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Old February 23rd, 2009, 09:53 AM   #16
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Thanks to you all - really appreciate the time you have taken to comment. Apologies for taking so long to respond. Just to respond to some of you directly:

Jennie
Glad to know there is someone else as daft as me! I do agree that trying out new techniques is exciting but at the same time it does have its disadvantages - and Iíll speak for myself here when I say - I am going to have to do everything a dozen times before getting them right. Thatís the reason I decided to use this long form opportunity - at least I have a year to mess things up and redo them.

Much of this is new to me. I tried the green screen thing and itís not easy. Some of my large sunflower heads were done using a green screen - purely as experiments.
Have you done green screen work before? Using a red block is a good idea to check out lighting and things. You may have to go to a blue screen if your objects have a lot of green in them - like my sunflowers. Do you have a proper screen or are you using a home-made one? Lots of questions - will check out your thread to find out how you get on.

Thanks Mat - I really appreciate all your constructive comments because they are always spot on - so please keep them coming.

Per - sometimes I wonder why I do things like this. I just canít seem to keep things simple but thanks for your vote of confidence - hope I can do justice to it!

Cat
Yip, fractals are found in roots, branches, veins and look closely at the cauliflower the next time you prepare it for a meal - wonderful stuff hey?

Andrew
I think thatís the way to go - simple and to the point - and allowing the images to tell the story.

An interesting question about cellular automata but I donít know enough about the subject to comment. I am aware of the Ďfoxes and haresí model (it was one of those wow things we used to run when PCs first came out) and that some things in nature generate pigment patterns that are natural cellular automata. Would be interesting to find out though.

Finn-Erik
Thank you Finn-Eric - not sure how to respond to that - but letís just say I pay a great deal of attention to composition - most of the time anyway.

(Sometimes I get so excited about trying to capture my subject before it disappears that all of that goes out the window and when I am tired and not concentrating the wheels fall off as well and I end up with junk. I must say that I was caught off guard by the sunflower time lapses. When I first started one sunflower did its own choreography and ended up out of the picture despite the fact that I arranged it neatly in the frame. After that I checked regularly although I did have to leave the camera to run over night at times and things happened while I was asleep.)

I have had training in fine art which helps a bit when it comes to understanding the principles of composition, if that answers your question.

Steve,
I think I will start with the mathematics and work my way from there. DNA will come into my story somewhere though. BTW - try counting in the opposite direction.

Geir - what a coincidence - what is your book called? - guess itís in Norwegian.

Once again thanks to everyone who commented.

Marj
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 10:10 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marj Atkins View Post
Thanks to you all ...
Geir - what a coincidence - what is your book called? - guess itís in Norwegian.
Once again thanks to everyone who commented.
Marj
Hi Marj.
Yes, it is a norwegian book by a man called Arild Hagen.
Here's a link to the book (in norwegian) and also to some of the pictures in it.
Link: Naturens former Ľ Bokklubben

Maybe you can get some ideas from it?
Try this link too, and see if you can get to some more pictures from it:
Naturens former Ľ Bokklubben &style=popup

Really nice pictures if you ask me :)

Geir Inge
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 10:15 AM   #18
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Thanks Geir! - will take a look.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 12:46 PM   #19
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Hey Geir - just had a look at those pictures. They are really beautiful. Thanks for the links!
Marj
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 05:09 PM   #20
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fantastic subject, i know you've been wanting to work on this topic for awhile, glad there is an opportunity here.

beautiful macro, as always...
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 10:51 PM   #21
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Funnily enough Meryem - if you are referring to the 'Patterns in Nature" topic that I suggested - I would not have been able to use this mathematics subject because it would be impossible to explain in a three minute movie. I had another idea up my sleeve for that.
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Old February 26th, 2009, 04:44 AM   #22
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Marj,

What a great idea for a film. Something slightly different from the norm.
I am a big fan of timelapse stuff and your footage looks great.
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Old March 1st, 2009, 10:06 AM   #23
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Marj,
This is such a wonderful idea for a film. I can see this film being used to teach the concept to math students. Fibonacci sequences are absolutely fascinating and totally mind boggling to me. I am a teacher for students who have disabilities here in the US and just a couple of years ago I met a teacher who was talking to her math students about the phenomenon and ever since I have been flabbergasted by the way in which nature displays orderÖ and chaos for that matter. I am very excited to see your final film and learn something. The film you submitted is beautiful and very pleasing to watch I found myself entranced.
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Old March 1st, 2009, 09:47 PM   #24
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Marj,
This is always a fun subject and never covered enough. I confess, I would probably be happy with the math-biology lecture but I understand why youíre making it more of a celebration of math in nature. I know you are concentrating on plants now because of the season but Iím glad you arenít leaving animals out. Gastropods, echinoderms and insect eyes all jump to mind but Iím sure you have a bevy of delights for us up your sleeveÖ Lovely!
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 10:09 AM   #25
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A different point of view on a subject is always worthwhile. I guess I wouldn't go looking for the maths in nature, but will look forward to finding out more as the project goes on. This sequence is lovely on its own.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 06:26 AM   #26
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Marj....well what can I say.

I think the film maker in you always seems to shine through. You have a unique and interesting premise and your project outline is good. At the next stage I'd like to see an expanded version of this where you include what sequences your coving within each section. Also more about how you intend you draw your conclusions back to beginning of your film. I think if you can find a clever or suprise way of doing this it could round things off very nicely indeed.

Your footage is awesome, well shot, interesting subjects, great levels of detail. The bee hive footage is a great example to everyone of building a sequence. Very nice indeed! I'm sure you have lots and lots more goodies in the planning especially as you also seem to be making this a technical learning activity.

I can't wait to see the results !
Mat
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Old April 15th, 2009, 05:40 AM   #27
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Thanks once again for all your comments. I really appreciate your input. I have had my head down trying to meet a deadline, amongst other things, so I have not been able to get round here for a while. I have been doing my comments on your movies in between things but decided to finish them all before posting.
Thank you so much for all your encouragement - and inspiration I might add - there are some really stunning films in the making out there. I am sure we are going to see some amazing results.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 12:48 PM   #28
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By design #2

Today has not been my day. Usually I upload my video a day early to avoid this sort of thing and problems have never occurred. This time because I left it to the last moment, everything has gone wrong. I haven't been able to upload my video to the Uwol site at all as there is a glitch somewhere and it won't give me permission. Kevin will sort this out for me later today.

On top of that it has taken Vimeo 18 hours to finally process my video since I first uploaded it there! I haven't down-loaded it myself so I am not sure how big it is yet (it is 12 minutes long) I will do so tomorrow. I will also add the rest of my stuff then.

In the meantime here it the link to my video on Vimeo.

By Design #2 on Vimeo
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Old May 14th, 2009, 04:44 PM   #29
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Hey Marj

I think your idea is fascinating and I'm going to be very interested to see the other areas of natures mathematical design that you are covering. You have some lovely shots and SO much colour....a feast for the eyes!

I know you've said this is going to be cut down but I did find it a little repetitive even though you were showing how widespread the number sequencing is. I think the could be aided by varying the nature of the visual delivery. Try using different types of shots, maybe jib shots, pans, reveals, differing angles etc etc. It just felt a bit like a classroom presentation in parts and this is after all a film.

It also might be good to explore more of the connections the flowers have with wildlife. 'Sub plots' to the main math story if you like. Attenboroughs, life of plants is a fantastic example of how its possible to make plants a fantastically interesting subject matter within a film. I have a big library of dvd's that I use for story structure reference and it definitely would be worth checking out this series to improve the delivery of what is a great premise for exploring the natural world.

Great stuff

Mat
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Old May 15th, 2009, 06:09 AM   #30
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Hi Mat - thanks for your constructive comments I really appreciate the time you have taken and thanks for the encouragement and very helpful tips.


The problems you have highlighted are unfortunately part and parcel of putting up work that is still in progress. I was very reluctant to submit this because it is still in disarray - in my mind anyway - but I simply ran out of time. This is not a difficult subject - just complex as there is an immense amount of information that can be included. The difficulty is in deciding what is important and what is not and how much to include and how. My mind is rattling with facts at the moment.


When I work the first thing I always do is gather everything that I feel could be pertinent to the subject and once everything is in place start analyzing it, organizing it and consolidating it. I also usually gather more video images than is necessary to give myself some choice. I got as far as collecting the info and doing some superficial arranging of it to make it into a story that flows. This story was put together around the collected images specifically for this check point without which it would have been difficult to make any sense of it.


I haveto admit that I did feel reluctant to toss out some of the stuff before submitting this - holding onto favourites - but they will be gone once I get bored with them! Funnily, my thoughts when submitting it were - “Oh well they’ve got the biology/ math lesson here after all.” - not my intention for the final version though.


My idea is to make it a bit more than just a video about a number sequence applied to plants and try to put each plant into context as well. Maybe this is complicating things but it is in line with what you suggested about including insects and animals to make it more interesting. At this stage I am still busy with building the basics so I have no idea how much I will eventually be able to include.

I had intended to do this particular sequence in the springtime when there is plenty of scope for flower types, but ten days ago I came to the conclusion that the sequence we were busy working on would not be finished on time, so I opted to do this one quickly instead - which ironically also ended up not being completed properly on time!

It has been a mission to scrape together all the images required for the factual information I have. There are some missing images like the missing pineapple plant so some clips seem unnecessarily long, but if it becomes obvious that they are necessary for the final version they will be included.

I did not make any special effort with the voice-over and music as this is a temporary story version that will be discarded (a total waste of time, unfortunately, writing a story for a check point). The graphics too are very basic at the moment - just enough to get the message across.

One thing I was interested in finding out from you all - do you think it helps to have the number sequence at the bottom of the screen throughout? Does this give my sequence an unprofessional look? Do I have any alternatives?

I must say I never thought I would ever do a video on flowers and plants - never mind a long-form documentary - it is a subject that has never been particularly high on my video interest list except as context for other video. I have subsequently discovered that plants are actually amazingly interesting. I have also discovered they are impossible to video outdoors when doing close-ups or macro work, as even the slightest breeze makes them move just when you don’t want them to move. Unfortunately it is also very time-consuming and tedious to get them indoors to film - and impossible if you don’t own the plant in question!!


Just one other small thing: there is a slip at the end of my video where my title and graphics get a little mixed up - please ignore - it is a direct result of removing an image at the last minute and not checking.


Marj


Note: while waiting for Kevin’s help I used the opportunity to correct this slip as well as the credits in the version uploaded to the Uwol site. I also added a few missing transitions.
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