For the last few weeks I've been working on something for the ANIMATE+ course competition, just as an incentive to do something outside of the course assignments.
It took the form of, not really a music video, more of a song set to imagery. Porcupine Tree's "The Incident" is a very visual song in terms of its lyrics and soundscape, so I felt complelled to try and make an accompanying narrative that matches the story told in the song. The preproduction was fairly minimal, I have a sheet of timings and descriptions pinned to my notice board, thats it, so its evolving as I go. The production itself has been retardedly labour intensive, its taking way longer than I thought it would, which I suppose is to be expected given the medium I'm working with. Also I hadn't anticipated the process of creating all the assets from scratch. Here is the original car that is seen driving along a road at the beginning:

This I drew using Photoshop and my graphics tablet, using an old photo of a burt out TV for the metallic texture of the car's body. The windows are a separate layer to allow for different blending modes in the composition, the windscreen wiper moves independently, as do the wheels, and the lights are a different layer for special reflective material properties. All this is a pain in After Effects but the end result is gorgeous so...
Though I did discover parenting in a quest to simplify all the keyframes. Parenting allows one layer or more to follow the motion of a parent layer without having to all the keyframes of the parent. Still, it screws with your mind when you're having to keep track of all these lamp posts and their respective lights!

Next came the lighting, here is a test with a makeshift background; this is what adds real three dimensionality:
ooooooh motion blur ;)

Then I experimented with camera moves and depth of field which was fun, though combine this with motion blur and shadow diffusion for the lighting and my laptop is no longer up to the job of rendering a single frame at full resolution (sweet, sweet HD). Here is the depth of field:

I thought it was starting to look pretty sic at this point, though nothing has really actually happened, which is what I'm working on now. Syncing it with the song, adding traffic, signs, and starting to tell the story.
On the way I digressed into a little titles sequence that inhabits the first 12 seconds of the song, I also a some post processing using adjustment layers (another feature I hadn't utilised before) and added rain, colour balance, glow, and some film grain:

No rain in this shot though. Just nice puddles :)

I will update again soon as more material emerges, and this project continues to engross me and rob me of unhealthy amounts of time.