Monday, March 30, 2009

Google SketchUp for Pre Viz - Free

Google SketchUp provides a free opportunity for students to try out easy-to-learn 3-D software on school computer labs. Check out their education link for more information.

Google SketchUp is software you can use to create, modify and share 3D models. SketchUp's simplified toolset, guided drawing system and clean interface come together to provide a tool for immersing yourself in the creative process. Artists and designers in film and gaming use SketchUp to explore and express their ideas, creating 3D assets quickly and accurately.

Game Design

Game designers and artists need conceptual design tools, too. SketchUp is great for mocking up levels, building assets and more. Learn more about SketchUp for Game Design

Film and Television

Drawing storyboards, designing sets and planning shots are just some of the pre-visualization tasks that you can tackle with SketchUp. Learn more about SketchUp for Film and Television

Friday, March 27, 2009

Monkey Jam - Stop Motion Animation - Free

Check out MonkeyJam, freeware for animation. It is a PC only application.

MonkeyJam is a digital penciltest program. It is designed to let you capture images from a webcam, camcorder, or scanner and assemble them as separate frames of an animation. You can also import images and sound files already on your computer. Although it is designed for pencil and paper, MonkeyJam can also be used for StopMotion animation and has several features just for that. Movies created in MonkeyJam can be exported as AVI files.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

BuZZdex - Index of Tutorials & Articles

Check out the Digital Production BuZZdex. You can search for articles and tutorials available on the web. You can search by category, application or company.

There are three ways to browse.
by application to get a full list of all articles or tutorials for an application. This listing is most useful when you want to see the full scope of what's available for an application.

by category to list all the categories that have Articles or Tutorials for an application.

by Company to find articles and tutorials for, say, all of Apple's products.

You can search forums and other resources. Resources are those things that we use while getting work done. Many of the resources are free, but links to commercial resources are also included.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Minority Report - Sixth Sense Device

The video presentation below is a look into the future. It shows a prototype of a Minority Report inspired device developed at MIT. The presentation comes from a recent TED conference.

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. It now has an even broader scope.

The annual conference now brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).

The website makes the best talks and performances from TED available to the public, for free. More than 200 talks from the archive are now available, with more added each week. These videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

IndyModul - Robot Arm Tutorial

Indy Mogul has a number of free filmmaking tutorials videos. Check out this segment from "Backyard Effects," which shows you how to make your own special effects for cheap. The episode below features a method for adding cyborg arms to an actor.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Final Cut Pro: How to maintain aspect ratio HD to SD

Apple has an article in their Knowledge Base titled, Final Cut Pro: How to maintain aspect ratio when exporting high definition formats to standard definition.

If you're working with media in a high definition format such as HDV or uncompressed HD, and wish to export QuickTime reference movies in a standard definition format such as DV or IMX, here are some tips that will help you maintain the correct aspect ratio in your exported movies.

Also see Final Cut Help tutorial on this subject.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Day the Earth Stood Still DVD - Free

The Story of Movies is an educational program sponsored by the They have developed free curricula for three films. They have also provided a free DVD for each film until their stock in depleted. To date, they have released To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington(1939), and will soon issue The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). Teachers can click on the link below to get your free DVD for your classroom.


Each middle school unit from The Story of Movies curriculum has four interrelated components:
A DVD of the selected film for in-depth study. The Film Foundation recommends that all classes view the entire film prior to beginning the teaching unit.
A Teacher’s Guide, featuring lessons with teaching objectives, detailed, step-by-step instructions for presenting each activity, and answer keys. Appendices include chapter tests with answer keys, performance-based assessment activities, and National Film Study Standards. A glossary provides definitions of key terms relative to the study of film. In addition, transparencies for projecting graphic organizers are included.
A Student Activities Booklet, which includes graphic organizers, Screening Sheets to be used while viewing the film clips, and reading, writing, visual-thinking, and group activities sheets.
A DVD that includes selected film clips or segments, most of which have a running time of 3 minutes or less. Also included on the DVD are movie stills and photographs.

The Teacher’s Guides and Student Activities Booklets can be downloaded in their entirety by clicking on the film titles on the right side of your screen.

The DVDs needed for the lesson plans must be obtained through The Film Foundation. There is no charge for the DVD materials that accompany this teaching unit. Click here to order a copy.