Archive for July, 2008

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Current Project: “Electronmicrograph: Simulation of Life” – Blender

July 31, 2008

My current personal project that I am working on is Electronmicrograph: Simulation of Life.  It is an image of a fictional organism as seen through an electronmicroscope.  Made in Blender, I have the option to animate the scene and create a video from it.  But that may be very operating intensive, and as good as it may turn out, I may not end up doing it, sadly.

As I am not finished with the image and I do not want copyright infringement, I will not be posting any hi-res version I have of it so far.  I will post a screenshot instead.  That way you will get to see what it looks like in the program and in the render preview.

I started this project two days ago.  The first night I created the basic model.  The next day I added more detail to the mesh, and also added the material information.  And today, I hope to work on the full scene. (Previously I had only worked on the main organism, now I plan to create an entire scene – that is, with background and some foreground.)

I need to compare my work to actual electronmicroscope photographs to see if my materials look realistic.  This is one of my best works so far.

Thanks for listening,

God bless,

-b

P.S. All images copyrighted

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First successful alpha in Blender!

July 27, 2008

Yahoo!  Praise God!  I have made my first successful alpha texture in Blender!

What is alpha?  It is the “invisible”, the transparency per se.  Whatever is set as alpha, you can’t see.  Whatever is a normal color, like red, green, or blue (RGB) displays in it’s normal color.  With alpha you can have a complicated image (say, of a leaf,) applied to a plane.  The area around the leaf will be turned to alpha.  Loading the image (PNG or TGA) into Blender, you then apply it to a plane, and go through a series of steps.  Finally, rendering it, you get a wonderful result:

First successful alpha leaf in Blender

First successful alpha leaf in Blender

Well, maybe not all that wonderful, but the possibilities sure are astounding!

Imagine a cutout animation, set in a 3D world!  Or a tree with twenty thousand leaves – imagine it, you don’t have to model a complicated leaf, duplicate it twenty thousand times, and make your polygon count 4,000,000,000, causing your render time to go bonkers!  Instead, just apply the alpha image to all your leaves (a simple plane,) and kapow!  Your render time is lightning fast compared to what it could have been!

Go ahead and find out how to do alpha texturing in Blender. Carefully follow the steps.  One important step that I didn’t get right is this: for any objects that you want to recieve the shadow of your alpha image, make sure you turn on TraShadow in the Shaders Panel (for the objects that are recieving the shadow.)

Here’s an image of the GIMP and Blender, and what some of it looks like.

Making the leaf transparent with alpha - using GIMP and Blender

Making the leaf transparent with alpha - using GIMP and Blender

God bless,

Thanks for listening!

-b

P.S. I have run into a problem editing the interview of Dr. Narendra Singh.  When I get to a certain place in the video, the video gets stuck and he is frozen saying part of the same word.  This is an error, and some fault with the program or video file.  The video file plays fine, so my guess is it is Premiere.  Now is the question of “Now what?!”

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Progress made – editing

July 27, 2008

Well, the conversion of the .tod worked.  Praise the Lord!  I have converted it through Power Director Express, to the resolution of 720×480 (.avi).  Adobe Premiere Pro 1.0 can’t handle HD, so with this lower DV resolution I can edit my interview of Dr. Singh!

Dr. Singh Interview 08 - in Adobe Premiere Pro 1.0

Dr. Singh Interview 08 - in Adobe Premiere Pro 1.0

This is great news, because it means I can start working on video with what I have now, even though I’m not doing HD yet.

I hope to learn more on how to use Blender (www.blender.org,) the open source 3d content creation suite.  I may work on something in Blender soon.  If mastered, I would be able to do title effects, 3D animations, compositing, and CG FX for my films.  But until then, my options are somewhat limited, at least in the area of 3D animations and beautiful CG FX.

Once again, any film ideas are very welcome.  We’ll see what comes…

Ciao,

Thanks for listening,

-b

P.S. I have also found out how to handwrite subtitles for Adobe Encore.  Now I can work on the subtitles for MIG (Miracle In Gansu play to DVD,) and work to complete the project.  (Previously I had tried to write the subtitles in Encore, which caused the Encore file to get corrupted.  I recommend writing subtitles in a third-party app (like Notepad,) by hand, and then import them.)

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Testing

July 26, 2008

No films yet.  No footage edited.  But that’s OK, because “necessity is the mother of invention”, and “where there is a will there is a way”.  I will figure it out, or some other solution, precarious to others, perhaps, will present itself a necessity.

Since the camcorder saves the video files in a  .tod proprietary file format, I am not directly able to edit the footage I shoot.  But now, just as I spoke of that I remembered a video I had seen, and the concept of making films excites me greatly.

Anything of quality takes hard work.

So, we’ll see what the days ahead bring… right now, I am converting a .tod video file of Dr. Narendra Singh being interviewed (by me.)

Dr. Narendra Singh - smiling during interview

Dr. Narendra Singh - smiling during interview

I hope to be able to edit once it is done.

There is so much I could create, so much we could share … but I only have so much time, I must, in the end, choose which way I will go; what journey I will pursue; which river I will run.

Oh, so many wonderful, fantastical things to be created!  Worlds to be known!

Please keep me, my destiny, and Minosa Films in your prayers – in the days ahead, and hopefully, always.

God bless,

Thanks for listening,

-b

P.S. Never give up

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Now

July 17, 2008

Well, the camcorder has arrived!  Praise God!

It is a JVC Everio GZ-HD7, and I tested it out this evening by recording a message given by Dr. Narendra Singh, and also interviewing him personally afterwards.  I recorded some additional footage of people’s conversations with Dr. Singh, etc., but I will most likely not be posting that.  I hope to post both the message and the interview online sometime soon.  (I recorded them in SP, though sometime in the future I may do most of my filming in FullHD.)  Oh, and Dr. Singh said I did a good job, and that he would be praying for me.  😉  Praise God for that!

Praise God!

I hope to start doing some film making, inteviews, and more, but I can’t forget to do my other duties in life, or forget my talents.

Well, I guess that’s all for now!  Going to be trying out my camera in nature, filming Green Bank, working on film pre-production, and brainstorming film ideas!

God bless,

Thanks for listening! (and I always appreciate your prayers.)

-b

P.S. Dr. Narendra Singh believes he will die as a martyr (for Jesus Christ.)  May God protect him till his time comes, and may many more come to Jesus before, and after, that time.

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Soon

July 16, 2008

The Super Nintendo game “Illusion of Gaia” is quite fun!  You can check out the rom.

Just found out real recently a way to do the subtitles for “Miracle In Gansu” (filmed play to DVD) by hand!  This is great!  Finding some LOTR subtitle files for The Fellowship of the Ring (check out this subtitle site, Subscene,) I opened one up in GVIM, and I can edit it! Yahoo!  That means I can do the MIG (Miracle In Gansu to DVD) subtitles and work to finish up the project. (I may post more about MIG later.)

Tomorrow the Everio GZ-HD7 camcorder should arrive, and in the evening I will test it out on a service with guest speaker Dr. Singh, a man of God from India.  He risks his life for Jesus Christ, and he will not back down!  Glory to God.

God bless,

Thanks for listening!

-b

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Leap

July 13, 2008

It’s ordered!  Praise the Lord.

Leap.  Yes, this was a leap.  A leap of expectation, uneasiness, hardware, and more.  I hope it all works out!  Leap!  I wonder… leap!  Well, my last cameras I’ve used are the Canon PowerShot A510 and the Quasar VM-L450, so this new camcorder is a great leap indeed!

This evening (or shall I say, morning) I finally ordered my camcorder, an Everio GZ-HD7.  Quite expensive if you’ve never actually bought your own camcorder before.  (Boy, that was anti-climatic.) ;D  Before I bought it I did some final research into the proprietary file format it puts your video files into, .TOD (HD video) and .MOD (SD video.)  I primarily researched the .tod issue and found out about the .mod one along the way.  You can read up on it here: Struggling with TOD at The Digital Video Information Network, and some solutions: JVC Workflow and Squared 5’s MPEG Streamclip.

As I have no personal experience with the camera and the .tod issues yet I cannot recommend anything beyond what I have read, but I may post on this later.  Basically you can use the software that comes with the Everio GZ-HD7 and save-as the video, or rename it to .m2t, or something… boy, I need to read up on it already!

Anyhow, I better start making some films now that I will have the first step in the equipement.  ;D  I may get Sony Vegas MovieStudio soon, to handle the HD.  (I don’t think Adobe Premiere Pro 1.0 does HD.)

So, perhaps this is the end of the tunnel, (or just starting?)

Thanks for listening,

God bless,

-b

P.S. Hope to be making films soon… I may be starting a graphic design company as well, so, we’ll see how all that goes.  But may I not forget my roots.  Thank you one and all!   Thank you John Calloway (http://johncalloway.wordpress.com/) for the help in camera research, and Andrew Duncan for insight into the digital video world!  Thank you all my other friends, supporters, comrades in the arts, and brothers and sisters in Christ… may we all find the path.  God bless, your friend, b