Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Dhag Dheer finished!

I'd previosuly mentioned (here, and here) work I'd done for Bristol charity, Integrate Bristol. The film is almost finished now, having completed the grading sessions with the kids. The following pictures are from the film, as graded by the children from the City Academy Bristol:

It's been a fun project, and I'm looking forward to the premiere at the Watershed on the 14th. I hope future projects like this come up that I can be involved in.

(Off subject, why does Blogger reverse the order of uploaded pictures!?)

"Cells down a microscope" look in After Effects

This was made is After Effects, using only the standard effects (I've seen this done elsewhere with plugins). It's not perfect by any means, it doesn't have the delicate, crystalline look I was really after, for instance, but the movement and slimey stickiness is about right. It's an experiment for an upcoming project that hopefully will be a lot of fun.

More info when I can :o)

After Effects Cells from Michael Lansdell on Vimeo.

Friday, 26 June 2009

TTV Title Sequence Preview.

There's a lot to be added to this, but it's awhile since I put anything up and I'm quite pleased with how it's shaping up, will put the final clip up once it's finished!


Here's the rough clip, enjoy :o) ;

TTV Story Starts Title Sequence Rough... from Michael Lansdell on Vimeo.

Here's another rough clip, I've changed the style slightly and I'm not sure which I prefer yet;

Story Starts Sting V2 from Michael Lansdell on Vimeo.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Overexposure Correction in Final Cut Pro Tutorial

I'm going to try something a bit different today, which is rather than the just show bits from the finished results of something I've done, show what went in to doing it, in the form of a tutorial (that hopefully will be easy for people to understand).

In a recent programme, one of the shooting days was incredibly bright and sunny, and unfortunately, the actress playing a newsreader ended up with parts of her face being burnt out. I'm going to talk through how to go from this:

To this:

Big improvement!

First of all, this requires a plugin for Final Cut Pro, but it's free, so don't worry!

Captains Blowout Fixer

Take a look at the rest of the site, there's lots of interesting stuff on there.

Basically, what this filter does is allow you to look at the red, green and blue channels of an image seperately, select the least damaged and colour correct it to fill in those burnt out areas.

Here you can see the original image again, and then the red (most damaged), green and blue (least damaged, in this case) channels;





You should be able to see clear differences between these images.

There are limitations to this method, but the most serious issues are covered. The technique I'm going to describe only really helps with select areas, in this case the face. Burnt out roads or skies require separate techniques that require more work, because it tends to be that whole sections of image burn out, here we are just dealing with facial highlights.

Right, so the actual process to go through is as follows. Grade your clip and get it looking as you would like (bar the overexposed portions, obviously!), copy the clip and put the duplicate on top of the original in your timeline. Mask out the area you want to affect with the shape mask (Effects > Video Filters > Matte > Mask Shape), set it to oval and position it so the face is masked out and then use the Mask Feather (the effect above Mask Shape in Effects > Video Filters > Matte) to soften it's edges. You'll find this easier if you drop the opacity the lower video track. Now, select the clip we just masked, and go to Effects > Video Filters > Color Correction > Captain's Blowout Fixer. You should now have a screen that looks something like this:

You can see here that I've selected the Blue channel as the "From" (being the least damaged), the Red channel as the "To" (being the most damaged) and the "View" to Final (so I can see what I'm doing!). You now need to adjust the setting until the burnt out gaps fill in as much as possible with the most natural looking colour. I've left the "Threshold" and "Tolerance" as they are so as to get the minimal amount of interference with the non-burnt colours.

If you were to stop and make the bottom layer visible again now, you'd have made a pretty good stab at correct the overexposed areas of her face. But there's more to really improve this!

The next step is to make sure that you really are only affecting the damaged areas, and we do this with the Luma Key. Here you can see the affect that the Luma Key has on the mask, and the settings used for this shot:

Fiddle with these for your shot, but they probably won't be far off :o)

And you should have something that's as much of an improvement as this:

I hope that this has been helpful, let me know if so and also if you have any questions I'll get back to you as soon as I can!

Also, if anyone can tell me why blogger is making me write in italics now, I'd be grateful...

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Little Stampede album art.

Bristol band, Little Stampede, asked me to do the artwork for their second album, here's the cover:

I'm looking forward to seeing the final printed thing, will put some photo's of it up once it's back from the printers.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Videos uploaded!

I've updated this post:

More Science Starters

With two video clips form the programme. This post has been updated, too:

Beliefs and Values

Phew! Lots of posts, today! Take a look and enjoy!

RTS Education Awards, 2009

Last night, a programme I did the online and grade for was a nominee for an RTS Education Award. I did it quite awhile ago, and have since improved greatly (I think!), but for anyone interested you can view the programme here:


It didn't win, but it's nice to of been involved in something that was considered good enough for a nomination, at least!

Story Starts: Beliefs and Values

I've just completed another offline, grade and graphics job on an episode of TTV. Another Story Starts programme, this one is on "Beliefs and Values" rather than maths or science. Below are some stills from the programme;


"Animal Rights"


There were seven programmes in total, "Selflessness" and "Telling the Truth" were probably the best two, I'll try and upload clips of them when the dub has been completed. Again, this programme was good fun to work on, and allowed me to do some fun graphics work, some of which will be highlighted in the clips I upload.


Clips are now uploaded, here are the sections; "Selflessness", "Animal Rights" and "Telling Lies".

Telling the Truth from Michael Lansdell on Vimeo.

This clip doesn't have any fancy graphics in it, but it's the closest thing I've done to straight drama, and I quite like it!

Selflessness from Michael Lansdell on Vimeo.

This clip was a lot of fun to work on! For a start, it's got soldiers and shooting in it, and secondly, I had to make it look like they're shooting, which was fun to do and came together quite well. The planes flying overhead took quite a bit of work in terms of timing, etc, but in the end came together quite well. Not bad for an afternoons work!

There's one left to add, but Vimeo is taking it's time, so will update later.

(I'll unlock these once they're broadcast, for now they're waiting, biding there time...)


Videos are now unlocked and watch-able, as the film has been broadcast :o)

Friday, 12 June 2009

Background, continued...

I updated the background, more to come...

Thursday, 11 June 2009


I changed the background. It may look horrible now (it really does! And lets not mention the fact it's almost completely illegible!), but soon it'll be awesome.
Or maybe worse, depending on your point of view/how much effort I put in...
I figured doing this would make me put the effort in to a proper blog revamp, only time will tell!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Beach Dogs

I occasionally do a bit of freelance colour grading for the lovely and award winning Jayne Chard at Hummingbird Films, you can see an excerpt from a Learn Direct training video I worked on if you follow the link to their site.

Jayne also owns and runs a charity, the charity runs the NoiStar vetinary clinic (named after her two lovely dogs!) in Thailand, that looks after the wild dogs and other animals on the island of Koh Tao and those surrounding it. I colour graded a series of three short films made to promote and help raise money for the charity awhile ago. There's a charity event coming up, and although I know that currently the number of people who read this blog are limited, I wanted to do something to make people aware of it. If you might be interested, further information can be seen by clicking here.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Silver Pyre gig @ The Arnolfini

A video has been posted on You Tube of a track from a gig by Silver Pyre at the Arnolfini, in the background is part of the third iteration of the visual set I have made for this. I'd been meaning to put up bits from this here for awhile, but have been pipped to the post! Still, hope you enjoy it:

The visuals were made using a mix of After Effects, Final Cut and some found footage. Gary mixed the live audio, hence the re-post! Also, I've widened the blog post space, so it can show videos properly, it was just sloppy before!

South Wests Top 100

Just a quick note. The company I work for - Available Light - has just been placed 47th in South West Screens top 100 media companies!

Monday, 1 June 2009

TTV - More Science Starters

Not the most exciting sounding blog post, but I've just finished the edit, grade and effects for another episode of TTV, this one being seven lesson starters for Primary level Science. I'd previously mentioned this programme in my Boris the Vampire post, below. I'll post a link to the programme once it's up on the TTV website. In the mean time, here's a still from each programme:

This is the "Boris the Vampire" Clip, for this I created an aged film look, to give it the apearance of old horror films, and did some graphics in AFX in the form of thought bubbles that appear with animals that relate to the teeth he's examining.

This clip was about springs, and featured a rabbit who had lost the ability to jump being leant a hand by some Pro-jumpers (those funny bouncy-feet people).

This is a still ffrom a short documentory form clip, about different rock types.

This is a screen from a clip about a girl, who, whilst pretending to be an artic explorer, finds some frozen wooly mammoths in her freezer, and thaws them out.

Another documentory short, explaning how hot air balloons work.

This was a clip about how your heart rate is affected by exercise, I made the simple ECM style overlay in After Effects, and comp-ed it all together in FCP.

Filmed during the day, this clip about a janitor trying to build shelves required footage from a sunny day to be made to look like night time, and lights coming back on in the house behind. I created the lighting effects in After Effects, the moon was done very simply in Final Cut, as was the night time look of the whole scene. It ended up being much more effective than I expected!

It was a fun episode to work on, I enjoy these story starts episodes. The next one I'm doing is similar, so I look forward to hopefully having somemore fun clips/screens to put up.


Here's some clips from this programme;

Boris the Vampire

Boris the Vampire from Michael Lansdell on Vimeo.


Light from Michael Lansdell on Vimeo.

I hope you enjoy these :o)

(They're locked until broadcast, though. I'll unlock them then, sorry!)


Unlocked now, as the film has been broadcast, enjoy!