Rise Another Leaf

I’ve finally finished my steampunk music video Rise Another Leaf. I originally started this video when Tom’s album came out in 2014 but never quite got round to completing it. Now that the album’s been remastered and re-released I’ve eventually got round to completing it!  There’s more info in my previous posts in the Rise Another Leaf category as it’s had a pretty long genesis!

Look at his stupid face

Here’s a pic of Tom’s face composited into my 3D scene.  I’ve been using my 3D motion tracker plugin for After Effects to track the footage I shot in mums garden then keying out everything and putting in a 3D scene created using the Element plugin.

I’m quite pleased with the way this is looking.  All the fake stuff matches up really well with the footage and looks about as good as it’s going to look given that I’m not ILM 😉



Falling Cities

I’m continuing to work on my Rise Another Leaf video.  Usually when I work on a video I come up with a ton of ideas and only some of them make it into the final vid.  The song in this case is just under four minutes long, which is short for one of Tom’s songs, so the available space on this one is much shorter than I normally have to work with.  Consequently I’m finding myself truncating alot of what I’d originally planned.

The original idea for the video was that we start off with shots of space with giant gears and mechanisms floating amongst the stars.

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We transition from the gears into shots of DNA composed of gears and then out to Tom with blood running down the side of his head.  I originally had an idea that there were mechanisms behind everything so I also wanted shot similar to the one below that I did a while back, where there are even cogs in his chest.  I’d like to have another go at this idea since I did this shot before I started using 3D objects so I think I can do a better job of it this time.

The song’s about time travel so the idea I had was that the time travel device would disrupt the mechanisms behind the fabric of reality and cause everything to start breaking down.  I have a few shots of giant cogs bursting from the ground and destroying the world.

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I still like all these ideas, it’s now just a question of how much I can fit into the video!  The idea of having the world be destroyed is staying, but I think the way it happens might change slightly.  I have an idea that activating the time travel device might cause one of my floating cities to malfunction and start falling from the sky.
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To this end I’ve been creating shots of a giant cogwheel city crashing into a city on the ground, which is proving quite fun 😉
Here’s an ‘in progress’ shot from After Effects.  This has been created using multiple layers of 3D elements using the Elements plugin for After Effects.  I’m slightly wary of doing so much in 3D as I’ve previously managed to explode a graphics card and basically destroy my computer by creating a scene that was too 3D heavy for the graphics card to handle.
However, my new computer seems to be handling all this quite well so I’m not too worried.  To reduce the load, where possible, I’ve been using flat 2D images in 3D space to fill in the backgrounds and sections of the ground that are far enough away from the computer.
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Here’s a more complete version of the same shot.  It possibly needs more destruction at the base of the cog, but I’m liking the look of this so far and it hasn’t caused my computer to explode just yet!


The ‘time travel device’ shot has sort of become the ‘signature shot’ of the vid, simply because it’s come together the best.  I’m just trying to work out what the actual time travel effect should look like.  Here’s a breakdown of the shot I’ve previously posted.

The original idea I had for this was that the fabric of reality would ‘fold up’ revealing large cog wheels –  the mechanism of the heavens – behind.  I might still do that, but I need to transition into it.  I’ve started adding lightning strikes to this to bring it to life.  I think the kind of ‘globe thing’ might expand and that could be the transition into ‘cog world’ – kind of like a shit matrix 😉



Rise Another Leaf rises once more

So this is something I started working on about a year ago and then kind of got distracted.  It’s a video for my brother’s song Rise Another Leaf which I really like.



Going back through my hard drive, I’d actually done a fair bit of work on it.  We have a kind of ‘clockwork universe’ idea going on with a time travel motif thrown in for good measure 😉

The idea is that the time travel device disrupts the clockwork of the universe which is depicted here in a rather ‘in your face’ OTT fashion.  He even has clockwork DNA! 😉

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Here’s a breakdown of one of the shots.  I made this a while back but seem to have neglected to mention it.  I’ve been making use of the 3D tracking plugin I have for after effects to add 3D backgrounds to some green screen shots of Tom.  The shot’s not finished yet but it’s looking cool so far 🙂

Kung Fury

I don’t normally do this kind of thing as this blog is all about me, me ME! (I am that self absorbed), but fuck me, check out Kung Fury!!

I’m really impressed with this. It looks great, is hilarious and the FX work is terrific!  I did notice a few Video Copilot elements in there too 😉  This sort of thing makes me feel the need to up my game as it shows what can be done on a budget.  To be fair these guys had a $600,000 budget which is a little higher than mine, but still, you don’t need to be a Hollywood studio to produce something awesome.

Some of the creatures have broken the locks on the door to lab 558

So I’ve finished my video for Some of the creatures have broken the locks on the door to lab 558.

I quite enjoyed working on this one as it comprised so many different techniques – scale miniatures, sculptures and puppetry, macro photography and visual effects.  I like the final video but I think it lacks a certain something.  It might just be because I’ve been staring at it for so long, but I think it needs abit more ‘oomph’ in the final few moments.  I had wanted to do some shots of the city being destroyed by the tentacles.  I had a go but didn’t come up with anything that I really liked – although I did use some 3D models within After Effects to create the city, I don’t have enough 3D modelling skills to create exploding buildings etc.  I was also running out of time towards the end as we had a deadline this time around (one of the drawbacks of having a record company behind you this time).  We’d also agreed that this video would be a little more ‘impressionistic’ than previous efforts like Beast of the Air, however I think it could’ve done with abit more destruction 😉

Here’s a shot of the tentacle being filmed.

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And here’s a the lab miniature.


Macro Video

I’ve been having some fun doing some more macro photography using some macro tubes that I’ve recently purchased.   I’d previously shot some video of my brother’s eye.  This time round I’m dropping food colouring, gelatin and wall paper paste into a dish of water to get some cool effects.  I’m trying to get cool biological looking shots.

I’ve lit this with some LED strip lighting I got from Amazon which works really well.


Here’re some stills from the video I’ve shot so far.

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Rise Another Leaf WIP

So I’m still working on my new music video for Rise Another Leaf, a song from my brothers album that came out a year or so ago.  Yeah, I got lazy.  One of the advantages of doing all this for fun rather than for a living.

So me and Tom spent a few hours this weekend filming in the illustrious surrounding of mums back garden.  It’s handy as there’s plenty of space and you don’t need to set up any lights.  You do have to contend with the wind constantly blowing over your greenscreen, but the trade off is worth it I feel 😉

Here’s Tom composited into a scene.

New Video

I’m currently working on a new video project.  This is going to be a music video for my brother’s song Rise Another Leaf.  I’ve always loved the song and have had the idea for ages, I’ve only recently found the time though.

Here’s a test video I’ve produced, essentially to learn using some new software.  This was produced using Video Copilot’s Element 3D plugin for After Effects.  I’ve had it a while and last used it on the music video I did for Dead Beyond Buried.

Last time I used this it was fairly basic however you can do alot with the software as it allows you to render 3D objects inside After Effects.  This video was really to try getting a decent look using the lighting and reflection options.