Week 4: A Kaleidoscope of Colourisation

The use of colour is a crucial element of creating video content and can be tailored to portray any desired mood to the audience. Horror films tend to use oranges, reds and blues to convey fear, while romantic comedy editing relies on a completely different colour palette, tending towards pastels and more uplifting colours. Colour can make a huge difference to the success – or failure – of a film and is therefore a critical element for all stages of the production process.

Having said that, it’s one thing to understand colour and altogether another to be able to achieve the effect you are looking for in post-production. Check out my attempt at colourising a video made by Jonathan, where I’ve experimented with a range of effects including:

  • Adding a vignette effect (dark edges), such as was often used in B&W film photography
  • CC toner to create a sepia effect
  • Adjusting levels (changes in one layer can be copied to other layers to replicate the effect without replicating the effort)
  • Adjusting curves
  • Tinkering with colour balance to adjust the coloration of individual sequences
  • To complete this project I first uploaded the video clips to Adobe Premiere which is a far more efficient editing software package, then once trimmed to the desired length, exported it to After Effects.






Week 3: Typography and Homer’s Frenzy

Jonathan’s well-made video on how to make a typography-based digital composition using After Effects, really was a great tool for anyone struggling to get their head around the program – such as myself. I managed to complete the task, albeit rather spartanly in terms of bells and whistles, and no doubt Jonathan’s video will be an invaluable reference tool as I grapple with the intricacies of this program.




Next up, time for me to think seriously about my kinetic text motion graphics video sequence, due next week. Actually I probably need to do more than just think about it! Here is a beautiful example of motion graphics which in no way resembles the final product I anticipate I’ll be capable of creating, but it is something to aspire to nonetheless.



This one’s pretty funny, and uses loads of different effects to make the typography stand out and enhance the words being spoken by the comedian. I’m finding that the more of these clips I watch the clearer the idea I’m getting of what I might attempt myself. Check it out…




Week 2: Totes Amazeballs!

Two weeks in and I’m still feeling a little, shall we say, ill-equipped to handle the rigours and technical aptitude required to master After Effects. I’m sure it’s just a passing phase and that deep in the core of my being there is a little After Effects Maestro just itching to burst forth. So I shan’t express another doubtful utterance, and will henceforth proceed as though I’ve got this thing in the bag…

Wow peeps. Totes amazeballs. That’s how I’m feeling about After Effects, I really am picking it up quickly and reckon I’ll soon be able to make great little movies for friends birthdays and engagements, and maybe I could even enter something in a short film competition, like Tropfest. Or Sundance. Start small, that’s the best bet. I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew.

So would you like to see my Totes Amazeballs After Effects Video from week two? Well okay, here it is…oh, and by the way, no need to call a technician or buy new speakers for your computer, there appears to have been a slight glitch when I exported the file to MP4 and the silly old soundtrack didn’t copy across. Talk about a rookie mistake! Oh well, if you just hum something upbeat I’m sure you’ll find the whole experience totally fulfilling.

So…balls…lift off!


Within minutes of flopping into my chair for the launch of Digital Compositing for 2014, I knew it wasn’t going to be a subject for the faint hearted. The words ‘what was that?’ and ‘whoah slow down’ popped into my head on numerous occasions as Jonathan whisked through an introduction to Adobe After Effects. Somehow I managed to muddle my way through the class, and hopefully my  brain will kick into gear by week 2 and my powers of retention will pick up as the semester progresses. I’ll keep you posted on that front!

Here’s a summary of what we covered during our first 4 hour session for the year:

  1. Created the blog you are now reading: Digital Adventures in Composite Video [username: digitaltezza.wordpress.com]
  2. Made a ridiculously simplistic stop motion video in After Effects
  3. Rendered the video and exported it as an h.264 mp4 file
  4. Uploaded the file to Vimeo, as per the attached

As for my aspirations for this subject, I hope to come away from it with a fair to middling working knowledge of After Effects, as this will be a great benefit to me with my new startup business, Scoot Communications. Working with corporate and social enterprise clients, I write copy, provide social media strategy and publicity advice, and also provide photographic and video services in conjunction with the above. Developing skills in stop motion video, After Effects and digital compositing for audio and video will give me a competitive advantage that many of my competitors won’t have.

Yay for that, here’s to a great semester.