Archive for the “Fit the Fourth” Category

So I’ve been meaning to mention this for a while, but you might remember I did some artwork for brothers new album.  I got a copy through a while back:

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It’s quite nice to see it in print :) In addition to doing the front cover I also had to create a bunch of other images for the album, plus the booklet.  I therefore expanded on some of the techniques I used for the Some of the Creatures Have Broken the Locks on the Door to Lab 558 video.

The intro shots of swirling coloured liquid and some of the biological looking shots were created with food colouring and gelatin.  I shot these using some macro tube extensions.  These go between the camera and the lens and change the focal length of the lens, basically letting you get extreme close ups.  This also means that you have to get your lens incredibly close to the subject – so close in fact that the bottom of the lens was actually in the water!

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I wanted to have some biological looking images for use in the booklet so I did quite a few pics of gelatin and food colouring.  You can get some really nice pics – this is all backlit using LED strips as you can see in the above pic.

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I also wanted some shots of the Lab 558 model, I wanted to have something slightly more impressionistic however.  What I ended up doing was to do some long exposure shots of the model during which I moved the camera or zoomed in.   This created these ‘streaking’ type images which I think look quite cool :)

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This image is several different views of my tentacle puppet stitched together.  I really like the way the light plays through the slime dripping of the tentacle.  Slime makes everything better ;)  This is lit against a light box which I find is really good for giving you a pure white background.  I figured it gave it a slightly clinical look, as though the tentacles were in a tank in a lab perhaps.

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Finally, we did a few shots of my brothers eye for the video and so wanted to do the same for the album art.  As it turns out getting an image that was in focus was extremely difficult.  You need to have the camera incredibly close to the subject so this was only a few centimeters away from Tom’s eye.  Additionally, I was shooting it at F1.8 so the focal depth was incredibly narrow.  So much so that even the slightest movement of the camera would make the image look out of focus.  Of course it’s also very difficult for someone to hold completely still so I had to constantly try and correct the focus.  Because of the macro tube I was using, the lenses’ focus ring didn’t really make much of a difference to the focus.

This was less of an issue when shooting video as it didn’t matter if it went out of focus occasionally, but it was a real pain taking stills!  In the end I mounted my camera on a glide track so I could easily move it in and out to get the focus correct.  I also used a fast shutter speed and relatively high ISO so I could grab the pic before it fell out of focus.

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Two updates in one day?!  Yes, I’m a little busier than usual.  This is kind of tied into the ‘Lab 558‘ video that I’m currently making as it’s the album artwork for my brother’s new album.  I’ll also be creating  some inlay artwork using elements from the video.

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This started off with a shot of Tom pressing his hand up against the window in the back door at mum’s house.  I sculpted a tentacle in super sculpey which he held in place.  Here’s the original image:

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cleaned up the join between finger and tentacle in photoshop and isolated Tom and his hand separately using the path tool – I needed two masks as the hand’s in focus and has a hard edge whereas the rest is out of focus and has a soft edge.

We found an appropriate lab image for the background on google however as it wasn’t marked as being rights free we decided we couldn’t use it. I decided to create my own lab in after effects using some Element 3D models and some stills that I created in photoshop, positioned in 3D space.  This was handy actually as it meant I could adjust the camera angle using the AE camera to better match the foreground element of Tom.  Here’s the lab image.  It doesn’t look like much but it doesn’t need to as once it’s out of focus you don’t see so much of it:

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Finally we needed a reflection of a ruined city which I created in After Effect again using Element 3D and a few other Video Copilot stock elements.  The tentacles are from Beast of the Air ;)  This was all combined together using some grime and glass elements which I added using various blending modes in photoshop.

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