The Most Beautiful Time-Lapse Videos EVER

So I have always loved time-lapse videos, I think they’re stunning and truly reflect that if you have a patience, you can create memorable pieces of art. I actually think I might have done this post before but who cares, the game has been changed by a release this year that blew everyone else out of the water. I’m going to keep this post very short as I am very busy today; but just watch the videos, it’s half and hour well spent.

The Mountain 

The best video online right now; stunning, haunting and moving. The best of the best in my opinion.

Iceland, Eyjafjallajökull

The first video I saw in like this, I love that there is motion in it too; it must have been so hard to calculate!

The Unseen Sea

A fantastic video that focuses on how clouds look during time-lapses; stunning.

Sorry this has been such a short post guys, but I’ve got stuff to do!

Take it easy,

Matt  :)

5 Reasons Why You Should Sign Up to 500px

Hey guys,

So I recently signed up to this great site called 500px and if I’m being honest, I’ve turned into a bit of a fanboy! Regardless of that though, it’s a genuinely great site with the functions and implementation to really rank highly in your social networking resources. 500px is best described by the creators as ‘a photographic community powered by creative people from all over the world that lets you share and discover inspiring photographs’. Except that may perhaps be an understatement; with comprehensive blogging tools, social networking updates and a friend based community 500px may just be your new internet homepage. So here are 5 reasons you should sign up, starting with…

1) It works.

Now, this may sound like a stupid reason; but it’s completely relevant. If a site doesn’t work, people can’t use it, they can’t become users. I would best describe 500px’s user page [Example is my page] as a blend between Facebook and twitter, featuring all the elements you could want from a social networking hub, but laying it out in a cleaner way than Facebook by using a tab based system, which keeps all of your other main directions open. If you want to follow someone, just click the appropriate box and you follow them. Keeping tabs on what you and other people are doing is so easy, because the information is just there; Ian and  Oleg (The sites founders) have somehow seemed to strip away all that is unimportant and leave only that which matters without making anything seem cluttered. Click where you want to go, and go there. Simple, elegant, functional. However, if you are having problems, why don’t you look to the next reason…

2) The Staff Are Great.

Ok, now I may have gotten a bit carried away, referring to the sites founders on a first name basis, something that I cannot justify-but it’s sad to say just how much they feel like your friends. It is one of my most commendable points in this article, to highlight just how impressed I have been by the sites customer service so far. After encountering a little befuddlement with the interface, I decided to make use of the blogging feature built into the site. After a short post expressing some concern, I got a reply and a string of tweet mentions via Oleg, Ian and the 500px official twitter [Click to follow]. It was great to engage with the staff on such a personal level, and you can see from their tweets just how eager the team at 500px are to communicate with their users, with a lot of retweet and @mentions to other users. I cannot pretend that should the site take off on the scale of  Facebook or twitter that this personability may fade, but the site is already servicing tens of thousands of members and it is really nice to see this level of effort.

3) Portfolios.

Can’t afford to a run a portfolio site, showing off your work? Well 500px accommodates users with an online portfolio for FREE. It’s a simple enough slide show generator, but the feature provides you with a personal URL and shows off your photography in a clean, sleek and stylish way; saving technophobes the world over. People checking out your portfolio are also provided with contact details and a brief ‘About’ section based on the information you submitted when signing up to the 500px main site. It’s a simple feature that works really well; have a look at mine to see how it looks.

4) It’s Classy.

Have you ever heard of a site called 1x? If not, you really should check that out too; I say this because like 500px-it’s classy. Class is something that’s hard to pin down but I would summarise it in this context as something that represents quality and design on an industry level. You can’t submit any old tat to 500px; I mean, do your best and upload only your best (as requested by the site admins), but this isn’t a place for your party snaps or your upload tests. 500px stands for a community of quality, not a photo sharing network; the difference being that 500px functions on a more objective level than the happy snappers on Facebook photos. However, if you’ve tried submitting to 1x and been rejected, don’t worry, 500px as far as I know don’t scrub apparently ‘amateur’ photographs, they just ask you to do your best. Couple this with usability far superior to 1x’s interface, and you can start to see why people are claiming 500px is to flickr, what vimeo is to youtube.

5) It’s Young.

One of my favorite things about 500px is its tender age, or perhaps instead I should refer to its tender size. The site started out in 2003 but refers to their 2.0 version being completed in 2009; in that time 500px has won over a few thousand users but I saw a tweet earlier today speculating to the size increase that they estimate for the end of the month. This is what I really think should push readers of this article to sign up, it’s a fantastic experience getting involved in something that has the potential to grow exponentially and since my sign up, I have been rating, commenting and of course posting to try to become a truly active member of this community (Even if I’m not going to be the best photographer on the site!). Because that’s what it’s all about, being sociable, kind and sharing your mutual interests with people in a way that only the internet can accommodate.

Go on, just sign up already.

Peace,

Matt  :)

 

If I Were Trapped On a Desert Island…

Think of it as Desert Island Disks for designers.

So I had a thought today when browsing the pages of a (relatively) new photo sharing site called 500px; it’s a lovely site that has multiple functions for the modern internet savvy user. And as a side note, I am VERY impressed with the staff who since my sign up have engaged with me on a personal level not common in social networking sites (this may be in part to their relatively small size, but it’s still fair to say I was flattered all the same!). Anyway, if you like photography or have even a passing interest in photo-networking (I hope that catches on!) then sign up to them NOW and be part of a fantastic and growing online community.

ANYWAY. I have got a but sidetracked, what I was trying to say was-As I browsed through the pages of 500px the high quality of the images on show lend my mind into a stream of consciousness whereunto I came to the hypothetical question ‘If I were trapped on a desert island, would I rather be surrounded by videos or imagery?’. Now I don’t want you to write of this hypothetical as something simpler than it seems, because it’s worth thinking about. Also I want to say that I am a HUGE lover of video and creative animation and this is not an easy decision for me, my mind will probably only be made up by the time I come to that point in the article!

Lets go through the pros and cons of each format is regard to being isolated on a desert island (that for some reason also have a 50″ plasma tv)…

VIDEO.

PROS: Videos can detail a story in a much more specific way that images ever can, production values can be incredibly high-adding gloss to a story and really sucking you in, you have camera movement that can reveal something initially hidden-or track a protagonist as he moves, you can adjust focus, depth of field, aperture – all on the fly creating a range of effect, you can add even more to these effects with post-editing, adding 3D element, even viewing it in 3D, it seems that quite literally, your options are endless.

CONS: You are limited to the choices made by the production team, your level of interpretation can be restricted by the finale of a film, your senses can be over-loaded with a lot to take in all at once. However I must acknowledge that a lot of these points are minor and that the reason you like a film is usually why you like it at all, kinda like…

IMAGERY.

PROS: In contrast to video, imagery to a degree lets you interpret and choose the story of a particular still, you have a wider range of formats than video, you have: photography, painting, collage and if we’re being generous, sculptures; imagery is usually refined to the most perfect and image can be, refined and touched up untill the image is that which exactly reflects the subject matter, I’m not saying it is any more ‘considered’ than video, but each frame of a video cannot simply compare to a single photo or painting; speaking of which, the minor ‘flaws and/or imperfections’ of a painting create character, something real and tangible that reflects the craft of the painter, an insignia omitted by video directors.

CONS: An image is just that, one moment, one instance that is no more, you may get bored with an image, you may want to know more of the story, why should you have to do the hard work? As for how ‘considered’ a still is, you could also argue that a shot, or compilation of shot in video are more effective than one single image. However, as mentioned above, you will like images usually for the reasons in the ‘PROS’ section, not despite what I have mentioned in the ‘CONS’ section.

So those are the elements which I considered when thinking about this debate, and personally I am still making up my mind. Video was what got my interesting in design and creative work to begin with, it’s more accessible and usually easier to decode, which is why I enjoyed it some much when I was younger, and even more so now. However as I come to conclude, I realise which side of the fence I am falling on; images do take more work than video, and that’s why I am smitten with them, at least for now. Give me 10 images on a desert island and everyday I would construct new meaning, new back-stories and see them from new perspectives. I would put them around my island, hanging them from trees or standing upright in the sand, coming across them when I am feeling at my most blue and finding happiness in the brush strokes of my favorite painting. And when I am happy again, I would go drink a coconut smoothie and lie in my deck chair, forgetting about the 50″ plasma on the other side of the island, which is turned off.

Thanks,

Matt  :)

Top 5 Videos of the Week [20/02/2011]

So as I have been away for a while this T5V has a few entries from further back but they are still as strong as ever; this week we have the video game trailer that has everyone talking, John Malkovich being… well, John Malkovich, a stunning piece of animation work and I bit of film relief in anticipation of the Oscars, so enjoy!

 

1) Dead Island: Official Announcement Trailer

We start this weeks list off with a biggy; this trailer has been buzzing around the internet ever since it was released, and rightly so. This cinematic trailer tells the story of a family of three who are under the attack of… well zombies. The hype has been so massive in fact that the movie rights have alreayd been sold… Crazy.

 

2) The Blackwater Gospel

 

This is one of my personal favorites from this weeks list; TBWG is an animation piece centring on the paranoia in a small isolated town after the undertaker arrives. The resulting piece of work is a visual masterpiece that must be seen; watch it NOW.

 

3) Niteo

Ok, I’ll put my hands up, this is a bit of self-promotion. This weeks number 3 video goes to… me. I made this video a couple of weeks back and I thought this may be a good way to get it out there a little more. The ffect was very simple and cheap to make; it just took a vase of water and some glitter paint. I mounted my camera close to the vase ful of water, and as I poured the glitter paint into the glass, the glitter and paint seperated in a really beautiful way. I like it guys, please don’t forget to ‘like’ if you have a vimeo account :)

 

4) Butterflies

 

WARNING: DO NOT CONSUME ILLEGAL STIMULANTS BEFORE WATCHING THIS CLIP. I mean, technically you shouldn’t anyway, but what I’m saying is, this video is VERY trippy. Somehow it has something to do with butterflies, but in reality, this is an exercise in heavy post-editing and freaking people out. You’ve got to appreciate the level of work this must have taken, but personally… I got scared.

 

5) The Final Chapter [CLICK HERE FOR WEBPAGE]

We finish this weeks list with a very special entry. Those of you who read my previous article may have already seen this, but in for those of you that haven’t, you’re in luck. I had to repost this because it really is a feat like no other; this vimeo project drew the community together on a collaborative piece of work like I have never seen before. The idea being that this whole video was filmed in segments by separate directors, each segment ends in a still, then the competition opens again and the next segment must start with the still image that the last segment ended with. It’s simpler than it sounds trust me; but that’s why I  have linked you to the blog instead of the video, so that you can read the background into the project and watch the separate clips should that be what you desire.

I hope you enjoyed this weeks list, click here to see last weeks T5V.

Some Awesome Things on the Internet [19/02/2011]

Wow, I have not posted for a LONG time; and that’s a shame because lately I have seen a lot of stuff I wish I had shared with you. BUT ANYWAY I’m back now, I will try to post at least once a week but hopefully more, and get my top 5 videos of the week going again (starting tomorrow) and I can only hope you forgive me. As for now let’s crack on.

 

So as I have been gone for a while, I’m gonna start by just posting a few links of stuff I have come across on the internet on the few weeks I was out; there’s a couple of games, some photo and of course some video, I hope you like them guys :)

 

1) 30 Motion Tests in 30 Seconds

 

This is a video from quite a while back that was promoted by Nick Campbell on his blog GreyScaleGorrilla. I can only reiterate the idea that Nick was trying to present; that ambitious designers should aim to make a lot of smaller projects instead of a few, or only one, large project. The creator of this video basically just made 1 second of animation everyday for a month, it has some excellent work and it  barely takes any time out of the your day; so it’s worth your attention.

 

2) The Ransom Note Generator [CLICK HERE FOR WEBPAGE]

This is a really nifty little bit of coding which basically will convert your desired message into a random note, bu replacing each letter with a random images of the same letter from somewhere on the internet. I might be making it sound more confusing than it is, but try it, it’s pretty cool!

 

3) Some Paradoxes – An Anthology [CLICK HERE FOR WEBPAGE]

Now you might have to bear with me a little on this one, this isn’t a design or photo or video focussed webpage at all, as it says on the tin, it’s about paradoxes. Paradoxes for those of you who don’t know are (usually) hypothetical questions that shouldn’t have a possible answer; this page explains in detail how a paradox works and details some of the best examples of paradoxes from history. I really recommend reading this as I found it incredibly interesting.

 

4) School Home Support [CLICK HERE FOR WEBPAGE]

Ok so back to some videos; this webpage has three videos that culminate into one multi-faceted story about a mother and daughter near to living in poverty in Britain. It’s a powerful viewing experience and they’re really short too, so please check it out.

 

5) The Egg [CLICK HERE FOR WEBPAGE]

This is an absolutely brilliant poem that I came across a few weeks back; I don’t want to give too much away but the theme is creation. Honestly if you only check out one of these links today, this is one of my favorites.

 

6) Flying Arrow Cam [CLICK HERE FOR WEBPAGE]

So with a title like this, I shouldn’t have to write much really. Basically guy has strapped a Go Pro HD camera to an arrow and fired it. The result? Awesome.

 

7) Scrbtle [CLICK HERE FOR WEBPAGE]

Let me ask you a question, do you have hours and hours to waste on the internet? No you say? Well you may think that, but when you start drawing with Scrbtle you’ll find that actually you just lost your weekend without even noticing. It’s a simple concept that mirrors your drawings in quarters and smooths out your drawing lines which means in short, you can create absolutely stunning pieces of art in seconds. Actually, I’d love to be able to see your work, if you leave a comment linking to an image of what you drew that’d be amazing!

 

8 ) Sinuous [CLICK HERE FOR WEBPAGE]

Wow, I just found this one in my bookmarks and I’ve got to tell ya, this one is special. It’s an absolutely gorgeous online game that blurs the boundries between art, music and gaming. All you have to do it dodge the red dots, but it’ll be beautiful whilst you do it.

 

9) Silk [CLICK HERE FOR WEBPAGE]

Not hugely dissimilar for the link above, it too blurs boundaries, though this is more of an art tool than anything. Silk  creates an evolving image of your cursor drawings, with the appearance of silk and many colours it really is stunning. Now they just need to put this technology into a screen saver!

 

10) The Final Chapter [CLICK HERE FOR WEBPAGE]

We finish off rather neatly then at number 10. And with one of the best entries on the list; The Final Chapter is the result of a community project hosted by vimeo called ‘The Story Behind the Still’. The contest required filmmakers to film a scene, end with a still shot, then another director would make a scene that starts with that image. The final result is an incredible patchwork of film from several directors who all came together in the end to create the ‘final chapter’. It really is amazing, watch it now. :)

Niteo

Hey guys,

I would like to share with you a new video of mine, I am very happy with how it turned out. The effect was rather simple in fact, I just poured some glitter paint into water and filmed the outcome. I really hope you enjoy this short film and if you do, I would greatly appreciate it if your shared it with your friends.

Thankyou,

Matt  :)

Top 5 Videos of the Week [16/01/2011]

First things first; I’m sorry. For anyone who comes to this blog at all regularly you will notice that posts have significantly plummeted over the last fortnight, and for this I apologise. Sadly as I am in exam mode, revising and sitting different exams I am not really able to afford too much time to the blog right now. However I finish my exams this Monday and I hope to become a lot more active again, with at least 2 or 3 posts a week (including T5V). But anyway, I will not neglect this weekly segment (even if I am writing it on Friday!); this week I was actually able to collect a good range of videos, so I will not be featuring only vimeo videos this week. We have a unique band video, a park tour unlike any other and then a couple of (as I hope you’ve come to expect from this feature) fantastic concept design work, enjoy!

1. Light Works

An absolute corker to start off this weeks list; Light works is a very short video showing of an incredibly unique take on the brokeh technique to write out a quote. Not much else to say, other than we should applaud creativity like this when it comes along, one of my favorites from this weeks list.

Video: Supernormals

(Click here for behind the scenes video)

 

2. NYC – Mindrelic Timelapse

If you remember last week I was expressing an interest in time-lapse and this week is no different; this is probably my favorite video of the week. I love the music and the shots make a seemingly normal city into a work of art. Plus panning and vehicle mounts spice up this otherwise limited technique. Fantastic.

Video: Mindrelic

Music: Down to the Cellar by Dredg

 

3. Four Guys One Guitar

We’re halfway through the list and time for a little relief, here’s a quirky little video from Little Comets playing one of their songs all on one guitar! Though I must admit, the singers vocals could be a little less ‘screechy’…

Video/ Music: Little Comets

 

4. Green Lake

This is a great little video about a place called Green Lake, where whilst it functions as a park most of the year round, during the snow melt between May and July it gets filled with water and becomes something completely beatuiful in it’s own right! I would love to go there!

Video: Wolbromia

5. Envision

The thing I love about this video is that it’s filmed; I know I post a lot of animations of after effects work but every now and again it’s nice to see what can be achieved without computer simulation. When I watched this video I really imagined what it’d be like to be in that room, experiencing the colours and light and I hope when you watch it you feel the same.

Video: SuperBien

Please leave a comment saying which video you enjoyed the most.

 

Top 5 Videos of the Week [09/01/2011]

So another week has passed and it’s been a great 7 days in video. This is a special week in Top 5 Videos’ (T5V) because of one very special video on the list. Make sure you have time to watch number 5 all in one sitting as it’s a truly special experience. We also have other great entries on this weeks list with some hyper-advanced animation, a gorgeous time-lapse and a more technically focused breakdown video. Don’t forget to leave a comment with your favorite!

 

1. The Art of Drowning

This is a short animation based upon Billy Collins’ poem The Art of Drowning; if I had to guess it looks like this film was made by rotoscoping film footage as the anatomy and movement of the actor are just so incredibly vivid. The poem itself is also vivid is presenting it’s idea of what might really happen moments before your demise. Delivered in a low, monotone growl the narration fits well with the raw, sketchbook feel of the short.

Video: Diego Maclean

Poem: Billy Collins

 

2. Shapeshifter

This is an incredible piece of 3D design work following the transformation of some high-concept technology. Apparently it was not made as a commercial for a car advert but it can seem that way from the story arc of the car going through cycles of change before coming together as a vehicle again. That aside this is truly on of the most accomplished animations on the internet right now, with cinematography that’ll blow your socks off.

Video: Charlex

 

3. Iceland, Eyjafjallajokull

So recently I have become interested in time-lapses, most probably due to the fact that I’m expecting my first ever digital camera (how have I survived so long without one!?) on thursday. With new kit comes new opportunities and with that in mind I have been researching time-lapses from across the web. Once again vimeo came to my aid featuring some of the most beautiful short films you are likely to see. Though this is my favorite I still urge you to search for time-lapses on vimeo.com. This video is filmed as the title states in Iceland during the time when all that volcanic ash was ruining everyone’s good time. It’s an absolute spectacle and one of my favorites on this weeks list.

Video: Sean Stiegmeister

Music: Jónsi – Kolniður

 

4. Boardwalk Empire VFX Breakdowns of Season 1

This is one for all the techies out there; this is an absolutely fascinating breakdown of the VFX used in season 1 of the tv drama Boardwalk Empire directed by Martin Scorsese. It’s an absorbing look into how to make a time period now so dated, look incredibly convincing.

Video: Brainstorm Digital

 

5. Undercity

Now I’m putting the description above this video just to make sure you guys read it. This is a very VERY special video; it’s an absolutely captivating piece of documentary work following ‘Steve’ and a cameraman who’s also the director called Andrew. These two go on an incredible adventure from the sewers of Ney York to the top of the an incredibly high bridge. How the guide knew how to access all these spots is beyond me, but trust me, this is an adventure that must be seen to be believed. Enjoy.

Video: Andrew Wonder

 

Don’t forget to leave a comment with you favorite video.

Also, if you want to see last weeks top 5 click here.

Top 5 Videos of the Week [02/01/2011]

Hey guys,

Sorry for the lack of proper posts this week but sadly as my exams are looming I have less free time to contribute to the blog. However they will all be over in a fortnight and hopefully I can become more active again! However I could not desert my new feature seeing as I only started it last week! So here are the top videos from the last 7 days; it’s a mixed bag this week with: one tutorial, two graduation pieces, a gorgeous short film and something a little bit different. Please leave a comment letting me know what you think!

1. Growing is Forever

This is a stunning visual piece by Jesse Rosten who like me has a great passion for forests. I have always adored the beauty and might of forest vistas and I think Rosten captures these beautifully, set alongside a perfectly appropriate monologue.

Video: Jess Rosten (Click for website)

Music: Window by The Album Leaf

 

2. Time Warp Project

This is the first of this weeks two graduation pieces; it’s an almost photorealistic animation of a car crash from the first person. It’s a visual treat with the perfect moments slowed down to almost a stop, I must say my favorite moment is at 1:07 where the lighting effects are perfect. incredible in every way, this man deserves your subscription.

Video: Urialamour

Music: You Only Live Once by The Strokes

 

3. Slow Motion/Pin Warp

Time for something a little bit different now; this is a tutorial from one of my youtube subscriptions who predominately makes gaming videos. Now this isn’t something I intend to blog about at any particular length, but the technique in this tutorial can be applied to any still image, not just gaming. It’s a simple enough effect where we are taught how the pin warp tool in Adobe After Effects can create the illusion of super slow-motion.

Video: oDcreyfish

 

4. Train of Thought

This is the second of this weeks graduation pieces from the Arts Institute in Bournemouth (Woop!) as these guys are just across the road from where I study am I very proud to hopefully create a little more awareness about this incredible piece of work. Though the effect looks relatively simple it actual took a painstaking amount of work to achieve and you can watch the ‘making of’ video here. Truly this is a masterful piece of work.

Video: Leo Bridle

Music: Portico Quartet arranged by Jack Wyllie

Sound Design: Andrew South

Official Website: www.leobridlefilms.co.uk/trainofthought/

 

5. Holiday Portrait

And now for something a little different, I just wanted to repost the example of video of the latest vimeo weekend project. It’s a simple enough premise with the idea that you set up a self-timer photo then sit with your friends and see how long they will wait, the idea of course that actually no photo is going to be taken they are just being filmed! The concept is called a fauxtograph and I thought this was a really neat little idea.

Video: Blake Whitman

Project Group: Vimeo Weekend Projects

What video was your favorite? Please leave a comment below letting me know what you think. You can see last weeks Top 5 Videos here.

Peace Guys,

Matt  :)

Top 5 Videos of the Week: [26/12/2010]

Hey Guys,

This is a new thing that I hope to continue with, it is as it says in the title, a collection of the best videos I have seen over the week. Nothing more, nothing less; these are in no particular order, so enjoy…

This week was of course the week of Christmas, Matt Cardle was number one and the Queen talked about sport in her speech; meanwhile in video-land though things seldom change. This week sees us witness a new perspective in street level cinema, get up-close to see detail impossible to notice with the human eye, have some down-time with some video games and a couple of unique twists on conventional Christmas themes…


1. Driving Through Mirror City

This video is gorgeous, I’m not sure where this was shot but the video basically takes footage from a street level car and mirrors the top half of the shot. It sounds basic but it’s an incredible effect, shot on a GO Pro HD and edited in Sony Vegas Studio HD.

Music: Liquid Summer by Diamond Messages.

Video: Craig

2. December

This is an excellent short film by 328 Stories, without ruining too much just know that the editing is masterful in the way it manipulates your viewing experience.

Video: 328 Stories

3. Chimæra

This is a gorgeous piece in which we are exposed to the super-detailed vision of winter snow-sports. Here’s the directors blurb:

Chimæra is a utopia. A dream or fantasy. Mythologically, it references a fusion of forms that is the personification of winter. By slowing down our perception of reality we get a unique look at a skier’s life. Just plug in your headphones and let your senses take over.

Music: Snow Angel Summer by Voyager One

Video: Sherpas Cinema

4. Future First Person Shooter

Anyone not familiar with FreddieW’s videos may not quite understand the point of this at first, but you’ll notice him in this video as the moron running straight at the sniper. Freddie makes incredibly polished (usually action based) videos which not only are astute comments on the gaming and film industries and the people who endorse them, but also is a very talented editor and filmmaker; recreating vivid and almost cinema worthy effects just for his youtube channel. Phenomenal.

Video: FreddieW

5. Reindeer

Just a short one to finish, this is a new ‘esting‘ for the british channel E4, I haven’t seen it on the tv yet myself but this was posted on vimeo this week and I thought it was too good to miss out on!

Video: Treat,

Which video was your favorite? Please leave a comment below letting me know what you think.

Peace,

Matt  :)