States that I have visited.

An interesting site for showing people which states you’ve been to on social media and such. I’ve personally been to quite a few, though I’m still missing a couple big states like Nevada and New York. I was uncertain if I have been to South Carolina as I was once on a mission trip to that area of the country but am not sure which of the Carolinas (if not both) that I was actually in. Also interestingly enough, I have not been to Kansas, which is surprising to me as I am from the midwest. That kind of begs the question, if we’re not in Kansas anymore, then where are we?

States I’ve Visited: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY

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The Utterly Amazing Cloud Computing

So this is my second video technically in my new web series, The Utterly Amazing Web Series. I say technically since there was one before this, but I am currently working on replacing some of the elements in order to make it friendly with copyright laws. Mostly, this means taking photographs of a lot of stuff out on my deck and replacing the product images that I had already in the video. A painstaking process once you thought you were finished, but the version looks good, so I think it will be a fine stand in for the original. I’ll put the second video up once I get it back up on Youtube. In the mean time, enjoy the new video from my new web series.

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Microsoft Website Review

This isn’t really so much of a review as it is just me talking about how neat this site was to play with for a few minutes this afternoon.  I tried a couple of different photos on the site.  One was a much  younger me at the early age of 27 while the other photo was taken just last year at age 37.  The photo of me taken at 27 interestingly enough returned an age of 31, while the second photo returned an age of 44.  Both returned my sex as male, which is good, because I am.  You can see the photos included below.  I must just look older than I am though, and I have always been mistaken for older, even as a teenager.  Still, now this just confirms it.  Of course Microsoft says that the algorithm is still being worked on, but this just confirms my suspicions that while I am not particularly fat or ugly, I might just be old looking.  They say that 40 is the new 30, but at 40, I’m libel to look 50 to Microsoft software at least.  What do you think world?  Do I look 37 to you?

How Old Is Matt

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Trick to creating an alpha mask in After Effects CS6

So I recently found out that After Effects CS6 doesn’t have the ability to use a black and white image as an alpha image. It will accept formats that already have alpha channels in them such as the PSD Photoshop format or the EPS Illustrator format and allow you to use their alpha channels as a matte using the effects>channels>set matte but AE won’t actually let you treat a black background as an alpha matte without the use of a 3rd party plugin. That is, unless you know the trick.

So first off you need an image. Any image will do. And you need a black and white alpha image for that image. I’ve included an example below.
circle alpha matte


Now take your images into After effects. Place the black and white alpha image in one track, the red circle just below it, and you’ll want a backdrop image also, so that there is something showing through once we are done applying the alpha effect. You can see how this is set up below.

stacked images


Next, you will want to apply your favorite key to the alpha matte and a matte choker if necessary for clean up.  We are trying to remove the black from the picture.  In this case, using color key to remove the background worked fairly well.

color key


Finally, hide the track containing the alpha matte.  Then add effect>channels>set matte to the track with the red circle.  Make sure that the “Take Matte From Layer” setting is set to the alpha matte.  Then change the “Use For Matte” setting to Luminance.  Voila, you have tricked After Effects CS6 into using a black and white image as an alpha matte.

set matte and uncheck layer

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IOMA Shoot

Had a shoot yesterday for IOMA, a short film directed by Keith Mullin. It was a real pleasure being a part of the crew. I haven’t been rank and file on a film set in a couple of years, but it was a lot of fun to get into the lighting, shot logging, and scene prep. Coming from an arts background, I always get a kick out of set dressing, and the set we had was a pretty neat apartment, likely early or mid 80’s, so not new, but it had a lot of good angles for shooting and places to hide stuff to keep it out of the way. Definitely looking forward to seeing how it turns out once he gets it completed.

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