April 2013

The Divisive Device

We joined 4-H last year, and when I heard about the 4-H FilmFest, I thought it would be a great idea to enter a movie in it. Rachel and I brainstormed, and wrote a script in about 3 days, and then we went on to filming.

This movie was far and away the hardest movie we’ve ever filmed. It was twice as long as any movie we’d ever made before, which meant we had to shoot a lot more footage (final tally: 49 minutes), and since we didn’t have a tripod it was hard to get steady shots. We had to arrange boxes, books, bins, and camera bags to substitute for a tripod.

The shot in the cave was especially hard. Trying to keep my camera from getting wet and ourselves from getting tremendously muddy and bruised took a ton of effort, and then to add acting and filming just pushed it over the top. We were exhausted by the time we got back home, but we got the shots we needed. In the end, thats all the viewers care about!


Text in Blender 2.66a

I was a bit stumped by the Text editor in Blender. It didn’t use any of the keyboard shortcuts that normal word processors use, and I couldn’t figure out how to change the text from saying “text” to saying what I wanted it to. I finally did, but I figured I could save some other people some trouble by posting a tutorial on how to do it.

I hope you learn something!

The Great Car Chase

I’ve always liked stop-motion animations, but I was never able to really pull one off. The closest I ever got was The Lego Party, which only had a few seconds of Stop-motion animation in it. I decided to try again, and my animation actually turned out pretty well!

With my D3100, stop-motion animation was a lot easier, partly due to its superior technical qualities, but mainly because its just so big! I could set it on the floor where I needed it to be, and it wouldn’t tip over or move at the slightest bump. I used my battery grip as a kind of remote shutter release to help even more. Instead of screwing it into the bottom of the camera, I set it beside my D3100 and plugged the release into the GPS port.

I shot all of this animation in Manual mode. I tried Auto mode, but it wouldn’t give mme enough depth-of-field or consistency. None of the shots in this movie were at an aperture less than F/10, and most were at F/22 or over, some even up to F/36, the highest my 18-55mm will go. If I had set the aperture any lower at such close distances, I would have had less than a centimeter of the scene in the focus plane at times!

I only used natural lighting for this movie, and set the white balance to Cloudy. I had to move my sets around as the day went on, to avoid harsh shadows, but overall it worked out well!

Modeling a Pencil in Blender 2.65a

When I first started using Blender, I watched lots of tuotrials on the basics of Blender- how texturing, modelling, and lighting worked- but there were very few tutorials on modelling actual objects that were aimed at beginners. All the tutorials I found were aimed at people with prior experience in Blender, experience that I didn’t have at the time.

Fast-forwarding 3 years or so, I now have more Blender experience, but I know there’s always new guys coming into the Blender scene, so I figured I’d make this tutorial. In this tutorial I try to explain everything so that anybody, whether or not they have Blender experience, can model a pencil.

I hope you learn a lot!

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