24th Century Charleston, SC - REVISITED
Hey all, long time no see!
I've been gone for a while because I thought someone had hacked the forum, but I came back today after I got fed up with Trek BBS and found everything was back to normal. So I decided to make my triumphant return with a new video! And yes, this time it actually has moving pictures! :001_tongue:
This is mainly for tomcatjosh, who, like me, is a Carolina native (though I believe he resides in the northern realm, whereas I hail from Charleston). This is a short video of the 24th century version of the city of Charleston, in homage to the scene of Starfleet Command in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture". The Arthur Ravenel bridge features heavily in this, as does some experimental new architecture I conjured up using shapes from the bridge to create a cityscape. This is all the same as the slideshow, but here's what's new: I bought a blue poster board and a toy shuttlecraft and created some nifty special effects in Adobe After Effects (I'm getting better, I promise!) and even used some stuff lying around the house to create a small spaceport, complete with scaled down people (action figures)! Finally, I added a short scene of my character, Captain Victor Clark, to the mix as he pilots the shuttlecraft to Spacedock, and presto, completed project!
So, go ahead and watch the video, and tell me what you think!
You can stitch an outdoor scene with a shuttlecraft like that together better by making it 400% final size then adding slight blur and downsizing to 25% with any image-editing software. I've done that with photos and gotten the same results you'd expect with Photoshop. It works because at a larger size the jagged edges are relatively less jagged unless you've simply blown up a smaller original after cutting out something to paste in. So the color blending done with size reduction takes its information from a higher-res image and yields nice results. So if you're cutting an image to paste into a scene, start at 400% final size or larger so that your cutting will be at sufficiently high resolution before bringing down to final size.
You know, I've been using Adobe After Effects off and on for four years (nearly five now, good lord time flies) and I still know very little about how to use it. I suppose it is just that I so rarely do chroma keying effects, that I'm not really up to par. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect, so I'm gonna have to practice a bit more to get better. :)
To be fair though, these effects are two years old. I just now got around to shooting the scene with the human actor; before that, the video was just collecting dust on my laptop.
I know these things because I've written subroutines that do it. To draw a smooth circle, my routine copies a square of the background into memory, blowing it up four times, over which a jagged circle four times final size is drawn. Then I have it do weighted supersampling in bringing it down to final size. The result is antialiasing of good quality with accurate color blending. If speed is not an issue, it could be even smoother by drawing larger than 4x before reducing. When doing it manually, I use the same principles with available free software. And I try to limit the blurring to the edges of the object being pasted into the scene.
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