Welcome to my blog, Whats this about then?

This is a place where I will be posting all sorts of things not just things relating to Derby and Derbyshire. On here you will find details of any videos I’ve made of things in Derby and also Time-lapse, stop motion animation, Tutorials etc. If I find some useful software for PC or iPhone then I will feature it here.I’m sure that there will be something of interest to someone on my many posts.Please leave comments on any posts if you like them.
Don’t forget if you are new to my blog and would like to read through the previous posts then see the Blog Archive section on the left side of this page.
Also there is a Search box at the top left of the page if you are looking for something but cant remember where it was. I am a trustee member of "Friends of Friar Gate bridge", aiming to get this bridge restored.

Saturday 18 June 2011

New Video - Beautiful time-lapse clouds filmed over Derby with Kaleidoscopic effect.

Here is my latest video, its almost eight hours worth of time-lapse cloud footage filmed over Derby, looking towards Derby University.

My time-lapse Derby Clouds video:

Hope you like it. Best watched at fullscreen and at 1080p (if you have a very fast PC and internet connection.)
Watching this now it looks like the world has flooded with just the tree tops sticking out of the flood water.

How I made it
The video is made from a sequence of photographs I took with my old Canon Ixsus 430 camera. I used some software that allows you to control a Canon camera via the USB lead. The software is called PSRemote, this software has an option to take time-lapse photographs built into it.
You simply select how many seconds between shots and set it going.

In my video I set the duration to every 9 seconds and left it running for almost 8 Hours, this took a total of 3133 photographs.
Of course you have to use a mains power adaptor to keep the camera running for that long.
You also need to make sure you turn off screensavers etc on the PC that you are using to take the photographs.
When I stopped it taking photographs I made it into a video using Sony Vegas as described below.

When was it recorded
I pointed my camera out of my upstairs window in Derby, Derbyshire,UK on 13th June 2011. The first photograph was taken at 14:39 and the last at 22:29

How I created a video from the photographs using Sony Vegas.
I used Sony Vegas 10 Pro 10.0c 64-bit running on Windows 7.
To start with we need to make a video from the source photographs, so..
Goto File - Import - Media
Navigate to where you have saved your sequence of time-lapse photographs and click on the first frame. When you select your first frame it should show you some details at the bottom of the panel
such as File Type : JPEG, Video : 2272x1704x24
Now TICK the option box to the left of where it says "Open still image sequence"
To the right of this where it says range: it should state how many frames it has found example 1-3133
Click on the Open button and in the Properties panel where it says Alpha channel : Change this from None to "Straight (unmatted)"
Now click OK and a thumbnail should appear in your "Project Media" tab with the title based on your imported frame sequence. for example "0001.JPG - 3133.JPG"
Simply drag and drop this thumbnail onto your timeline.
Just for reference my 3133 photographs create a video sequence that lasts for 2 Minutes and 5 seconds (25 FPS playback rate).

At this stage (if you have a fast PC) you can click play to see what it looks like.

How I created the kaleidoscopic mirror effect using Sony Vegas.
I'm going to render this video in HD 1080p so I need to do change the aspect ratio. I want my finished video at 1920x1080, 25.000 fps
So use the Event pan/crop tool on the timeline and set the Preset dropdown menu to "16:9 Widescreen TV aspect ratio" then move the crop area down near the bottom of the frame.
Now add the following Video FX filters onto the video clip.
Colour Curves "Increase Contrast"
Saturation Adjust "Boost midtones"
Mirror "Reflect Right"
Mirror "Reflect Top" move Y axis down to reveal tree tops
And there we have it, ready to render the file.

For the first time ever I have actually used background music which I composed and played myself.
I am NOT a professional musician as you can probably tell. You can always mute the music if its that bad!
The track is called "Clouds from an unknown future" which I wrote way back in 1993.
I recorded it using Steinberg pro 24 running on my Atari 4160 STE and my Yamaha SY22 synthesizer. I've still got all of this old equipment, not sure if the old Atari computer would even boot up though after all of these years!

The music is from my 2000 Album "Dawn of the new millennium" which was on sale at Midas Records of Derby at the time.
Note I have never released this album other than via the local record shop. Perhaps I should, what do you think?

Did you spot the face at about 47 seconds ?


Monday 13 June 2011

New video - Handyside Bridge in Derby. A short film about this 134 year old bridge built by Andrew Handyside & Co Ltd

Here is my latest video, promoting the work of Derby iron founder Andrew Handyside.
Perhaps you have walked across this bridge and wondered what its all about, well in this short film I should be able to answer any questions you have.

My film about Handyside bridge:

Hope you like it and learn something of interest.
For more info please see my dedicated Andrew Handyside blog.