I make films and stuff. Have a look, they're below.

WMV Date Duration Description
2007 Trinity Wars

A bunch of London based AOL staffers, with nothing better to do, decided to make a Star Wars fan flick in their lunch break... two years later, their footage was found...

Rotoscoping, motion tracking, greenscreening, 3D compositing... this film has it all!

2008 Weird me greenscreen / chroma key / test

Just testing some new greenscreen software and graphics that we bought.

08/07/06 15 SECS Sherbie LOVES playing with water gun!
29/1/04 2min Hey, it snowed last night, Sherbie loved it, Thai didn't, here's the video!
3/1/04 2min 2secs Short montage of our recent trip to Switzerland, Christmas 2003. Apologies for the shaky camera work.
9/10/03 8min 34secs This is the film I made for my film making course at the University of Oxford. The picture quality is bad because it was originally on miniDV, then copied to VHS, then back to miniDV and then encoded as a Windows Media file with heavy compression.
16/7/03 3min 57secs This is a montage of clips from our trip to Switzerland in 1999. I set this to a pumping music track to give it some energy, hence you can't hear the original audio. The music in this video is the fantastic 'Rulers Vs Rebels' by Orator and is used with their kind permission. Enjoy!
15/7/03 48 secs After a night of heavy snow, we had to dig the car out so that Lydia and I could make our way to the slopes. But of course Lydias injured wrist meant that I had to do all the hard work!
15/7/03 22 secs Just a quick clip to show the nightshot capability of the camera.
1999 4 mins Switzerland 1999

Video montage of our trip to my Dad's chalet in Switzerland, Christmas 1999

File and Date Size      Description
21st August 2004
0.3 MB Chromakey Test.
Just a quick test of Chromanator keying software. You can imagine the "D'oh" moment I had when after rendering the footage I realised that one of the carriages I used was green and I was keying against a green screen.... D'oh!

The other problem was that the enamel of the paint on the carriages was reflecting some of the green screen and hence at some angles the carriages were being keyed out. Might try this test again soon but fit my polarizing lens to the camera, maybe that will help reduce that reflection.

Just out of interest, the locomotive and carriages are over 50 years old. They are made by Marklin of Germany and they still make the best model trains in the world. My trains used to be my fathers from when he was a kid and they still work perfectly (thats quality for you) and they are worth quite a bit of money now, though I will never sell them.

21st February 2004
1.9 MB New Animated Logo Test.
Got Lydia to come up with a new animated logo for our video productions. Here is an early test and gives a pretty good indication of what the final thing may look like.
11th January 2004
0.035 MB Motion Tracking Test!
I got hold of some motion tracking software and just had to give it a go! Here we have a panning shot of a Bracknell Business Park into which we inserted a... well... watch it and find out!

Apologies for the poor image quality, this was a very quick test and to render it at a high quality setting would have meant waiting ages for the render!

31st August 2003
31st August 2003
0.5 MB
0.4 MB
OK - another time lapse clip. Really simple, just set the camera pointing to the sky on a cloudy day. The jump halfway through is where I changed the batteries and didn't put the camera back in quite the same position.
7th August 2003
0.9 MB Composited Interview
Got my trial version of Pinnacle Edition 5 and thought I'd give it a go with the colour keying. It's amazing how much you learn from your stupid mistakes, like don't wear green clothing or use green furniture when filming against a green screen for use in colour keying... D'oh! Anyway, this was a very quick test so please forgive the quality. Oh, and another thing, I didn't record the audio.
2nd August 2003
2nd August 2003
5.2 MB
3.7 MB
Star Trek Fever!
OK - I thought I'd have a bit of fun and came up with this. All I can say is watch it! Watch it all the way through!

In case you're interested (and you're probably not) I used stop motion techniques and Particle Illusion 2 SE for the effects and edited it all together in Pinnacle Studio 8. Enjoy.

1st August 2003
1st August 2003
0.9 MB
0.6 MB
Stop Motion Test!
I used to love Morph (the plasticine character) as a kid. He was created using a technique called stop motion. I thought I would have a go at this. This is the result. Be warned, it is very short.
31st June 2003
0.5 MB The new Praestare Films logo.
Painstakingly done in Animation Shop (with the emphasis very much on 'PAIN'). This is the new Praestare Films (PF) animated logo that will now appear at the beginning of all PF films.
mic test 1.rm
30th June 2003
2.2 MB Testing of Microphones
Quick test to compare the cameras built in microphone to a cheap external microphone.
30th June 2003
2.4 MB Steadicam Test Part 1
I built my own prototype steadicam. Here are the results.
30th June 2003
2.1 MB Steadicam Test Part 2
I built my own prototype steadicam. Here are the results.
6th June 2003
1.9 MB NEVER light your farts when skiing or snowboarding!
This was my first attempt at a special effects clip. The footage is of me snowboarding at Veysonnaz in Switzerland in December 1999. Lydia shot the footage from the top of the nursery slope with a high level of zoom, hence the shaky image. Lydia was supposed to be snowboarding as well on this trip but a week or so prior to us leaving we took some snowboarding lessons at the dry ski slope in Aldershot and Lydia fell badly and sprained her wrist. The doctor at the Accident and Emergency unit of the Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford warned Lydia that she was not to do any skiing or snowboarding for a couple of months, hence she was promoted to official camera person for the trip.

Anyway, this clip is in two parts, the first part shows me falling over (something I seemed to do a lot!) and the second part shows the same clip with an effect added using Alam DV. I then added titles and backing music using Pinnacle Studio 8.

12th June 2003
0.9 MB Watch the paint dry!
This little clip was done one sunny summer afternoon in our backgarden. We had decided to paint one of the fences in our garden and I thought it might be a good chance to try making a 'time lapse' video. For those of you who don't know, time lapse films are the ones where a scene is shot at a very slow frame rate and then played back at normal speed. The shots of flowers blooming very quickly or clouds moving quickly across the sky are two examples of this technique being used.

As my video camera doesn't have a time lapse facility (maybe it has, maybe I should read the manual) I decided to use my still camera which has just this ability. I set it to take a picture once every minute. It took 160 frames in total (yes, it took us about 3 hours to paint that damn fence). I then created a script in Paint Shop Pro 8 to resize all the frames to 720 by 540 pixels and convert them into bitmap images. Then I used a freeware video editing package called VirtualDub (I highly recommend this package) which automatically (and very quickly) loaded all the frames and rendered them into an AVI file using no compression at 25 frames per second.

I then used Pinnacle Studio 8 to create the VCD format mpeg that appears here. As the clip is only a few seconds long I didn't bother with titles and sound.

I am particularly pleased with how this one turned out as you can clearly see the afternoon shadows extending smoothly into early evening shadows, good thing it was a nice, sunny day!

12th June 2003
5.3 MB Flight
My movie making budget doesn't extend to hiring a light aircraft and flying through the Alps at low (relative) altitude just to record a few seconds of mountain flying. So the next best thing for me was to use a landscape generating program. This twenty odd second clip was created in several steps. Firstly, using a freeware program called Terragen I created a mountainous landscape. Then using the CamPath add-on I created a flight path that flies you over the mountains and lakes. CamPath created a script which Terragen then used to render the photorealistic frames for the flight.

Let me tell you, this is no mean feat! At 25 frames per second it takes roughly one hour to render just ONE SECOND of footage. I had to leave my PC running for over 24 hours to create that twenty odd seconds of flight! Unfortunately, I can't afford the latest whizzy PC so this is something I am going to have to put up with for the time being, though a Cray Supercomputer would be nice (searched Ebay for one, but believe it or not, no Cray's for sale)!

Terragen created over 500 bitmap images (25 per second) and these were loaded into VirtualDub which created an AVI video. This was then imported into Pinnacle Studio 8 and titles and music were added.

You will have to excuse the jerkiness of the flight path and the short section where you see blackness on the horizon. This was my first attempt, and as they say, practice makes perfect.