Now that I'm gaining the ability to make something I see in my head start to take some sort of form on the screen, the daily grind is getting even more exciting. I realize that I've got a long, long ways to go, but today is another example of tangible efforts towards a specific goal on many levels.
I've been on this "transformation" tip since the start of this experiment, so I wanted to continue working with Trapcode Particular, Fire, Alpha Masks, Photoshop, and Illustrator to build another foundation for one of the sequences in the documentary. On DAY 011 I got letters to dissolve, and on DAY 021 I got me to kind of dissolve into birds, but this time I wanted to see if I could get those birds to form a tribal mask from an African Medicine Man this time around.
It was Trapcode Particular, an Alpha Mask, and a Point Emitter to the rescue, and wow did I get to dig even deeper into the amazing power of Trapcode Particular! But, I ran into that same huge roadblock that's been haunting me for quite some time: RENDER TIMES. Something I did catapulted my 20-50 minute render times to an estimated 4, then 15, then 26 hours.
Whoa...something's VERY wrong.
For the BCC Fire background, I immediately made a QuickTime loop and dropped that into my Composition, but that didn't help. I then tried a video loop of a bird flying instead of an Illustrator file, but that didn't help either.
I then decided to start over, carefully documenting every step of the way. I'll update this post below when I figure out some of what went wrong. As usual, though, I'm wide open to comments and tips and ideas for reducing render times.
One of the key lessons I've learned already because of this project is this: I also scouring the net for looped backgrounds of fire, having absolutely ZERO confidence in my own ability to create a fiery background. But, on places like iStockPhoto, video loops were selling for almost $100.00 each! Wow-freakin-za! If that's not inspiration to see if I could make my own loops, I don't know what is.
So I tried my own...and it only took me a few minutes to create a basic fiery background that works for what I need. Already, my newbie-hacker skills are saving me money, and I like that!
Anyway, overall, I'm happy with DAY 039's efforts. It seems there is an infinite number of directions projects can take, and with so much to learn, it's difficult to stay focused on one particular style. But I'm now working towards keeping the final goal in mind, which is to gain the skills needed for at least some of the motion graphics for the documentary.
See you in 24.