Tokyo Trip 2012

This trip is totaally amusing. Spending time with friends walking around the city, Visiting some animation studio and museums. Getting lost on Tokyo train, and experiencing many more stuff are invaluable awesomeness! I got every missing parts of mycamera here in Tokyo. I walked through many stores to get them all. Shopkeepers are very kind, service-minded and patient.


And… Today is my trip’s last day in Japan. I’m heading to TGS 2012 now.


OCZ Vertex4 – My Macbook Pro 2009 Upgrade

Things that you may need include:
1. 2.0 Phillips Screw Driver
2. T6 (star-headed) Screw Driver
3. Harddisk Replacement

Here I’d like to add some more in-detailed information about this upgrade.
The Benchmark shows the major improvement in read and write per second.

These are my results from Blackmagic Disk Speed Test.

OCZ Vertex4 256GB (SATA-II Constraint @3Gigabit)Read 212.0MB/s Write 257.8MB/s

Western Digital Scorpio Blue 5400RPM Buffer 8MB 1TB (SATA-II Constraint @3Gigabit)
Read 106.3MB/s Write 106.2MB/s

Seagate Momentus 7200RPM Buffer 16MB 500GB (SATA-II Native @3Gigabit) via FireWire800
Read 65.0MB/s Write 71.4MB/s

I didn’t have the old screenshot for the stock drive (Seagate Momentus) while connected via SATA II inside my machine. If I remember correctly, it was something around Read 85MB/s and Write 95MB/s. Nonetheless, From the test results, I assume that connecting SATA III drives to a SATA II supported mother board gives a better result in performance. Due to the difference in disk spinning speed factor (5400 and 7200 rounds per minutes), this copy of 7200 RPM SATA II drive is still slower than a copy of 5400RPM SATA III drive running at SATA II limit.

Next time, I’ll upload a demonstration VDO about how to replace your Macbook Pro optical drive with the second harddisk, so… Stay tune!

Another Busy Week Arrives

It’s not 3D. It’s not compositing. It’s no classwork. This time, it’s my (serious) hobby, photography.

Currently, I’m processing raw photos from my freelance jobs on commencement days at SPU (Sripathum University) and a private group photo-shoot at TU (Thammasart University). 3 full days of outdoor portrait shooting really gave me a tanned look.

After I finish these tasks, I’ll make a review for some of equipments that I’ve used for quite a while now.
That will cover my wireless flash trigger (Pixel King for Nikon i-TTL), Nikon AF 55mm f/2.8 Micro, and LVSHI’s Vari-ND Filter.

Also, some of the photos will be uploaded to my facebook page (I know that they have one of the crapiest compressions, but it’s for more “reachability”.) So, please feel free to look them up here.

After Effects CS5.5 Particles!?

Hello! This blog is still updating even my course is done (somehow).

Alright, I’m working on my own demo reel recently (for the sake of my internship experience).

Today I faced a problem about one of my favorite plugin in previous version of AfterEffects, CC Particle World. Due to the fact that I work on both mac and PC, I have a bit different version of software on both of them (this SURELY sucks). Most of the time, I work on mac CS5 platform, and I work on PC (CS5.5) only when my mac can’t handle some heavy files. I just found out that CS5.5 doesn’t include the Particle World! It’s Particle Playgound instead, which I spent hours figuring it out how to use it.

After watching online tutorials and some demo videos… I gave up… “OTL

Fortunately, I found a post in a forum suggesting to download from Cycore Effects site manually. I followed that direction… andddd it WORKS!!

So here is the LINK of the download page. Download the CycoreFX HD 1.7.1 (the one that match your OS).

Problem solved! now back to work 😀

Some Final Thoughts

To sum it up:
After a trimester that I have been through, I learnt that simulating things in 3D is NOT easy at all. It requires a lot of efforts and understanding. Observing the real life will help a lot, but knowing how to achieve such an effect also matters. Creating convincing CGI isn’t the hardest part of the production process just yet. Blending them into the real world is even harder than make them believable because there will be REAL objects to compare with them side-by-side. Principle of animation is essential for the fine tuning stage due to the fact that it gives more ‘alive’ looking to the CGI.

In this trimester, I had a chance to go on a real shooting for compositing. I quite like it more than pure CG animation. I’d say it’s more “magical” when it comes to the final result. It’s a mixture of film and animation which I’ll be going forward to. Also, I’m applying for compositing jobs in my internship. I’ve learnt some basic skills from this study, which will help me with my thesis in post production.

Effects Usually Helps the Final Looks

Like the previous shot, it starts with keying out the on-green footage. By adjusting the hue and contrast to get ‘fleshy’ red, the keying work will rely less on clipping mask of the KeyLight effects. This will preserve more details on the keyed object.

Put the keyed shot on top of the white solid then make the shadow layer in the same manner mentioned above. Add CG background in and add some DOF(Depth of Field) effects.

Next up, I have an actress footage, which is on the wrong background. We can’t just key the footage out because she is wearing white dress. It’s Rotoscoping time.

Adjust the room to be darker as we’d like it to be.

Also, fine-tune with luma track for the hair detail.This stage is very time-consuming to get it close to perfection. In this case, I depilate the layer and crush one of them  into white zone and the other into black zone. After that, I rotoscoped them with precise masking and heavy feathering. This layer will be used for luma track for another actress layer (only for her hair).

Also, clean-plate of the screen received from rotoscoping the original background layer. The red area is masked out to be the alpha (see through).

I then layered them on top of another. Also I assigned new light direction by stacking darker  and darker actress layers on top with soft feathering.

Then I add screen like effects and light spilling with lens flares on top of the final composite.

Rendered Shot