I’m back in Malmö studying Visual communication again. I took a break for a year (6 months at home with kids, 6 months studying Experimental mediaproduction). One of our startup assignments was to create a loopable 5 – 10 sec animation which can be used as a digital businesscard, or as a creative element in your E-mail signature.
I filmes myself on a rotation chair going around full circle with, and without a rabbits mask. I used a dissolvetransition between the takes and ended up with a loopable video. After that, I simply (actually this is the tedious part), sketched around my face in After Effects with my Wacom Intuos board.
24 frames per second, using the brushtool. On export i ticked the box “paint on transparent” in the Effects panel and job done. I could have easily used 12 FPS instead to save some time but since I painted every frame of the video I got som really nice organic details.
I’ve been doing some PR-videos for Mediatool for a while now and one of the videos I created was the following animation. The concept is quite simple and understandable, since Mediatool was created to help out advertisers and media-agencies and make their day-to-day work easier and more manageable.
“Mediatool gathers all of your marketing in one place. Use it to get a comprehensive overview of all your marketing activities, campaign plans, and yearly summaries in one place. Gone are the days of sharing excel spreadsheets.”
I begun making some sketches and after getting those approved I begun animating. There were tons of layers, split layers, duplicated layers, shape layers (you get the picture), and towards the end my project file looked like something that could have used a Mediatool for animators. Somebody should create that.
The tiny icons were animated separately and exported with an alpha-layer. These videos where animated further using wiggle and bounce expressions. The lines and circles which reach out and grab the platforms are shapelayers using no fill and a stroke of 3px. I animated these using trim paths and I found this tutorial on animating lines in After Effects to be really helpful. After swapping icons and making changes here and there, we decided to give the animation a cinematic, bassy, transformersy-with-a-hint-of-organic-elements kind of sound. And here’s how it all turned out.
When Amanda Nilsson and I got asked if we were interested in creating the intro video for this years Social Innovation Summit we knew right away that we’d be spending the next three weeks in a sleep deprived state if we’d take this one on. We said yes pretty much straight away of course. The summit is a massive happening, packed with awesome people and to top it all of SVT will be documenting the whole shebang. There wasn’t much time to begin with (isn’t that always the case?) and there was no room for the usual darkness and neck-twisting/breaking/crunching/snapping me and Amanda usually spice up our productions with. But still, we dove right in. Head first. Necks intact.
We were working alongside a few experimental media students who got the task of creating a sound, to let the guests know when intermissions at the summit are coming to an end (kind of like the tone between acts in a theatre). We managed to incorporate their sounds into the intro of our video in the hopes of making a smooth audio-visual transition at the actual summit. If nothing else, we’ve got a dreamy intro for the logos.
We had a look at the clients website(s) and found a lot of orange in there. After moodboarding and storyboarding a few loose ideas, we located the do’s, dont’s and definite no! no’s! and begun sketching up a timeline. We also extracted the key values for the summit and had a look at the different speakers attending the summit. Here we picked a mix of (ten) people based on age and visual appearances. We gave them all a neutral costume so that we wouldn’t accidentally offend anyone (the ice might be thinner than you think here) but gave each character an individual print on the shirt.
The scenes were composed in After Effects, and for most of them we used the AE 3D-camera so we had to build every component in each scene from scratch to make sure the resolution would be ok for the camera zooms. We used a lot of vector graphics and gave everything a vintage kind of feel using public domain images from the British library over at Flickr. This is an awesome, free resource, so make sure to check it out if you’re looking for some vintage hi-res book scans for your next project.
We rendered some of the objects in the scenes individually exporting them with the Alpha+RGB settings and also used some wiggle and bounce expressions to make the animations a bit more smoothe and playful. Here is a link to a document containing some of them. Feel free to download these and try ’em out. There are plenty of informative tutorials up on YouTube, so save yourself some time and start using expressions.
The film will premiere at the summit and I will post it here after. This was a great project to work on and although it was extremely time-consuming, I’m positive it will generate more of this type of work for us both. And more nights cut in half. No rest for the wicked.
During August 1-6 I spent most of my days and nights living in the spectacle called PASSAGE. Performing acts from all around the world took the streets of Helsingborg and Helsingör, and made them their stage for a week. I was hired to document the events in Helsingborg, put the footage on a drive and send it over to Denmark for editing.
So this is not an official video in any way – I made this for me. I got so many great shots (I have over 50 hours of material) and I couldn’t help myself from making a little montage with some of it. Recently I also got a hold of Red Giant’s Universe for After Effects and that comes with the most diverse VHS-plugin I’ve seen so far.
If you know me a bit, you know I love anything out of the 80’s. I grew up with VHS-casettes and I still remember editing my first movies with an old Panasonic camera and a VHS-player. It’s not for everyone, and some people might wonder why you would take perfectly fine images in vibrant colours, and drag it through the analog mud. Well, because it’s an art form, it’s nostalgia, and just as unexpected and glitchy as half-improvised acts on the streets. This is the Passage VHS montage.
For film class we were asked to create a short (about 40 seconds long) video in After Effects of an anthropomorphic band performing a tune in 2.5D space. The video should contain some camera movement through a layered world of our own creation. Teaming up for this one was easy.
Amanda Nilsson and myself (Bad Apple Films) hooked up with Leon Remstedt and Daniel Sjöberg (Woodland Films) and spent a good minute on agreeing that something must be dead, and something must die. The story pretty much wrote itself. We knew we wanted a concept similar to Disney’s The Skeleton Dance(1929), and we knew we would have to come up with a grim way to abruptly end the song after about 30 seconds.
Kevin MacLeod’s “One-eyed maestro” is 1:58 long – we needed it to be about 0:40. Easy fix.
Since we went with animal skulls instead of heads we had to pick animals with skulls that differ from each other. Que a cow, vulture and a crocodile. Amanda, Daniel and me animated a musician each while Leon animated the background. After a few days we met up and put the whole composition together over two days and added camera movement and sound effects.
Original drafts and sketches for “Rojaz”, “Nevada” and “Diego” with their instruments.
Even though the animation tends to get a bit stiff when animating cut-out’s, it does add a quirky charm to your video. And if you haven’t played around with the built-in camera in After Effects i strongly recommend you try it out. It’s actually less complicated than one might think. Thanks for watching!
One day left in school – with two projects left which will be presented tomorrow. In our three week animation course we produced two shorts, one made in Animate (former Flash) and one in After Effects. I will be putting both of them up here tomorrow but for now I’ll settle for the poster for our lip sync animation “Dutzie”, voiced by Christian Andersen.