Greyscalegorilla.com

X-PARTICLES: millions of particles, fast render times

Every Photo Shot For The Conan O’Brien Title Sequence 75 Comments


Here is every shot that I took for the Conan O’brien opening. The blinking scenes are shot bracketed so we had full control over the exposure in post. I just sequenced them, un-color-corrected in After Effects for posterity. See if you can find the shots that ended up in the final Conan O’Brien Title Sequence.

UPDATE: Some of you have been asking for some specs from this photo shoot. Here are all the sexy numbers.

Camera: Nikon D700
Lenses: Nikkor 24-70mm 2.8f, 85mm D 1.4, 50mm 1.4f, 20mm f2.8
Shots Taken: 6,250 Photos, 47GB of space
Shots Sequenced in After Effects
Techniques used: bracketing, time lapse, rack focus (technique tutorials coming soon)

Check out my Timelapse and Bracketing Technique Tutorial

Texture Kit Pro
Transform

Comment Rules

This is a friendly community. Please treat everyone with respect. We don't all have to agree, but we do have to be nice. Criticism is fine, but rude comments and name calling will be deleted. Use your real name and don't be spammy. Thanks for adding to the conversation.

75 Comments

  1. The Gorilla

    Joshua

    So freaking cool. I love these types of things. Perfect music as well.

    Reply
  2. Jeremy Ian Thomas

    And Radiohead might be the greatest band of our generation!!!!

    Reply
  3. I love watching the new Tonight Show opening sequence. It’s great to know that you had a hand in making it. Great job Gorilla!!

    fyi- the finished Conan video link is not working.

    Reply
  4. holy crap. you, sir are a master. would love to hear of your camera setup, exposure settings / tips. thanks for this post.

    Reply
  5. Brian

    The link may not work if Hulu is blocked at the location you are trying to view from. i know it is at my office.

    Reply
    • and i know it is in europe :) can you put it on vimeo or the like?

      Reply
      • Yeah, sorry for the Hulu link. I know it dosen’t work in some countries. Unfortunately, I not allowed to upload the final Titles anywhere. I have to link to official broadcasts.

        Reply
  6. Wow. That just made me excited about a city I apparently haven’t seen enough or cared enough about. Sadly it’s the city I live in. Amazing work, now I need to get camera and go to Chicago.

    Reply
  7. Pretty Awesome. Is this the actual sequence you took the photos in or did you re-sequence the photos to go better with the music?

    Home many photos total did you take?

    Reply
  8. Wow, really sweet timelapse, and perfect music. The bracketing “reveals” make for some really cool timelapse.

    Reply
  9. PoLerX

    this footage got me all excited… so excited i bothered disguising my not-so-much united states ip to watch the opening on hulu.

    great job.

    nick, can you explain some more about getting this kind of footage? didn’t really get the “bracketed” part.
    thanks

    Reply
      • PoLerX

        Thanks, that’s all I can say.
        You got me back into the all ps ae c4d scene after a while, watching you do what you do (“and get paid”) really gets me goin.
        So thanks, again.
        and I dont know if you’ve heard this before but your site beats them all :)

        Just KEEP GOING…

        Reply
  10. Honestly, something about this video makes me appreciate being alive. It’s the combination of the music, the colour and timelapse that seems to put life in perspective. Thanks for doing this.

    Reply
  11. Bad. Ass. BTW, you are my favorite site on the web. Screw Twitter, I don’t care about Tweets, I want gorilla Grunts.

    Would love to see you do a tutorial on using a camera to do bracketing and also how you got that focus effect. Did you just go down a stop, click, next stop, click, rinse, and repeat?

    What was your lens of choice for this shot? The 80-200mm f/2.8?

    Mantastic.

    Reply
  12. Tony R.

    Dude that is awesome, what im not grasping is how you got the movement from just still photos, i mean that pan up was ultra smooth.. I would love to see a tutorial on how to shoot like that… and some tips… In fact perhaps a show or two dedicated on how to shoot for “motion Graphics” would be awesome.

    Reply
  13. T.French

    Yeah I have a Canon Mark 5D II and would love to know how to achieve this effect using a DSLR camera.

    Reply
  14. I would love to see the process that was involved in not only the photography work but how you sequenced it together in AfterEffects. If they are only many photos sequenced together, they turned out very impressive and much like you took video. Humor me and do a quick little video cast on this process. Nothing big, just a taste of the sequencing in AfterEffects.

    Reply
  15. This is the coolest shit I’ve seen in a while. Thank you for making this.

    Do you have a ballpark number on how many shots you ended up taking and the disk space?

    Reply
  16. Impressive!

    Would love to see the conan titles but hulu doesn’t play too kind in Australia either.

    Exactly how many individual photos are we looking at here?

    Reply
  17. tracy

    This is a classic demonstration of principles I have been reading about lately, put in motion. Both pieces…

    How many pictures ended up in the finished piece?

    Reply
  18. Great work. I love the textures and the music selection. The music or yours fit better than the final one, but that’s just me. Maybe a tutorial on the process coming soon? And what hardware did you use?

    Reply
  19. cookiedough

    how is this photos?
    there are alot of movement in some shots.
    explain plix.

    Reply
  20. very, very nice,
    it’s a pity that french people can’t see the opening sequence in streaming.
    I’m impressed by your sequence because I think it’s really hard to stay original with night shots. They are so used that it is a real surprise to see your project : it stay original and really beautifull.
    Good job Gorilla !

    Reply
  21. Baldur Helgason

    Crap! Hulu busted my anonymous proxy :S Can’t view the title sequence but this video is plenty fun! Good job! Looking forward to seeing a tutorial on this :)

    Reply
  22. Can you also touch on the process within DK about how the Tonight Show title job works? (as much as your allowed, at least)

    Were there several artists involved? What was the timeframe for the project? At what point do you become involved? etc.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  23. Tracy

    okay so the foreplay on the sexy pictures was 6250 pictures taken, but how many made it to the orgasm?

    Reply
  24. Whoa, wait, what?!
    I remember the first time I saw the opening sequence for the Tonight Show with CoCo… I was in the studio audience of the premiere episode- cheering as the band played the theme song. I loved all the color and quick cuts of the sequence, and it got me revved up for what turned out to be a great time in the show.

    The fact that you had a hand in the making of that sequence, though, is both amazing and yet not at all surprising. ;-) Kudos to you for getting such a sweet gig, and keep up the great work.

    Reply
    • Self-reply!

      This video like a 21st Century version of Koyaanisqatsi (mainly the “Grid” section of the film). Put some Philip Glass music under it, and it would have been almost identical. ;-)

      Did some of those shots end up being used for the photo bumpers seen after the commercials (and later on downloadable wallpapers from the show’s web site)?

      Again- I love that opening sequence. This is why I want to be like you when I grow up.

      Reply
  25. Great Nick ! I love your blog ’cause it pushes the envelope of my own idea. Before you posted your film, I had the same idea a couple month ago after returning from my honeymoon with 5000 pics. Here’s the link
    http://www.vimeo.com/5155716

    Enjoy ;)

    Reply
  26. Nick, short-time reader, first-time comment. Very slick shots. Are all of these RAW or (Im not sure what Nikon calls them) NEF? I have a Rebel XT and have shot some time-lapse of clouds here in the desert, however I love the bracketing idea. I usually shoot in the smallest setting, simply because event at that resolution its still higher quality than 720p. and My canon cant write RAWs that fast, thanks for giving me some new ideas.

    Reply
    • Most of them were shot raw and converted to JPG to sequence them. When shooting time lapse though, I always shoot JPG so I can shoot at a higher speed.

      Reply
  27. Wow! That’s just awesome!
    That’s impressive:
    Shots Taken: 6,250 Photos, 47GB of space
    :-)

    Reply
  28. Just curious but is there any reason why you shoot Nikon and not Canon? I’m learning about all this stuff and really dig your stuff and was curious.

    Reply
    • Nikon is easer to use and i’m already in for a shit ton of lenses. Canon has better video options and better lenses. In the long run, it’s pepsi and coke. Just try them both and pick your taste.

      Reply
  29. I really like your work.

    I want to do things like these but I only have a Canon EOS 450D. is it possible with this kind of DSLR ?

    Reply
  30. You could have had amazing light painting at some moments (like for the bridge scene 3:03) with a longer exposure!
    Don’t worry, the result is great, notably thanks to a very dynamic montage !

    Reply
  31. Mind blowing . . .all that from photos! must have taken serious time to plan and then implement and then edit . . . respect awesome work.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Comment Rules

This is a friendly community. Please treat everyone with respect. We don't all have to agree, but we do have to be nice. Criticism is fine, but rude comments and name calling will be deleted. Use your real name and don't be spammy. Thanks for adding to the conversation.