In the bad old days, I chucked some solar panels on our extension roof, ran some cables to the attic, and had this sort of mess going on:
Cheapo MPPT solar battery charger connected to lots of old car batteries.
Not pretty, but it let me wire the house for 12v, and fit lots of lighting and stuff that wasn't reliant on the grid. Finally got round to tidying it up last year... Continue reading More solar stuff
No CGI! All captured with my zany mo-co contraption on a Canon 7D, then comped together in After Effects.
Got the camera to do 4 passes:
1. Normal speed to capture the hand at the start
2. Frame by frame to do the stop-motion chips
3. Normal speed again to capture the hand at the end
4. Normal speed, all lights off apart from one, and a spray of stage smoke (you can see it at the top of the frame)
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Piano instrument: The Maverick (a Kontakt library). Really like it - sounds very natural, configurable without being overly complex. Love the ringing of the strings at the end, and the way you can (if you want) hear the sound of the damper pedal.
Testing the Animation Nodes add-on for Blender. Fairly quick to animate lots of objects (in this case, the buildings' rotation and scale is based on distance from a key object, so their animations end up staggered).
Had issues with rendering. AN kept throwing an exception and stopping working halfway through the render. Got to either have AN burn keyframes (to all those objects... [gulp]) or just write a script to do it.
Buildings and road data from OSM.