Horror in Kallio / Open Video Make Session Project

CONTRIBUTORS 

Sanna Vilmusenaho / Background in video and animation
Kati Hyyppä / Background in research, interaction design and illustration
Open Video Make Session / Open Culture and Science Hackday 18.9.2012

OVERVIEW

In our Horror in Kallio video project we combined openly licensed video clips, audio and images from various online sources. For example, we used old Public Domain illustrations found through Europeana, and video clips from the Kallio Archive, which provides everyday observations from the Kallio district in Helsinki. The horror theme inspired us as old videos and pictures often give a gloomy, or at least mysterious feeling. On the other hand, we were interested in twisting the mood of ordinary scenes by means of image manipulation. We made atmospheric video scenes and animated gifs, and complemented these with dark music and sound effects. The outcome of the hackday can be found below, as well as the steps involved in making the video. We plan to continue with the materials in the future: Sanna is working on her next short film and Kati will explore the possibilities of animated creatures further on.

The project documentation is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike.

STEPS & TIPS

Compositing and creating effects for background videos in Adobe After Effects

We combined all the material and rendered the final video in Adobe After Effects. Video clips from the Kallio archive were dwnloaded to the computer and imported to the After Effects composition and then edited to fit the length of the music we chose from a website called Jamendo. Video effects such as adding grain or making color adjustment were added to the Kallio Arcihve clips to create the spooky look we were looking for.

Link to a AE video tutorial on Black and White Adjustment.
Link to a AE video tutorial on Time Stretching

Looking for sounds and music

Online repository for sounds can be found at Freesound. It is possible for everyone to listen to the audio tracks but downloading requires registeration. Sounds we used in our project were found using keywords such as “owls” and “foot steps”

Jamendo is a music website where all the content is licensed under the Creative Commons licenses.  The search functionality is really helpful as it is possible to search according to the genre, instruments and mood of the songs. In order to find the right song for our project we used search words such as “horror”, “experimental” and “soundtrack” .  Also, it’s possible to filter the search results with the appropriate CC license.

Creating animated gifs

Pictures for the animated gifs were found through the Europeana portal, which provides access to a wide variety of digitized cultural heritage media. Using keywords like “insects”, we found nice high resolution Public Domain illustrations from the collections of the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands. The images were from 16th and 18th century and depicted different kinds of insects and other creatures. We made a Pinterest board of the images to aid selection and keeping track of source information.

For the hackday two gif animations were made from two illustrations, as there was not so much time. The chosen pictures contained owls (1560-1585, creator unknown) and a green millipede (1778, drawing by Martinus Slabber, print by Robbert Muys).

Photoshop was used to make the gif animations, but free and open source GIMP can also used for this purpose. First, the creatures were separated from the picture by removing the background. Then, the parts of the images which were animated were separated into different layers. For example, in the case of the owls, this included separating the bodies on one layer, as well as each eye and each tuft (the pointy things on the top of the owl’s head). Animation was done by choosing on the animation timeline which layers are shown at a given moment (see image below). The image size was also made smaller, as the original images were very large. Finally, the animation was exported as a .mov file, setting the background to transparent, so that it could be overlaid on the other videos made from the Kallio Archive materials.

Video of how to animate in Photoshop
Video of how to animate in GIMP