Yeah you heard me. I tried. LOL.
It’s really just a motion graphics video that I edited and composited together alongside one of Ikson’s recent releases, Lonely. And it was SO much fun & worth it.
It took roughly two days to shoot & capture footage, edit, and create all the motion graphics elements, but OMG I think I have made four or five final exports, and uploaded three times before it was finally press-released to the DDO Chronicle. And uh, there is still a mistake in there even after all that – UGH!
That mistake is 44 seconds in when the third slender hexagon shape’s reflection is slightly faster than the shape dissipation itself. When I first shared the video around in Discord servers, the first upload (at 80 views too) had some transitional errors, and then now this!?! I literally deleted the first one because I couldn’t bear the thought of a flaw, but now I really can’t reupload now that it’s released to the chronicle. IT PHYSICALLY HURTS ME!!! 😂
But it’s whatever, I can just hope people are too focused on the cute winter wolf Sera or the glowing shapes themselves. 😁 Anyhoo, behind the scenes and a closer look into my mind!
So there were a lot of creative decisions I had to intersect with, and this video could definitely have had a more polished look. For one, I didn’t even record this at 1080p… it was some weird default resolution that OBS was set at that I NEVER realized. So that makes sense why all my other YT videos look lower quality than other videos. From now on, that won’t be an issue and hopefully we get to enjoy more crisp n’ clean quality!
In terms of finding the right shots, a lot of shots I ended up scrapping to begin with because they weren’t long enough or fit the certain piece of the song. I definitely could have storyboarded this out to be planned out a LOT better, but this was on a whim and that kind of is how most of my projects are. In the end, I realized that a lot of the scenes that did make it in actually looked VERY similar… so next time, I think some more advanced thought-out planning is in order. In addition to longer pans & motion capture.
However, some of the things I was really impressed at myself for even coming up with the idea on the fly. The bridge cut scene transition was one that I somewhat thought about while recording, and when it came time for execution I just went and did it. In retrospect, that was so rewarding, and really was a testament of all the things I’ve learned & dreamt about doing in my college years. The scene was actually inspired by one of the Ravenloft trailer videos that won the unofficial competition on the forums – and I watched this 4 years ago? I still remember it after all this time. The tree transition cut from 0:27 seconds is essentially the same masking technique I used for the bridge cut in my video, and though I wanted to go for a more clean & seamless feel, the mask path itself could still be better refined and smoothed out just a tad bit more. I just did it the hard way and rotoscoped essentially by frame & with position manipulation at key junctures instead of tracking, since it was more difficult to track a composited scene with the 3D cube on top of the fact that the background scene had so many various blurbs of color and no real distinct “hook point” to track onto.
I had to learn a LOT on the fly for this project too. The Stormhorns lunar hexagon (0:37) used a glitch distortion effect via a displacement map, and for the longest time I shied away from those. I HATED using them because when I was first learning After Effects, I played around with it and I guess I didn’t learn it right the first time, and thought it did nothing. Well, I decided I was gonna confront that aversion from using displacement maps and I got it to work, surprisingly to the beat of the vocal chops as well. Unfortunately, that scene’s reflection was giving me lots of trouble, so I’m still not happy about the way the reflection looks for the hexagon outlines – which works different for some reason on outlines versus filled shapes.
I also researched how to create my own light leaks, since I don’t have a purchased bundle of effects like I do with Trapcode Suite. While I feel like I could have added stronger lighting effects like the use of a radial flare or a lens effect, the light leaks were the last thing I did in production and at that point I was just READY to push this out. I crammed a total of probably >20 hours into this project in a matter of two days and even after the first day I was annoyed that I didn’t have it fully done by the end of the night.
Most of the joy came from editing scenes snap with the musical composition. The movie may not be true HD quality (to which I found a workaround), but my imagination was satiated. I’ve been wanting to do something like this since, sophomore year of college, and now I finally just made myself do it. It has been an absolute BLAST! 🔥
Special thanks to my boyfriend for helping me with some of his own critiques and tweaks! 💕