Next Gen VFX: Vine Artist Caleb Natale

Project Story

We love to support education and up-and-coming talents. Caleb Natale, a nineteen year old with a 300k following on Vine (the wildly popular social video platform), recently caught our eye.

“I have always loved VFX,” says Natale, a Cinematic Arts major at Liberty University in Virginia. “Before I started Vine in 2014, I was filming and editing videos for fun with some of my friends.  Vine was just a random and silly thing to, definitely not a career option at the moment.” As his followers started growing, he began concentrating on VFX heavy Vines inside After Effects. “I instantly fell in love with mocha AE when I began to use it for tracking purposes,” continues Natale. “I walked into the software knowing close to nothing. That being said, I was amazed at how quickly I was able to learn simple tracking techniques to get great results!”

We recently chatted with Caleb to find out how he comes up with his Vines and how he uses mocha AE to create his viral hits.

How long does it take you to create a Vine from idea to post? It really depends on the post. The simpler edits that require no or very few effects I can turn around in less than an hour. The posts that require heavy motion tracking or CGI or tons of rotoscope can take anywhere from two hours to thirty hours (but they mostly lean towards three or four hours). 

How does having mocha AE inside After Effects help your ideas come to life? mocha AE is the bomb.com when it comes to helping my creative juices flow. I go ahead and make Vines that would normally seem impossible knowing what I can accomplish in mocha. I know my limitations better knowing what kind of shots are trackable.

What areas of mocha AE do you use? I use mocha for two main purposes – planar tracking and masking (it saves a ton of time!). With mocha Pro, I also use the planar tracking for 3D solves. I also use the xpline feature and Bezier tools for a project here and there.

What Vines have you use mocha on? I used planar tracking for the Spider-Man Vine I created recently. I took the famous Spider-Man scene from the most recent Captain America Civil War trailer and used tracking on this. I had to remove Spider-Man’s arm with the shield. I tracked the sky and recreated it over his arm. Next I tracked his shoulder to add a new arm with a phone in his hand.

Another Vine I used it on is the one where I turn into a smoke trail. I had to track the camera move so I could accurately bring in the smoke trail (using particular) to the correct spot. mocha’s 3d camera solve worked surprising well on pretty poor quality footage (this project was an extremely quick turn-around). 

I also used the 3D solver for an extremely difficult shot in my Heelys Vine. I foolishly shot a slow motion video with my iPhone in a hallway with florescence lights. This made the hallway impossible to track in After Effects because of the flickering light. So I used the 3D solver in mocha to solve this shot.

For my Pandora ad (pictured top), I had to create a scene where it appeared that I would be hanging outside an airplane. I wanted it to be funny without needing it to be extremely realistic. I shot some green screen of myself and my friend and tracked these shots to create the fake plane scene. I have used mocha for some other Vines over time, but these four were very recent uses!

What do you hope to do after college? I have a few dream jobs, but I am excited to whatever doors God opens for me! Working on videos for Reach Records (a record label with artists like Lecrae, Andy Mindeo and others), continuing at Vine or I would love to be on a creative team with Disney or Pixar!

Any final thoughts? I am saying this out of genuine love for mocha and these views are my own. It makes some seemingly impossible tracks super reasonable and possible! I save so much time while rotoscoping using mocha to track a character then creating xplines to make a good mask. mocha is incredible and I am constantly impressed with its performance.

Follow Caleb on Vine.

April 5, 2016 in case study | Comments (0)