The Annual “Drive To Work in a Snow Storm” Time Lapse!

Well, here it is once again, the dead of winter in Northeast Wisconsin. What better thing to do when crawling along in the morning commute to work in a blizzard but set up the GoPro on the dashboard set to time lapse mode, and off you go. The trip normally takes between 45-50 minutes, in weather like this, more like an hour and fifteen. Oh well. There’s a lot of good tutorials out there for how to shoot time lapse with a GoPro. I had mine set to one frame every two seconds. Two or five usually works just fine. As usual for my workflow, time lapse images were processed in Adobe After Effects, color and sound done in Adobe Premiere Pro, both CC 2017 (for those nerds out there that actually care about that stuff). Hope you enjoy! Unless this kind of stuff gives you nervous twitches, then, well… what can I say?

The Harrowing Drive to Work in a Blizzard.

For those not from the northern portions of the U.S., here’s what a 50 minute commute looks like condensed via timelapse down to one minute, driving in a blizzard that made the roads pretty slick.

Shot with a GoPro mounted on the dashboard, processed and color corrected in Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro CC.

Music: “Sonata No. 06 in F Major, Op. 10 No. 2 – III. Presto” by Daniel Veesey (

New Music Video Project Completed!

Here it is, fresh out of the edit suite as of last night, 1/27/2016! This was one of those projects that has taken some time to complete for various reasons, but I’m excited to get it out there, as is the artist, Wayne William. Take a look, then I have more below describing the nuts and bolts, for those interested.



Wayne lives in Malta, that tiny island nation in the Mediterranean just south of Sicily, and just north of Libya. He’s a full time professional musician who performs, writes and produces. He’s a very talented guy, and I’ve had the privelage to work with him making three music videos so far.

For this project, we worked with Patrick Boland from Honeytone Music. He has a studio locally where I live, and where Wayne occasionally comes to visit family. We shot the bulk of the footage in this great location, Patrick was extremely helpful and accomodating. Exterior footage acquisition ranged from the streets of Green Bay and Madison, WI, as well as some shots from downtown Chicago, IL, and Tucson, AZ.

I shot the footage on a Canon 70D, using mostly two prime lenses, a Pentax 50mm, and a Nikon 24mm. Both gave some really nice depth of field, and the quality glass really pushed the image quality of the 70D. I use a somewhat homebrew light kit, so nothing special there. I used a GoPro Hero 3+ for some of the studio shots.

A few of the shots involve motion controlled time lapse, and for this I used one of my favorite pieces of gear, the Genie system by Syrp from New Zealand. This thing is just so much fun to use for these types of things. Its a great combination of very well designed software and hardware, one of those tools I cannot recommend enough. Not every project calls for this type of work, but when time lapse is required, or desired, give this stuff a try, you won’t regret it.

Post production took place mostly in Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015, time lapse processing was done in Adobe After Effects.

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The cut in Premiere Pro CC.

Color correction was able to be accomplished entirely withing Adobe Premiere Pro CC, thanks to the recent addition of the insanely robust Lumetri Color Panel in CC 2015. Very impressive set of controls now living natively in the editor, without having to go out to Speedgrade or other tools. Using adjustment layers for an additional amount of control was phenomenal, this has changed my post production workflow for the better.

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Color correction example using adjustment layers and Lumetri Color Panel.

The bulk of my work in production and post, outside of my role as an instructor of video production, is in corporate media. If you know anything about this, it can be decidedly un-exciting making training videos and tradeshow content. For the record, I’m NOT complaining, I absolutely love what I do! But its projects like this that really get me excited, that feed my passion for discovery and creativity in this visual medium. This has been a fun one, and I am personally pleased with the results.

Blank Slate. Always interesting in After Effects class…


After Effects CS6

So far so good with the Spring 2014 semester. 3 weeks in, a couple of projects seemingly rolling along nicely. I’m always reminded of how it was when I started a project in After Effects and had that blank slate. It was always rather intimidating, given that I knew very little about the program when I first started using it. So when I start handing out projects to students, I’ve got this nostalgia in the back of my mind of that intimidation, of having to create something out of nothing in what can be a rather freaky and confusing software environment. After a while, no big deal. You get used to the toolset, the interface, just how to make something in After Effects. But at first, whew. I was just glad I had @rovino to pester when I had questions!