The process of redesigning and re-building the lightwell website is proving to be a surprising trip down memory lane. In over ten years of designing and illustrating architecture and buildings I have amassed a huge portfolio of images, many of which get archived and forgotten after a few years. A lot of the images get passed over because technically and artistically they get superseded by better examples. Others, I just get bored of looking at.
The images I created for Luz Vargas Concept House 2000 designs probably fit into both those categories now, but for a time they proved invaluable to me in starting out as a freelancer as Luz was managing to get them printed and showcased everywhere. As well being exhibited in the Royal Academy summer exhibition, they managed to make the front cover of the Architects Journal.
If nothing else, I think this particular project demonstrated perfectly the benefits of having an enthusiastic client with an interesting design to work on when illustrating or visualising architecture.
I have now added a full set of images prepared for Le Beau Sejour in Grenada to the portfolio. These include the images detailed in the forests blog post and include interiors not previously shown here.
Just uploaded a batch of photographs taken from within the new Sky Sports News studios showing the backlit set extension panels that I designed and prepared.
Found an old manual Nikon AIS 28mm lens on ebay and tried out another timelapse test sequence with this lens fitted to the camera. The results were perfect, not the slightest hint of flicker.
Now to look into animating the camera move…
After concluding that the footage from the HV20 just wasn’t going to be good enough, I decided to have a look at the footage my DSLR could produce. The poor mans HD (720p) spewed out by my D90 is awful so I was never considering using that, but I did take a look at the stills capability and that looked fantastic and provided a clean key. If I could rig something that would capture the camera move I was looking for using a combination of time-lapse and stop motion then that could be a great solution. The miniatures aren’t going to move so I would only need to animate the position of the camera.
First things first, I need to sort out the camera. I started out by testing the camera hooked up to Nikons Camera Control Pro 2. First thing I noticed is that a zoom lens just wouldn’t work because the lens components shuffle every time a shot is taken so I tried out a 35mm DX prime. The shuffle problem was solved but I started to get a flickering effect even with constant lighting. Thinking this might be due to the AC supply I then tried out long exposures of up to one second but this still resulted in an annoying and very obvious flicker. Investigation on the web revealed that DSLR cameras utilise automatic shutters in which the iris stops down with each shot, then opens back up again to allow for a clean preview through the viewfinder. This closing and opening of the aperture inevitably results in tiny inconsistencies that lead to variations in the exposure and cause the flicker. I tried partially unscrewing the lens to disconnect the contacts and override the stopping down but the lens would lose its aperture setting completely.
The next step, source an older Nikon lens on which I can set the aperture manually and test again…
I am currently working on a reasonably ambitious personal project that will involve shooting some miniatures for incorporation into 3D backgrounds. I am trying to work with what I have which at present consists of:
– Canon HV20
– Greenscreen cove
– After Effects
I started out by looking at my existing video camera coupled with a modified skateboard deck for a dolly. Immediately, I could see that this is going to shake like hell and not give any useable footage. In still situations, I can also see that no matter how well I light the greenscreen, the quality of the HDV footage coming out of the HV20 just isn’t good enough.
Time for a rethink…