music video: periapsis

Here’s a little something I put together: a video of a trip to the Mün in Kerbal Space Program, edited in to a music video for the first track from my RPM 2012 album, periapsis:

I had to cut about two-thirds of the video to fit it to the track, but you get to see all the major events in a flight to the Mün:

  • takeoff
  • booster stage separation
  • Kerbin orbit insertion
  • transmünar injection (that’s the burn that sends you to the Mün)
  • Mün orbit insertion
  • orbital adjustment for landing altitude
  • orbital braking burn
  • core stage separation
  • final descent and landing

The rocket design is the smallest and simplest I’ve come up with so far that can get to the Mün and back again; you don’t see it on the video, but I did get those Kerbal astronauts back home safely.

I captured the video using ffmpeg, with KSP running under Wine on my Linux desktop, and then used Kdenlive to edit it. Kdenlive worked well for the edit (no crashes!), though I suspect there was something funny happening with the audio/video sync — I’d place an edit right on a beat, and then find upon repeat listens that it sometimes didn’t quite match up, but it was such a close-run thing that it may have all been in my head.

melted crayon art: a music video for “texel”

The internet says that you can do awesome things with crayons, glue, a canvas, and a heat gun, and my wife did exactly that on the weekend, with very colourful results. I figured the dripping wax might look cool on film (or on an SD card, rather), so I grabbed the camera, and as it turned out, it looked awesome:

The music is my most recent track, Texel, which seemed like a good match for the video. It was all shot with a hand-held Canon 550D and a 50mm f/1.8 lens, hence the shakiness — it took some time to go through all of the video and find the usable bits, where the camera was both steady and in focus.

I used Kdenlive to edit it all together, and I’m glad to say that it was much more solid than it was during my last video editing project. In particular, it automatically cropped the extra lines out of the 550D’s 1920×1088 files, so I didn’t need to transcode anything. I didn’t apply much processing this time, which may have helped — there’s just a few simple transitions and some colour correction work.

Kdenlive’s ability to use proxy clips — small, low-resolution copies of your original high-res clips that are used during editing — helped keep the preview playback smooth while editing. The original clips are used while rendering the video, though, so the proxy clips don’t affect the final output quality.

music video: frozen summer

I recently upgraded my DSLR camera to a Canon 550D, which shoots beautiful 1080p video, and after shooting some test footage of my drinking bird, I decided to have some fun with it. “frozen summer” seemed like a good fit — it’s also a bit whimsical, and (mercifully) it’s quite short, too.

UPDATE: I’ve also uploaded a copy of the video in WebM format for download.
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