Friday, February 25, 2011

Background Image

So this is what I was working on today in class. I built this background from about 5 different pictures by clipping out buildings, expanding skies, adding the river and foreground buildings. I added clouds and also a few layers and blurs to make the image look like its through glass. I'm going to work on animating the smoke some more and adding a flock of birds.


Some great posts this week. This video is an entire motion graphics/animation piece done in the style of old chinese and soviet revolutionary propaganda posters set to a David Byrne track. It is one of many videos and tutorials available at MGFEST Chicago, a Motion Graphics Festival that you should be thinking about!

N.A.S.A. "Money" feat. David Byrne, Chuck D, Ras Congo, Seu Jorge, & Z-Trip from Paul Griswold on Vimeo.

Doorknob Effect

So I have to plan out and work on a shot for my Golden Doorknob film. We are doing a shot where a guy is looking out of a large glass window. We need to replace the background with an industrial city with smokestacks and such. We plan on overexposing the shot a little bit so that the light coming through the window is easy to luma key out. Then I'll probably put together a background by splicing different images together in photoshop. The thing im most concerned about is making the background look like it's outside and through glass. Whether that be by adding a reflection to the glass somehow or blurring the background and adding some other effects I don't know, so thats something i'll be playing around with.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


This is pretty old school, but I thought it was interesting. I never really gave much thought to how Disney created/ shot their animations. The fact that they made a machine to layer the different parts of the animation in order to give the shot more depth was really cool.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Anti Stock

Anti Stock is a site which provides royalty free video backgrounds, motion backgrounds, animated backgrounds and animations. This is not the cheapest site, but it has many impressive backgrounds that could make your lives much easier!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Conan Commercial

I forgot to mention this. Last week I saw a commercial for Conan and it was pretty cool. His name was typed on the screen and it was a big white object and he was on the screen too. He interacted with the title as if it was really there and pushed it making it swing back and forth until he reached his hand out and stopped it from swinging again.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I recently went to the Bill Plympton Master Class at Cornell. He is an independent animator that gets to wake up every morning and draw what he wants to draw. He is very innovative and has created some amazing work. You can check it out on his website: PLYMPTOONS
My personal favorite is "Guard Dog" but "Your Face" is another well-known and appreciate animation.
He digs deep and creates work that is uncomfortable to watch at times, gruesome, and horrific but hilarious. He knows that people what to laugh, especially when watching animation and he pulls it off very well. His shorts are the most well known and appreciated from his audience.
Check him out!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What are Motion Graphics Video

I found this funny little video about motion graphics. It's in the style of a 1950's black and white instructional video. It basically talks about what motion graphics are. It's clever and short so give it a watch.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Free Website

I was trying to put up a free website to publicize a film I made for video workshop and came across The site is very easy to use and has many templates to choose from. And best part, it's free! Feel free to check out the website I put up!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I was browsing tutorials, and I came across this site. It has a TON of tutorials and is categorized by the effect you want to do in After Effects. Has tutorials for text, explosions, particles, and much more-really anything you'd want to put in your project. Check it out!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Then and Now

Meet Harry Marks, the "father of modern broadcast motion graphics". He was the first recipient of the Broadcast Designers Association Lifetime Achievement Award and is an Apple Master. His graphics influenced forever what we see in television today. It is significant that he started as a typographer back in his native England and was instrumental in moving motion graphics from the animation stand into the computer generated graphics of today.

Breaking into television

Black Swan FX

So I saw Black Swan last night and when I was done watching it I was thinking about how they did some of the FX in the movie. I looked on youtube and found a great before and after video of the effects. I really love before and after videos that show you different stages and layers of effects because it makes it easier to understand how it was done. Here's the video for those of you who have seen the movie.


I've been trying to learn more about expressions and writing codes for After Effects. I looked up some tutorials online and I thought that these two were pretty helpful. This site also has other tutorials for after effects on it too if you want to search through it.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Marvel Graphics

I like the motion graphics for the title sequence, using comic book panels and static elements to bring you into the story. There are some good, but I hope by now, recognizable AE/3D effects in this cool trailer.

Keyboard Shortcuts

I love to use keyboard shortcuts because it makes the workflow so much faster. Unfortunately as far as I know AE does not have a built-in hotkey editor like Maya or other programs have.

But AE has a lot, a LOT of keyboard shortcuts for almost everything, except very useful things like RAM Preview to hear the audio! c'mon Adobe!. If you have a numeric keyboard you can simply press . (period) to preview the sound, but Mac laptops don't have a numeric keyboard.

However there is a free script that you can download (and run inside AE) that allows you to explore and even re-map all hotkeys (not that I suggest you do that!.

I added that link under Design Tools and Other Links on the right column of the blog because I think everyone should download and install that script. Simply unzip and move the folder inside the After Effects Scripts folder. To access the scripts (and any other script) go to File>Scripts and launch it form there. This particular one I am talking about is called KeyEd Up.

If anyone figures out how to create or re-map a hotkey to do a RAM Preview let me know! enjoy:-)

The Mystery Guitar Man

Hey folks,

I liked this video, although I didn't watch it in 3D yet. "The Mystery Guitar Man" produces weekly shorts that look to me like they make use of AfterEffects tracking functions. A little entertainment and some inspiration as well.

Friday, February 11, 2011

FX Studios

So I found this list of the 34 top FX studios. If you click on there names it will bring you to their websites where you can watch demo reels. In most of the reals they will show you before and after images and the stuff they do is absolutely amazing. These are the studios that did movies like Avatar, 2012, 300, and a bunch of other graphic heavy films.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

So I decided to google the name of our class to see which type of sites would come up. I actually ended up finding a site that has blogs, articles, jobs and other types of event or fun things that motion graphics has to offer. The thing that I found really cool, is there is a blog/ youtube video about the Ozzy comerical that is a lot like the Eminem one that was on during the superbowl.

Check it out!

Motionographer Website


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

First 3D Full Movie

Hey guys, I found this on the Hollywood Reporter. It's a movie shot entirely in 3-D. It's different than Avatar because this was shot with 3-D cameras, not just done digitally after the movie was already shot.

Wim Wenders 3D Film

Video Copilot Basic Training

Arturo mentioned this site in class, Video Copilot, and aside from its awesome advanced tutorials, it also has some great videos on the basics....
Basic Training
That link will get you there, everything to get you started with AfterEffects

eTrade babies

personally, i love those eTrade babies. very creative from a marketing perspective and hilarious towards almost any age group.
we can do it in class with the tracking tool that we learned on friday of last week!


I thought this was a cool way to see the extent of explosions that people have the ability to do in after effects!


This also shows the explosion in reverse, which I thought was interesting

Super Bowl

Hey Guys,
know that some of you probably watched the Superbowl this Sunday, and some of you watched the ads that were on during the Superbowl. I tried to watch for the animated movies that ran ads during the Super Bowl and I noted 3. They were:
Rio (20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios)
I have to say that I was a bit surprised by the fact that these seemed to really be geared more towards kids than what one would think of as the 'typical Super Bowl viewer'. Kung Fu Panda did utilize "We Will Rock You"- tying it in to the Superbowl environment, but that was about it.
What do you guys think? Did these ads fit in with the rest of the Super Bowl and the ads being run?

District 9 Effects

This is a video I watched a while ago and just remembered. I love the visual effects in District 9, this is a short little video with all the alumni of Vancouver Film School that worked on the movie. They talk a little about what they did and how they strive for realism and seamless integration of effects. Also here is the link to a website that has a big article on the studios and the effects in District 9 along with some really cool pictures.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Want to buy After Effects

Hey Guys,

For those of you who don't have After Effects and are in the market I found a website that gives students a great discount.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Project and Halo Trailer

I think this weekend I'm going to try and do one of the more advanced tutorials on video copilot. I don't know which one yet but if I finish one ill post the results. Here is a link to a VFX studio I was looking to interning at in NYC called Method. If your a video game fan or a Halo fan in particular watch their Delivering Hope trailer for Halo Reach that they did. Its absolutely amazing in every way.

Zack Snyder's new film!

Below is the trailer for Zack Snyder's new film "Sucker Punch." Snyder is the visionary genious behind such films as 300 and Watchmen. Snyder's ingenious use of color and visual effects have always been a staple of his films.

This film seems to follow along these same guidelines. The Fantasy world in the film looks totally crazy and original. We could all learn from his imagination.

cool text graphics generator

This website is a free text/graphics generator for web pages and provides the ability to download the graphic as a .png file afterwards. I was thinking that if you didnt want to spend the time creating text, you could create the graphic text through and bring it into after effects to create the movement.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Title Sequence

So I've been messing around with after effects and I've been working on a title sequence for one of my golden doorknob films. I'm uploading the video to vimeo as we speak and it's taking a while so I'll probably post the actually vid tomorrow morning or late tonight if it finishes in time.


VideoHive is a site which allows you to sell and purchase royalty-free video footage and motion graphics. The items can be previewed on the site before they are purchased. Basic items start out costing just a couple of dollars. Authors of the material make 50-70% of each item sold. This site seems to be a great way to acquire intricate or specialized graphics at an affordable price. The website is:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

8-Bit Remixer

Remember the horrible music on the first generation Nofriendo games? Well now you can make your own. This tutorial directs you to free sights to generate midi files from instrument TABlature.

A lot of cool videos

If you guys want to check out some really cool motion graphics and effects stuff check out this site . This guys does a lot of really cool stuff with after effects. The one movie which is one the first page of the site is an action movie called flower power. All blood effects, muzzle flashed, and bullet hits have been replaced with 3D flower effects and it's really an awesome thing to see. There another one on there somewhere called Time Crisis which is a short movie based on the video game featuring Andy Whitfield the guy from Spartacus Blood in the Sand. It doesn't look like he's posted recently but there are still a lot of cool videos to check out on there that show what kind of creative stuff you can do.

Tutorials for Every Occassion

Hey guys, I just wanted to share this link with you. I've used it for a while now and it hasn't let me down yet. It's got photoshop, maya, and animation tutorials.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Photoshop Tutorial

This is a site with a bunch of cool photoshop tutorials, I know I wanted to re-learn a lot of the techniques I used to know in Photoshop, and it seems helpful for this class.

Interactive Animation!

Just stumbled upon this website, and I think it is pretty fantastic. Just whirl your clicker around your browser screen for hours of creative inspiration...