Artifact 3 – Cinema 4D

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For my third and final artifact I chose to use the Cinema 4D software. Of the three that I had chosen overall for Digital Applications, I had the least experience with this. For this project I wanted to re-create the pyramid stage from Glastonbury festival.

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To begin this process, I selected a pyramid from the insert object selection, then resized it to the measurements desired.

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After this I found an image of the stage from google images and used the splice tool to trace around the arch at the front of the pyramid so as to get an accurate shape for my own.

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I then cut and paste the splice at the front of the pyramid object, resizing it so as to fill out the proportions.

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After this I used the knife tool to cut the area inside of the arch. I also divided the pyramid object into separate polygons to add detail to the metal.

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After cutting the inside of the pyramid I placed a platform below it and added a grass texture to a plane underneath. At this stage the texture was unrefined and in experimental stages.

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Because the grass texture on the plane was not cover the right area to be porportionate to the stage, I began to resize it.

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After I felt that the grass texture had been arranged appropriately for this stage in the development I then added four cubes from the insert object option and resized them to the size of a large speaker. Following this I moved them in pairs to each side of the pyramid.

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After this I then worked on making the speaker look more realistic. I chose a doughnut shaped object from the insert object option, resized them appropriately and placed them just outside of the speaker boxes.

Once these were fitted, I then added another texture to the boxes, a simple black finish.

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Following from this I then added another new texture, this time to the pyramid and the platform. This was to give it a closer appearance in colour when the render was applied.

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I then started on creating the second set of speakers that hang higher above the stage, as can be seen in the example picture I placed earlier.

To do this, first I added two cylinders and resized them so they would be thin and tall.

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I then copied the the two previous cylinders and placed them the other sides respectively. After this I then added another set of cylinders and placed them atop the the other four. These were slightly thicker than the other two, so as to give the impression of stability.

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After this I then added the black texture from the speakers and applied it to the supporting cylinders.

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After this I added some line based object via the inset object option, these were used to simulate the wires that the speakers were hung off in the image.

Then I began adding more speakers hanging from the wires. This process was more or less the same as the previous models from the speakers below. The only difference was that these ones were sized differently.

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I continued to add the small speakers to the cylinder structure and added the black texture to them as I went along.

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When I was finished with this process I had five speakers on each side of the pyramid. The three that hung either side were placed slightly out of line with each other so as to give a slightly more realistic impression.

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For a finishing touch to the structure I created a small microphone out of a few objects. A line, a cone and a sphere respectively. I added the same black texture to the microphone as the speakers.

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After I had done the material side of the project I then began focusing on the environment and lighting.

To add more realism I inserted a sky like overhead effect to the project to light up the environment.

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Following from this I then added some render effects to the project. These effects were more or less based in light, ambience and of course realistic render. Although simple options these had a profound effect on the realism of the project. The image above shows the project before the global illumination and ambient occlusion settings were added.

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This was the final stage of the project as I was quite heavily pushed by time constraints to complete this project. Although it was likely the software I had the least experience in, I believe that it realised quite well. It took me sometime to work out some of the intricacies of the program as it is has many tools and effects and methods in which to use them. If I had more time to complete this project I would like to have added more environmental elements but for my first project with the software I think this is a reasonable accomplishment.

Artifact Two – Time-lapse in Premier Pro/Logic Pro X

Youtube link to artifact two

For my second artifact in the Digital Apps module I decided to create a time-lapse using the surrounding environments of Totnes and Harberton. The project was heavily focused on landscapes. As well as using Premier Pro to edit the time-lapse I also made use of Logic Pro X once again to create a short piece of backing music for the piece.

Part One: Premier Pro

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To start this project I added the files into the program, via the import selection, after this I placed the first clip of the project in to Premier.

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Then I made a few different attempts to chose the speed of which I would playback the clips. I did this by editing the speed by using the Clip Speed and Duration tool.

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As certain clips were longer than others, some were sped-up more so than others. The clip subject to this was sped-up by around 4000 percent.

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Much of the process from this stage on was fairly similar. Clips were viewed through the test window and ran at different speeds until I eventually decided upon what was appropriate for the flow of the piece. At this stage I also placed a very brief fade out transition in-between the first and second clips to help the flow of the project.

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After I created the music for the time-lapse (which I will detail later ) I added in file by using the import option and it loaded into the bin.

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After I had imported the music I then placed it onto the timeline and matched it up with the footage. I also then placed a fade to black transition on the video and an exponential fade on the audio to close it.

Part Two: Logic Pro X

In creating the music for my time-lapse I acted quite quickly as at this stage I was limited on the amount of time that I had to do so. This piece was not as comprehensive as the previous artifact I made using the software.

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I started this piece of music by playing three chords on the onscreen keyboard with the Evolving FM chords preset and then placed them onto the the first track. (It is worth noting that these screenshots were taken after I had moved them down in the project so as to arrange the drums).

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After this then added another set of chords in the same structure as the prior with the Bent Synth Strings preset and moved them down in the mix to give them the distant feel in the piece.

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To add a further distance to the sound I then added yet another set of keys to the track, using the Echolocation preset. This preset had a heavy reverbiration effect which lead to very ethereal sound.

Following from this I then added a bass kick with the After Party GB drum kit preset, this was once again done using the onscreen keyboard.

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After I had finished the piece of music in Logic I then ‘bounced’ the file, this being similar to simply exporting. I chose to render the file in the MP3 format due to the relatively simple nature of the composition. Although still rendering it at the highest bitrate possible in the codec 320Kbps.

Developing Research and Practice and End of Year Review

Before joining the FdA Film and Photography, I was previously on a Level Three in Creative Media so I joined this degree with a least some prior knowledge of the two main subjects, because of this I don’t feel that I might have improved as much as some of my peers may themselves be able to reflect upon, although I have indeed improved in various different areas in the time that I have been on the first year of this course.

Most of the shorter term goals I set for myself in the personal development plan span two years, as I would section it that way based on the stages in which I would become a journalist or a writer. Start with the Foundation Degree, then an Hons and finally a Masters.

Certain goals that I set for myself I believe I have achieved as I continue to learn the subjects, via various means including theoretical and practical work. My major goal for the year was to improve upon my writing skills in regards to essays. I feel I have in most ways met this personal goal, the work I have handed in for evaluation over the year has improved over the last by having a more comprehensive and wider subject range as well as overall better literal writing. Although it may seem a small improvement as I want to work more in the theory based side of media, it is essential.

I also stated in my PDP that I wanted to learn more about the theory in film and photography, once again I believed I have achieved this through out the year by taking studies into the theorists of the subjects for use in year modules.

On the practical side of the degree I also think I have improved in areas that I desired, I set a task in the PDP to gain a better understanding of the technology used in film and photography. I believe I done this by working on my own projects. I have become much more proficant with certain softwares such as the Adobe programs, Photoshop and Premier Pro.

Overall I believe the year to have been a successful one and in many ways a continuation of the course that I was previously on. I’m gaining more knowledge in the practical and theory based elements of media. Although I am leaning more towards the writing based work of the degree thus far. As I stated before, because a lot of these subjects aren’t quite as new to me I feel that through researching and learning in both forms, I am now able to look at them on a more detailed level than I was when I started the year.

Artifact One – Logic Pro X

Link to artifact one

For my first artifact, I have chosen to make a piece of soundtrack music.

The piece was influenced by various artists and score composers, The first and most major influence was the Social Network score composed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, taking from its slow burning industrial style to create a sense of heavy atmosphere. The other major inspiration came from Scottish musician and Under The Skin score composer, Mica Levi. I took an interest in how she used space between instruments in forefront of the composition and atmospheric synthizisers in the back.

In this post I will be detailing the editing process behind the creation of the piece of music that I composed in Logic Pro X.

To begin the composition, I selected a drum loop from the Logic X loops library, eventually deciding on a loop called Rivals Beat 01 with a Tempo of 69.

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After this I then stretched the drum loop so it would have a longer duration and began experimenting with various virtual instruments and their styles such as bass, keyboard and lead sounds with the on screen keyboard.

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After some experimentation I chose to use the Alchemy instrument set. I decided upon this because of its wide range of instruments and it’s inclusion of many more modern styles. The other plugin instruments in Logic did offer sounds and pre-sets that were interesting but these ultimately didn’t sound right for the type of music I was making and seemingly placed an emphasis on emulating older keyboards from the 1980s and 90s.

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Using Alchemy, I then recorded two audio tracks within the project. These keyboard pre-sets were named Burning Pad and Cosmic Waves respectively. Beyond this point all of the instruments were recorded in the key of C.

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After this I then re-recorded the audio track using the Cosmic Waves pre-set and added more variation to the track and ran it for a longer duration to act as a background atmosphere through the track. I also chose to push the volume of the Cosmic Waves track down in the mix by 4 Db. This was done to give the track a looming presence within the mix.

Also in this screenshot is an inclusion of an audio sample from the NASA website. This sample is in the public domain and can be used non-commercially.

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I then went on to add a Reverb effect to the sample, this screenshot shows the interface of the effect I chose. Various elements that make up the effect are shown on this interface but the ones that were changed majorly are the Pre-delay, Spread and Rev.

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After this I added a second effect on to the NASA audio sample. Phaser. I added this along with the reverb to make the voice in the sample sound distant, difficult to understand and otherworldly. To create the effect I changed the LFO rates one and two, the amount of sweeps in the stages and the level of the mix.

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After this I then manually copied the audio on the Burning Pad track and copied it into further sections of the track and began to add more lead instruments into the piece. Still using Alchemy, I added a pre-set called Bellatrix and recorded more lead with the on-screen keyboard.

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To layer the lead synths, I added another keyboard lead with Black Sun as the pre-set. Having this on the track helped to balance the lead synths and the atmosphere keys and blend them together.

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After this I added further atmospheric synths in the form of the Arctic Shimmer pre-set. I also placed a slight amount of reverb on this track, although it is very small it was done to help give the impression that the sound was coming from the back of the mix.

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I then went on to separate the first loop of the drums so as to add a fade in, because I felt the piece needed to be more dynamic in its introduction. Starting from all the tracks being at the peak of volume sounded to immediate. So by having the drums fade in and the background atmosphere track being pushed down in the mix by about 4 Dbs, it takes 10 – 15 seconds for the piece to reach its full volume.

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To finish the piece I then added a bass track. This was the last addition to the track because I wanted to create all of the subtler elements of the piece before adding what usually turns out to be the loudest.

I chose the pre-set Juicy Pump Bass from the Alchemy instrument set and recorded a baseline to accompany the atmospheric sections of the track. After recording I then once again made the decision to make the bass track quieter in the mix by pushing it down 5.2 Dbs. This was done to be fitting to the style that I wanted to create this score based piece in.

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After the completion of the track, I then exported the project so as to streamline all of the tracks into one audio file. In Logic Pro X this process is referred to as bouncing, to bounce to project.

When the project is exported you are given various options based on different audio codex. I chose to export my audio piece in Wave or .Wav format in 24bit resolution as this is the highest quality and least compressed audio file type, because I chose to render the file in the highest available quality, it takes up a large amount of hard drive space for a 3 minute track, with the audio file being around 60 megabytes. This is the opposing to the standard and more common audio files types also available on this software such as .MP3 and .AAC which produce files around 8 to 10 times smaller but compress the elements of the audio more heavily.

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Cinema 4D

Today in Echo’s session we spent some time learning how to use the Cinema 4D software. We animated some text via the use of various different tools within the software. Sadly because this is the first time I had used this software I acidentally lost my project. Although this happened I still got an understanding of the software and some of its many tools.

Many different effects can be added into Cinema 4D. I have placed a screenshot of some of the effects I used attempting to create another project.

Some of these include…

Text. The ability to include writing within the project.

Lighting. In Cinema 4D there are many different types of lighting effects. Sun light, Spot light etc.

Floor. Flooring is used to create a ground dimension to the project. This also includes changable physics. An example of this could be dropping an item from the top of the screen and said object will bounce  and fall in a relatively realistic fashion.


Green screen

Today in Echo’s lesson we have continued working in Adobe After Effects using video footage taken in front of a green screen. By using the Keylight tool we have removed the green screen and placed an image behind the video clip of Amy.

We have also used various other effects and tools in making this short clip including various simulation CC effects such as CC Rainfall and standard image balancing effects like Hue/Saturation, Grain etc.



Work in After Effects

In Echo’s session we have began working with the basic elements of Adobe After Effects. We used some of the more simple tools in the software such as the positioning and scaling controls. Following this we also had a go at using some of the programs effects. These can be seen in the screen-shot in the bottom left of the screen. e.g. Ripple, Noise and Dust and Scratches.



In Echo’s Digital Applications I have used Adobe’s programs Lightroom and After Effects to edit together a time-lapse from photos I had taken with Sophia the session before. The images used came out a little bit to dull and flicker but all together do work.

In the session we covered many different tools, effects and options within the programs. Examples of these could be importing images to be compiled, deciding on frame rate (FPS) and image correcting effects e.g. saturation or exposure in Lightroom. In After Effects we taught basics of the software such as the use of the timeline and how to add text using the text tool.

I have compressed the video into a .GIF image so it can be displayed on the WordPress site and have used the version before I added text because it wasn’t easily readable in the compressed .GIF image. Following this because of the size restraints of the converter I have also had to reduce the length slightly.