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wego.here.com Features HERE Apps

Paul Wex and his amazing Wide Web World

Followers of Nokia and HERE will perhaps have already seen this amazing video, made using the HERE 3D maps website and some clever creative techniques. It’s best if you watch it full-screen HD and wear headphones, if you have the bandwidth.

 

It was made by Paul Wex, a 36-year-old creative from Austria. We caught up with Paul to find out how he went about producing the film. But first of all, we wanted to know his background.

I started doing stuff in the Amiga demo scene in the 90s as a musician. During my study of pharmacy, I upgraded my equipment and created a little studio, so then I got lots of jobs making music productions for artists, labels, studios and commercials.

But by the age of 30, Paul had grown jaded with the music business and wanted to rediscover the things that made him interested in the creative arts in the first place:

I just wanted to go back to be honestly creative, doing stuff made with love, just for myself again. I learned to make videos and how to edit and all the technical background stuff. I loved to combine all those little works with my own music. Therefore, I stayed on this course, being happy all the time, for four years now.

No rules, no deadlines, no discussions....anymore.

When Paul came across the online maps at here.com, he was immediately inspired.

I saw here.com and hadn’t seen anything like it before. I immediately had the idea of making a clip.

building

Compared to the alternatives, the HERE site was a clear winner.

It's much(!) better. More details, better colours, much better performance. I like the easy API and the fast load times, which are also much better than the alternatives.

As a first step in production, Paul needed to find hardware and software that were up to the job.

I tried making a video using my iPad, but it didn’t look so good. So I switched to my old Mac Pro, but the graphics card really wasn’t powerful enough to realise my idea. After I’d upgraded to a more powerful card, it worked much better. For screen capture, after trialling various apps, I found iShowU HD which really had the best CPU efficiency.

But still, it wasn’t just a question of pressing record and leaving the computer to get on with it. Each shot involved a painstaking process.

After switching to fullscreen mode, I selected the recording range on the screen, so there were no panels or symbols showing on the screen. Unfortunately, the crop had to be quite hard as a result.

I operated the Start-Move & Record-Stop commands with short keys. Meanwhile, I had to reboot the computer continually (the browser became slower and slower after minutes!). I recorded as ProRes422HQ at 720p/30fps and converted to 25p via CinemaTools afterwards. Then there was post-production, editing and color grading in Final Cut Pro 7 with standard plugs and additional lens flare effects.

This is done with every single shot, then the music production followed...

suburb

The music is, of course, as much a part of the film’s impact as the visuals. Paul’s music-production experience is a vital ingredient.

While shooting/editing, I feel the emotions that I'll support with my own music. I really can already hear the style of the sound/music when I press record on the camera.

On my www-clip I wanted to support these big pictures of our world with a sound that was very fat and loud, but also neutral. It is pure electronic without any real instruments, because of the impressive digital world that is shown. Simple, but massive.

Democratic access

Paul is keen to show that you can achieve impressive results with tools that are available to anyone. He didn’t need a helicopter or a massive film crew to make his video, though some viewers were fooled otherwise.

I wanted to show what is possible today, just online, for everyone. Discovering the world from the air, so fast, not being in the air, anytime in a standard browser application, free for everyone. This is magic and fantastic. People asked me if I was a pilot :) ...others requested aerial footage material for their own projects, because they thought it were real world footage.

And lastly, one of Paul’s other videos – not made with HERE maps – but absolutely fascinating to watch.

 

For me, my best work is "Rays of Hope", because I think the difficulty of making a portrait of something without spoken words is to keep it interesting by having the right music/sfx on the spot, for every second, For me, I think I achieved that very well in this clip, in the quiet and the action parts as well. That's the big thing when just one person is able to create the visual and the audio aspects in one work.

Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us, Paul, and best of luck with your future projects.

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