Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Anatomy of a Music Video

Here is the Southern Kitties video.

I thought some of you might find it interesting how I made this demented, funny little music video so here are the basics:

1) I storyboarded the original idea to get a feel for what would be needed to put this thing together.

2) Worked on the drums, banjo, and bass using a MIDI program. Once this was transferred to .wav format I burned it on a CD for further use.

3) I added live vocals and background acoustic guitar while monitoring the CD. After putting all tracks on a program called Kristal I added a prerecorded jaw harp and balanced everything for volume. I also added a little reverb and compression to a couple of the tracks. I then mixed down and recorded the result as a single .wav file to be used in the video.

4) I went through hundreds of cat photos to get a few that would be suitable. The main cat photo was touched up with a paint program and made into a series of photos showing the mouth opening. I had to add a tongue and teeth cut out of another photo to make these look realistic. Otherwise all you would see would be a gaping black hole for a mouth!

5) Now comes the tedious part. Each photo was converted to transparent .GIF photos and stratigically placed over a background photo of a field. Each photo had to be lined up in the proper sequence and place to show the mouth opening and closing in time with the singing. I did this one or two frames at a time over thousands of frames. This step took about 2 long days of work.

6) I then added peripheral touches like the other cat heads and flying bird and placed them in proper locations on the screen, moving them in the desired direction using the Adobe Premiere motion feature.

7) One day of fine tuning and fixing goofs in the movements and it was done. I then converted the whole thing to mpg2 format using Premiere and put it on YouTube.

I hope this helps any aspiring videographic animators out there. The result was crude but serviceable and the cost was 0$ since I already had Adobe Premiere and the other programs were free. I used a program called Audacity to record the sound and Kristal for sound mixing.

All the best from the Cat Wrangler! Now I need to get back in the field and take some nature photos.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Where I Am Right Now In Life

Hi all! It's been awhile blogging because I have been so busy pursuing my photography, making videos, and caring for a sick cat. Let me catch you up on my life, if anyone out there is still even remotely interested.

Well, my former principal at Bartram High School, Brennan Asplen, has managed to scare the crap out of most of the faculty so they will not even talk with me. You see, he and school superintendent Joiner are afraid that I will tell some of the garbage that goes on behind the scenes in what passes for education in St. Johns county. Joiner and his minion Asplen decided that the best way to muzzle me is to cut off all communication between myself and my former coworkers. The funny thing is that I really couldn't care less what they are up to. I have too much of a full life here without picking through their dirty laundry. I guess that is how paranoid public officials act when they have a lot to hide. It is both humorous and tragic at the same time.

Our 13 1/2 year old cat Sebastian has been fighting a tremendous battle with calicivirus, a virus that attacks his gums and trachea. He developed pneumonia and spent time in a hospital in Jacksonville. He has just finished a 2 month course of antibiotics and has been going to our local vet daily for medication to help his nausea and lack of appetite. He is a tough little guy and is hanging in there.
Here is a recent photo of him.

I have been making new videos about our cat menagerie here. My favorite so far is a music video I made about Sam The Man. I think you will enjoy it!

I have also been taking lots of photographs in my second career as a wildlife/nature photographer. Here is one of a robber fly:

and here is one of a least tern:

My commercial website has these and a lot more photographs I have been taking this summer. It is Kenneth Albin Wildlife/Nature Photography. I have greeting cards, posters, and framed portraits of my best work there.

So that is pretty much what I have been accomplishing so far this season. I will try to update this blog more often but with so much going on it will probably be hit and miss. Take care and hope everyone is doing well.