UWOL #32 - Chemistry of Life by Marj Atkins at DVinfo.net

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Old January 5th, 2015, 07:42 AM   #1
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UWOL #32 - Chemistry of Life by Marj Atkins


Just a load of nonsense inspired by Christmas lights and glitter! - got bored with doing the same-old-same-old.

Actually it only looks like that because I am not nearly finished the particle movements or the layering of the animations of the human body. My intention is to create an idea of elements floating around and inside the human body (which are in fact non-existent outside of compounds and biological structures). I did all animations of the particles for the human figures in one session yesterday afternoon, using footage that I took earlier in the week as a base - so not surprising that they look like they do. I decided to use someone exercising because of the interesting movements I had hoped to achieve with the particles that I had in mind but actually I need to think that one through because they are too busy at the moment.

Anyway I know there is a real mixture of things going on here which hopefully will tie together when I have finished this. I cannot remember when I learned so much interesting stuff about us nor had such fun experimenting with different techniques.

I battled to find the right wording for the end of this story line. Maybe someone will have an inspired suggestion?!

Regarding critique – there are many technical problems with my entry – I am fully aware of that - but I always appreciate your input so level 2 treatment would be good!

Oh yes – the music – or lack thereof – just didn’t get time to do a melody but needed a strong beat for the typography so I laid that down as soon as I could in order to get the timings right!
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Old January 6th, 2015, 03:16 AM   #2
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Re: UWOL #32 - Chemistry of Life by Marj Atkins

Hello Marj.
I start to give feedback in the order the videos are posted by Trond.

What a surprising, ambitious and innovative video you deliver in this round.
I who am an old chemist by profession enjoyed this very well.
I worked as a chemist for 20 years before I changed profession and educated me to be a social educator.
The concept of the video is good and I think it is well within the theme.
As always you have a nice cut rhythm in your videos, this time with a nice drum based song that is well suited to the sport animation.
I am unsure if it would have been better with a narrator, instead of text.
Maybe I would choose the narrator because chemistry may seem difficult to understand for some, but I do not mean to underestimate anyone by saying this.
You have a nice and clear voice that fits perfectly as a narrator.
I do not know if I can help you with the wording, which I think is good as it is.
Nevertheless, it depends on what is your target audience for your video?
Although I'm an old chemist, I miss some more scenes from underwater or over land - mixed with the great animations.

Well done!
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Old January 6th, 2015, 01:49 PM   #3
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Re: UWOL #32 - Chemistry of Life by Marj Atkins

Geir Inge you have made my day! I have been kicking myself ever since I uploaded that video but you have eased my stress a bit - just thought everything about this was a disaster even though I learned so much while doing it (which was very valuable to me). Thank you for your kind comments. A chemist hey - wow - I would never has guessed - you are truly multi-talented Geir!
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Old January 6th, 2015, 05:28 PM   #4
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Re: UWOL #32 - Chemistry of Life by Marj Atkins

Marj,

You never cease to be amazing. I don't know what the effect is of the bubbles or stars or dust or whatever it is, but I couldn't take my eyes off of it. That and the music was mesmerizing. It gives the piece a cosmic effect that fits the "elements" well. Your dealing with common objects was effective too, pure Atkins. We have come a long way. When I was a kid, the body was supposed to be worth $1.98.
My only corrections are really nitpicky. Hydrogen gas is H2, nitrogen is N2 and for consistency in naming elements, chloride should be chlorine.

Loved it.
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Old January 7th, 2015, 01:13 AM   #5
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Re: UWOL #32 - Chemistry of Life by Marj Atkins

Hi Marj,

You surprised me with this one! I like how you turned uwol into a chemistry and anatomy lesson. Very cool!
We are our worst critics. The technical errors you mention, are well hidden for me.

Maybe a little much use of the graphics for my personal taste, but I really enjoyed watching.
That said, the graphics were well executed and eye catching, like Steve mentioned, and your entry is up to the standard I have come to expect from you.

Well done!
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Old January 7th, 2015, 03:49 AM   #6
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Re: UWOL #32 - Chemistry of Life by Marj Atkins

It's not a big deal, but just want to point out about H and N.
In the periodic table describes one hydrogen and nitrogen the same way as Marj, H and N.
Nevertheless, they are gases and then described as H2 and N2.
Both spellings may be used, but in chemical mathematics we must be using gas form to get balance.
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Old January 7th, 2015, 04:06 AM   #7
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Re: UWOL #32 - Chemistry of Life by Marj Atkins

Hi yes thanks Geir and Steve
I should have had either H, O, N as the symbols or better still H2, O2, N2 as they are diatomic gases - instead of mixing them as I did.
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Old January 7th, 2015, 04:14 AM   #8
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Re: UWOL #32 - Chemistry of Life by Marj Atkins

Thank you for your feedback Trond. I used the opportunity to try out new things but I did not finish things off properly so I was not entirely happy about submitting it. Anyway I am glad the shortcomings are not too obvious then.
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Old January 7th, 2015, 06:48 AM   #9
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Re: UWOL #32 - Chemistry of Life by Marj Atkins

Marj,

When i first saw this for the first time it caught my eye as being interesting, the concept is nice of this execution.
I watched it now for 4 time , being weak in chemistry all my school days i would have liked a voice over as with the music and action i sometimes miss the chemical formulas or the text. that being said the concept is innovative.
If i say that i missed some natural footage may be the person exercising being actual person to start with transitioning into the aftereffects one and then the story moving, just thats probably the only missing thing for me is the missing of natural footage, other wise a amazing concept very nicely executed.

cheers
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Old January 7th, 2015, 12:10 PM   #10
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Re: UWOL #32 - Chemistry of Life by Marj Atkins

Thank you for your comments Vishal.

I had a dilemma when this theme came up; my thinking was that either I do an uninspired water theme or I abandon scenery and animals and do something totally different. I decided to tackle the subject from a completely different angle and do something on the elements found in the periodic table. I soon realized that to accomplish this I would have to learn some new After Effects techniques.

I also consciously decided to use typography not narration. I was fully aware that it had a good chance of creating problems with images and words fighting for attention but I wanted to see if I could overcome that problem. I used simple moving text to keep the eye focused and then left the scene on for longer than normal so that the image could also be absorbed. Obviously it did not work 100% or you would not have had trouble. I did forget to type out some of the chemical names above the symbols. (I will eventually do the typography in AE as well because one can better handle the animation of the text.)

Your idea of transitioning the human figure from real footage to the fx figure would certainly be a solution to the lack of natural footage and it did cross my mind but I had something else in mind which unfortunately I have not been able to complete. When I made these conscious decisions I realized that I would be probably be penalized for lack of footage of the natural world around us but that was a choice I made. I doubt if I would have learned nearly as much from this challenge had I done the water theme as I envisaged it back then. This was way more of a challenge and that is what finally got me going.

Really appreciate your input.
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Old January 7th, 2015, 01:27 PM   #11
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Re: UWOL #32 - Chemistry of Life by Marj Atkins

Marj, what an absolutely super concept!

I love the idea, and Im sure that based on the comments, and your own ideas, you will work it up into a much more polished piece.
I also would have liked some commentary, or at least in some sections - perhaps alternating VO with music, and I think it would be better with a few alterations in rhythm - perhaps slowing at the end of some of the sections, then speeding to show yet more amazing information.

I guess you could also improve with dynamic typography, as you said, when you redo it in AE.

You really captured this rounds theme - Thanks!
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Old January 7th, 2015, 01:29 PM   #12
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Re: UWOL #32 - Chemistry of Life by Marj Atkins

Oh dear Marj, not sure how to say what I want to say! I have watched your entry several times and each time marvel at the lengths you have gone to and the skills you have deployed in producing such a polished film. You certainly have talents that many of us can only wish for. I will not repeat others specific comments.

You have stated you realized you would be penalised for lack of natural footage and this is where I have problems. On this occasion you have produced an extremely educational animated video, with the exception of a clip of water. I am therefore finding it hard to equate how this fits into the underwater overland challenge? If animation is used as a tool to explain and support clips of a phenomenon, natural event, behaviour etc then all's well and good. I am left feeling I have just watched a very, very good explanation of the elements but seen nothing visually linking to natures wonders. Maybe the saying "putting the cart before the horse" sums up what I am trying to say. In my view uwol challenges, and this is only in my view, animation should be used compliment the film, not be the film.

I hope what I am trying to say Marg make sense.
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Old January 8th, 2015, 02:36 AM   #13
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Re: UWOL #32 - Chemistry of Life by Marj Atkins

Marj - Well I found this interesting. Never was good in chemistry. Thanks.

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Old January 9th, 2015, 07:21 AM   #14
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Re: UWOL #32 - Chemistry of Life by Marj Atkins

Great concept Marj!
And for a work in progress it's certainly got a lot going for it already. There is always so much to learn in After Effects - and new ways to apply what you know. Haven't delved in for a while myself, but I like to check in at VideoCopilot from time to time to check out the tutorials there.

There's always the choice of which path(s) to take in format - eg. text VS speech, and they each affect how the piece is perceived, the mood, etc... Can't really say which is right, but I look forward to seeing the finished version, and just think what else you'll know about AE by then.

Even if it wasn't as Under water or Over land, it was a Challenge, and rule #11 applies. It's why we do this right?
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Old January 10th, 2015, 12:21 PM   #15
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Re: UWOL #32 - Chemistry of Life by Marj Atkins

Thank you all for your feedback. Much appreciate your time and input always.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick Jenner View Post
I am left feeling I have just watched a very, very good explanation of the elements but seen nothing visually linking to natures wonders.
Just a little puzzled by this comment. May I offer my opinion on this? My thinking on this is that humans are as much part of the natural world as animals, birds and insects etc. and the elements are everywhere in nature - or it would not have been a suitable theme for this challenge. I filmed a lot of this but transformed it into something more illustrative. Even when I was trying to give an appreciation of quantities of elements in the human body by comparing them to quantities in objects around us, the majority of those object - chalk, charcoal, salt etc are near natural - practically 100% pure and just one small step away from their natural state. The human body is probably the culmination of the wonders of nature! The one thing I can definitely be penalized for is that most of this was transformed into animations - no question - but not because it does not visually demonstrate nature's wonders. Everything that has life is a wonder and amazing. Hope you don't mind my giving a counter argument - not something I usually do.

I think Andrew described things well. Rule 11 applies.
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