Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Music Video FINALE!

P1T7 Push It To The Limit from Kapaa Middle School MEDIA on Vimeo.

So. Hello. It's time. This is the final project of the year. The infamous MUSIC VIDEO PROJECT! (Bumm bumm baaaaaaa!) in this project, my team was comprised of Jason Hoy, Micah Miller, Linden Johns, and me. Wait. No. Scratch that last one. Just the three of us. The song we ended up picking was called "Push it to the limit" by Paul Engemann. We ended up picking by putting all of our song ideas onto one document, with our favorites highlighted. Then we basically just voted which one would be the best. Thus, we ended up with this song. I actually hadn't heard the song before this project, but it's pretty good.

Here's the lyrics of the song that we used:

Push it to the limit
Walk along the razor's edge
But don't look down, just keep your head
Or you'll be finished
Open up the limit
Past the point of no return
You've reached the top but still you gotta learn
How to keep it
Hit the wheel and double the stakes
Throttle wide open like a bat out of hell
You crash the gates (Crash the gates)
Going for the back of beyond
Nothing gonna stop you, there's nothing that strong
So close now you're nearly at the brink
So, push it, ooh yeah

Welcome to the limit (Limit)

Take it baby one step more
The power game's still playing so
You better win it

Push it to the limit (Limit)

No one left to stand in your way
You might get careless, but you'll never be safe
While you're still in it

Welcome to the limit (Limit)

Standing on the razor's edge
Don't look down just keep your head
Or you'll be finished
Welcome to the limit
Push it to the limit

However, there was a catch. We had to make up a story to go with the song in the music video! *Dun dun daaaaaaaa!* Nah, it wasn't the hardest thing in the world. Micah came up with the idea that there was this superhero dude (me) who wasn't saving enough people. Thus, he trains, and beats up the big bad evil dude, who is revealed to be Jason, the person that gave him the status report in the first place! [Insert deeper meaning and/or plot here] Anyway... Yeah! Jason's evil, so I beat him up but not really, and walk off into the sunset, fade to black, cut. But wait! It needs to sync up with the lyrics. It syncs up to the lyrics pretty well, like for the training montage part it has inspirational lyrics like "Nothing's gonna stop you, There's nothing that strong." like, trying to pump him up and such. And before the big bad fight scene between me and Jason, it says "The power game's still playing so, you'd better win it." Basically continuing to inform that I am now stronger and am ready to take on the big baddie guy. And finally, at the end, when I enter the secret lair, it says, "No one left to stand in your way" which means what it implies. It's just up to me. Once again, [Insert deeper meaning and/or plot here]

So... The finished product turned out pretty good in my opinion! I think probably the only thing that could be improved is my performance in the piece. I am not the best of actors in the world. The piece could probably be a little more fast-paced, but i'm proud of how it turned out. I think that for the most part, it definitely shows some of my best work. The speed up scenes didn't look (too) cheesy, and the story is definitely very clear, despite there technically being no dialogue. (Except for "Save me Superguy!" courtesy of Micah.) The editing was pretty good, the lip syncs were very synced, and my acting is still terrible. Just kidding, but I do feel I could work on it a bit. So yeah. I think this was a great end to a great year. Although ever since we finished it, "Push it to the Limit" has been stuck in my head.

Sincerely, Signing off one last time,


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Food Bank of Hawaii

Kauai Food Bank PSA from Kapaa Middle School MEDIA on Vimeo.

*Dunnnnnnnnn* "In the dark of night" *Dunnnnnnnn* "One class remained superior" *Dunnnnnnn* "Will the students survive?" *Dun Dun Dun Dun Dun Dun Dun Dun DUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNNNN* "7th Period: Service Learning" Coming to theaters near nobody because this is about the food bank. Anyway, here comes the first blog post in.... Ever that ISN'T about G.T. Well, I'm not sure if this counts or not, because you need to be in G.T. to be able to be in this class and it's still taught by Mr. Sanderl, so I guess it's G.T. hard mode. Anyway, our project was to create a video PSA (Public Service Announcement) about a non-profit organization. I chose the Food Bank of Hawaii. (Although, you probably could have figured out that based on the giant video and title.) Anyway, my teammates for this project were... No one! I worked by myself because all of the teams were full, and although one team was not full, I would've much rather worked by myself. I learned about initiative and independence, which are important skills not taught quite as often in children's TV than friendship and relying on others for help.

The most difficult part of the project was probably the timing, as for half of the school days we could work on it, I was sick. Like sicker than a dog who happened to be sick. But I still managed to squeeze in two filming sessions, and thankfully Mr. Sanderl was understanding and gave me an extension. I was a little worried when I went out to film, but the people at the food banks were really nice and supportive. (I mean, it makes sense, as they help starving people every week.) I mean, I couldn't get shots of the people who were getting food, which made sense because you know, they're people. I would need each one of their permissions to use the clip in question. Basically, the video was challenging but (mostly) fun.

Finally, I really do hope that the people over at the Hawaii Food Bank use or at least see the video. I worked really hard on it, and I hope that the recognize that. Even if they don't use the video, I'm still proud of myself for creating the piece, because it was very difficult but also one of the highest quality videos i've made. I hope you like it as much as I did.

Ciao for now,

Friday, April 7, 2017

Movie Trailer Premier

P1T7_Focused from Kapaa Middle School MEDIA on Vimeo.
Goooooood evening everybody! Or morning. Or noon. Or midnight. Or whenever you're reading this... Anyway, as the title says, (and as the large film above shows) Our next project has been making a movie trailer for a movie that doesn't exist. It had to be 60-120 seconds long, explain why the movie should be watched (even though it can't be watched) without giving away the ending, and have an epic voice read the script to make it sound.......Epic. Our team members were Micah Miller, (Epic voice guy) Cephas Woodward, (Main character) and Jason Hoy, (Director). In the plan, I was the one that came up with the idea of the movie, with a man trapped on an island with a pair of spooky glasses. I was also the cameraman, and wrote scenes 1 and 4, as well as helping write some of the other scenes such as 2 and 3. So far, that is what I've contributed to the plan. Next paragraph transition GO!


Okay, so that was a little more underwhelming than I anticipated, but whatever. Anyway, the project went pretty well. The biggest challenge was a failure to communicate some things. For example, we had a very difficult time finding a date at which we could film, and even then sometimes things didn't go according to plan. However, I believe the biggest success of the film was the atmosphere. From the voice overs to the ambient noise, I think we got it basically spot-on for a eerie and spooky type of film. You may not have found it scary at all, but I actually did, and I was one of the people who made it!

So, the critique. Overall, we did really good!  Everyone else in the class seemed to think the atmosphere was good, and we ended up in a tie for best movie with "Don't say it". There definitely were some things we could have improved on, such as some continuity errors and things that didn't make sense. Otherwise, most people thought we wen't above and beyond, which I was really happy about. In total, I learned things about production value, making a movie trailer, and not to get too upset if things don't go according to plan. Oh yeah, and the value of friendship or whatever they want you to learn in those cheesy TV shows. (But I did learn about teamwork, so...)

Anyway, adios until next time,

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Metamorphosis Animation

Sweet! It's one of my favorite times of year again... ANIMATION TIME! I've always liked these animation projects, and this one is probably one of the best. It's got the usual animation types, STYKZ, photoshop, stop-motion, stop-motion on a whiteboard, that kind of thing. But as the animation styles change, so does the animation itself! It changes and morphs and goes through (as the title suggests) metamorphosis, but not just from a caterpillar to a moth, more creative that that... but you can probably see that from the video. Anyway, the goal was to have a fresh, creative idea for an animation with different styles where something changes. Like how in those stories, how the lonely girl that's trapped becomes a princess or whatever, but more creativer. (creativer? that's not a word) Like, for example, a frog could become a fly and see what it's like to be hunted, and then becomes a vegetarian...? (that wasn't a good example) But there has to be a purpose or moral to it. And the purpose can't be something dumb like "To entertain the viewer!" That's not CREATIVE or ORIGINAL! That's the point of like... all animations. Ever. So a purpose might be something like, "To achive your goals, you need a little help from others." That's an example of a creative and moral statement. It must be the creativivestestest. (Still not a word)

So, our animation turned out to have the focus statement "Egg Seeks Adventure". The plot is that there's an egg that isn't sure what it wants to be. This scene would have a photoshopped egg named Eggbert, (not my idea) hanging out in a nest, thinking about what it wants to be. Then, it starts to rain, and the egg becomes slippery, (still in photoshop) and falls out of the nest. landing beside a river, the eggshell breaks in half, (stykz animation now) and becomes a boat. The boat drifts along in stop motion, and reaches the ocean. Eventually, it sails to an island, and the egg-boat really wants to explore it. Looking for a way to get onto the island, it accidentally runs into a rock. Pieces of the boat fly off and melds together and changes into a bird. The bird flies off into the sunset in photoshop animation to explore and settle down. Super deep right? The moral of the story is to find yourself and seek adventure.

Extremely scientific and statistical graph for grading purposes.

So, the results were't quite what I was expecting. As there was no dialogue in the entire video, many people found the plot confusing, so we didn't get very high grades in that area, shown by the very scientific diagram right over there <--. I do think we deserved the grades for characters, props, and backgrounds as well as creativity, originality, and execution. Overall, I mostly agree with the grades, but do regret that we didn't incorporate dialogue or speech into the film. Despite this, I am glad that at least 3 people voted ours the best animation in the class according the the VERY scientific graph also to the left.
Possibly even MORE scientific than the other graph,
however, this is not scientifically proven.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Geometric Portraits

Easy version. Just stick the photo in a website!
But as you can see, it doesn't work too well.
So, I dunno about you, but I believe that almost all facial expressions are universal. Almost everyone can understand the facial expressions can make. For example, a smile. You know how I can tell that smiling is something people are born with? Because they smile as babies when they're happy. Frowning, in many cases, shows disapproval or disappointment. So, even if you're from somewhere like Brazil, or Germany, or China, I'm pretty sure that you'd understand what I meant if I smiled at a unique food dish, or frowned after being rejected from a baseball team, or anything like that. However, some facial expressions in certain places are not inherited naturally. Many expressions are a result of people or society teaching their children whether something is good or not, but even as babies, we all understand a smile, laughter, and crying.

Poly-1 Using outlines to make the image
looks a little funky though
Wow, that was probably the first blog post I've made that DIDDN'T start with "Hey here's a new G.T. project I'm gonna talk about it now." But this new project is.... drumroll please..... (bup bup bup.... bup bup... bap... bap boop bup...) I really need to afford a good drummer... Anyway, it's low poly portraits! Any idea what that is? I sure didn't! But because of my extensive research on (ahem, wikipedia) I found out! Low poly portraits are basically used "for modeling graphics quickly and efficiently using simple 3-5 sided shapes." -Linden's vocabulary 2016. A link to some examples can be found here. Anyway, I made mine, which you can also see scattered across the blog post, using PhotoShop, some steps, and a WHOLE lotta time. The first thing you want to do is to get a photo of yourself or someone else or pretty much anything. Pull it into photoshop, activate the Grid, and lock your portrait layer. Using the line tool at about 5 pixels in an easily identifiable color, (I used red) start drawing an outline for your subject in the photo. Make sure each line starts and ends at either a horizontal or vertical grid line, and all the lines connect. Once you've done that, merge the lines and name it "outline" then start using the line tool to outline the main features, if you're doing a face, this would be hair, eyes, nose, mouth, and ears. Then you just kinda start connecting the lines, making sure that all the shapes you make are triangles. Yes, triangles. At places with more detail, use more smaller triangles. For large similarly-colored spaces use bigger and fewer triangles. Once you've finished with that, which takes a while, merge all of the lines together, and copy your photo layer. Be sure to be working in the copy layer, so if something goes wrong, you can delete it. Then, you use the polygonal lasso tool and select triangles individually, every time going to Filter-Blur-Average (after you do it once you can just use Command-F) to flatten the shape. Do that for every single triangle. All of them. Then just cut out the photo and you should be done! Ez-Pz-Lemn-Squizi
Poly-2 Without outlines, looks a little better
FYI this is a photo of my brother.
So, as you can see, Poly-2 has quite a few differences from Poly-1. Mainly that it doesn't look unnerving, but there were quite a few differences along the way. First of all, there were no outlines. Just lasso-ing various triangles and coloring them. Secondly, instead of going to Filter-Blur-Average, you use the eyedropper tool to select a color that would look good and stand out from the other triangles and fill it with that. Shortcuts for these keys are: Polygonal Lasso Tool: L  Eyedropper tool: I  Fill triangle: ALT-Delete. Pretty easy. Then, once you've selected and filled all the triangles with unique colors, (you can use manual color select to make them more unique) you add a Curves adjustment layer and tweak it a bit to make the colors pop even more. Then, you cut out your image, copy the background AGAIN, and go to filter-artistic-cutout for the background. Tweak it up a bit, find a good cutout setting, make it look all polygonal by adjusting the settings, and then click apply. Then, you add a color balance adjustment layer that affects the background but not the subject, and make it all quirky and weird to make the subject pop EVEN MOAR. If you want, you can even select parts of the background and copy and distort them, or make an outline for your subject, basically get creative. Then you should have something that looks really cool, and you're done! EZ-PZ-LEMN-SQUIZI

Have an EZ PZ day,
Final Poly-3 with broken glass effect! I like it

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Verbal Landscapes

JohnsL_ReTime from Kapaa Middle School MEDIA on Vimeo.
So. Hi. What is up. I am here, apparently. And also we have another project. (Surprise Surprise) You know, basically the same into I've done for the past 3 years except this time is DIFFERENT this time I'm a little less enthuseasti- wait the all caps different probably ruined that. Anyway! The new project is called..... dun dun DUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN RETIME Nature poem thing. Basically a nature poem with royalty free music, time lapses, and slow mos. Nature is a very big impact on my life for various reasons. First of all, our backyard is a forest. So that's a big part of my life that is entirely nature. Secondly, I can't see out my windows because there's a big bamboo patch in the way, so that's another big thing. And finally, I love nature. All except mosquitos, I love to run into the backyard and garden and mess around, climbing trees, rolling in grass, and generally having a good time.

As said before, the project requires time lapses and slow-mos. Now, I am here to tell you how they're made! And before you ask, no. We're not clicking the button on the camera that takes a photo every 30 seconds or so, and compiles them into a time lapse. We're doing it a little bit differently. To take THESE time lapses, you just click the record button on a camera that's on a tripod, (our requirements needed 2/3 sky and 1/3 ground.) and leave it there for at least 5 minutes or more. Then, you take the video to Final Cut Pro, or a similar video editing program, put the clip into your timeline, click the "Re-Time" button, and set it to fast. I personally like to make it 20X faster, but that's just my preference.  For slow-mos, you just simply take a 3-5 second clip (it can be longer, but it will become longer as well) of some kind of action. Then, like before, bring it into FCP and click "Re-Time" This time, go to slow, and choose whatever percent you want it to be slower. Boom! You just slowed down your clip to make it a slow-mo. Better slow-mos can be taken using a camera that shoots at a much higher FPS, but any old camera should work. Although it does get weird if you slow it down too much with an ordinary camera...

This project was, in total, pretty fun. I mean, there was nature, poetry, chickens, what's not to like? (Unless you despise writing for some reason...) But the hardest part was probably getting the time lapses. I had a lot of trouble with this for a variety of reasons. First of all, it was difficult to get the camera at an angle of 2/3 sky and 1/3 ground without a tripod. Some pretty creative arrangements were made using game boards, binders, textbooks, and chairs. Not to mention getting to a spot that didn't have telephone wires or cars strewn all over it was a little challenging. But my favorite part about it was probably the editing. Heh, those chickens look so silly when slowed down... and that time lapse looks really cool in it's entirety... It was quite fun to mess around with the Re-time function. Quite fun indeed.

Well, I guess I'll post again when there's another G.T. project. (as always...)
Plan for the poem. Didn't quite go according to plan.
BONUS! Here is the results for the critique. Personally, I mainly agree, except for that 2. In fact, because I was so opposed to it, I asked the person who voted "2" and asked what was wrong with my video, and he said that he thought he voted a 4. So, other than that, I basically agree with the results. I did good, but not super exceptional.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Poetic Personal Statement

HELLO and WELCOME back to another school year! Another one! Isn't it crazy? They just keep coming! Anyway, the first project of the year is......... wait for it......... dramatic effect...........................
wait, I just realized, you probably know what it is from the title. . . To think I wasted all of those periods! Anyway, the first project is the Poetic Personal Statement. And I would like to start things off right. The word poetry. You've probably herd of it before, you may have even written poetry before! But what's interesting about the word is how many meanings it has. To some people, it could be a few statements that rhyme, to others it may mean the emotions poetry conveys. To me, poetry means: Several statements, usually in a certain pattern of writing (rhyming, or whatever) that conveys a moral, meaning, or emotion. That's just my definition of it, (connotation, anyone?) so you might have a different one. Don't take everything I say as fact. Unless you do, in which case, YOU ARE NOW MY MINION. MEET ME AT THE PARK AT 5:00 PM TO DO MY BIDDING AND DON'T BE LATE. Seriously though. I also think poetry is used for different reasons. My personal reasons that I think poetry is written is to convey a meaning, express an emotion, and / or telling people a message that the writer takes to heart. You may have a lot of other reasons for writing poetry. Perhaps it's fun for you, and that's the only reason you do it. Again, these are just my opinions.

So, here is MY poetic personal statement:

Here I am, working and stressing
Knowing, I won’t get a savior blessing
Going deeper and deeper, into the zone,
For all of my work must be my own
Trying and trying, through blood, sweat, and tears,
Letting go of the stress to let go of my fears
Relaxed, focused, and working presently
Trying to keep my health, mentally.

Did you see any personal goals in there? Perhaps that I want to stress less? Fear less? Work harder? Stop procrastinating? Be healthier? Anything? Cool.

I used rhythm and rhyme very thoughtfully in this poem. For example, notice how the tone in the beginning is much different than the tone in the end. I tried to make it so that the beginning is fast paced, stressed, and a kind of last-minute tone, but in the end, I tried to make it more relaxed and chill. Notice the difference now? And, of course, I made the rhyme do a similar thing, with the fast-paced, and then the slower relaxed words. If you want to see the final project, you probably already have because the text, sketch, and final project are scattered about the page.

Welcome back!