Motion Graphics Time Lapse: Cupid's Arrows

This was a piece that a filmmaker in town had asked me to put together for a short film called Cupid's Arrows. It was meant to act as a chapter marker for each stage of the story, but the director ended up cutting it so it remains as a conceptual work only. But I was pretty happy with it and recorded a time lapse screencapture showing how it was assembled. So at the very least you can see how this kind of motion graphic gets pieced together. Watch that time lapse video above.

Not that I'm one to celebrate Valentine's Day, but on this faux holiday go ahead and treat yourself. Do something that will be good for you. That could be hitting the gym and getting some endorphins flowing in your body, or reading a solid book that's been sitting on your shelf just begging to be read, or cook a killer dinner with a bit more flash and flavour than you normally allow yourself, or even do something nice for somebody else and spread the love around.

So in that sense, have a Happy Valentine's Day, folks!

Take care of yourself and each other.

- Jerry Springer

Watch the short film Cupid's Arrows here and give yourself a chuckle.

Top 6 of Merc's VFX on Versus Valerie

Versus Valerie banner

It's been a bit of a dream working on the visual effects team for Versus Valerie, the amazing spinoff of Sexy Nerd Girl. As the season is coming to a close and the finale episode fast approaches, here's a compiled list of vfx shots Merc had the pleasure of working on for Val's story. In no particular order! I don't pick favourites here. They were just a lot of fun to work on.

http://youtu.be/VZFPf58PMsk?t=17s

Each episode has its own theme borrowed from one popular, geeky universe or another. The inaugural episode that kicked of the series called for an intro sequence in the style of BBC's hit series Sherlock. There's even a breakdown of how the effect was built, if you want to see how it was done. But really it was...elementary.

VFX Completed: Title sequence with a tilt-shift effect.

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http://youtu.be/SiE61nyKJUI?t=49s

Episode 4 was the introduction of the Doctor, so of course that meant borrowing elements from Doctor Who. Admittedly I've only ever seen one episode of our good Doctor (but I've been told that it was the best episode, so quit while I'm ahead, yeah?), but am a big fan of the opening sequence. Recreating it was a bit of an experiment in creating a particle system for the tunnel and "piloting" a virtual camera through it.

VFX Completed: Travelling through time-space vortex with 3D text.

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http://youtu.be/uZG_DKvh2Es?t=8m4s

Speaking of the introduction of the good Doctor, when he shows up in Val's life when she's down in the alcohol-filled dumps his appearance is most epic.

VFX Completed: Animated 3D text, particle sparks, Michael Bay explosion behind the Doctor with some delicious lightwrap around him for good measure.

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http://youtu.be/o6T0mlqmY1Q?t=8m27s

When Val and Peter Chao face off in Episode 6, they threw their balls down. A FPS paintball action sequence as Val tore up the battlefield and decimated her opponents. BOOM! Head shot.

VFX Completed: First-person HUD with moving reticule and compass/map; animated splashes of paint off of Val's kills.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2E_nAo47HFE

Who no like adding blood and guts to the zombies? Very simple, but always fun. In Episode 7, Valerie faced her fears of past relationships and emotional baggage as we all eventually do: they take the form of the walking dead and she kicks some Ash!

VFX Completed: Adding gun blasts / sprays of blood to zombies, ejecting shotgun shells from Val's gun, blood spray hitting boxes behind zombie.

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http://youtu.be/In8BMfcCABg?t=5m11s

The series made use of a lot of great transitions from scene-to-scene. One of my favourites to work on was the transformation of Lyra from nerdy comic book clerk to Harley Quinn in mid-conversation with Val. Two shots blended into one, tracking and matchmoving the camera and some colour correction made her entrance a surprise.

VFX Completed: Like I said, two shots blended into one...tracking...matchmoving the camera action...colour correction...Surprise!

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Phew! That's just to name a few. It's been great working with the vfx team on the show, along with Davin Lengyel and (in later episodes) Xerxes Cortex. And, of course, with director Mike Fly at the helm keeping us on track and guiding us along the way.

The big finale is coming up soon, so be sure to subscribe to Versus Valerie and catch it first when it comes out on August 8th.

 

MORE LINKS:

Versus Valerie Official Website

Follow Valerie on Twitter

Like Versus Valerie on Facebook

Or Follow Val on Google+ (if that's your kind of thing)