When madness strikes you can either ignore , shelve it, or seek help. I decided to make a video representation of it. Neglecting the video side of things for a while now in favour of the rather addictive pastime of exploring old abandond places otherwise known as urban exploration or shortened to urbex.

Fascinated in particular with old asylums, Denbigh asylum is perfect to shoot illicit footage. Patrolled by a lovable but rather ferocious Elwyn and surrounded by keepout signs and fences it was real mission to do.

As we were shooting the footage with the drum beat blasting out of my phone to keep pretty hap hazard timings, he was actually on his rounds. This instilled fear into some of those involved and with others it just added to the thrill of being somewhere you not supposed to be. Which camp was I in....haha guess.

After getting the footage and knowing what i was planning on doing ... I rendered out short clips based upon sections assembled over the timeline on the music, which at the time was just a literal drumbeat.

I then motion tracked the heads in Imagineer's Mocha. There was a time things like that would have to be hand moved, frame by frame 25 times a second!! Those days have thankfully gone, the tracker built into AE is useless to say the least, not so Mocha's . Am convinced it was written by aliens it's that good. Plus HD footage has so much detail for the tracker to see. It's probably one of the few softwares once setup correctly you can click track and go and make a coffee and not even test the track the data it makes is that GOOD!.

One the data is aquired back in AE it's fed into a Null , then I imported a custom made animatable Elwyn head, made in photoshop , complete with teeth and moveable eyes , send the data to that and it moves with the tracked head! Cullingus!!

Once Elwyn announces "Ok you mothers, get out of my asylum" he blasts the explorers with lightnening. This was great fun to shoot, with me barking out , right walk in , right run off.. quick get out of the shot!!. The final effect was quite quick to do, I normally would do this in 3d Max and rayfire but i wanted quick and dirty 2d for this and it worked quite well.

For the final shot, i did break out 3d max, after all it's been a while since i did anything like this and i needed to jump back in to he driving seat. So I tracked the front of Denbigh in a 3d tracker , a lot more involved and definatley not a click and a wait, 3d tracks are such a pain in the ass but they have featured a lot in my other work and once you get it down it is a game changer.

Using a green screen and tracking the head onto that plus a psuedo shadow , i have the colour and texture for a single dancing Elwyn. In 3d max i bring in the 3d tacking data and set up a scene to mimic the floor of the forecourt at the asylum. Using particles in a quite a basic particle flow setup, I birth 85 Elwyns, less is more sometimes as i could of done 100,000's of them but too many in this scene just didn't work ...

It was good to get back into the video driving seat and strap in for this major tomfoolery.

Check out The Uninvited for accounts of urban adventures and even better the facebook page which is more upto date www.facebook.com/urbexart

I wouldn't mind getting into doing band based music videos so if your in a band and want a kick ass music video , from straight finished cut or a full on visual effect extravaganza get in touch.... davideofilms@yahoo.co.uk

Thanks for looking space cadets...