Dynamic Media

Teenage Mutant Motion Posters.

With the cost of large LCD TV’s steadily falling, it’s surprising that you don’t see more movie theaters taking advantage by using the displays for movie posters. The advantages are exponential. Content can be easily updated, tailored to a specific targeted demographic, run promotional information, present show times, or in the case of  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, create animated movie posters.

Unlike their printed counterpart, the “Motion Poster” makes for a pretty cool experience blending live action footage with animation and the overall marketing message. For the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film the Motion Poster is being used to introduce each of the main characters combined with a coming soon message. Each unit features sound and vertical video edited for the format and finishes out with a portrait of one of the turtle stars at the end.

The potential for this is huge. Beyond simple video displays, if the monitor was connected to the internet, and had touch screen capabilities, movie marketers would be able to develop dynamic content that would engage passersby on a whole new level. What if the Motion Poster featured game like interaction, or additional content beyond a simple trailer and still frame? What if the poster could interact with your smartphone via NFC, or QR code? What if  the poster connected to a microsite that engaged the viewer and offered promotional items for the movie that could be redeemed at that theater?  I have a feeling that this is just the beginning. That somewhere someone is already working on solutions to the questions I just asked.

Modern Love, and the New York Times.

I really like the fact that the New York Times has embraced dynamic media and is actively producing high quality video and animations for their website. They could have been like so many other publications and thought of it as secondary to the rest of their content, but they haven’t. CAse in point is the animated series “Modern Love” and the videos they have released not only to the New York Times website, but to their Vimeo channel ad other social media outlets.

The video below was released about a week ago via the Times. Directed and animated by Brookly based designer Freddy Arenas, the animated short takes the story of two individuals with a significant age difference in their relationship. Through a clever use of visual metaphors and visual illusions, the short film talks about the devotion of love in the face of adversity and challenges. The piece has a really nice look to it without taking away from the voiceover and the message the narrators set forth. Hat tip to both the New York Times, and Arenas for a job well done.

“Spider Drove a Taxi”.

Over the last ten years, the New York Times has been transitioning from an online news paper, to a dynamic media powerhouse, featuring some of the best short films on the internet. In the last couple of years, the production value of their shorts has reached the same level as the journalism it supports. The video below is a prime example of what I am talking about. Part of a series of five films commissioned by the New York Times Magazine’s “The Lives They Lived” issue, which commemorates people who died this year this film focuses on Johnny “Spider” Footman who was New York’s oldest taxi driver. Spider tells a great story, and has a great message for a Monday morning. The film by   that this short is based on can be found here. The trailer for it is below.

“Be Moved”. Sony USA’s Dynamic Media Marketing Site.

Sony has pulled out all the stops in their latest marketing effort. “Be Moved” is a fully integrated campaign, for Sony USA, features a deep dive website that is filled with rich dynamic media, cutting edge CSS tricks, and plenty of content. The visitor is encouraged to explore through vertical scrolling that reveals heavy CGI models of product that self assemble from exploded models, big budget video production, and engaging editorial. Each section has hooks to social media for specific product, and each video is featured on the Sony channel on YouTube helping to extend engagement and branch reach across channels. If you have the time take a look at the site and really dig around. It’s a great example of where interactive content is going.

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Newton. Physics for After Effects

As a designer that works primarily with dynamic, and interactive media, I spend a large portion of my day using applications like Adobe After Effects. Actually I spend most of my day bouncing between After Effects, Premier, PhotoShop, Illustrator, and Audition these days. One thing I am always looking for is a way to improve my work, and if possible simplify the process.

Earlier today while looking for a real physics engine for After Effects, I came across Newton. This plugin has been out for a while, and is currently on version 1.2. I however just discovered it, and it looks really promising. Available from Motion Boutique, the plugin features: Gravity, friction, bounce, resistance, elasticity, collision detection, and a time divider for super slow motion.

At around $250.00 depending on the exchange rates its not cheap, but well worth the money if you need an easy to use solution for any of the features mentioned above.

Newton for Adobe After Effects, first tech demo. from motionboutique on Vimeo.

Adobe MAX, Muse, and Edge Preview 3.

Having just spent the last 6 days in Los Angeles attending the Adobe MAX conference, my blog posts have been on the light side. I tried to keep up with the post-a-day stuff, but it’s hard when you are attending a conference, speaking at the conference, and enjoying the conference festivities at night.

Since not everyone could attend MAX this year, I thought I would touch on a couple of the things that stood out in the keynotes. Things you should be interested in if you are an interactive designer. I would really like to tell you about two things I saw in the “Adobe Sneaks” section that pertain to Photoshop, but I am sworn to secrecy. Let just say this, if two of the sneaks items I saw make it into the next version of Photoshop, your head is going to explode with joy and amazement.

The things I can talk about are “Muse” and the “Edge Preview 3” that were both shown in keynotes on Monday and Tuesday. If you haven’t downloaded and installed the beta’s of these applications, and the Muse InDesign extension do it now.

Adobe Edge is a web motion and interaction design tool that lets designers to bring animated content to websites, using web standards like HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS3. The good news is, you don’t have to write code, the UI looks like After Effects, and the results are freaking amazing. Version 3 which was shown, demoed some really nice HTML5 based animation combined with an interactive layer that was used to build a web app that could be handed off to any developer for further refinement, if needed. The results that were shown preformed fluidly, and were built in a matter of minutes. In typical Adobe fashion, the UI looked clean and elegant, easy to use, and the program showed how you could be up and running in no time.

Muse is a standalone application, as well as an extension for InDesign. I highly recommend that you go to the Adobe Muse site and take a long look at what these tools can do. When combined with Adobe’s e-publishing tools, this program and extension become a one stop publishing and dynamic media tool allowing you to build everything from a magazine to an iPad application, to a web site. There is far more information than I want to write about here, and I know that I won’t give Muse the credit it deserves. Let me just say that in the 15 minutes that it was being shown off on stage, it really did make me stop and say this has the ability to change things in a very big way. That is a big thing for me to say. I am not the guy that looks at a new tool and immediately starts clamoring about how awesome it is, and how it is going to change the world, especially when it comes to development tools for the internet and rich media application development.

Both these software packages offer up a quick and easier way for designers to prototype applications that scale across multiple screens and outlet points. If you do any level of interactive design, you really need to investigate Muse, and Edge if you haven’t already.