Motion Graphics

Dress Code for Project Ellis

Dress Code has produced a really nice animated short for Project Ellis, an organization dedicated helping immigrants to the United States by providing advice, legal counsel, or money. There is a website hat is listed at the end of the short film, but it’s not quite ready for primetime. The testimonials page still has lorem ipsum greeking text on it. None the less the animation from Dress Code has a really solid look to it with a hint of mid-century modern design that reminds me of the look that Childcraft “How and Why” books I had as a kid. Oh and if you are unaware as to how the fourth and fifth amendments to the United States Constitution work, this will give a quick overview of what they are and how to use them.

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A Little Monday Fun.

About 15 years ago I worked in the marketing and design department for a large midwestern based bank. Like most financial institutions, the marketing materials were conservative, and not very adventurous which was driven partly by corporate policy, and partly because the people running the department weren’t exactly visionaries in terms of design, advertising, and branding. That’s why when I saw the video below for Comdirect Bank I started grinning from ear to ear. There is no way this would have flown at my former employer, even if it is a spot aimed at recruiting UI designers. If this had been executed at my former job, by the time the committee running the project got done with it, and a thousand people hand commented or asked for changes this spot would have been a talking head in a yellow shirt giving a 15-second pitch. A pitch that probably would have appealed to an accountant, not a UI designer. Watch the video. It has no editorial, no voice over, just some really nice animation that was built using Cinema 4D, and it works. I tried to find additional parts of the complete campaign but came up with nothing. If I find additional images or a specific site, I’ll post an update.

We were honored being asked by the German bank, Comdirect, to create a short animation for an online campaign — aimed at attracting and recruiting UI-designers.

Our idea was to create a bunch of action-reaction based animations. The very first concept was based on the idea of pushing, shifting, scrolling and clicking various buttons triggering a diverse mix of animations. We then worked up different metaphors for dealing with money and at the same time used keywords the client had provided us. During the process, the client fell in love with all the little “reaction” stories so we ended up stitching them together to create a seamless narrative — open to interpretation and detached from conservative visualizations so often associated with banks.

The color palette is based on the new CI of Comdirect, predominantly anthracite and grayscale. Yellow acts as the highlight color with a gradient to green drawing the viewer’s attention to the stories’ heroes. The environment is based on dots, points, and circles inspired by the visual language used in the world of stock markets.

Our software package was Cinema 4D and Octane renderer. The edit and compositing were done in Adobe Premiere and After Effects.

“All the Things” You Need For Wednesday

It’s a rainy Wednesday afternoon, and I’m creatively spent. My brain has been drained by a fast paced time-consuming project that has left me mentally spent. So I set out to find some creative inspiration, and refuel for the second half of the week. While cruising around on Vimeo I came across the video below and a link the project breakdown on Behance.

All the Things from Chris Guyot is a wonderful animated short filled with oversaturated colors, fluid animations, great sound design, and absolutely no real story. I love it. 8 short vignettes in a minute and a half that left  me with a smile on my face and the desire to create something just as fun.

“All The Things” is a collection of individual narratives, unified by a cohesive style.

Our intention was to work on a short, simple piece. As many of you know, sometimes personal projects evolve and take on a mind of their own. As the months rolled along, we found ourselves frequently going back and adding more content to each scene. We had a lot of fun allowing our imagination drive the development of the various narrative.

Full project breakdown and BTS here: behance.net/gallery/45468431/All-the-Things

The Adventures of Orange, an Aperol Apparition.

There are times when I see a piece of work that I wish I could see in context to the environment, and the video below is one of them. Every time I am at a sporting event and I see the wrap around animation that rolls on those LCD panels that ring the stadium, I’m curious about the pre-vis planning that goes into developing them. And in the case of the video for Aperol produced by Buck, I’m curious not only about how they planned it out, but how they executed it, and what it looked like at the Australian Open. Think about this, you have an animation that has to play in sequence as it wraps around the court, starting at one point, and ending at the same point. And it has an aspect ratio of something like 1500 to 1.

So how do you set that up? How do you plan for delivery to something like a Cayin digital signage system, get everything rendered correctly, and make sure playback is seamless? So many questions, so little time.

With all that said, the animated piece below from Buck is once again a great example of the quality of work these guys do. It captures the Aperol brand so well, plus the casual and somewhat elegant feeling of a tennis open so well. There is a really fresh feel about the look with a retro nod to the late 1970’s and early 1980’s stylistically. The warm color pallet enhances the fact that when this was released it was mid summer in Australia, where an Aperol spritzer would be quite refreshing on a warm summer afternoon. It makes me wish I had been there

It makes me wish I had been there. Not only to see the animation in context but to imbibe a bit as well.

Let Led Zeppelin Help You Forget About The 2016 Elections.

After watching the second presidential debate last night, and reading all the fall out this morning, I decided I needed a break from politics 2016. Below is a trippy, mind-bending video from BlinkmyBrain” featuring Led Zeppelin and some crazy CG work.

It helped me not think about how screwed up this election is for a few minutes, and that made me think others might not want to think about the election for a bit either. So I am sharing. Turn off your mind, tune into the Zeppelin, and forget about this year’s elections for a bit.

High Production Value from the Folks at Vox.

Over the last ten years, there has been a steady shift on the internet for news agencies and content creators to produce more video. The New York Times has been an absolute champion of this with a steady stream of well-produced documentary news shorts that have bolstered readership and helped the paper transition from a traditional news source to a multimedia powerhouse with content that rivals any broadcast news agency. Another online source that consistently blows me away with animation and visual information is Vox. They are producing some serious animated content that teaches and presents information with a high production value that is engaging and compelling for the viewer. Case in point, the video below on American / Cuban relations dating back to the 1850’s. Even if you aren’t really into history, it’s hard not to be drawn into this video and watch the entire 4 minute animated short. Why? Because it is so well done. Great visuals, solid script, smooth narration, and relevant information about a current event. Hat tip to the producers at Vox. Nicely done.

PQ Mo•Bits.

Anyone who works in graphic design, broadcast, video or advertising, knows that time is usually pretty tight when it comes to getting work done. Deadlines are always shifting, last minute jobs are dropped in your lap and due by the end of the day. I’m not griping, I’m just saying, and that is why I am always on the lookout for content that I can use when I am in a jam and don’t have time to create it from scratch. Take the video below from Peter Quinn. It is the promo for his latest release, PQ Mo-Bits, a collection of “obvious, everyday icons that a motion designer needs to keep handy.” This guy does great work and trust me there are some of these that I can use on a regular basis. I’m not being lazy, I’m being thrifty because I don’t always have the luxury of time to create something this good.