out in other ones.

Think Roger Rabbit, Lord of the Rings and Forrest Gump.

Painstaking and time consuming to say the least. Excellent work by this Istiv guy, best of luck to him.

(Via Boing Boing)

Allegedly this is not a blog…

…unless I update it.

Fair enough I guess I’ll work on that. I’ll try to make this brief. I’ve been busy for the past few months, but things seem to be settling down for the moment which is good.  Work is good, back to school season is just ending so hopefully things might ease up, that’s about all I can say. I’m hoping for new products soon, but have no clue in truth. I plan to pick up a MacBook Pro whenever they put out a new version. My 12″ Powerbook’s AppleCare has just expired, and while it’s still running and treating me well, it’s time to move to something with a little more power, something that can run Aperture or actually interface with a video iPod. (12″ had USB 1.1)

So I’m back playing Halo 2 again, that game will not die for me I still enjoy it every bit as much as I did when I bought it. Oh that reminds me, I officially, after what… 4 months, have decided that my X-Box 360 was a completely worthwhile purchase. 3 reasons:

  1. I finally used it as a DVD player and a messaging center at the same time. I have my old wired Apple Keyboard plugged into it. Being able to voice chat as VoIP or text message while watching a movie is incredible.
  2. X-Box Live Arcade is finally actually worthwhile. I downloaded Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting and have been getting my butt whupped by strangers on the internet, while listening to music streaming from my PowerMac. (Thank you Connect 360)
  3. Dead Rising. Nuff Said.

Other stuff….

So I’ve been keeping busy, not working on any major design projects at the moment, mostly studying new programs and trying to (re?)teach myself how to draw. That said, I have been working at getting MediaRebellion.com back up and running. I’m not sure what we’re going to use it for but I moved all the content over to WordPress and as of yesterday two days ago I installed the Beta of phpBB 3 on the site which actually seems to be running REALLY smoothly, it’s leaps and bounds better than any other free message board system I’ve used.

I’m also now hosting / administrating the official message board for The Epoxies. Incase you havn’t checked them out, they are a new wave / punk band from Portland, Oregon that totally rocks, I highly recommend checking them out.

Canon put out a new version of the Rebel… I want it.

Digital Rebel + Aperture + Flickr = Ridiculously Simple.

Seriously… it’s getting ridiculous how easy the process for photography is getting.

Back in February my friend Lindsay and I did a photo shoot in the mall parking garage. She’s a photographer herself but she’s also an aspiring model. This works out well because I consider myself a designer who is an aspiring photographer. So anyway she’s looking to build a modeling portfolio and I’m looking to build a photo one of my own. I also recently acquired a copy of Apple’s Aperture professional photography software and was itching to try it out.

Overall while we had a great time, but when I looked at the shots I was disapointed. We were limited by the cold weather much of the lighting was awkward, and most of the poses left a lot to be desired. (due both the the weather and Lindsay and I’s comfort levels I’m sure). I ended up letting the photos sit for months after the initial shoot.

It was shortly after that time that I discovered my Flickr addiction. And the other day I decided to take another crack at the photos because I wanted to put something up, just for the sake of it. (I paid for a Pro account, I should use it no?) When I really dove in, I was blown away. I can’t say enough how impressed I am, both by the ease of use of the program and the results I achieved. Aperture made it easy to color correct and retouch a lot of what I viewed were unusable photos.

The more I think about it though the more it’s unbelievable to me. Anyone who has even worked with real professional color photography can tell you how much of a pain in the ass the whole process can be. While it’s a lot of fun, you can spend weeks on single images at times. Not only that but it’s expensive. Retouching can be a nightmare and color correction can have you walking back and forth turning nobs trying to get something just right. Don’t even get me started on the cost / hassle of promoting and sharing your work.

Now-a-days you can get a Digital SLR for under a grand that take images at resolutions higher than film grain, print to a high end printer that does too. Using a program like Aperture or Photoshop, and a Flickr account and you can have a whole ‘roll’ edited and corrected in a matter of minutes. From there it’s easy to share share it on the web for everyone to see or subscribe to, so you know people are checking it out.
As a side note; I remember during my senior year at Pratt i did some of my work digitally for my color photo class. I would print my work on my Epson 2200 and hang it next to my other work. The really amazing part is that people in class were unable to tell. That to me sealed the deal, my film camera sits and collects dust these days. Stuff like iPhoto and Flickr’s are the icing on the cake. I can hardly remember what life was like before digital.

Anyway, I present to you without further ado: Lindsay O’Connor

Elevator

Lindsay

Lindsay

Out of fairness to my lovely modeling friend I will spare you the before and after comparisons. I’d like to assure you though that the quality was not nearly this nice until I took them into Aperture. That’s not a criticism on her, but on my own skills as a photographer. Luckily… I’m still a designer.
Check out the rest of the shots here.

"Love means never having to tell the authorities where I buried you"

I think Warren Ellis might be a genius. Seriously.

So I’m getting back into this whole blogging thing. And I totally forgot how much of a whore one needs to make themselves to get anywhere at it. The other day I was listening to 24 Cast and they mentioned that they had gotten themselves listed on PodcastAlley.com and it made me think of what I’ve been doing.. reminding me of Technorati, Bloglines and such. I haven’t spent any time signing up for those things with this site yet. I’ll eventually get around to it. If I want this to take off it seems that stuff is key.

I read a lot of sites daily, everything from web comics to tech blogs to politics. It’s not rare to find something interesting on any of these sites but it is rare to find something truely inspiring. Two weeks ago, I was inspired, Apple enthusiast / writer John Gruber of DaringFireball.net took a daring leap into the unknown to do something one can only dream about. He quit his job to make an attempt at bloging for a living. His justification? In short… You should love what you do for a living and do what you love for a living. I can’t express how much I admire that, regardless of if he suceeds or fails.

Maybe some day I’ll have time to be able to blog once a week regularly, after that I’ll start working on full time.

Impressed with myself

So recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Streetlight Manifesto and the earlier projects of their singer Tomas Kalnoky.

Tomas was the original singer / writer for the uber popular ska act, Catch 22, most notably on their ‘Keasbey Nights’ album which many will argue to be Catch’s best (or only good) album. Well back before Catch, in like 1995 Tomas was in a ‘punk’ band entitled: Gimp.

After Gimp disbanded one song by Tomas on their album, ‘Supernothing,’ was reworked from a slow ’emo’ esq acoustic song, to a faster more upbeat version that appears on Keasbey Nights. The original really has it’s own merits as a version for being so different and is actually a favorite among many of their fans. Sadly the only copies of this album out on the internet sound like shit as they’ve been taken from tape recordings that it seems were never really good quality to begin with.

Tonight I had a bit of free time and I was playing around with Soundtrack Pro for the first time and decided to throw Supernothing into the program to play with and to see if I could do anything about the quality. I was surprised with the results. I managed to correct the volume problems and remove almost all the tape hiss / noise that was crapping up the song. I’m impressed with Soundtrack and how easy it actually was to do without distorting the audio in the song, and that someone like myself who is virtually tone deaf could manage to do something with it in a matter of minutes.

Anyway I’ll let you be the judge of my work.

You can checkout the original here:
http://skachilles.com/music/gimp/11-Supernothing.mp3

And my cleaned up version:
http://www.subism.com/audio/gimp/supernothing.mp3

The immediate difference is subtle but really evident at loud volumes, through a car stereo or headphones. The original has a strong annoying hiss from the tape and is recorded at a lower volume. Using soundtrack I managed to clean up all the hiss / noise and boost the volume to that of a normal recording which in my opinion makes it vastly more listen-able than before. I’m debating doing more of this type of thing with some other projects, including ‘Rules of the Game’ Catch 22’s pre Keasbey demo that is also only on tape, but I’d like some feedback on how people think this sounds first.