Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Moonlight Serenade

This night we celebrated my girlfriend's birthday.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Virtual Figure Drawing

An amazing discovery... nowadays one draws life models from computer screens; Virtual Figure Drawing.

Virtual Pose (source

Friday, November 17, 2006

Soundtrack - The End of Alfredo

Well, what to do if you've been given a video without the corresponding soundtrack? You create one yourselves...

That has been our assignment at last weeks Art College Lecture.

The underneath image shows the story of an elderly man, who experiences his passing away.

Meet Alfredo, and listen to what we've come up with regarding sound.

Click below image to download and watch the movie "The End of Alfredo".


Movie of The End of Alfredo, soundtrack added

NOTE: To play this movie, Quicktime - available for free at - is required.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Artificial Intelligence Markup Language

Artificial Intelligence Markup Language (AIML) is for textual-responses with a 'robot', where Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) are text and images for a web page.

Since HTML is most familiar to you, as you look at web pages everytime you read my weblog, I will show what AIML is next.

As a good example of the use of AIML, look at the example below, and try and type some questions in the little SAY textbox at the bottom followed by the <ENTER> key on your keyboard.

For example, type: What is your name?

Courtesy Yuichan at

The code underneath this 'intelligent' dialogue is what is called AIML and looks like:
<pattern>What is your name</pattern>
<think><set name="topic">Me</set></think>
I name is Yuichan, but you can call me Yui.

See the enormous source of information about AIML and its use for the Artificial Intelligent ALICE at

Combine with a human-looking image this could well be our future helpdesk assistant.

One day I hope to answer your questions on my blog with the use of AIML... if I am able to give intelligent answers ;o)

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Augh... that hurts!

This morning early (1.00 AM !) I was acting as a henchman (= bad guy) for a film called A Fatal Murder. I had to approach the table of Detective RADAR in a bar and generaly make a fool of him. My boss, VAN HEEMSTRA (notice the inclusion of my family name in this movie), would want the girl VANESSA that was hiding underneath the table.

At the point of confrontation, RADAR would throw the table at me and my fellow bad guy. He would next hit me on the head with a (prepared) chair!

Chair fight as seen in Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much"

In reality, RADAR managed to break the chair on my head, leaving me with bloodstains and a wrecked chair to the ground.... CUT! Yes, that was luckily all filmed in one go.

Head hurt

I would not have opted for a second take of my 'stunt'.

Sometimes reality creeps into film, and the scars remain with the actor. I hope VAN HEEMSTRA will deal with this detective to get even ;o)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Showing Fog

Today I have to crack the mystical formula of ... fog.

Fog is a series of particles, primarily water vapor, that obscures our vision.

As such it is a great attribute in film making, to (dis-)cover part of a scene or set focus to the main object of interest (such as your knight riding through the forest).

'Knight in the mist' by Coen de Moor;
Fog used as a storytelling attribute

Fog seems to want to lay flat in the lower areas of a scene, whereas smoke tends to move upward. Obviously the further away from the viewer, the thicker the fog.

Now here is why I had to learn how to show fog. I am drawing a storyboard for a story named "Stealers of Light", by Martin Yuille. The opening scene is as follows:


Fog obscures our view and we can hear inaudible menacing whispers
in the distance. A figure enters from the left, wandering
and searching as if lost.

Confused he moves into the fog, we follow.

The whispers gradually grow nearer and the fog grows thicker...
From the previously cited website I found out that to show/draw fog we need to layer two effects on top of each other;

1) The fog - a blurred shape that moves from side to side.

2) The actor - a silhouette who changes in opacity (see-through vs solid colours) and possibly moves as well.

Starting with the first layer, the fog itself. For this layer I have used the photo editing software called Photoshop ( To end with the image underneath, I applied the Filter > Render > Clouds effect to a black rectangle a couple of times (see tip). Then to make the left and right edge form a seamless joint, I widened the rectangle's canvas by 200 percent and stuck the previously generated clouds on the righthand side in reverse.

Fog, created in Photoshop (75% transparant)

This foggy layer we can then move from left to right continuously to act as the fog.

Next, we need fixed objects (e.g. a tree) and our actor on layers below the fog.

Silhouette of our actor.

Now if above image is reduced in size (smaller if further away) and made slightly transparant during the movement, the illusion of this person walking through fog is achieved.

In addition, to increase awareness of where this person is walking we add a tree, that alternates in transparancy too.

Tree image, courtesy cornell college

Illusion of a figure walking through fog

Monday, November 06, 2006

Right for the Job

Hello and welcome back to the world of make-belief!

I have had the honour to participate in one of my fellow student's film, about a job interview... a particularly scary one.

Still image from Job Interview (left-to-right; Vicki and Willem)

Still image from Job Interview (Willem as Interviewer/Monster)

Ah well, maybe not the most subtle approach to find new recruits ;o)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Camouflage - The Movie

This week's assignment was to make a movie that has NO DIALOGUE, as so-called Silent Drama.
Drama in this case means 'a story'. Hope you like it as much as I when I acted as the army guy (note: no gun was used, instead I carried a tripod ;o)

Click below image to download and watch the movie "Camouflage".


NOTE: To play this movie Quicktime available for free at is required.

Camouflage still image