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Silly Fun

Here it is Sunday. I’m watching basketball and trying to get things done that I can work on while paying more attention to the game than what I’m doing...hence...blog time (somewhere someone is thinking, “Wow, that explains a lot.” Yes, yes, it does).

So, as I’ve mentioned, I’ve been working on learning how to use Adobe After Effects. For those who have no idea what that might be (if there’s anyone actually reading this), it’s a program for creating/compositing special effects, titles and such. Fun stuff. It’s also the first program in many a year that pretty much totally defied me every time I tried to use it. I sweat blood, and for months, got approximately nowhere. Actually, not approximately nowhere—exactly nowhere. In fact, more or less the definition of nowhere. As in “Nowhere, You Are Here.” Playing with it didn’t help, studying templates didn’t help, books almost made things worse, and video tutorials seemed to make no damn sense.

And then, through a series of steps that would best be described as happy accidents (a Pikachu themed YouTube video starring a kitten was involved–no, I don’t do drugs. Why do you ask?), I found a site with great video tutorials (VideoCoPilot.net for anyone who’s curious) and dug in and struggled through the first couple. The first forty minute tutorial took me days (of course I had to pick a hard one). I didn’t understand the semantics or where anything was (kept replaying things while trying to track what the cursor did) and the logic of how the program works was totally beyond me. I bumbled and struggled and cursed and finally figured some things out. I know myself well enough not to use the footage they give for projects because, while I’ll follow along perfectly, when I do that, I never seem to retain the information well. So I raided my hard drive for things to use, fiddled, learned and finally started hitting a point where I could use their tutorials as a jumping off point for doing my own thing (otherwise, my brain is a sieve). Lots of stuff not worth looking at, but gradually more and more things have worked as intended (and not in the Microsoft, “The program is functioning as intended,” as all hell breaks loose sense either) and I’ve even started to branch off on my own without starting with someone else’s idea (with simple stuff...the complicated things are still sooooo beyond me).

I’m rather proud, if I do say so myself.

Brief pause in bragging to note that AZ won! YAY! (College basketball for those who don’t know, but are vaguely curious).

So anyhoo, wound up with assorted bits and pieces of footage and thought I oughta do something with at least some of them (y’know, the non-failure types) and have also been trying to get better with sound editing and manipulation (sound, so not my thing), so just for fun, I threw together a fake movie trailer (sci fi mashup time--Sarah Jane Adventures/Star Wars--yeah, I'm that crazy...lol) using some of that stuff, plus did all the sound other than the dialogue. It was pretty silly fun and stuff explodes (explosion sound efx are harder than I realized...not sure I got any of them quite right). No slashy goodness, but stuff blows up. And...lightsabers.

Anyhoo, since I've mentioned playing and folks have asked, I posted it on my YouTube page (also posted an efx free version, because someone also asked about that). So that's tonight's post.

And so I'll sign off now. Links below.

With FX (stuff go boom and...lightsabers)

Without FX (no booms)