Bezier Basics: Simple Tracing in Illustrator

Good graphics can really make a video look polished and if you’re working inside Adobe’s suite, you’re going to be working with Bezier Curves. William Card demonstrates the basics of the Bezier Curve – a mathematical curve you’ll be working with in Illustrator, After Effects and Photoshop.

Bezier Basics: Simple Tracing in illustrator from William Card on Vimeo.

Happy 4th Birthday Filmmaker IQ!!!

As Americans are busy celebrating their independence on July 4th, so too are we here at Filmmaker IQ!!

We are posting this at such a late hour because 4 years ago IQ also went live just before the end of the day. Not buying it? OK…OK.. it’s been a crazy week. We have survived storms, power outages, trips to the ER, server crashes and it only Wednesday! Even though there is literally blood on my keyboard don’t worry, great things are coming in a few days. We will be celebrating all month with a new site, features, contests and a few other surprises!

Four short years ago a group of filmmakers gathered together to create a site that would help filmmakers learn to harness the power of the internet for learning and communicating with each other. We’ve gathered thousands of articles on every aspect of filmmaking that reach millions of millions of readers all around the globe.

We’ve had our bumps along the road (anybody remember the Purple IQ?) but you’ve stuck it out with us. But guess what… The best is yet to come.

Going on to our fifth year we’re just hitting our stride. Version Five of the site coming very soon. We’ve promised it for a long time but the delays just mean we want it to be as clean and reliable with the latest version of our site software.

Stay tuned friends we are only beginning!

The Physics of the Amazing Spider Man Swings

In the quest to make incredibly impossibly fake things look more real, director Marc Webb and stunt coordinator Andy Armstrong dive into the physics of web slinging.

For The Amazing Spider-Man, out July 3, director Marc Webb wanted actor Andrew Garfield and the film’s stuntmen to do Spidey’s signature web slinging for real. Figuring out just how to pull that off fell to stunt coordinator Andy Armstrong, who has overseen action in Galaxy Quest, Thor, and many other films. His solution: Put the actors in the air with customizable, one-of-a-kind rig systems.

Before he built anything, Armstrong had to perfect the physics. How would someone whose DNA is laced with a spider’s actually move? To get the answer, Armstrong shot video of a gymnast performing on the high bars and slowed it down to examine each beat. “If you look at the early CG Spider-Man, you’ll see that the character swings down at the same speed as he goes through the bottom of the curve, and then he swings up again,” Armstrong says. “In reality, the gymnast is driving himself down with his feet and he pulls this enormous force at the bottom of the arc. Then he slows until, at the top of the swing, he’s absolutely weightless. And then he starts the next swing.”

Popular Mechanics | Read the Full Article

DMCA Takedown Notices and the Impending Robot Apocalypse (the Wrap)

It’s not too far from robots scanning YouTube channels for copyright protected content to mass killing of all humans.

Episode 57

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Evidence of the Impending Robot Apocalypse

The Robot that can’t be defeated at Rock Paper Scissors.

Top 7 Articles of the Week

7. Internet Scam Alert: Most “Kickstarter” Projects Just Useless Crap

Internet criminals are using a website called “Kickstarter” to bilk friends and families out of money for terrible, ill-conceived, and unnecessary “personal projects.”

6. Replace the Camera Lens on Your GoPro with a Third Party Lens

Here are two tutorials: One installing a Sunex Lens and the other from Ragecams:

5. How to Create Technical Sci-Fi Interfaces

You’ve seen them – rotating progress bars, moving graphs and dancing gauges. They probably don’t mean anything but they look cool.

4. Nora Ephron: You Know Nothing About Screenwriting Until You Get Into Filmmaking

Nora Ephron reflects on her career in this interview for Authors Magazine from December, 2010.

3. What’s in a DP’s Traveling Case?

Trey Chance gives a quick tour of his camera and grip package he carries when he’s traveling for work on a small to medium sized production.

2. The Ultimate Aaron Sorkin-ism Super Cut

Kevin Porter assembled a detailed supercut of recycled lines from Aaron Sorkin’s projects from Malice, A Few Good Men, Bulworth, Sports Night, The West Wing, Studio 60, Charlie Wilson’s War, and the The Social Network

1. Martin Scorsese Gives up on Film – Shoots Digital

So long film and thanks for all the fish.

Link to Article

WTF Post of the Week

Android Humanoid Talking Robot

Spider-Man and the Decay Rate Algorithm

“The Amazing Spider-Man” has some real and interesting science behind Peter Parker and his webs. University of Minnesota professor Jim Kakalios served as the science consultant on the new film, giving the filmmakers a factual perspective on the physics of wall crawling and the tensile strength of spider’s webbing. In addition, Kakalios contributed an equation called the Decay Rate Algorithm, which is at the center of a few major plot points throughout the film.

Paramount at 100

The only movie studio still located in the Hollywood zip code is Paramount. And on the occasion of its one-hundredth anniversary Lee Cowan of CBS News tells us Paramount is ready for ITS close-up.

The Bronson Gate at Paramount Pictures’ studio in Los Angeles – one of the most recognizable Hollywood landmarks – is seen under construction in 1926.

The Hollywood studio, which was originally created in 1912, is celebrating a century of classic filmmaking, from the Marx Brothers, Preston Sturges, Billy Wilder, “The Godfather” and “Chinatown,” to Indiana Jones, “Star Trek” and “Beverly Hills Cop.”

From Kirk Douglas to Dakota Fanning, 116 Stars, Directors, and Suits, photographed on stage 18 at the Paramount Pictures Lot, in Hollywood, California by Art Streiber for Vanity Fair in July 2012.

Reinventing the Cooking Show for Driscoll’s Berries

Art Adams covers his approach to lighting for a cooking show in his lighting blog for ProVideo Coalition.

I don’t watch a lot of cooking shows, but the ones I see are not lit the way I would light them. An idea for a lighting setup has been kicking around in my head for a while and I finally had a chance to try it out on a shoot for Driscoll’s Berries. It worked! Here’s why…

Years ago I operated a camera on a cooking show and I remember that the lighting director, a DP who shot a lot of sitcoms, lit the kitchen as if it were a small sitcom set. He used small lights without diffusion, which resulted in shadows everywhere. It didn’t look very “natural” to me. Maybe that’s the wrong word: rather, it didn’t feel “believable.” The set looked exactly like what it was: a fake kitchen ringed with lights, lit big and bright.

A lot of cooking shows seem to take this route. They may use softer light but nothing about many of these lighting setups speaks to me and says “good taste” or “believable.” Friends who work regularly on cooking shows tell me that producers often opt for big and bright over subtle and complex, and much of this has to do with budget and dealing with cable networks that don’t really want artistry so much as inexpensive content.

I felt I could light a cooking show set in a way that reflected my background shooting commercials while also keeping in mind the demands of a fast-paced TV show. (I worked in episodic television as a camera assistant and operator earlier in my career and those shows move FAST. Cooking shows aren’t quite as complex as you don’t change sets much, but there’s still a lot to get through in a day.) Fortunately the production company, Compass Rose Media, appreciates high quality work and was willing to let me push the look a bit provided we stayed on schedule. (And we did!)

The problem I faced was threefold:

(1) Food doesn’t want to be lit the same way people are lit;

(2) People don’t want to be lit the same way food is lit;

(3) The two are in the frame at the same time.

ProVideo Coalition | Read the Full Article

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