31 December, 2009


Film schools seem to promise a quick route to the film industry, so let’s for a moment compare the professional feature team’s process with that of a lean, independent production. The differences are significant to directors-in-training, and show up most in schedules and budgets. Professional feature film priorities are economically determined. Scriptwriting, though slow, is relatively inexpensive, while actors, equipment, and crew are high cost and used with military precision. Hollywood skills and intelligence are second to none, but the system requires “bankable” stars and highly developed technicians, all able to produce without delay or experiment what is usable and repeatable. During a feature shoot, about 50 to 100 specialists carry forward their particular part of the communal task. Each will have begun as an apprentice in a lowly position and will have worked half a lifetime to earn senior levels of responsibility. Many come from film families and imbibed the necessary mind-set with their orange juice.

26 December, 2009

Evolution of chess

Thee evolution of chess continues to enhance the love to the game of chess. In Europe Chess spread from Spain northward to France, Germany, England, Scandinavia and Iceland. It became known with extraordinary rapidity, although at first it was confined to the upper classes, the courts of the Kings and the nobility. In the course of time, when the dominance of the nobility declined and the inhabitants of the cities assumed the leading role in the life of people, the game of Chess spread to all classes of society and soon reached a popularity which no other game has ever equaled. While in the early middle Ages the game was played in Europe with the same rules as in the Orient, some innovations were introduced by the European players in the later middle Ages which proved to be so great an improvement that within a hundred years they were generally adopted in all countries including the Orient. The reason for the changes was that in the old form of the game it took too long to get through the opening period. The new form, which dates from about 1500 A.D. and the characteristic feature of which is the enlarged power of Queen and Bishop, is our modern Chess, the rules of which are uniform throughout the civilize World. 

21 December, 2009

Shooting first time experience

If you are shooting a sport for the first time and are not conversant with its finer points, ask for help from an authoritative person—someone who’s fanatical about a game will only be too glad to help you. In that situation, it’s not likely you’ll be covering pro sports, but if you have a child involved in a sport you’ve never played and want to photograph him or her in action, ask someone about what to look for. Similarly, if you see an unfamiliar game being played in a park and would like to photograph it, ask a spectator or official about the more interesting points of the game— from a visual aspect at least.

16 December, 2009

Chess champions

Steinitz assumed the title of the World's Champion and defended it successfully against all competitors until 1894, when he was beaten by Emanuel Lasker, who is still World's Champion, having never lost a match. The next aspirant for the World's Championship is the young Cuban, Jose Raoul Capablanca, who has proved to be superior to all masters except Lasker. He entered the arena of international tournaments at the age of twenty-two in San Sebastian, Spain, in 1911, and won the first prize in spite of the competition of nearly all of Europe's masters. In the last international tournament, which was held in Petrograd in 1914, he finished second, Emanuel Lasker winning first prize.

The present ranking of the professional Chess masters is about the following:
1.  Lasker, Berlin, World's Champion.
2. J. R. Capablanca, Havana, Pan-American Champion.
3. A. Rubinstein, Warsaw, Russian Champion.
4. K. Schlechter, Vienna, Austrian Champion.
5. Frank Marshall, New York, United States Champion.
6. R. Teichmann, Berlin.
7. A. Aljechin, Moscow.

Other players of international fame are the Germans, Tarrasch and Spielmann, the Austrians, Duras, Marocy and Vidmar, the Russians, Bernstein and Niemzowitsch, the Frenchman, Janowski and the Englishman, Burn. Up to the time of the outbreak of the war the leading Chess Clubs of the different countries arranged, as an annual feature, national and international tournaments, thus bringing the Chess players of all nationalities into close contact. This internationalism of Chess is of great advantage to the Chess player who happens to be traveling in a foreign country. There are innumerable Chess Clubs spread all over the globe and the knowledge of the game is the only introduction a man needs to be hospitably received and to form desirable social and business connections.

15 December, 2009

Photographer knowing the sport - very important

Ask any sports photographer what he considers the main prerequisites to be an accomplished shooter; “know the sport” will be near the top of the list. Your chances of success are increased when you are familiar with such things as being in the right spot, being able to anticipate the action, and knowing the rules and nuances that enable you to create those definitive images. If you have played a sport, regardless at what level, you have a decided advantage because you know the objectives of the game and the skills needed to achieve them. You will also understand the rules and what’s likely to happen following an umpire’s or referee’s decision. Each sport has those critical moments when key plays are needed to win the game. Knowing what options the athletes have will enable you to prepare for the shot. It might not always come off, but at least you’ll be prepared.

10 December, 2009

Chess, the Game of War

The present world war has given great impetus to the game of Chess. In the prison camps, in the field hospitals, in the training camps and even in the trenches Chess has become a favorite occupation in hours of leisure, not only because it offers a most fascinating pastime, but mainly because it serves beyond any doubt to develop what is now the most interesting study for every soldier--the grasp of the principles underlying military strategy and the ability to conceive and to carry out military operations on a large scale. Frederick the Great, Napoleon and Moltke, the great scientists of war, had a decided liking for the game of Chess and owed to it many an inspiration which helped them in laying out their military plans. Indeed, no other game exists which offers such complete analogies to war. Two armies oppose each other on the Chess board, composed of different units which may well be compared with infantry, cavalry and artillery. The success of the operations on the board, which represents the battlefield, does not depend upon any element of chance, but solely upon the ingenuity and the skill of the players who are the commanders-in-chief of the forces. Although a Chess game differs from a battle in that the material strength of the opponents is equal, the order of events is the same in Chess as in war.

09 December, 2009

Origin of Hybrid Vehicles

A hybrid combines two methods for the propulsion of a vehicle. Possible combinations include diesel/electric, gasoline/flywheel, and fuel cell/battery. Typically, one energy source is storage, and the other is conversion of a fuel to energy. As discussed in more detail in the combination of two power sources may support two separate propulsion systems. This is true for the parallel design hybrid. Historians recognize that certain events are milestones. These events can change the course of history. Milestone events divide history into periods. Names are assigned to the periods of history. An example of a milestone event is 9/11, a watershed event in the history of global terrorism. Yet note that 50–60 major terrorist attacks had occurred before 9/11. What are the significant events and periods with regard to hybrid automobiles? Three periods can be defined: ancient, modern, and current. Two events are significant. The first event, which occurred a century ago, was the production of the world’s first hybrid automobile. The OPEC-induced gas shortages of 1973 and again in 1979 constitute the second event. The period between the first and second milestones is considered “ancient.” Ancient history is ancient only relative to hybrids and cars. The period following the gas shortages is considered “modern.” The modern period, of course, ends with the present and ushers in the current period.

07 December, 2009

Initial Phase of Filming

The preproduction phase most closely mirrors that of the film industry; it is at this stage that the story is developed and honed, the look of the project is fleshed out using art and pre visualization techniques (like storyboarding), and the budget and schedule are defined for the coming production cycle. Although this is called “preproduction” in the film industry as well, in the game industry, preproduction also includes defining all the technical requirements of the game (such as design, art, and features), Prioritizing features and specifying constraints (usually influenced by the budget and schedule), and creating a basic design document. These steps constitute the very roadmap that the production team will follow during the many months of development. If you have not yet developed a prototype of the game, this is also done during preproduction. Though the finished prototype will be a playable level of the game, which can begin as simply as mapping out the game idea on paper. Once the prototype is honed to a coherent representation of the game concept, it is developed into an actual demo.

03 December, 2009

Interactive Gaming

Making a game more “cinematic” is a hot topic in today’s gaming world. For example, writers are now becoming “gaming writers” as the need for more developed scripts becomes more prevalent in production. Also, many film directors and producers are now getting involved with game development because of the need to raise production value in certain titles. Even major game luminaries known for “old-school” methods of game development are turning their attention to cinematic production techniques. The game industry has also responded to this trend by including many of the aforementioned cinematic topics in the major gaming conventions and organizations. For example, the International Game Developer’s Association has now added a top-notch special interest group concerning the subject of game writing, and the 2007 Austin Game Developers Conference had an entire track dedicated to writing for games. The same can be said for current trends regarding game Cinematography and directions.

01 December, 2009

Cinematic gaming

The last ten years have ushered in a whole new era of game development. In addition to the constant influx of new technology and content, the convergence of the film and game industries has pushed game developers to achieve a whole new level of standards in epic gaming. This trend has been illustrated by the increasing number of games that are being optioned into feature films—and more and more films are being translated into video games. Also, with animated features, it is now a common occurrence to see a simultaneous release of a film and game (Bee Movie and Beowulf are just two recent examples). In retrospect, the mash up of these two mediums seems to be a natural one. The gaming industry and the film industry already have many things in common, including similar roles and positions while working in production, comparable production cycles, and many mirrored production concerns. Also, more and more filmmakers are actively becoming involved with the game industry. As this book is being produced, it has been announced that director/producer Jerry Bruckheimer is partnering with MTV to create a game production lab, Steven Spielberg is getting involved with game development, and director John Woo was recently involved with the production of the game Stranglehold for Midway Games.

28 November, 2009

How Green Screens Work

Green screen (like its predecessor, blue screen) is another term for an editing technique that the Hollywood pros call Chroma Key. The idea is that you tell your computer to replace every pixel of a certain color (like vibrant green) with new footage. In other words, anything that’s not green (like the actor) gets superimposed onto thebackground stuff. This is how Superman flew, how Neo dodged bullets in The Matrix, how The Daily Show correspondents seem to be in Paris or Iraq or Washington, and how TV actors never seem to hit anyone when they’re in driving scenes and paying no attention to the road. The actors performed their scenes with smooth green fabric filling the car windows; later, editors (and their computers) replaced all patches of green with passing scenery. Watching actors in front of a green screen can be quite funny. They have to pretend they’re being chased through the jungle by a dinosaur, when in fact they’re sitting in a nondescript studio with its walls painted green, without so much as a vine in sight. Green replaced blue as the most popular color for this technique because digital cameras are most sensitive to green. (Blue remains the runner-up, which is why it’s sometimes used in place of green. But in iMovie, green is your only option.) Of course, this also means you can’t wear green clothes in the shot, unless you are intentionally going for the floating-disembodied-head-thing.

Phases of creating a Game

Like most creative processes (such as making a movie, creating a graphic novel, and so on), the game industry has a definite process and lifecycle involved with a new project. In the video game industry, the process of creating a new title pretty much follows this cycle:
Concept/R & D
The concept phase of game development is time spent defining the game that you are about to create—both creatively and technically. This time involves choosing the type of game you are going to make—RPG (role-playing game), FPS (first-person shooter), MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game), and so on; determining the game elements and features that will be involved in game play (story, characters, game options, and so on); and working out the details for the future marketing of the title, such as the genre of the game (horror, adventure, and so on), the platforms/consoles the game will be played on, and the game’s projected rating. This collaborative process usually involves the producers, lead designers, and the creative director of the game.

27 November, 2009

Gaming Industry

Upon initial contact with the game industry, you may feel a bit overwhelmed by the sheer amount of responsibility involved with creating a new game title. In addition to the pressure associated with creating a game that will sell well and be received with enthusiasm by the gaming public, the actual work involved with development weighs in heavily. These responsibilities include working with the game’s budget, streamlining the production process, and managing a team and assets that grow and change on a daily basis. A typical game title can cost many millions of dollars and involve a very long-term commitment (sometimes as long as four to five years), so the pressure to create a franchise or successful title can be massive indeed. Understanding the production process allows you as a game producer to roll with the inevitable changes and challenges that come with the development of a game and empowers you to manage your project efficiently. More importantly, it will allow the game to be completed, which is always a plus when dealing with game publishers! Utilizing the cinematic skills of a filmmaker in addition to the usual game development model within the various phases of game development allows you shape the project into a more marketable and, hopefully, more enjoyable title.

23 November, 2009

Shooting Techniques

Sport is all about heroes and their achievements. Look for photographs of sporting heroes whether in action or in quieter, more reflective moments. And while heroes for the sporting public at large might be NFL quarterbacks or major league baseball stars, your sporting hero could be your own son or daughter competing in Little League. Getting good shots of your sporting hero is simplified to some extent because you can concentrate solely on them and their efforts rather than on the entire event. Access to professional sportsmen will not be as easy, but you can still shoot from the stands and occasionally there will be photo opportunities at spring training or similar events. On the other hand, photographing your Little Leaguer or high school Athlete will be less complicated. You’ve still got to produce the images, but you’ll have a better chance of getting close to the subject. It involves lot of ideologies and techniques. They can say as much about a game as the jubilation photographs. Look for the downcast player on the bench, head in hands nor covered by a towel, disappointed fans shaking their heads in disbelief, an exhausted player slumped over, dejection written all over his or her face. A photograph of dejected players in the foreground with the all-revealing final scoreboard in the background has poignancy about it that any viewer with an ounce of sporting empathy will appreciate.

22 November, 2009

Gambling world - beware...

There are many people who make a living off of gambling. But percentage wise, it's a small number. I don't have any illusions about quitting my job to make a casino living in Vegas. I like to go and spend small amounts of money for the entertainment value. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. Because I have seen first hand what can happen in a casino,the first thing you need when starting is a PLAN. How much are you going to lose or win? How long will you stay at the casino? Basic things like that will determine who the winners are and who the losers will be. Let me tell you a brief story to illustrate. I was working at a small "video poker" casino. My shift was from 4 PM to midnight. Shortly after I started, a customer came into my room. We started talking and he mentioned he had his whole paycheck with him, about $400. He said, with a big smile, he was going to play for a while. After about an hour, he was breaking even. All of a sudden he hit a straight flush on a large bet and was $400 up for the night. Double what he came in with, and that was a lot for him. A week of pay. After I gave him his cash out money, I suggested that he leave and come back again the next day. Of course, he stayed and played. And played. By the time my shift was over he was still there, down to $40 but kept on playing. I went out for a late nite beer, leaving him to play on. The next night, he was back. He came over to me and said "I sure wish I would have listened to you". He ended up getting home with $80 when he could have left (and should have left) with $800. The moral of the story is that you will NEVER win if you don't leave when you are ahead. But my experience has shown that the hardest thing to do is leave while you are up. That is the main reason so many people lose. Think back to some of your times at the casino when you lost. I would bet that at some point you were actually ahead before the odds caught up with you. Why wasn't that enough? How much do you need to win before it is enough? You MUST always have a set amount that you are willing to walk out at. If you bring a $100 into the casino, would you leave if you turned it into $150 in 30 minutes? Maybe it would take $200 for you. At some point, you have to say "I'm going home a winner tonight". If you don't, you will certainly end up going home a loser. A successful gambler knows a strategy that doesn't take the winnings when they are there to take will always end up as a losing strategy. Don't be afraid to cash out and run. Some days you will win, others you will lose. But if you stay too long your winning nights will also turn out to be losers.

20 November, 2009

Game theory - Very Simple

Game theory is actually an older concept that was developed in the 1940s to study the decisions that players make when presented with a choice. The book Theory of Games and Economicn Behavior by John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern (Princeton University Press, 1944) introduced the idea that when players are playing a game, they will always choose the path that
offers the most gain to the player. Besides being used to develop games, this theory has been applied to economics, animal behavior, and sociological issues. When planning your project, game theory can be a great tool to use when placing the gamer in situations where choices must be made regarding the fate of the game’s protagonist (again, this is a great subject worth reading more about—pick up Neumann and Morgenstern’s book for a lot more detail). These choices all have consequences (good or bad, whichever is determined by the designer) and spawn new directions in which the game can travel. Also, as a game producer, it is important to keep this theory in mind when reviewing the game’s design documentation, the story, and game play features.

18 November, 2009

Sports Betting - Ideas and suggestions

There are plenty of ways to win and lose money in a very short space of time on the spreads; these 'opportunities' attract those who like the feeling of a furious adrenaline rush. They are, from the point of view of the companies, the best clients. A gamble is not a gamble unless it is a large one and it may take ever-increasing stakes to produce the same buzz. A long drawn out event in which the result slowly becomes evident is unattractive to this breed – they much prefer the crucial 'do or die' moment to set the pulse racing. in Association with Sporting Index The main difficulty with the long term finacnial prospects of the thrill seeker is that he is more concerned about spicing up sporting events with a wager than consistently making money from them. The spread companies are keen to promote markets that attract this type of punter. The ultimate thrill seeker's ride is with markets where the spread is measured in seconds, for example, the number of seconds a boxing match lasts, or even the no longer standard bet of the first throw-in in a game of football. Even the stately game of cricket isn't without its stomach churning markets. If you are so inclined you may bet on the out-come of the balls bowled in the first over of the test match. Thrill seekers pursue an entirely different betting philosophy to serious gamblers. They tend to be attracted by risk and seek out bets that are, by their nature, governed mostly by chance. This distinguishes them from the generally more successful gamblers who are mostly concerned about eliminating risk.

15 November, 2009

Chess tricks - Effective use of powers

For all general theoretical purposes the Bishop and the Knight have to be considered as of the same value, though it is my opinion that the Bishop will prove the more valuable piece in most cases; and it is well known that two Bishops are almost always better than two Knights. The Bishop will be stronger against pawns than the Knight, and in combination with pawns will also be stronger against the Rook than the Knight will be. A Bishop and a Rook are also stronger than a Knight and a Rook, but a Queen and a Knight may be stronger than a Queen and a Bishop. A Bishop will often be worth more than three pawns, but a Knight very seldom so, and may even not be worth so much. A Rook will be worth a Knight and two pawns, or a Bishop and two pawns, but as said before, the Bishop will be a better piece against the Rook. Two Rooks are slightly stronger than a Queen. They are slightly weaker than two Knights and a Bishop, and a little more so than two Bishops and a Knight. The power of the Knight decreases as the pieces are changed off.

14 November, 2009

Gaming Zone

Upon initial contact with the game industry, you may feel a bit overwhelmed by the sheer amount of responsibility involved with creating a new game title. In addition to the pressure associated with creating a game that will sell well and be received with enthusiasm by the gaming public, the actual work involved with development weighs in heavily. These responsibilities include working with the game’s budget, streamlining the production process, and managing a team and assets that grow and change on a daily basis. A typical game title can cost many millions of dollars and involve a very long-term commitment (sometimes as long as four to five years), so the pressure to create a franchise or successful title can be massive indeed. Understanding the production process allows you as a game producer to roll with the inevitable changes and challenges that come with the development of a game and empowers you to manage your project effi ciently. More importantly, it will allow the game to be completed, which is always a plus when dealing with game publishers! Utilizing the cinematic skills of a filmmaker in addition to the usual game development model within the various phases of game development allows you shape the project into a more marketable and, hopefully, more enjoyable title.

11 November, 2009

Game development Technique

Though testing/QC is often thought as a process that occurs at the end of production and the truth of the matter is that the testing of a game occurs throughout the development cycle. As a matter of planning, it should be determined early in the production process whether an internal or external QA team will be utilized during the development of the game, as this decision can affect the schedule and budget immensely. This phase usually ends with the QA department comparing the final product against the original game plan to determine its validity (Alpha and Beta testing), and the release of the fi nal version of the game (sometimes called “ code release ” or the Gold Master). At this point, your moves on to various locales for approval. In addition to getting the game to the publisher, the manufacturers of all consoles the game will be played on must approve the title as well. All major platforms will have their own sets of criteria that must be met for the game to be approved for release on their console. Also, the game must be sent to the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) to receive the game’s rating. Without a rating, most major software vendors and retailers will not carry your title. If the game is being released in other countries, it will also have to be sent to the appropriate ratings boards in those locales. Once the game has been give the thumbs-up by all concerned and you have received the offi cial rating of the game, the final version of the game can now be sent to the publisher. The next and fi nal phase of development is known as postproduction.

08 November, 2009

Strategic Types of Games

The evolution of games is a fascinating subject. With origins that are deeply rooted in arcade-style games, the game industry has evolved over the last few decades into a realm of many different game styles and genres. Though most of the game types we commonly see today originated in the 1980s, there are still new game styles emerging on a regular basis. The types of players gamers have also evolved during this period. Gamers today have a way of micro-organizing game genres— as the field becomes more diversified, more and more types of games are appearing on shelves. It is important to know these various types of games, if for no other reason than to realize there are many different types of gamers; a player who loves first person shooters will not be as attracted to a football game as a sports gamer. Although this is not a complete list, here are the several major types of games that are being developed:
First-person shooter (FPS)
Role-playing game (RPG)
Massively multiplayer online game (MMOG)
Massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG)
Third-person shooter
Real-time strategy (RTS)
Action (racing, fi ghting, and so on)
The FPS is hands down one of the two most popular genres. mWith origins deeply rooted in the early games of id Software (Doom, Quake, and so on), the shooter has come a long way. Developers like Ubisoft and Bungie have made titles like Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon , Halo , and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six household names.

05 November, 2009

Electrical unit of Hybrid Vehicle

Hybrid vehicles are part electrical and part mechanical. The electrical definitions apply to the electrical part of the hybrid vehicle. Batteries are classified as primary batteries or secondary batteries. A primary battery cannot be recharged, and, therefore, is of little use in a hybrid. The chemical reactions providing the electrical energy are irreversible. A secondary battery, which has reversible reactions, can be charged and discharged. The basic unit of a battery is the voltaic cell, or just cell. Appendix 6.1 discusses the cell and gives the component parts, anode, cathode, and electrolyte, that form the basic unit. Batteries are composed of collections of cells. Typically, cells have a voltage of less than 4 V. Each cell has a voltage depending on the electrochemical potential of the chemicals. Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) has cell potential of 1.2 V. Lead acid has a cell potential of 2 V. To increase voltage, cells are placed in series end-to-end. A 12 V lead acid battery has six cells in series. Nominally the lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery has a cell voltage of 3.6–4.3 V. Four features are used quantitatively to describe the battery: current, voltage, energy, and power. These features can be described by analogy or defined by precise scientific definitions that can be found in any physics textbook. A water hose is useful as an analogy. The amount of water fl owing through the hose is analogous to electrical current. The unit for electrical current is ampere. The water hose analogy for voltage is pressure. High pressure water in the hose has lots of voltage. An appropriate analogy for a storage battery is a water dam. When the water depth behind the dam is zero, the battery is dead. When the dam is full of water, the battery is charged.

02 November, 2009

Learn to gamble online safe and secure

The systems shown here are all workable systems and will help you to win more money while you are out playing. Gambling is always a lot more fun if you win. The reality is that none of them are any better than the person playing them. A bad gambler with a good system is still going to lose. A good player with a bad system is no better off. You should work on improving not only your system, but yourself as a player. That is the benefit of every one of these products. One they never seem to mention on the sales page. All of the products will help you become a more informed (better) player as a side effect of reading the material. When you have reached the point of being both a good player, and having a good system, that is when you will start making money at the tables. You should invest as much as possible in your education. The best players have dabbled with many systems in their careers. They have studied and learned all of the best ways to play their game and found what works best for them. As a gambler you will succeed or fail based on what you know about the game you are playing, and what you know about yourself.

31 October, 2009

Color Balance in Camcorder

Camcorders don’t always capture color very accurately. You may encounter scenes with a slightly bluish or greenish tinge, dull colors, lower contrast, or sickly-looking skin tones. And you may wish you could fix it. Or maybe you just want to take color adjustment into your own hands, not only to get the colors right, but also to create a specific mood for an image. Maybe you want a snowy landscape to look icy blue, so friends back home realize just how freakin’ cold it was. The Video Adjustments panel offers three controls that wield power over this sort of thing: Saturation, White Balance, and individual sliders that control the intensity of red, green, and blue. White Balance. Different kinds of light—fluorescent lighting, overcast skies, and so on—lend different color casts to video footage. White balance is a setting that eliminates or adjusts the color cast according to the lighting.

30 October, 2009

Camcorders - effective usage

Many camcorders come with a number of canned focus/shutter speed/aperture settings for different indoor and outdoor environments: Sports Lesson, Beach and Snow, Twilight, and so on. They’re a useful compromise between the all-automatic operation of less expensive models and the all-manual operation of professional cameras. Some camcorders come with a pocket-sized remote control. It serves two purposes. First, its Record and Stop buttons give you a means of recording yourself, with or without other people in the shot. Second, when you’re playing back footage with the camcorder connected to your TV or VCR, the remote lets you control the playback without needing to have the camcorder on your lap. You may be surprised at how useful the remote can be.

26 October, 2009

Edit HD video in easy way

It’s a funny thing that we’ll take pristine HD video and make it look old and grainy. On purpose. But video effects, like the popular Aged Film effect, create a mood that can’t really be communicated in any other way. That’s why so many people were outraged to find that iMovie ’08 came without any built-in video effects. You couldn’t even slow clips down or speed them up. These newfangled boxes we call computers were supposed to make advanced video effects easy, not nonexistent. To make matters worse, you couldn’t install new effects into iMovie ’08 in the form of plug-ins from other companies, as you could in the old iMovie. A lot of people swore off iMovie ’08 altogether as a result. If you’re reading this book, it may even be because you’ve heard the good news about iMovie ’09: Apple brought back all of those missing effects. Slo-Mo is back. Reverse motion is back. Aged film is back. Apple even added new effects that iMovie has never had before, like Picture-in-Picture and Green Screen.

22 October, 2009

Copying and Pasting Adjustments

All of the fun you might be having in the Video Adjustments panel comes to a crashing halt the minute you realize one massive bummer in iMovie ’09: You can adjust color on only one clip at a time. You might have just spent 15 minutes tweaking the color of your opening ski-school clip into submission, but what about the other 25 skiing shots in your montage? Are you condemned to repeating all of that handwork 25 more times? Fortunately, no. While you can’t edit multiple clips at once, you can copy and paste just the video adjustments between clips. Once you’ve got the blue cast worked out of the first skiing shot, you can wipe it out of each additional shot with a single command.

21 October, 2009

Getting the Shot perfect

Besides having the right color of green, here’s a short list of other tips that will make a world of difference in your Green Screen shots.
Good lighting. The last thing you want are shadows on your green background, because shadows change the color your computer sees and ruin the seamless effect. Shadows cast by the actors themselves are particularly frustrating. The best bet is to light the background and the actor with separate light sources.
Lots of space. Whether or not you have great lighting (but especially if you don’t), keep lots of space between your actors and the green background. Four feet is a decent rule of thumb. This reduces the likelihood of shadows messing up the effect your computer will apply.

15 October, 2009

Fire gods

In terms of the core idea, anything is possible. Just walk through your town’s main street, read today’s newspaper, explore the Internet, or flip TV channels for an hour or so. Something, somewhere will give you an idea. Remember, the world of animation, and specifically your imagination, is infinite. Therefore, all is fair game for the subject of your first film. Just remember too that the real purpose of making a film in the first place is to communicate your idea to others. (Otherwise, why don’t you just relate the story to yourself in your own head without doing a single drawing and be done with it?) Working for an audience requires that you conceive and plan your idea to the best of your ability, via the best filmic techniques you can muster. Do not neglect an appeal to the universal emotions we all share. If you can skillfully tap into these you will surely capture your audience.

Adjusting the PiP Size and Position

On a TV, PiP boxes are relegated to one corner of the screen and usually have a fixed size. If iMovie insisted on such behavior, a PiP box might cover up Aunt Bertie’s face the entire time. (Of course, that might not be such a bad thing.) The point is that when it comes to PiP placement, iMovie is much more flexible than your TV. When you select the PiP clip in your storyboard, look at the preview window to see the effect. Notice the inset picture? You can drag that box anywhere in the frame. You can also resize it by dragging one of the corners inward or outward. In fact, you can, if you want, make the box big enough to cover all of Aunt Bertie. Of course, if you’re going to make the PiP box fill the whole screen, it may make more sense to use a Cutaway.

11 October, 2009

Cinema - a boom in this decade

Cinema is the great art form of our time. It provides popular entertainment and is the preeminent forum for ideas and self-expression. Occupying the place of the theater in Elizabethan times, or the novel in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the cinema is where dreams of every shape and meaning take hold of the contemporary mind. The cinema leaps national and cultural barriers as no medium has ever done before, and the best films excite hearts and minds as only good art can. We each have particular stories to tell, and I shall show you that you do too.No limit exists to the number of films the world can consume, so if you can direct outstanding screen work, you can make a job for yourself. This won’t be simple or easy, and the competition is stiff. But if you can sustain passion for the work, this book will help you succeed no matter whether you’ve done ten years in the film industry or are just starting out. Learning to direct films is like learning to conduct an orchestra. Most conductors learn an instrument, master music, and then learn to conduct—which means coordinating an ensemble of top-notch musicians. Most who direct get there by mastering a key craft such as screenwriting, cinematography, or editing. Which one you should choose will emerge as you roll up your sleeves, use this book, and get an all-around immersion. You may do this in film school with fellow students, or outside it working with a few committed friends. Superb, affordable digital technology now makes high-quality filmmaking possible on a tight budget, so learning to direct has never been more accessible.

04 October, 2009

Use Built-in light

Insufficient lighting is one of the leading causes of “amateuritis,” a telltale form of poor video quality that lets viewers know that the footage is homemade. In the best—and most expensive—of all possible worlds, you’d get your scene correctly lit before filming, or you’d attach a light to the “shoe” (light connector) on top of the camera. Those few cameras that have such a shoe, or even have a built-in light, give you a distinct advantage in filming accurate colors.

02 October, 2009

Zoom easy

When you read the specs for a camcorder—or read the logos painted on its body— you frequently encounter numbers like “12X/300X ZOOM!” The number before the slash tells you how many times the camera can magnify a distant image, much like a telescope. That number measures the optical zoom, which is the actual amount that the lenses themselves can zoom in. Such zooming, of course, is useful when you want to film something that’s far away. You should know, however, that the more you’ve zoomed in, the shakier your footage is likely to be, since every microscopic wobble is magnified by, say, 12 times. You also have to be much more careful about focusing. When you’re zoomed out all the way, everything is in focus—things near you, and things far away. But when you’re zoomed in, very near and very far objects go out of focus. Put into photographic terms, the more you zoom in, the shorter the depth of field (the range of distance from the camera that can be kept in focus simultaneously).

01 October, 2009

Create Animation

Animation is a slow, focused, painstaking process, and you’re fooling yourself if you think otherwise. Good animation, or indeed great films, are not made overnight. It takes months … maybe years … to perfect something in animation, whether that be a collection of repeatable animator skills or an animated film that really expresses itself to its full potential and capability. Consequently, to be a significant animator you need to be a dedicated and somewhat patient individual. You also need to have a determined commitment to see through whatever you start. Finally, you need to have the tenacity to hang in there when all seems to be failing, or the world seems to be against you fulfilling your dream (as it most certainly will over such a period of time). If you’re a video game player and you think that what you see in the game is easy to accomplish … think on! If you believe animation is easy, then you are misguided! If you think animation is something you can pick up, then put it down, pick it up again, and put it down again, ad infinitum … you’re wrong! Great animation is effectively a great obsession. Only the truly obsessed — or to put it more delicately, the more dedicated — will ever fully succeed with it as pure animators. It takes an iron will, blood and sweat, and some tears sometimes to see it through to its fullest conclusion. It is not for the fainthearted or for the easily distracted. It is totally involving and demands as much dedication and commitment from you than if you were studying to be a great lawyer, surgeon, or scientist.