Content CreationDesignMusic Videos

      Unveiling the Vision: First Look at My New Music Video in Production

      I’m starting some work on a music video for “Gone Girl” from my Quarantunes album and I want to share a little bit of cool stuff that I’ve been working on. I’m taking a new approach to this next video and going outside of my comfort zone a bit to (hopefully) create something really cool! First, I’ll tell you a little bit about the project, and then I’ll show you some of the artwork that I’ve got so far.

      I’m trying to do multiple videos right now. Some are for my existing music, and others are for music I haven’t released yet. Double teaming these as I’ve been doing, I shot four of the videos all within a few days of each other. I figure, if I’m going to setup my house for filming, I might as well get as much stuff recorded as possible, and then worry about how to wrap it all up later. For Gone Girl I decided to do something really fun. I filmed the project at high speed, and I also sped up the music play back to two times the speed of the song as it’s recorded. So, I played along with a super-fast version of the song and filmed myself doing this at high speed. The result is that when I play it back at regular speed, and slow down the footage, everything has a slow-mo feeling, while it’s playing at the correct speed. It’s pretty cool and I like the effect.

      The next step in all of this was to figure out how to utilize this footage. I was speaking to a friend of mine about this, and she suggested the idea of doing Dioramas. I loved the idea! Say no more! It gave me the perfect way to blend these clips into something really cool! The plan is to build out the dioramas out of paper and cardboard and then film them at the same high speed with a small amount of fan blowing on them to give it more of that not-quite-right, slow motion feel to them. The catch was that I’d have to figure out my stage and what images I wanted to do.

      I spent a few days trying to work out the dimensions of my diorama stage. Originally, I was going to build it out of wood with elaborate pulley systems for moving various objects. I may go back to the pulley systems, but the wood quickly went out the window. I figured out how big I needed to build my sets for the Blackmagic Pocket Cine 6 camera, since I knew the film back and my main focal lengths, so I also new that I needed to make sure that the stage would photograph correctly when I repeated a lot of this setup. So, even when the plan was wood, I took my idea into Maya and started planning out my build in CG.

      As a side note, you may be wondering why I’m building a stage at all. I could just as easily do all of this in CG and Comp, and never leave the computer again with this project. After all, so much of it is already going to need a lot of visual effects, and I haven’t even started the edit yet. Well, the answer is, I’ll never get the same kind of lighting look doing this in CG as I will matching to my lights in the real world, and, more importantly, the slow motion secondary motion that I’ll get from putting a low speed fan on a paper diorama set will give me a lot of complex movement that would be far too time consuming to do in the digital realm. Plus, this will just be fun to do.

      So, back to Maya and my basic previsualizations. While I was trying to solve some issues with the wooden build, it occurred to me that I was trying to make something not too far off from a science fair display, and it occurred to me that I could just buy some science fair tri-folds and be done with it. It was much cheaper and easier than building out a wooden set. So, I started going down that road, but then it occurred to me that I shouldn’t even buy those, since I have a bunch of moving boxes laying around and they are basically just ready-made diorama stages just waiting to be utilized. Into Maya I went with the dimensions that I wanted to use.

      I modeled up the basic set. Super simple. But I recognized that the paintings I made would need to be warped in such a way that the final image would go flat once it got wrapped onto the diorama background. So, I projected a checker board onto my CG set, and then flattened it out to give me a template that I could use in Photoshop and Sketchbook Pro to paint my Dioramas in such a way that they would go flat once I printed them out and pasted the backgrounds on to the tri-folds.

      Now that I had my template I could take this grid and these dimensions and start painting up the images in Sketchbook Pro. I prefer it for painting since the user interface is geared towards a more traditional painting methodology. I still did my basic setup and referencing in Photoshop, but then I’d open that PSD up in Sketchbook and get to painting.

      The following images are just a few of the paintings I’ve done so far. While these are flat, the actual images will be broken into layers that get placed in depth in the final dioramas. I’m excited to show a bit of it off, even though it’s still a long way from being finished!

      Hi, I’m Adam Benson

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