I AM THE DREAM – Culrav Promotional Video

The morning chirruping of the words – Culrav . The Cultural Fest of MNNIT Allahabad.

For those who haven't seen the video yet, here you go :

This Project was executed in a kind of hurry. Because the main purpose was not to make a great video but to get it done on time.

It all started 2 years back. When i heard this track. Since then i wanted to use it somewhere. Even though i was never really attached with Culrav, this time me being the Organising Secretary, i had put my best effort into making the video. So, here are some quick facts about the video :

  1. This is the first video i shot with a handycam (sony). Previous ones were shot with a canon digi-cam.
  2. The toughest part was to find the cast. I asked for help from my friend pallavi for the casting.
  3. Out of the 4, only the role of the dancer was constant… as in she was always the only pick for the role.
  4. My biggest CG work with After Effects till date.
  5. My biggest headache was to get "dates" from the extremely pre-occupied cast :P. Only the poet girl was kind enough to finish her part on time.
  6. The "i am the passion" title text clip took the longest time to render.Heavy on effects.
  7. The original track is different. I remixed it and made it longer.
  8. Overall project duration( from first scene shot to the final rendering) – 5 days
  9. i am really sleepy right now :yawn

HDR Photography : First try

I was always mesmerized by those seemingly unreal clicks that always looked as if painted or digitally made. Then later i got to know about the new unexplored field of HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography. I went through some literature over it and started experimenting. First thing i did was try to fake the HDR effect in Photoshop 😉
Later on i tried some real HDR using exposure fusion and tone mapping.

Faking HDR
HDR cannot be achieved using a single jpeg image. But then again, photoshop can do anything 🙂
So i used this snap taken at Sangam (confluence of rivers Ganga and Yamuna), Allahabad, taken by my friend Pallavi.


and the result i got by playing with layers and different blending modes in PS is : 
Photoshopped outcome
There is this great tutorial for creating a fake HDR effect in PS using a single image HERE.
Real HDR Photography
Now, for the real deal, first you need to take the bracketed snaps. Always choose a place with a wide range of tones. You can either shoot a RAW image and develop the bracketed images from it, or you can shoot multiple shots of the same scene with varying exposure levels.
You need, 
  • A good digital camera. SLR's are always the best choice. I have a Cannon SX120. Its semi-professional but does the trick.
  • A tripod, for keeping the camera still while taking the clicks. The camera should not move during the process or Tone mapping will be difficult in the post processing stage. You can do away with a tripod if you manage to keep the camera real still.
  • A great subject or landscape. Goes without saying.
Bracketing means taking multiple snaps of the same subject with varying camera parameters in each shot. Here i varied the exposure level with each shot. What Exposure bracketing does is that it enhances the shadow details of the image when under-exposed, and enhances the highlights when over exposed. When you expose for a scene, your camera's light meter will select an aperture / shutter speed combination that it believes will give a properly exposed picture. So with multiple shots, you will be able to capture all the details of the image. I set-up the camera in manual mode and took 5 jpegs at different exposure levels (stops at -2 , -1 , 0 , +1 , +2). Some cameras can also be programmed to take multiple shots by automatic bracketing. You can also take a single RAW image. A RAW image takes much more memory space and the camera saves the image without any processing.
Now, for the post processing part, i used the Merge to HDR process of Photoshop (File>Automate>Merge to HDR) its real simple for beginners like me. Also, Photomatix is one of the best softwares available for HDR processing. In photomatrix , you can adjust  the settings to get the look you want: from natural-looking with Exposure Fusion to painterly or surreal with Tone Mapping. For now i just used Photoshop and created a 32-bit HDR file.
After that, i adjusted the white point to get the perfect look and sharpened the image a little. Here is the final result,
As i said, its just the beginning. Have to experiment with Photomatix and its tone mapping feature now. I hope you guys will also try out some of your own HDR imagery and share with me.

Take a look at these stunning HDR Pictures to get some inspiration >> HERE

AnF 2.6 “College”

This one is dedicated to all the present final years. I know this is a bit too early to be posting such farewell stuff but it is important. We still have time, time to make the most of the college life. This life will never come back. So to all my friends, also to all the juniors, make the most of your life… no regrets. DO EVERYTHING you always wanted to do in college.. dream.. and let it come true 🙂