Wednesday, November 10, 2010

NA: Information Project Response/ What I learned.

In my information project for Narrative, I set out to create an instructional video to operate a Holga 120 CFN. We've done demo's and went roughly over creating and moving text in space in after effects. However, after the past lomo projects, I've been using analog methods and combining them with digital methods to create interesting effects. So with this project I decided to shoot my text as print with a video camera, and then bring that in on top of my recorded video.

In the process of filming Casey (My subject for handling the Holga), stability was a major issue. Walking with a camera creates a lot of shaking, so I set out to learn to make a poor mans steady cam. Essentially I filled 3 water bottles and attached them to the legs of my tripod. This greatly reduced the shaking when lifting it with the camera on top.

Shooting the text on paper creates a lot of shadows. Other than levels, I learned to use white clean surfaces (paper in this case) behind my white subject matter. With less shadows in the recording, there were far less shadows flying around the screen. I particularly enjoyed the areas where the cameras focus blurred the type. If I had created the text in after effects, it all would have felt too perfect and clean.

In the process of overlaying the text and video, I had to cut the video. I learned that shooting from multiple sides of a subject can create for interesting jump cut transitions, and can help cut down time that would have taken for the camera to move or pan around the object. The text movement was a learning experience as well. Rather than trying to line its movement up perfectly with Casey's movement in the video, I learned that letting the movements be drastically different helped to create contrast. This was essential after choosing to pause the video in the places where text entered the project. In this way, the type wouldn't distract from the video, and the text could be easily taken in and legible. The relationship in the narrative in terms of timing was a difficult process as well. I didn't want it to feel to start and stop, so in several cases, I learned to combine several type segments together, eliminating a few stops and letting the video continue for a while. That jumpiness also got in the way of some of the cut transitions in the audio editing.

The text acts as the instruction in the video, and the video sort of confirms the text or the action the text was trying to convey. I thought this relationship was more interesting than having them run simultaneously and stopping the video also creates a reference to photography.

Throughout the project, I was greatly limited by the recourses. It occurred to me too late into the project that I should have started finding a lomo to use at least a week earlier. I could have shot and had more time for editing had I done that. I was also bonded to the Media centers schedule in using the hd sony handicam. Having more time in the check out would be nice.

In the integration process, I've learned basic green screen idiology, though I did it with black and white. It was an interesting experiment in using the switches/ modes in after effects to knock out flat planes of color. I am frustrated that I couldn't figure out how to make my type white rather than black after applying those effects. I hope to figure out what went wrong in future projects. Perhaps it was just an error on after effects part.

Throughout the narrative, the contrast between video and text times was a key part in the informative process. Keeping the 2 channels separate but still integrated was a great learning experience in creating multilevel narrative.