WELCOME TO PLAY!

When we're not working on client projects we are
definitely creating! Here we will share everything fun
we've been making on the side! 

ROMANTIC SHOTS BY 
ADDING A FULL MOON

PERSONAL
Composited in Adobe After Effects by Leonardo Verkoelen
We've released a brand new tutorial. We will be looking at a very simple way to add "epic" to your already cool looking shot! Knowing how to add a moon to your sky realistically is an essential VFX skill to have from low-budget to high-budget productions. By adding a moon to either your day or night shots you will quickly increase the value of your shot thanks to this new point of interest.

I have made the moon assets available for you for FREE: https://artstn.co/m/PlqD

SCREEN REPLACEMENT
WITH CRT TV DIODES

PERSONAL
Composited in Adobe After Effects by Leonardo Verkoelen
Are you having troubles with screen replacement? Are you working with footage that has bad greenscreen and no motion-trackers? Then this advanced TV Screen replacement tutorial will cover all the things you need. I go through a step-by-step workflow of how I got to 80% of a finished shot and then I finish the remaining 20% along with you. This is an incredibly useful skill to have in your After Effects tool-belt.

I will cover multiple techniques as tracking in Mocha AE, correctly exporting Corner Pin data, compositing a realistic screen look with RGB diodes, creating alpha masks for the tv, filling up greenscreen mistakes, matching exposure and focal distance to the backplate, matching glow and matching noise. It's a long tutorial but I believe after you give it a watch you'll feel much more confident in any screen replacement situation. Cheers!

UPCOMING STICKERS & DECALS PACK!

PRODUCT
Designed by Leonardo Verkoelen
To all designers and visual effects artists: I've been working on an Industrial Stickers and Decals pack. For me, when working in 3D, there are many opportunities to populate a scene with stickers. However, I've found it difficult to find non-futuristic looking stickers online. I've decided to make a 100+ Assets Pack that includes decals ranging from Lithium Battery warnings to Pharmaceutical Prescriptions. It will take about another month for the pack to be completed. When it's released you can expect some tutorials on how to properly apply the assets to your scenes.

RECEIVER & THINKER
SUPERCOMPUTERS

SHORT FILM
Designed by Edon Guraziu & Directed by Leonardo Verkoelen
One of the earliest artists on board of Syntactic Labyrinths was the incredibly talented Edon Guraziu.
I was incredibly excited to have the two protagonists of the film, supercomputers THINKER & RECEIVER, be designed by Edon. From the first time I saw his work I believed his futuristic and industrial aesthetic would work perfectly for making believable machines that would run all data from humanity. After the first discussions with Edon about the project direction it was clear to me that we were pretty much on the same page.

The designs Edon delivered are the perfect extension to their description in the script.

https://edonguraziu.com/work

SYNTACTIC 
LABYRINTHS: COMING SOON!

SHORT FILM
Designed by Jeremy Rieger & Directed by Leonardo Verkoelen
I would like to dedicate this PLAY post on the amazing design work by Jeremy Rieger. Our collaboration on our upcoming short film, Syntactic Labyrinths, started with the title design. Jeremy is a designer currently working at Sagmeister & Walsh. I approached him because of his fantastic typography work. We went through a few iterations and landed on the title design you can see above. We took a more abstract approach to the title as the typography now expresses the same cryptic nature the film has.

After work on the typography was done Jeremy got back to work on the poster. I'm incredibly happy with the result of this poster. It perfectly captures the key points of the story in minimalist graphic design.

https://jeremyrieger.com/

ABSTRACT JOURNEY OF OUR LIES

MUSIC VIDEO
Directed by Erick Alcaraz and Visual Effects by Leonardo Verkoelen
Erick: The concept of the video is based on the search for identity and escape within a world of media bombardment through screens. The media violence that we experience day by day has a profound effect on us and resonate at different levels of our psyche, this is something that causes us great interest. Much of our identity is forged from the family nucleus and from the information we consume from our first steps, that is why we decided to create this dreamlike and atmospheric world, almost a nightmare, where we go through the memories in darkness of our protagonist in her quest to escape of this system.

I feel that video clips are very interesting formats to find a style of my own and it has allowed me to explore more experimental methods in terms of image, editing, visual effects and narrative. In cinema, concerns are always greater for all the departments that have to be coordinated, with video clips the passing is more relaxed and the focus always goes towards the image and the rhythm. The video clip works for music like the soundtrack for movies.

Leo: It was a great pleasure to work on this music video. The visual effects were relatively simple tasks that wouldn't interfere with the aesthetics of the music video. I replaced several television screens that we're shot with a green screen covering the glass. It was a fun challenge to replicate the CRT tv diodes inside of After Effects, each diode only letting through the correct channel of color. There will be a tutorial on this subject available on our YouTube channel for those interested in a deeper dive. Another effect I worked on was creating a crowd of masked men from a shot that didn't have a green-screen. This required some simple rotoscoping, moving the layers in 3D-space and playing with the Depth of Field settings to match the bokeh.

SKY-REPLACEMENT ON 3D-CAMERA MOVEMENT

PERSONAL
Composited in Adobe After Effects by Leonardo Verkoelen
A few years ago I worked as a visual effects artist on my friend Gagan Singh's short film Famished. The film is closed to being released and I took the opportunity to go back into the files and try out a new sky-replacement for this shot. Now that we have created our own high resolution Cloud Packs it was a very easy process to enhance these shots and give them a new sense of drama. I've decided to cover my process of looking at reference imagery and designing the clouds in the background. You can follow along with the tutorial above. It's a longer one than usual but I'm glad I could include as much information in there as there is.

YU-GI-OH! GAME OF SHADOWS

PERSONAL
Rendered in Corona Renderer by Leonardo Verkoelen
I've been working on a 1.5-minute video in the Yu-Gi-Oh! universe.
Getting the holo foil texture on the cards right was such a challenge that I decided to make a series of 3 instagram videos that explore the texture on different cards. I took heavy inspiration from the title cards in Yasujiro Ozu movies. I replaced the iconic tatami mat background for canvas filling backgrounds representing the three main characters from the show. Golden hieroglyphs in an Egyptian pyramid for the Pharaoh. A hieroglyphic stone tablet behind glass in KaibaCorp. for Seto Kaiba. And finally a brick wall with hieroglyphs painted on them for Joey Wheeler. You can find the full videos on www.instagram.com/blauwfilmsco

SILPH CO. CATCHING DEVICE

PERSONAL
Designed by Leonardo Verkoelen
I've always been completely in love with the Pokémon universe. Earlier this year I decided to make a redesign of the classic Poké-ball for a personal project. I went back to the original design sketches for the Poké-ball and added my other inspirations, Naoto Fukasawa and Dieter Rams. The activation button has been moved to the top of the Poké-ball and it has both a "catching" and "releasing" functionality. Hold the top-button to charge the Poké-ball before throwing it at your target. Once the Pokémon is caught, press the top button once to release.
On the side ring there is a "home" button (left) for returning your Pokémon. The slider (right) goes from 1-5 which allows the user to dial in the size of the Pokémon they want to catch. This button defines the blast radius. We are planning on creating a short 1-2 minute live-action Pokémon video that will feature this Poké-ball design as well.

8 FUJI FILM STILLS
FROM POWERTOOLS

MUSIC VIDEO
Directed by Leonardo Verkoelen
We're still very proud of this music video we made. We took inspiration from the beautiful black and white look in movies like Akira Kurosawa's High & Low, Andrei Tarkovsky's Stalker and the black and white sections of Wong Kar-Wai's Fallen Angels. For the sped-up sequences we we're inspired by Shinya Tsukamoto's Tetsuo: The Iron Man. I recently found 8 stills from our disposable camera we took on s

STARRY NIGHTS WITH 
THE RIGHT EXPOSURE

PERSONAL
Composited in Adobe After Effects by Leonardo Verkoelen
Earlier this year I had the pleasure to work as a VFX-Artist on Teresa Almeida's Peter Walter.
The film is about a young writer during the second World War who wants to fulfil his duties and become a soldier but his protective parents want to keep him writing inland. Early in the film there is an establishing shot of the house that should be set during night-time. The film has a dreamy vibe throughout the story so I decided this shot required some stars. Using Corona Renderer's camera settings inside of Cinema 4D, you can apply your starfields to a Light-Material with an intensity of 1.0 and then adjust your camera settings to match those of your camera on set. You will then be able to get a pretty accurate representation of how bright your stars should be for that shot.

PICKING MY SHOTS
FOR SATURN

PERSONAL
Rendered in Corona Renderer by Leonardo Verkoelen
During the many discussions with cinematographer Erick Alcaraz, we figured out we wanted to establish Saturn in two shots. The first one is a wide shot of The Library with a canvas filled with abstract strokes from Saturn's rings. The ship moves out of the shadow, into the harsh sunlight. We're on a long 250mm lens, tracking with the ship. The rings of Saturn fly by creating beautiful abstract shapes. Our inspiration were long lens helicopter shots in Michael Mann films like Heat and Thief. The second shot is also a wide shot, but in this situation our subject is the entire planet Saturn. When working with two subjects on such a drastic scale difference you really notice how relative the sense of a "Wide-Shot" and a "Close-Up" becomes. As we're exposing to Saturn, we're barely seeing any stars. The camera makes a very simple TRACK-Right to match the flow of the previous shot. This is a simple way to connect these two shots. By having them connected by motion it allows the audience to quickly perceive these two shots as happening in the same situation. For those interested in the technical side of how we made Saturn in Corona Renderer: I've made a tutorial on our process and you can watch it up top.

CLOUD PACK 
SKY REPLACEMENT

PERSONAL
Composited in Adobe After Effects by Leonardo Verkoelen
Me and Erick have been using our Cloud Asset Pack to change the mood of landscape shots to better fit the story we want to tell.
You're never able to control the look of clouds while you're on set. Even when you have beautiful clouds in your environment, if they don't fit the mood of your film, you'll still have to resort to sky-replacement. I believe it's a skill-set all Visual Effects artists and Cinematographers should have and for that reason I've made this tutorial above! Hope you enjoy it! 

FATHER SON 
KAMEHAMEHA

PERSONAL
Rendered in Corona Renderer by Leonardo Verkoelen
I'm a big fan of Dragon Ball Z and especially the moment Gohan and Goku vaporise Cell.
The sense of scale that Gohan's Kamehameha has is beautifully portrayed in the framing.
Hidden Message #1: 

HALLO

Studio Blauw Films
London, United Kingdom
t. +44 (0) 7930 823662
e. blauwfilms@gmail.com