Unhealthy Entanglements – A Look Behind The Video Bump

So when Bob approached Brent, Paul, and I about wanting to do a sermon series called “unhealthy entanglements”, we had no idea what the sermon series would look like. We were really struggling with how to bring the message across without being extremely negative and dark. Take the word “unhealthy” for example, not a whole lot of positive images emote from the word (and rightfully so, I mean it’s unhealthy…). And then there comes Entanglements, I asked a few people what they thought of when they heard entanglements and I got everything from weeds to hair knots to wires being all tangled up. The first sermon of the series was set to roll out on January 9th, and on January 5th (wednesday), Brent and I did a little bit of brainstorming. We finally came up with an idea that didn’t seem too negative, yet got the point across really well. Check it out:

What really helped the video not be so negative was two things. The first and most obvious thing was the music. The music is a little bit playful and adds some mystery to the piece. This helps take away from the darkness of the shot. The second thing that helped the video not be so negative was the movement. The movement is a bit free flowing and adds life to the piece.

So how we shot it was like this:

(That’s Chris Taylor – the rope master)

Right after Brent and I brainstormed and came up with the idea of a Rope becoming more knotted, Chris Taylor and I ran across the street to Lowes and grabbed a 20 ft. rope. We then brought it back to the studio, drew out some story boards, and started filming in front of the green screen:

So the plan was to motion track the rope to make the text look like it is connected to the rope. When you motion track, you select a point in the video at which After Effects can play the footage and track that singular point. When it tracks the point, it converts all of the tracking information to X,Y,Z coordinates, from which you can apply to virtually anything (look at the white box on the rope below, that’s the motion tracker):

So a little trick I learned with motion tracking- Sometimes the data points that the motion tracker records makes the resulting data a little jumpy. Meaning that the data is a bit too raw and needs some straightening out. Once you have applied the motion tracking to any given layer, you can alt-click on the position stop-watch of that layer, and type in the “smooth” command. So the command should look something like smooth(2,5). The first variable tells you how many times per second, and the second variable is the magnitude. This smoothing technique gave the video the final touch to make it a really nice video.

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