I’ve finished a quick steampunk vid.  This is an advert for the ‘Krakomatic 5000’, the gun used in Beast of the Air.  It’s similar in style to the advert we did for Slatters Electro Mechanical Personal Steam Powered Power Plant and Geist Goggles a while back.

Obviously I’ve got some slightly more sophisticated effects software since then so I wanted to up the ante a little and do some effects like the ghost characters which were partially done using a tutorial from Video Co-pilot.

The rest of the shots new although many used elements from Beast of the Air.  I also got hold of a new plugin called ‘Twitch’, also from Video Co-pilot, which allows you to add flickering video effects which I used for some of the film noise in the video.

In other news I’ve also recently bought a plugin for After Effects called Trapcode Particular.  This is a particle engine by Red Giant Software and is a little more sophisticated than the particle systems that come with After Effects (although they’re pretty good on their own to be honest).

Here’s a small test.  It’s best watched in HD as you can make out the individual particles abit better.  I’ll be doing some more vids as I get to grips with it ;0)

Tom Slatter at Kew Bridge Steam Museum 02

I’ve done a short new vid.  This incorporates some more footage of my brother playing at Kew Steam Museum as part of the Steampunk Exhibition that ran there this year.

I’d already done a vid of some of Tom’s songs in my previous blog post but I had a little more and decided to do another vid.  This time round I wanted to include some FX so we have Tom projecting the video into mid air using my steampunk gauntlet.

To do this I motion tracked the light in the palm of the gauntlet so that we had the x,y motion of the gauntlet however I also wanted the camera to pan around the video as it plays to show that it ‘really is’ hanging in mid-air.  There is 3D tracking software available but for this I simply keyframed a blank solid in after effects to rotate as the camera pans.

Once I had the motion down I dropped the video in.  I also added a distortion around the edge of the video which warped the background image of Tom.  The idea being that the projection worked by creating a forcefield in mid-air onto which the video image could be projected.  There’re also some particles falling out the bottom edge of the video.  Dunno what they represent, they just looked nice ;0)

The final parts were to grade the video and add some flashing lights to Tom’s face and the walls to make it look like the light from the video was interacting with the scene.  This was done with an adjustment layer and a wiggle expression varying the opacity of the layer several times a second.  There’s also a 3D camera pull in to the video of Tom playing.

We also took the opportunity to film the last few bits for our Krakomatic 5000 advert.  A fair bit to do on that still but here’s a quick pic of a Kraken being poked with a stick ;0)

Photo 03-11-2011 15 06 40


DSC_2992Got a few people along to pretend to be ghosts this weekend.  I’ve filmed ’em greenscreen and will be compositing them into some footage I shot when I was up in the Lake District recently.

This is going to be part of a small video ‘advert’ for the gun which we used for the Beast of the Air video, which we’ve dubbed the ‘Krakomatic 5000’ on account of it being used to kill kraken, see.

One section will feature some ghosts floating about, causing a nuisance as they’re wont to do.

The second part will have some shots of my brother rather ineffectually trying to kill a sky kraken with a giant fly swatter before ‘tooling up’ (in true 80’s montage stylee) with the Krakomatic 5000 and heading off to kick some serious cephalopod ass……actually do kraken even have an ass?


This is similar to the small ad we did for Slatters Electro Mechanical Personal Steam Powered Power Plant and Geist Goggles, the props from Spinning the Compass:

Tom’s done a voiceover similar to the one from this vid advertising the gun.  For some reason I thought he’d mentioned ghosts.  Turns out he hadn’t at all, but by that point I’d already done this test video for a demonic/ghosty face, sounded out some people about being said ghosts and come up with all sorts of ideas about ghosts.

The solution?  Make him re-record it,  but this time mentioning ghosts.

This vid was created using the Demon Face Warp tutorial from Video Copilot, so I intend to use the basics of that and some transparency effect for the ghosts.  So once I’ve done that we’ll have some ghosts knocking about,  occasionally screaming at the camera and doing various ghostly things.  Here’s a quick screen grab.  It’ll probably change abit as I refine my ghostly effects but you get the idea.


Beast of the Air

So I’ve more or less finished the props for my latest steampunk video which will accompany my brother’s song ‘Beast of the Air’.

Having done our previous vid we decided to make things abit easier for ourselves and come up with something abit easier to film, less effects heavy.

Therefore in the new video we’ll be hunting sky kraken aboard a flying airship ;0)

Here’re some pics of our kraken hunting gear.


And here’s a video of the gun being test fired.

And finally a glimpse of the beast itself!


Not posted for ages although I have been updating my youtube channel a fair bit.  A couple of things going on.  First off I’m almost complete building props for a new steampunk video that I’m doing with my brother.  I’m not gonna share too much of that as I wanna save them for the video, however they comprise some leather steampunk weapons and gear.  Here’s a dyed piece that I’d previously posted some pics of.


I’ve also been building an articulated tentacle which will be used for some nefarious purpose of other……..

Finally I’ve been doing a fair bit of fiddling with After Effects.  This is really just practice so I don’t screw up the video.  Here’s a vid of my head exploding!

I’ve also been having a go with some grading presets.


DSC_0070I’ve been experimenting with doing some leather work recently.   This mostly led from building my previous batch of steampunk props – I’d been using some leather effect material  I had which did the job well enough however I wanted to include some real leather so I started looking into it with the intent of doing a course.

As it turns out it’s not too complicated – I just had a look  at a few videos on youtube.  You can buy treated pieces of leather online which are ready to be died and worked so I bought a bunch of stuff; some dye, tools and leather bits and have been having abit of a go with it.

My most recent purchase has some detailing tools – fleur de lis, runes that kind of thing.  You can get some nice effects relatively straightforwardly.  I need some more practice really but I think these have come out OK.   Here’re some pics.   Next step is to dye them…….


And finally here’s a quick shot of the beginnings of a prop for the next steampunk video ;0)