Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Adventures in Quicktime

Quicktime is an odd program. It has immense capcbilities but it costs $29 for the pro version. The problem is that it is very badly documented, and the user interface is minimal. I bought it so I could do some simple video editing. I've been learning about the things that can be done with it. To give you an idea, iTunes - it's just a skin for quicktime. iMovie - just a skin for quicktime. Final Cut is also built on quicktime. It reminds me of learning Unix back in the late '80's, "Manual!? there ain't no manual son. You just gotta know."

Well I struggled with quicktime quite a bit trying to get this video done. Eventually I enlisted the help of a quicktime guru friend to get those first two layers and the mask working, after that it was easy. QT makes it really easy to sync audio to video. You can take it apart and put it back together. The closeups on the fretboard are actually from a different take. After having such hell with masks I decided to take a different route for the funky background on the closeup shots. I actually exported those frames to a series of image files, and wrote a marco that made my beige looking walls disapear so the psychedelic background could show through. It was not very different from rotoscoping, and it was done frame by frame. I happy with the results.

The song is Pink Floyd's very first single, Arnold Layne. I just love the odd harmonies and the way it goes all over the fretboard. One of these days I'm gonna have to learn Interstellar Overdrive.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

My first music video

Last night my friend Stephen returned to his radio program "The Haciena with Boy Howdy" but this time on He played my cover of REM's Gardening at Night. I was inspired and made a video and posted it on youtube. It's my first youtube video. Hopefully many will follow.

When I went to upload onto youtube, I had to sign up. I was sad to discover that my normal login name of ukemike was taken. So was Ukemike, Uk3Mik3, Ukem1ke, and a few others. So I am ukemike1.

There's a lot of work that goes into making even a passable video. I did a little intro bit, which I may refine. Next time I'll add an outro or credits. The video took 9 takes before I got the acceptable one. There are still two minor slips in this one but I decided that sleep was more critical than perfection. It's funny to me that I am more likely to mess up recording a song than I am performing it live in front of a crowd.