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Monthly Archives: May 2010

Back in March I was hired by China Wokery to take pictures of some dishes for a new website they’re building. Christian Lim, Zack Tatar, and I were the only ones working on the pictures the first time around.

Well, China Wokery came back for seconds this month and this time, I got to work with some fresh faces from Valhalla High School’s Mac LabChristopher Canel, Kyle Wheaton, Fadi George, Philip Behnam, Dean Powell, and then of course Christian and Zack all contributed to this project.

The workflow this time was similar to what we did before with the exception of a few minor changes. I split the work into two steps

– Digital Manipulation (removing dust, crumbs, reflections on the plates, etc)

– Color Work (taking the uncompressed .PSDs into Camera Raw and making all the colors deep and consistent)

Last time, we did the Color Work first: this turned to be an extra hassle because if I didn’t get the color right before I compressed to jpeg and began the Manipulation, then I had to try and fix it in Photoshop without all the RAW data – JPEGs are infinitely less flexible than .CR2’s especially when it comes to color work. So this time I made sure that we did things in reverse – Manipulation THEN Color.

With that in mind things basically went like this: Christian, Dean, and I took the pictures with a Canon 5D Mark II, then Christian divided the pictures between Christopher, Kyle, Fadi, Philip, & Zack for Manipulation. Afterwords Christian checks the work, sends it to me, I double check it then I do all the Color. Since Christian had the experience of our last China Wokery project I let him take the reigns for a lot of the post work and communication between students and that turned out to be a wise decision apparently haha.

Because we had all the extra man-power this time, we finished in less than four days – keep in mind this is on a Mother’s Day weekend.

Great job guys, the client loves the pictures.


Image 1

Image 2

Image 3


Just finished another video for DGA, the company that created the Livespeakr. The video features various apps and how they would benefit from being used with the Livespeakr.

You can watch it here.

The white background is just curved poster paper and the lighting is all natural daylight. At first I tried buying some lights and making my own soft boxes out of mailing packages and bed sheets but when I turned the lights on…they didn’t look so good.

Editing was a little painful as in the raw footage the product moves from clip to clip a few millimeters from side to side. To fix this I used still images of the product instead and just used a four point garbage matte to essentially make a mask through which the screen of the iPod would show.

For the first few shots with the hand I used this technique but for the hand itself, I had to open my trial of After Effects CS5 and learn how to use the roto brush to essentially but the hand on its own separate video and composite it later in Final Cut Pro.

For audio, absolutely everything is not real. I and Christian Lim from Valhalla High School’s Mac Lab, sorted through Sound Track Pro’s library of royalty free samples for hours and hours, and when we couldn’t find what we wanted there, we either made the noise ourselves (I’ll get into that in a second) or we scoured the internet for more royalty free samples.

I could not for the life of me find the sound of an engine accelerating for a prolonged amount of time, so I made my own sound. I opened up Reason 4.0 and setup a couple of synths, added distortion, steadily increased the pitch bend and presto – you get an engine. That reminds me, I forgot to mention that in the shot where I use this (the racing game), I added some wobble and radial blur in After Effects – that’s why it looks that way.

The project itself is a part of the CSUSM Senior Experience Project, a team of business students was paired with DGA for the purpose of contributing to the company as well as gaining real-world business experience. The team and the company commissioned me to create an “ad” that the students conceived.