Cloudy + Chippy – Short Film

cloudy-chippy

Eliot and I made a quick new short film the other night… Well sort of, it’s not very much and I’d say isn’t really up to the standards of what we are capable of now. It’s more of a test of a couple things I wanted to try out.

I wanted to try out a effect or more of a seamless transition between two characters with the camera panning between them. Well it didn’t work as I expected but the good thing is I now know how to do correctly for whenever we want to try it again. Basically what went wrong this time is there was a slightly different look between the two shots I wanted to seamlessly transition between, but the bigger problem is the camera picked up a pretty good amount of noise in the video, making it hard to transition between the two shots.

Next time I got to make sure the shots are identical which can be accomplished with sticking with one camera set up and not the two I did this time. I also got to make sure my camera settings are correct next time to avoid the noise; which I believe I missed in this test because I messed with the brightness and contrast settings on my Atomos Shogun.

If there is noise I could just use a post-production noise remover which I did try out this time and fixed part of the problem. The issue with this fix is it adds many hours to the videos render time, which I couldn’t afford this time since I had other projects in line that needed to be rendered out quickly.

The video was also a test for some LUT’s I wanted to try out through the Shogun. I’ve never utilized LUT’s in the past and through a School project I’m currently working on I got to experience how they can be useful in giving a film a better look or more importantly capturing better S-Log2 footage through my A7s.

There’s all kinds of LUT’s that can be downloaded for free off the internet; colorist or just people in general are always creating some, which most usually give out for free. There’s film emulation, stylized filters, and color space LUT’s out there to use, with all of them being useful for achieving that look a filmmaker wants.

I’ve been looking into the color space ones such as Rec. 709. This color space is known as the current HDTV standard for broadcasting television and many films also utilize this space. This standard is going to be replaced by Rec. 2020 in the upcoming years with UHD televisions coming into the market; but for now Rec. 709 will be used.

I tried a couple S-Log2 to Rec. 709 LUT’s out through my Shogun and a couple gave a good look. I ended up liking and choosing one which I selected to burn straight into the footage instead of applying in post. It didn’t change the footage drastically but mostly just spruced up the colors to my liking.

I will definitely be experimenting with LUT’s and production color settings more in the upcoming future.

Anyway back to the actual short film which is titled “Cloudy + Chippy” for the two characters Eliot plays. Chad the main character has two versions of himself: one the sad cloudy type and the other a more joyful chippy guy.

This is a 5.1 surround sound project since I’ve gotten quite accustomed to working with 6 channels when sound designing/mixing. It’s basically much more entertaining creating pans through different channels and experimenting layering sounds and effects through multiple speakers. I believe most of the work that will be coming out from us now will utilize surround sound; especially since I’m led to believe that Youtube supports 5.1 even with its heavy compression methods.

Well here’s the short film’s link while also being embedded on this post, choose which ever you prefer, but I suggest clicking the link since it will be higher quality. Feedback on how the seamless transition effect can be perfected or just what you think of the short is appreciated. I can also answer any questions about LUT’s or using them through the Atomos Shogun.

Consider subscribing to our Youtube pages or a quick follow of this blog, we’ll try to make it worth the click. Enjoy and until next time!

Cloudy + Chippy

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Cloudy + Chippy – Short Film

New Equipment! DJI Phantom 3 Test Video – Drone

DJI Phantom 3 Test Video

What’s up everyone, I totally forgot to post this when I completed it about a week ago. I have here test footage of our new favorite toy in our disposal: a DJI Phantom 3 standard drone.

In early August when my family and I went up to rural Minnesota to celebrate my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary (Here’s the video for that event in case you missed its release: 60TH Wedding Anniversary) my uncle and cousin brought up their drones to play around with.

He had two drones with him, one is the DJI Phantom 3 Professional, while the other less used one was the DJI Phantom 3 Standard. That first night a few hours after we finished the grueling 10 hour drive from our home in Illinois, my uncle brought the drones out to fly. My cousin set up the professional to fly then showed me on his Ipad the auto take off button which he then pressed.

The drone quickly rose up and once reaching four feet in the air stopped to hover in place, the take off looked clean and easy to do. My cousin then took the drone off over all the farmland and forest around us; it being golden hour at the time the footage looked pretty damn good.

As my cousin flew around the countryside, I looked at the standard drone sitting in its original box on the ground. I asked my uncle what the difference between the professional and standard drones was. He said that the standard only shoots 720p footage but they’re basically the same. He then said I can actually have the standard drone since they don’t use it. Without hesitation I said I’ll be glad to take it since I had been wanting a drone for a longtime to expand Insane LLama’s shot opportunities.

That night I decided to look up online to see all the differences between the standard and professional editions on the DJI website. First thing that stood out was that the standard version actually shoots/records 2.7k footage, where my uncle got the 720p from was that it only displays that ratio on the screen or when live broadcasting. I only want to use the drone to film establishing shots for our films so that was great news to hear.

Fast forward a few days later when I was back home in Illinois, it was time to fly the new drone for the first time. The user manual was missing from the box so I ended up having to look for it online, which one can easily find on the DJI website. I read the whole manual to learn every feature and detail about the drone; which after re-reading the more important sections a couple more times I was ready and confident in flying the Phantom 3.

I went out to my backyard and set the drone in a more open area so it wouldn’t hit anything when taking off. As the manual said I pressed the power button twice then held it until the green bars filled up, which upon filling the drone beeped loudly and powered on. I used my Ipad to connect to the drones Wi-Fi signal, which when done you can use the Ipad as a screen for the drones camera.

I pressed the auto take off button and the drone had lift off. First thing I noticed was how easy and precise the controls were to fly and also move the camera around. I flew the drone all over the neighborhood, experimenting with getting interesting and beautiful shots with the camera.

One thing is the small drone is actually pretty loud for its size, with most people quickly looking up towards it when I flew over them. During this and a couple later flights I captured some photos and also recorded some high quality footage.

Here are the photos

Neighborhood Drone Shot

Neighborhood 2

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More importantly here’s the test footage I shot! Enjoy!

Link To Video – DJI Phantom 3 Test Video

 

Hope you can get a grasp of what this drone can do with the photos and videos. I’m extremely grateful to my uncle for being so kind in giving his spare drone to Insane LLama. Since getting it Eliot and I have been thinking of many great shots we will do with the drone. We’re hoping the drone will increase our production values and more importantly give us another tool in shaping the stories of our films.

Well until next time. Consider following the blog for future post about drones and our short films, maybe also check out the Insane LLama Youtube channel which can be accessed through the drone video posted, we always have interesting and entertaining content being released for everyone to enjoy. Thanks and bye!

New Equipment! DJI Phantom 3 Test Video – Drone