Johnny’s Workshop

August 23, 2008

UFOs at the You Yangs (Part 1)

Filed under: Vue 6 xStream — april15th @ 5:04 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of UFO footage.

Enough to warrant the design of a simple, hierarchical classification system?

Err … sure, why not?

You may have noticed the absence of a category for crystal clear, non-hoaxed footage of extra-terrestrial spacecraft. I’m afraid that’s because I’ve never seen any footage that would warrant the inclusion of such a category. Find me some and I’ll update the system, otherwise I’m sure whatever you’ve seen could easily find its way into one of the pre-existing categories.

Here are some examples:

Type 1-Ai1, 2, 3,

Type 1-Aii1, 2, 3, 4, 5,

Type 1-B1, 2, 3, 4, 5,

Type 2-A1, 2, 3, 4,

Type 2-B1, 2,

I’ll keep adding links until there are at least ten for each category. If you want to nominate any, just let me know and I’ll do an update.

Now, I’m not saying spacecraft flown by extra-terrestrials have never been filmed by humans; only that I’ve never seen any conclusive footage. All the high-quality UFOs videos I’ve seen have been hoaxes or artwork.

Why are there no high-quality videos of the real thing? I know what Occam’s Razor would have us conclude … but that’s no fun. I’d rather believe the government has seized all the best footage and kept secret our regular contact with extra-terrestrial civilisations. Bastards!

I’m probably coming across as skeptical to the point of being close-minded but I’m not. Honestly. I would love nothing more than to be provided with unassailable proof of the existence of advanced extra-terrestrial civilisations; it’s because I’m so taken with the idea that I can’t settle for lousy footage of some tiny, blurry shape in a distant cloud. Nor can I settle for eyewitness accounts because I have no way of knowing whether or not people are reliable / honest / capable of distinguishing between oil refineries and flying saucers. There’s a huge difference between seeing something incredible with my own eyes and merely wanting to believe the testimony of an eyewitness.

The reason I brought this up is that I’ve decided to create CG footage of a UFO (or two) at the You Yangs. I’m going to make the entire video CG and strive for photorealism but I’m not going to try and pass it off as real. Mine will be Type 1-B footage; a project undertaken so that I can learn more about visual effects.

I’ll post blog entries as I complete each stage of the project. Partly to keep you, my loyal reader, in the loop but mainly because I’d like to receive feedback and ideas throughout the video’s development.

Sound good?

July 25, 2008

Pearls before swine.

Pearl Gross likes to do a little bit of comedy once in a while about her brother Bob. You can see her well-refined act and discover her other great talent (singing) by clicking on this LINK. If you’ve not seen the video before, then by all means, take a look. I find it hard to believe you’ve got anything better to do.

As John Daker and Reva Unsicker would attest, the audience that night was comprised of unappreciative, brain-dead Philistines who wouldn’t know talent if it smacked them in the face. My tap-dancing instructor would have fit right in.

Pearl deserved better. My friend Robin agreed, so we set to work on a new version of the video; one with a livelier, albeit fickle, audience.

Making our ‘Special Edition’ was a lot of fun, too. We imported the original clip into Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0, then spent several hours coming up with ideas, playing around with various edits, and gathering audio and video clips to splice into the original footage. When Robin hit the road to take part in a nationwide musical tour with the Mace Francis Orchestra, I was left to refine, finalise and upload the clip. Damn thing took a lot longer than I thought it would but just knowing it’ll accumulate a good 300+ views over the next 15 years makes it all worthwhile.

May 13, 2008

My very first YouTube video.

Filed under: Battlefield 2 — april15th @ 3:09 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

I really don’t care for that title but every time I substitute it with my original choice – “Here’s a nice piece of SHIT!” – I feel guilty for using bad language.

Back when I was deeply immersed in the world of Battlefield 2 machinima, I felt contempt for anyone who posted their work on streaming video sites. I wanted crystal-clear, high-quality versions of everything. For a while there, Putfile.com was the most oft-used of those streaming sites but then YouTube arrived on the scene and everyone started posting their horribly-encoded, low-res crap there instead.

Eventually, I, too, was lured in by YouTube’s siren song but I vowed that I would always provide people with high-quality versions of the same clips. All they had to do was ask. (No-one ever did.)

My very first video was posted almost two years ago to the day and has since racked up 7104 views. To put that into context, there’s a ten-minute video on YouTube called Watching Paint Dry; it’s exactly what its name implies and it has amassed 39,720 views. Quite an indictment on the quality of my own videos.

Speaking of which …

The clip was actually a response to someone’s request on the TotalBF2 forums. The game had just been patched to include vehicle drops and someone had asked whether or not it was possible to exit a flying jet or helicopter and then land in an air-dropped vehicle before it reached the ground. I can’t remember how many times I tried it before finally succeeding. Maybe it was five. Maybe it was fifteen. When you think about all the pain and suffering in the world, though, does it really matter? What’s important is that I had a problem (my abject disgust for low-quality streaming video) and I overcame it … the feel-good story of the year.

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