Blossom Breakdown

Blossom Breakdown

Posted On: April 21, 2011
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Would like to share some inside information about how I created “Blossom”

SLR Magic (they create the famous Toy Lens) asked me to test their prototype macro extension tube for 4/3 sensor camera’s. I ended up with creating “Blossom” It’s all shot within 1 or 2 hours in and around my office and privite house. Postproduction was done in less then a day.

Equipment:

Panasonic GH2

Canon FD 50mm 1.4 (highly recommend you to get this perfect lens from ebay!!)

Adapter FD->4/3

SLR Magic 35mm 1.7

ND filter (to get some narrow DOF)

It’s all shot handheld with no rig or anything. I will definitely get a rig soon because it can be very useful in many situations. In this case a rig would not have helped me much, maybe it would even be harder to get close to the objects with a larger rig. I shot in different ways; Canon lens with extension tube. SLR Magic lens with extension tube. Disconnected Canon lens and disconnected SLR Magic lens (try this! I’m addicted to lens whacking! Many lovely light leaks, colors, and internal reflections!)

Obviously the Canon lens is much better then the SLR Magic lens. The SLR Magic lens has some pretty nasty bokeh. On the other hand it’s a fast and bit wider lens for a budget price. (some say it’s c-mount lens thats premounted)

extension ringextension ring

With the extension tube between lens and body the focus is, depending on aperture, about 5 to 10 cm away from the lens. By turning the ring you can adjust the focus a few centimeters back or forward. This can be very useful when working in studio or tripod situations so you do not have to change macro rings. In my case I shot everything handheld. Focusing was not about turning the macro ring or focus, it was about moving a tiny bit, a very, very tiny bit forward or backwards.

I shot everything in 24P cinema mode. Used a setting by EOS HD’s Andrew Reid to give the GH2 some Canon like colors. Check out his site for info about it and other useful stuff. After shooting I load everything into Final Cut using log and transfer to create pro-res conversion. Works like a charm. (Although Premiere is ahead right now, let’s see what Final Cut X will bring!) It’s edited in Final Cut then exported the ref to do the color correction and titles in After Effect. I prefer doing this in After Effects because it give me much more control. The original footage was already really nice but I liked it to give it a bit more intense and dark look matching the music.

Postproduction:

I duplicated the footage layer and desaturated it. I had the black and white layer on top in multiply mode. I tweaked the exposure of the bottom layer, desaturated it to my likeness and then created an adjustment layer for final adjustments in Magic Bullet Looks. (get it, love Magic Bullet!) Added some shutter streaks, edge softness, and played with curves and gamma to get the final look. Try to create your own unique look instead of the (also useful) presets. Then I added the graphics. DaFont is a site I often end op using because of a great collection of free fonts. I created a custom effect with some simple precomped masks to bring in the titles.

After this back to Final Cut for final audiomix. I accentuated the title effects with a creepy sound. Freesound.org has a huge library! Added some soft spoken speech from a youtube video I found on the net and Grabbed that sound with WireTap Pro. I thought this speech would match really well with the intense sound of the music from The Horn The Hunt. Added some extra bees (besides the sound of the cameramic) and sounds to accentuate the animals.

Not sure whether SLR Magic  will bring this macro ring into to production. But if they do I could recommend it. Do try Macro with a DSLR yourself. It gives a unique look into the world.

Hope I have shared some useful info, comments and feedback are welcome! And do not forget to watch the original video here!