Category Archives: documentary

From Motion to After Effects

I have been making the transfer from Final Cut Pro’s Motion application to Adobe After Effects.

Here’s a piece I made a few years ago in Motion.

Motion is very intuitive to use, while still giving editors many options. Motion allows for key-framing or applied behaviors. Users can add cameras and edit in 3D space, which is becoming more and more popular in motion graphics for not only car commercials but documentaries. There are also stock replicators and graphics that are easy to manipulate. As most applications by Apple are aesthetically pleasing, Motion is probably Final Cut Studio’s most aesthetically pleasing application.

What I like most about Motion is “round tripping.” This means an editor can easily move between a sequence in Final Cut and a motion graphic or applied effects in Motion. A sequence can be sent directly to Motion, effects are applied, and those effects appear directly in Final Cut without any export. Of course some rendering still have to take place, but who doesn’t render?

Adobe’s After Effects is different on the other hand. The only “round tripping” or seamless editing can occur within Adobe. An editor could move between a project in Premier and After Effects. But a project in After Effects can be seamlessly edited in Final Cut or AVID.

This orange room is the first project I made in After Effects that I had some success with.

When using After Effects and Final Cut, which I have so gracefully taken to with the advice and wisdom of Andrew Killoy (pretty much a master, at least from what I’ve seen), a motion graphic must be exported as a large reference file, then that reference file must be encoded in Adobe Encoder with the desired specs. That file can be brought into Final Cut as a QuickTime, for example, and rendered.

However, if one wants to make changes, they have to go back into After Effects, re-edit, and export all over again. While when working in Motion and Final Cut, changes can be made in Motion and are directly and immediately changed in the Final Cut sequence.

This is a series of photos I stitched together in AE. They were taken near a botanical garden in Valencia, Spain.

This is a single photo I manipulated in Photoshop to create “The Kid Stays in the Picture” effect.

Not too perfect, some of it is rough around the edges, but I am still learning. So why am I bothering to learn After Effects? the application is a powerful tool and most industry professionals know and use it. Although, I must say that it’s popularity has to be because it runs on PCs and Macs.

I do hope to become proficient enough in After Effects so that I can use the program to create motion graphics for my documentary pieces as I have done in my most recent mini-doc, which I used Final Cut and Motion for.

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Darby O’Brien and Luke Gelinas on speaking out about the Phoebe Prince Case

After a semester of covering the South Hadley School Committee and the Phoebe Prince bullying case, our UMass Amherst journalism projects have been published on MassLive.com.

The semester consisted of our investigative journalism class working on the South Hadley and bullying beat. My specific beat was on the School Committee. The class kept a blog at MassLive.com/bullying.

The whole semester we worked towards are final projects which were profiles of people involved with the Phoebe Prince case and South Hadley.

Going into the class, I knew I wanted to make a video, but I also knew how hard it would be to get people to speak on camera.

I went to the School Committee meetings every other week to cover my beat, and interviewed people involved with speaking out against school officials in the background of the semester.

My final project is a documentary style piece featuring Darby O’Brien and Luke Gelinas; it covers why they speak out about Phoebe Prince’s death and why they are so critical when it comes to the administration.

For logistical reasons I ended up shooting the interviews on my Canon T1i (I wish I had access to something more versatile). I used a Zoom H2 as a backup audio device, which ended up saving an important portion of the video piece. I used an umbrella and Lowel lamp to light the room. I didn’t have access to lavaliere microphones, so I was pretty much risking it all. And hit record. I edited the video in Final Cut Pro. Some of the archival footage was shot on a consumer Canon. The School Committee footage came from the South Hadley community television station. The photos came from MassLive.com and The Republican.

You can watch the upload on MassLive.com:

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1

Or, on my Vimeo.com:

Or, on my website:

http://rosiewalunas.com/productionsphoebeprince.html

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Gators in the bayou

Yesterday we saw some alligators in a bayou south of New Orleans.

Video and more photos on the way. This is all I have time to pick out for the moment.

Down, around, and in the bayou.

A baby gator the guide keeps around so people can see them up close and personal.

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Knoxville to NOLA

Sean and I are now in New Orleans.

We left Knoxville after eating breakfast at a Wafflehouse and checking out the Sunsphere.

Making our way through Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi.

Today we went to the Audubon Aquarium and Insectarium after breakfast at Café Fleur De Lis, which was the best breakfast I’ve had in a while.

Then we took a stroll down Magazine Street to see some of the Garden District.

We had dinner at an oyster bar and seafood restaurant called Desire. The oysters were spot on, as was the crayfish etouffé.

We further strolled down Bourbon where the football fans were getting their party groove on as were some great street performers.

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New Years in Knoxville

Sean an I arrived in Knoxville, Tennessee after making our way down from New Jersey.

My primary reason for wanting to go to Knoxville was influenced by an episode of The Simpsons where Bart and company take a kid road trip down to the city. They get there and the city is virtually deserted and their highlight – the sunsphere – is filled with wigs.

Knoxville is a smaller city that I imagined and you could really only spend a half day there and a night.

Even though it’s New Year’s Eve, very few people seemed to flock to the downtown’s center stll lit up with Christmas lights, a small ice skating rink, and some festival activities.

Rather than sticking around for the ball to drop, we headed back to our hotel.

Will we see the sunsphere up close? I hope it’s open on New Year’s day.

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Photos the Days – Last week

September 5, 2010

Heading out for a beautiful day.

September 6, 2010

UMass working on the world's longest sushi roll.

September 7, 2010

Some new graffiti to start the year at UMass. They are still at it.

September 8, 2010

This mural's got a secret.

September 9, 2010

This is a bathroom at UMass.

September 10, 2010

Just some plaid shirts.

September 11, 2010

Chalk art on the sidewalks of Northampton, Massachusetts.

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Photos getting attention

Within the last week my photos have gotten some good media attention or at least I’ve been getting good publicity.

The great egret photo I shot while in southern New Jersey has been blogged twice to my knowledge. And, a photo I shot in London was used on MassLive.com.

Great Egret at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in NJ.

 

The egret photo on K-Con Inc. Building Systems is a bit puzzling to me but some one has made some nice comments.

A DC Bird Blog has also included the egret photo in a blog post.

Outside the National Maritime Museum in Greenwhich.

 

A photo I took in Greenwhich London was used on Masslive.com in a report about study abroad programs.

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