Vox Pop Project – Sound practice

This semester I am taking a Sound module in which we learn how to capture sound (with microphones and recorders) and how to edit it (with protools).

We had a project briefing that consisted on making a Vox Pop. A Vox Pop is a short audio exercise used by a lot of radios all over the world. There is an interviewer asking the same questions to a lot of different people and at the end he mounts them together!

First of all, we had to find a theme in order to come up with the question we wanted to ask. Then we learned how to work with professional recorders.

 

My main question was “what is your main goal in life? what is your role in the world?”. After I got my recorder from uni I spent the whole day asking people those questions and came up with about 30 or 40 answers. It wasn’t easy due to the windy weather but I tried to always put my back against the wind and the recorder in front of me. It was a good exercise because I had to deal with a lot of people and some are shy or don’t have the time or simply don’t want to answer. At home, after listening to all my answers. I chose the ones that were usable. I also thought about the soundFx that I wanted to include and got them at freesound.com

After this stage, the next step was to record my questions and my radio opening on a studio. At uni we have access to the studios and with Francisco Dias, a colleague of mine, we recorded our questions, radio opening and closing. I don’t really like how my voice sounds but I made an effort to do everything I could with this project so I would feel how it’s like to be in the different positions.

I drove my scooty to uni and started editing!! First I had to arrange and cut my voice recordings. I did the same for every other recording of the answers. There was a moment where I had to think which meaning or which type of vox pop I wanted. My questions were rather serious but the answers I got weren’t as deep as one would expect so I decided to go with a comic vox pop.

Some sound FX were added and I managed to make an effect with a recorded voice with the help of this video!

At the end I was happy with the outcome and learned a lot more about sound editing and capture!

Here is my Vox Pop so you can listen 🙂

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Animating Documentary II

Before I start my post I just wanted to state that I have been reeeeaaally lazy on my blog pots…

So, I continue working with the producer for the documentary I mentioned a couple of posts ago. Sometimes it gets really hard because I am animating scenes where I can’t draw. I have to pick up pieces of drawings and make them move.. Given that, there are pros and cons of course.

Cons:

  • The animation ends up being jerky
  • It’s hard to smooth with any brush because the texture of the drawing itself is really difficult to get
  • Everything looks the same all the time. What I do is just move pieces around

Pros:

  • I don’t have to draw anything! I know I said it was hard like that but actually it makes easier between the client and the worker. Since I won’t be changing the drawings, the client always knows what to expect. It is really hard to not like the animators style if he’s not drawing.
  • There are times where a lot of graphic problems come up and it feels good to find a smart solution that works both visually and technically!
  • I am learning a different way of animating which is great.

I am also learning that dealing with “bosses” is not always pleasant. Especially when they take weeks to get feedback but then want things done urgently. It’s a part of the professional world and I am really glad I’m having a small little sense of it already.

Today I just finished animating a manatee swiming. Here’s a screenshot of the little guy:

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Stay tuned 😉

Animating for a documentary

A few weeks back I was told that the father of a friend of mine was doing a documentary in which he needed an animator to do a couple of simple things. We’ve exchanged contact and I’m suddenly in his project!

His name is Luis Correia and the documentary is filmed in Bijagós and it records the life and traditions of the tribe living there. They take everything they can from nature, food, clothes, entertainment…

The documentary starts with an old myth from the land. A girl, who was an orphan, was being raised by her evil aunt. The poor girl was doing all the hard work, carrying things and living the life of a slave. One day, while feeling really depressed, she takes a walk by the sea and seats on the rocks. She asks god to take her and turn her into another living thing. The sea levels raised until she was fully covered by water and turned into a manatee that then swam across the ocean.

For the people in Bijagós believe that manatees come from people. The man in the beginning of the documentary is telling the story while illustrating on fabric with paint he just made.

My job is to animate those illustrations! It will probably be a 10 second animations but I’m sure it will take me a month at least…

I already started making some animation work but there’s always things to improve and change. Working with Luis has been great and I can’t believe I got this opportunity!

For now I’m Illustrating on Photoshop since I don’t know any other program but it working alright. I’m doing a frame by frame 2D animation.

Here are some screenshots of some of the editing:

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The girl on the screen is the main character. She was drawn by the man who told the story and all I did was “cut” her legs in order to be able to move them around. I cut them in half so there is an angle between the upper and the downer leg making a small joint, the knee.

I have quite a few scenes to animate and I’m a bit worried about the time and if I’ll be able to fulfill what Luis wants…

For now I’ll keep trying and we’ll hope for the best! stay tuned 😉

 

Ps: sorry for any misspellings… I am a bit tired..

Krakow Visit

Series of pictures

About a month ago I went to Krakow, Poland, with my family. I had the chance to try a really good camera so I spent the trip experimenting it.

I decided that my theme was going to te “lights” and the colour “red”. I took several pictures and hopefully I will mount them on an A1 sheet. Some of them are really abstract but what I like about it is that they are spontaneous. If I was in the same place at the same time that I took the pictures I wouldn’t be able to even have a similar result.

Rita Magalhães was one of the artist/ photographers that inspired this “series”. She usually plays a lot with filters or glass and abstraction. I used the same method since my pictures are taken through a window but the outcome has nothing to do with her work. It’s my individual view!

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Like the typical touristic family that we are, we took a Tuc-Tuc around the center. That’s when I took the first pictures above. I really like the results and I’m still finding out why… In my opinion, for a first experience, it went okay 🙂

From the colour red, I also have some pictures. I found a really cool bathroom in a restaurant we stopped to eat. I went inside with the camera and, as the bathroom was shared, I had some awkward moments with strangers… Obviously, you don’t see a girl taking pictures to a bathroom every day…

Well, here they are!

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Some of them were also taken of the Salt Mines and in bars, I’ve been in Poland. In the Salt mines specifically, I played with the exposure time. All the pictures above presented have no editing whatsoever that’s why some might me too dark or too light.

Though it seems that way, I didn’t spend the trip taking pictures of weird stuff… I have a couple of portrait pictures I really like.

Hopefully, I won’t be too lazy to post them 😉

 

Hope you enjoyed!

LTAV Final Work

This year, for the first semester I have a module called “LTAV” which means Linguagens e Tecnologias Audiovisuais. It’s where I learn about camera angles and settings and video formats in the first part and the second part of the module it’s about audio.

For the practical work on the first of the module, the project was to make a small film of our own street. We had to capture at least 15 different angles and have 2 tilts and 2 panoramic movements with the camera. The sound had to be the one recorded by the camera.

First time I went with my camera it went terribly wrong. I wanted to film at night and as my camera is not at all good enough for that, the image was really grainy and the ISO was definitely too high.

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After the first try, I decided that maybe I would film during the day. That worked out fine but it was not really what I wanted. I went to get a camera from the university and tried again in the night. This time it worked really well! When I got home I was really happy with my footage. Of course that this camera was 10x better so that helped.

 

 

Of course, the outcome got much much darker but the quality increased.

There were a couple of interesting things that happened during the shooting. When I was filming the elevator, the light turned off and I was actually annoyed by that but still kept filming and then I see how the light of the elevator appeared and the effect was great!!! Also with the noises of the movie, there was a cat screaming or crying and it was really creepy and scary. I filmed it and put it in the movie but most people that have seen it ask me if it’s real… It is real, people!!! The police and ambulance noises were also there, I guess I just got pretty lucky with those because actually, my film was kind of a thriller. I took a friend with that really helped me. He was the “man in the shadow”. Throughout the whole movie, you almost don’t see his face, just his silhouette.

Later it came the editing. I used iMovie because I still don’t have premiere. For this project it worked but I know I have to install premiere and start working on it. I tried to place the different footage in order to make a small narrative. It doesn’t really have a great meaning but the goal of the project was only to film the street. First I put them in the order I thought it worked the best, then, of course, I made some changes. I worked with the sound to make it work as a whole. In some parts I lowered the volume, in others I put it up according to the feeling I wanted people to have while watching the movie.

 

In the end and beginning added some text and thank you notes.

I was very pleased with the final movie. It was another project that helped me learn a lot about cameras and movies since it was my first film, the first time I was actually shooting something with a camera. Editing was fun and made me realize the number of possibilities that a producer has when making a movie. Of course, this was the first experience and I know that it’s far from being professional but I am looking forward to learning more and get better!

Meanwhile, I will find a way to share my movie.

and… HERE it is!!!

Stay tuned!!!

Photography and photoshop

Some photography experiments

A few days ago I visited the Ribeira, in Porto. I decided to take my digital camera to experiment. (The one my mom lent me). I tried to focus on one theme – buildings. I didn’t take a lot of pictures due to lack of time but I still had fun with it.

Once I got home I uploaded the pictures on my computer and started working on them. I don’t know if being a good photographer means not having to edit your pictures at all but I usually do. I took this chance and decided to play a bit with photoshop. I took only 3 pictures and edited them. They’re all buildings.

Here they are: (after editing)

PredioAmareloPrediosAlteradosPrediosPorto1

I am happy with the outcome! I am sure I will get better.

The picture I played with the most was the middle one. I altered the levels of some colours, I’ve changed the background..It took me a while! I’ll show you the original one for you to compare:

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At the end, I’m not sure which one I prefer since the original one is much more natural. Oh well…

More experiments will come and I still have a lot to learn!

Movie “Mommy”

After professor Jaime showed us the trailer for this movie and suggested that we watched it I followed his advice! I’m just starting now to be critic about movies because I guess that’s something I should start thinking about. How things are made the way they are, what they want to express… Techniques and that sort of thing.

Generally, I absolutely loved the movie “Mommy”. I had no expectations whatsoever but the movie is really well made and the plot is really really unexpected. (although not relatable) I especially like the main character’s performance and I think that all 3 main characters are so incredibly complex but in some way, they fit together. The film is realistic and makes the viewer wonder about things and choose sides.

My favourite scenes are the last one and the one where the main characters dance. In the last one, the music chosen fits just perfect and I couldn’t think of a better ending, though I didn’t predict it at all. And the one with the dance just has a great impact on the viewer, at least on me.

The movie is quite special and it’s on 4:3, a square, instead of taking the whole tv screen, and it has a reason..

I’m not going to say more because I recommend everyone to watch it.

Here Is the last scene

Here Is the dance scene