Category: Video

2022.09.08 Quick video: Chicago State St

Another quick video, this time playing with displacement on an archival image of Chicago, plucked from the Flickr Creative Commons. The setup for animating the displacement is a bit finickity, but I like the overall ability to dive into a spatialised version of an image.

I recorded the audio pretty quickly too, a five minute recording session and about fifteen minutes to edit. The rendering of these things still takes quite a while, though – this one took 16 hours to render at 4k resolution. I’m sure there are some variables I can edit to make this better, but for now, I set these things up quickly and wait to see what they look like slowly.

2022.09.06 Quick videos: Chicago skyline, projected videos

This is a set of quick sketches in Blender. I’m intrigued by the ability to project images and film onto surfaces, which is especially interesting if the original movie contains movement.

I started with a video that I took from an L train in Chicago a few years ago. A simple shot, not much happens, but there’s some parallax movement, and a tiny bit of camera shake:

I then projected this onto a surface, so that the video moves at the same speed it was moving in real life. The camera effectively mimics what my real-world camera did. Then I projected the textures of this video onto a load of randomly placed cubes and circles. The camera moves, and the projected video moves, but the objects remain in place; the effect is that there is weird video displacement in unexpected places.

Here are various results:

Note that videos are mostly square for Instagram.

Here’s what the setup looked like behind-the-scenes:

2022.09.01 Quick video: driving in Iceland, again

It’s been a while since I posted any of my quick video experiments. This month I’ve been learning a load of new techniques in Blender, which is just incredible software.

First up, here’s a video of the shot I seemingly always use to test new video editing techniques. Over the 15 seconds, the video transforms from a 2d screen to a weird 3d shape, thanks to displacement based on the colours in the video. The virtual camera looking at the screen moves too.

Note that the looping isn’t perfect, this was just a quick experiment to play around with this technique.

2022.03.29 Quick video: coral

This is a quick video of some coral, overlaid with some more coral, and more coral, and even more coral.

Nothing particularly special; it’s weird and pulsing because it’s 240fps footage which must have been out of sync with the LED lighting. I just came across this bit of footage in my photo library and wanted to play around with its textures.

2022.03.08 Quick video: Seoul loop

Today’s quick video – a looping clip of driving along a highway in Seoul. My PhD supervisor Stephen Gage calls this type of thing a ‘finger exercise’, I assume because it’s like practicing scales on a piano – it’s one of many playful, small things that helps you work out ideas for larger projects.

I took this video on the way from the airport to my accommodation in Seoul in 2016. I was messing around with a camera I’d loaned (A Canon C100, if I recall). The footage isn’t remarkable, but you do get to see part of the city looming in the distance and the huge river. I just wanted to make it loop, nothing special – just to play with video a little, and make a quick accompanying sound bed.

The original shot looks like this:


link to original

The longest loop I could make is just short of the original clips’ length, 33 seconds and 9 frames, with the looping part coming from the van that overtakes. The hue of the video shifts throughout, from pinks and reds through to purples and blues and back. It also has a 12-bar sound bed I made quickly:


link to original

The 12-bar bed meant that I could cleanly cut the video in thirds. Here’s a version that’s 22 seconds and 6 frames, in blue, pink and purple:


link to original

And finally a version in 11 seconds and 3 frames, one third of the original length, in a yellow palette reminiscent of the Blade Runner 2049 desert scenes:


link to original

2022.02.22 Quick video: Walking to Delftse Poort

This is my quick video for the day, shot whilst walking from Rotterdam Centraal station to Delftsepoort (an office building). The subject is fairly mundane, but there are a few layers of square video on top of each other, and another clapping soundtrack made quickly.

I actually made two versions of this video, one with a regular offset:

And one that uses a 2-frame offset per layer to recreate a ‘wavy’ special effect from the 70s. I remember seeing this sort of effect in old music videos as a kid, back when I was glued to music television:

One thing I like about the original video is the way that it’s abstracted a completely mundane journey, yet maintains the rhythm of my walking. The stills of the escalator are perhaps my favourite part:

abstract image of an escalator abstract image of an escalator abstract image of an escalator

But then again, the flooring, which seems to be particular to Dutch train stations, also looks more dramatic than usual:

abstract image of pavement abstract image of pavement abstract image of pavement

As does the utterly mundane pavement found on all streets near here:

abstract image of pavement abstract image of pavement abstract image of pavement abstract image of pavement

2022.01.12 Quick video: Foggy day

This is a video I made a while but forgot to put online! An extremely foggy day, under a bridge near my house. Looking back at it now, it’s a bit more stress-inducing than I think it needs to be, mostly because I was trying to do the opposite of the slowness that I felt the video wanted to be edited into. I guess I should have gone the other way. Still, it’s nice to have the perspective of hindsight sometimes.

Link to video

2022.02.22 Quick video: shadow chasing, redux

This is a quick doodle-video to play around with composition and looping. The source video was shot on Tottenham Court Road on a sunny day in 2014 (see here); this version tries to lean into the strange and playful composition of the original, adding a clappy/clicky soundtrack and the idea that walking on the street is a form of game.

Link to video

2022.02.21 Quick video: flying over northern Canada

A very quick video edit today, compiled from some footage I shot a few years ago whilst flying over northern Canada. Not a great video, but I wanted to play with the stark textures of the snow and rocks, creating a slow-moving wallpaper. There are a few things I’d like to fix (that crack on the right hand side for starters), but the aim of this task is to make something quickly and post it, rather than aiming for perfection, so here we go.