Keyblade Safety

God it feels good to be a gangsta do this again. Last weekend, my buddy Joe and I went out to film something. I happened to have a Keyblade prop in the back of my car, so we thought that it would be a good idea to use it in a short!

As I said before, this site is all about taking a critical look at my work.

The Blast

I liked where this started out, but there are a few things that I could have done a little better. As the ball grows, the actual effect is parented to a null that was tracking the very end of the Keyblade. Due to the fact that it's actually a bit heavy, it wobbled a bit, making the fireball wobble a bit as it was forming. Also, I could have added some secondary lighting to both the edge of they Keyblade, my own body, and the ground to further sell the effect.

There's actually one single frame of the actual blast. By hiding the ball and the flare, adding a muzzle flash from a large caliber rifle, and a zoon filter, I think I did a decent job of showing the force of the blast. Adding the dust from the direction the blast was going in as well helped! B+

Joe's Charge

I wanted Joe's fireball to seem somewhat off from the beginning. I started out by making it purple, obviously a different style from my original orange/yellow, and adding the arcing lightning. This section could have been much better in my opinion. The tracking was a bit off, so I hand tracked the end of the Keyblade, which didn't produce results as good as the original tracking piece. Also, the fireball was closer to the ground, so it should have cast more light on it the pavement. Furthermore, I need a better method of creating lightning, as this looks kind of crappy. This section definitely could have benefited from some secondary lighting. C-

The Explosion

I do take a bit of pride in this section, and I wish I had filmed this better so that you could see more of it. Due to the way it was filmed, I forgot to get a clean plate. Therefore, I had to hide a lot of the effect with artificially shaking the camera. While it worked stylistically, you miss out on all the work I put into making the ground blow up. Maybe for my next video, I'll take less of a hand-held approach, so that I can work have the shots be more VFX ready. B+


I had a lot of fun putting this one together, and I think that I learned a lot from it. For example, 1) Secondary lighting is key for selling any magical-energy based effect, 2) secondary effects, dust, debris definitely sell the idea of the effect, and 3) always get a clean plate.

What are your thought on the video?