5 Sweet Lens Effects You Can Create with Stuff from Home

Want to give your shots some interesting in-camera looks? Here are a few hacks you can pull off with stuff you probably have at home.

It can be tough giving your footage the look you want, especially when that look is distorted in some way. You can head into post and try your luck there, but you might end up spending more time and money than you anticipated. If you have a few lens tricks up your sleeve, though, you can tailor-make some really impressive effects in-camera in a fraction of the time for free. If that approach seems more up your alley, Ted Sim of Aputure’s A-Team provides a bunch of great ideas for creating interesting effects using free or cheap materials in the video below.

These tricks are great and can help you create some really cool effects, but I do have one word of caution: use a filter. I’m not a fan of putting substances directly on my lens, so if you’re going to use water, fog, or tape to create an effect, I highly recommend putting a filter on your lens first, because, you know, it’s cheaper to replace a filter with sticky tape adhesive all over it.

Here are the effects Ted mentions in the video:

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Free BlueFX After Effects Templates & $597 Bundle Giveaway

Learning After Effects is a daunting challenge – it’s not quite a Non-Linear Editor, but also not quite Photoshop. In trying to explain or teach After Effects I look back at my own history of learning the program. Once I learned the fundamentals by working through a book – my growth in After Effects came […]

The post Free BlueFX After Effects Templates & $ 597 Bundle Giveaway appeared first on FilmmakerIQ.com.


How to Create a Long Exposure Video Effect in After Effects

Pulling off long exposure photos is relatively easy, but doing so with video is another story.

One of the first still camera “tricks” you learn as a photographer is how to create light trails using long exposures. All you do is crank up your shutter speed to five or six seconds (or whatever works), adjust your aperture accordingly, and boom, you’ve got some nice light trails streaking all along some random freeway. But can you achieve the same effect with video? Totally, but you’ll need to head into post to do it.

Photographer/cinematographer Dan Marker-Moore, known for his iconic time-slices, created a video for Toyota that employs this interesting long exposure video effect, and in the tutorial below, he shows you how he did it using nothing more than standard Adobe After Effects tools—no plug-ins required.

And here is the completed ad for Toyota so you can see the effect in real-time:

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Beyond the Basics: Keyframing in Adobe After Effects

Up your After Effects game with these advanced keyframing tips and tricks.

Keyframing is one of the most important and powerful features of Adobe After Effects. Knowing how to apply and manipulate them will help you to become a more seasoned motion graphics artist. Let’s take a look at a few advanced tips and tricks when it comes to working with keyframes in After Effects. We’ll focus on five methods in particular, including precisely editing values, reversing time, changing interpolation, adding roving keyframes, and working with expressions. We’ll use these advanced methods to bring an airplane graphic to life.

Precisely Edit Values

In After Effects, you use keyframes when you want a value of a layer to change over time. Adding two keyframes to a layer at different times with differing values will bring that property to life.

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Shane Black’s ‘The Predator’ Will Use Practical Effects

the predator to use practical effects

The temptation to rely on CGI is huge these days, but director Shane Black is trying to buck that trend.

For his take on The Predator, the fourth installment in the Predator franchise following Predator (1987), Predator 2 (1990), and Predators (2010), he will be revisiting the practical effects that made the first film so iconic. That means getting a 7-plus-foot actor to don a heavy rubber suit in the jungle heat.

A day after the announcement that The Predator would be pushed back to August 2018 for a summer-friendly release date, Black took to social media to share something that will make movie fans very happy: he was standing next to a fully practical Predator.

The titular “Predator” was played by the 7-foot-2-inch Kevin Peter Hall in the original Predator film, and it loomed over the bulky hero played by Arnold Schwarzenegger. With the help of a frightening character design by legendary FX artist Stan Winston, it became an iconic movie monster.

Black — who, if you recall, actually starred in the first Predator and probably witnessed Hall’s hulking presence up close — will apparently try to recreate the terror instilled by the practical effects used in the 1987 original. That film also benefited from its expert harnessing of mystery — the deadly creature terrorizing Schwarzenegger and his team doesn’t appear on screen until the second act of the film — which Black has said that he wants to recapture as well:

[But] I’ll tell you a little bit about it. It’s an attempt to event-ize the Predator and make it more mysterious. The Predator has been so overdone in a way — very low budget with a guaranteed return, every couple of years there’s a knock off churned out … I want people to say, “The Predator is coming, I know it’s coming, we want to see it, it’s mysterious, interesting, it’s got the same sense of wonderment and newness that Close Encounters had when that came out.” That’s what we want. That’s very impossible to achieve, but we’re going to try.

Black joins a growing group of filmmakers who are forgoing CGI as much as possible in favor of practical effects, often to critical acclaim from audiences and critics who are tired of the green screen. It’s a choice that recalls the genre films ’70s to the ’90s, and the directors who are remaking or rebooting older films are often making sure to pay as much homage to practical effects as possible.

J.J. Abrams notably employed as many practical effects as possible for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Christopher Nolan has been famously resistant to over-reliance on CGI, and George Miller created the gorgeous spectacle of a film that was Mad Max: Fury Road with mostly practical effects and stunts.

The Predator is set to be released on August 3, 2018.

The post Shane Black’s ‘The Predator’ Will Use Practical Effects appeared first on /Film.


Take a Grisly Tour of a Renowned Practical Effects Artist’s Workshop

Prosthetics effects artist Dan Martin shows us the ‘many genitals’ in his studio.

What buried treasures would you find if you raided a practical effects artist’s workshop? Lots of blood and skin, prosthetic limbs, the lifeless faces of famous actors, and at least a few penises, to start.

In the first episode of a new video series from Little White Lies profiling below-the-line talent, practical effects artist Dan Martin, sporting an on-brand Night of the Living Dead T-shirt, takes us through what could be called his mad scientist lab, where he designs special effects, props, makeup, life casts, and figurative effects (prosthetics, but not for people) for productions such as Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise and The Human Centipede 2.

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Watch: Create Stunning DIY Lighting Effects Using a Box of Crackers

If you’ve got an empty box of Saltines, you can make some pro-level lighting effects.

It’s the greatest time of year, you guys—flu season is almost over. If you managed to barricade your door well enough to avoid catching the demon bug from hell, 1.) congrats, and 2.) I want you on my zombie apocalypse team. But for the rest of us who puked our guts out or had to hold a child’s face over a toilet bowl while they puked their guts out, we unwitting stockpiled on a really helpful DIY light modifier that will help you create some really cool lighting effects: Saltine boxes. In this video tutorial from the Academy of Photography, find out how to turn a regular ol’ cracker box into a nifty modifier for your lighting setup.

Though the tutorial is geared toward photographers, this easily translates over to filmmakers. You won’t need the external flash and trigger/receiver, but you will need a light that can fit inside of your cardboard cracker box.

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4 Dirt Cheap DIY Lens Filters That Will Let You Create Custom Effects

Here are some cheap/free ways of creating custom-made lens effects with DIY filters.

Lens filters, like ND filters, polarizers, or Black Pro-Mist, can be really expensive, so if you want to get your hands on a few that create interesting lens effects, you might want to go the DIY route to save a little cash. Luckily, there are many ways to not only make your own filters from inexpensive or free household items, but to also customize them to get the exact look you want. In this video, the team over at Film Riot share 4 dirt cheap DIY lens filters that will give your shots a unique look. Check it out below:

Host Ryan Connolly talks about 4 ways that you can add cool effects to your shots:

  • Put colored gels in front of your lens
  • Put Vaseline on your lens
  • Draw on your lens with a highlighter
  • Cut out a custom bokeh filter

There are some serious benefits to using these techniques. For one, the materials are either free or cheap to purchase. Most of us have Vaseline and and highlighters lying around, but if not, grab a fin and go to the nearest discount store and get you some.

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Watch: 4 Practical Lighting Effects That Are Super Easy to Pull Off

If you want to create some easy practical lighting tricks, like police lights or a TV screen glow, this tutorial shows you how.

Lighting a scene is not simply about putting enough light on your subjects to get a good exposure. Sometimes, you’ll have to find ways to recreate certain practical lighting situations—like a movie projected in a dark theater—using whatever equipment you’ve got on hand.

In this short tutorial from Aputure, DP Julia Swain shows you how to pull off four simple lighting effects that will come in handy for almost every project you shoot.

Practical lights, or lights that are (usually) visible within the frame, are used in filmmaking all the time. They are the TV/computer/movie screens, lamps, and headlights that make your shot not only more realistic, but more interesting, as well. However, including these kinds of lights isn’t always as simple as turning them on and putting them in your shot. Often, they’re not bright enough or have a lot of flicker. This is why it’s helpful to have a few practical lighting tricks in your arsenal. Below are the four tricks from Swain’s tutorial.

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