Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Poetry Fuses with Motion Graphics Underground

As a way to repay the London commuters for putting up with all the delays and repairs as they prepare for the Olympics this summer, the London Underground tube system has developed short videos that will be playing in their stations. The videos all contain a poem that is aided by a short motion graphics animation. The project is called "Words in Motion" and will be playing for two weeks, it's being sponsored by Smile for London. They are hoping to renew an interest in poetry and writing through interesting visual cues; the animations also act as a way to catch commuters attention. The writings are by famous writers and a few have come through amateur submissions while the animations were done by some of the leading English animation companies. These top animators transformed them into 20 second typographic films.

An article in Stash Magazine noted that the artists were given no information about the prose when they selected which one to animation. This blind form of art ensured a more emotional engagement, as well as more democracy, for the artist about the animation. The aim is to produce inspiring and surprising work.

The sampling of the videos that they've put online have aspects of some of the things we have looked at for class. The second one (containing the alliteration) is one of the typography videos that mixes a word starting with c (shown in the middle) with a background pertaining to that word that seems to spread out of the word itself. All the videos will have a different style that mirrors the mood of the poem or literary piece.

Smile for London is also responsible for other art movements and projects that include visual animations. Here is a video that aired around last year as part of one of their campaigns.

A video on vimeo that contains all of the animations (running about 18 minutes) can be found here.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Compositing at its best.

I wanted to share this video I found a little over a year ago on Vimeo. It is created entirely in digital compositing software and is absolutely incredible. This is the kind of stuff I want to be able to make in the future. Make sure you watch the whole thing, and then watch the "making of" below. It shows all of the steps taken when compositing and whatnot. It really exposes to you what little video they actually shot to create this: just a few shots of people in front of a green screen, so well integrated into the film that you can't even tell what exactly was done to create this masterpiece. I'd love to be able to get such incredible results out of green screen footage, and I feel I can be capable of many of the skills required to produce something this incredible if I keep at it.

The real magic of this video is above, where they go into more detail and show you all the layering and just how much work was done to achieve each shot. I have a long way to go with learning this stuff, but this is my motivation.
I thought I'd focus on typography for this post because of our assignment for class. After reading though some previous posts on typography on this blog, a recent viral video came to mind. A lot typography videos I've seen are almost always purely digital but the video that came to my mind was actually a cool combination of typography with live-action video.

I don't exactly agree with this video but I appreciate how it used typography to enhance the message they were sending out. It's a great example of how seemingly simple animations can make a video really powerful. After browsing through the website of the video's production company, I found out this video was made with the Final Cut Pro suite, although I'm sure it can be done in Adobe After Effects as well.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

simple typography

I was scrolling through random typography and motion graphic reels, and this came up! it is very simple, basic, and kind of boring ha

I really don't know exactly what this was made for or who exactly the artist is, I tried looking him up and came up with this website and his tumblr. Since most of the info was in French and I do not understand the language, Google Translate could only help so much so all I could find is that he is graphic designer from Georgia (state in Europe).

It seems as if he creates unique and interesting images for a living -- some with quotes and sayings, others with just vectors and shapes. the above video was only one of three posted on his website and the only one that was obviously created digitally (unlike the others, which might have been filmed)

my point here is that this flow of words and audio really seems easy, that anyone can pick up AE and create this! obviously it might take some time (especially for beginners); the description of the YouTube was "my second typography animation ... i'm new to AE"

hope this makes sense and you thought was worth watching too

Motion Graphic Typography

I was looking into some different uses of typography in a motion graphics sequence when I came across a video that had a pretty simple design but still managed to look pretty cool.

It had a nice layout of characters in the video, and the pacing, tempo, and flow of the entire video worked nicely. The video in its entirety is featured below:

I was even more encouraged when I looked at the artist's portfolio and saw not only that he was a student himself (in Australia), but is proficient in AfterEffects, which I'm assuming he used to create the sequence. For the artist's website and entire portfolio, click here.

Title Sequence- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

With the start of this week, and the beginning of a new semester, I was excited and looking forward to be taking a class called Motion Graphics and animation, because it has always been a topic I have been interested in. However, with the knowledge that we must post our first blog by this Saturday I found myself worried that I didn't know what to post and couldn't think of any interesting videos to discuss and talk about in my blog. I was searching the internet looking for something creative in stop motion, after effects tutorials, and many others but I knew whatever I posted would probably already wound up on this blog page once before. This changed after I went to the movies last night and saw the film, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and I was amazed right from the very opening title sequence:

"Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Title Sequence by Blur from Motionographer on Vimeo.

This movie is about a journalist and a computer hacker who try to discover a terrible family history when the investigate the case of a woman who disappeared 40 years ago. This film is based on a series of novels, which became the inspiration for the title sequence that you just viewed. Blur Studio and its co-founder Tim Miller were asked by director of the film David Fincher to create a piece that incorporated the pinnacle events from the series so that they could "redefine titles of our generation." However, after I saw this video, I was completely baffled and in absolute awe in how they actually generated this sequence and how difficult and time consuming it must have been. Blur wound up with 26 moments from the trilogy of books that were approved by Fincher, and then composed them into 252 shots of 24 frames or fewer. Each aspect of the sequence was created electronically using some software such as 3ds Max (modeling, lighting), RealFlow (fluid dynamic effect), Softimage (rigging, animation), and 3-D scans of the main actors Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, in order to accurately capture their characteristics. After all this work, surprisingly it only took Blur a vigorous 3.5 to 4 months to fully generate the piece.

However the one aspect of the entire title piece that I found incredibly interesting would be the thick, black, fluid that was used throughout the entire sequence. How did they do that? So I decided to go more into detail and see how they ingeniously managed to pull this crazy effect off! Realflow as stated earlier was the secret behind this mystery fluid, and an effect called "Frost" in the 3ds Max software. I however believe that they used 3D hands at first to generate where they wanted the fluid to cover the faces and then with RealFlow covered the hands complete with this black liquid, masking the hands and performing the effect of this dynamic liquid pouring all over the faces. This black ooze came flooding, dripping, clumping, spurting, and pouring into almost every frame of this title sequence. According to Blur this was one of the most technically challenging parts of the project. Overall I thought this was an exciting, complex, and fascinating piece that Blur generated. I know that we don't learn to use many of these softwares in our class, but I found myself wondering if there would be anyway to simply recreate similar effects in the After Effects program that we are learning to use in our Motion Graphics and Animation class this semester? I am definitely interested in finding out and possibly even using some of these prestige and expert software sometime in my future.

Here is a short video of what the sequence looked like throughout various stages in the creation process along with what they looked like in the final completed title sequence. ENJOY!

Making Of "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Titles from Motionographer on Vimeo.

Buried Opening Sequence

As we were talking about animating text in class the other day, I immediately thought about this article. It's a little older, but it has always stuck out to me. It is an interview with the creator of the opening title sequence of "Buried." Although I have never actually seen this movie, I thought that the way they animated the text worked really well for the plot of the movie, which is Ryan Reynolds getting buried alive inside of a coffin.

For the sequence, the text is rising in such a way that it feels as though the viewer is descending into the ground, becoming buried. The creator, Jorge Calvo, talks about how he became involved in the process and some of the inspirations for his work. He talks about the processes that he went through making this sequence, including photos of different stages of it's creation.
Most people don't even pay that much attention to the credits of films, but reading this article made me see how much effort is put into every detail.

There is a video in the article, but I'm not able to embed it, I only have the link.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Exploding Typography

The first project in our motion graphics class has to deal with typography, so i decided to search around on vimeo.com to see if i could come across one that i liked.  This exploding typography was exactly what I was looking for.  I really liked how he created the effect to explode into dust particles and fly away at the end, so i decided that I will try to recreate the effect and use it in my name typography this weekend.

Exploding text:


For those of you who are unfamiliar with VIMEO, it is a great video-sharing website that you can upload, watch, and share videos with thousands around the world. check it out.

Clouds and Sloths

While in class when we were making shapes and having them fly around the screen I noticed that my shape kind of looked like an egg. When I added the wiggle function to the egg all I could think of when looking at my screen was the egg falling through the air. I made the background blue and then decided that the best way to simulate it falling would be to have clouds flying by. I'm not much of an artist and before I discovered the pen tool I had no hope. I'm getting much better with bezier curves and using the handles but I didn't have the time to draw nice clouds. I just googled clouds and found some nice vector based .PNG cartoony clouds at a site called Photoshop Scrap. It has a good amount of free photoshop resources that could be used in After Effects or animation software. I'm sure that there are many other websites like this one, probably some that are better, but this is where I found the clouds that Francine asked me about in class.

I also just used After Effects to finish a little side project. A few of my friends and I are working on flash animations for fun and we wanted to make a teaser for a little series we are starting. We decided on imitating the popular Yonker's music video with a sloth person instead of Tyler The Creator.

In this video the cameraman is constantly adjusting the focus of a tilt shift lens. I wanted to do this effect, but I don't have a tilt shift lens nor did I have anything to film, our animation had been done in Flash CS5. So I used After Effects masks to move a blur around the screen creating pretty much the same effect.

2D Image to 3D Animation

Hey guys,

So, I'm sure this is just the first of many different tutorials we'll all be posting throughout the semester. I'm also almost certain someone in past semesters has posted this exact same one, since it's such a simple concept with a great final product. A couple of months ago my friend was working on creating a reel for a documentary company he was hired by. While he had footage for many of the pieces they had produced, for some he only had images. I'm pretty sure he used this exact same tutorial to create the effect he eventually used in the reel. Even if you do have footage for a certain project, I think this is a really awesome way to incorporate your After Effects skills and introduce individual projects in your reel. The video starts off by showing you how to separate the different elements in a photo or other 2D image into layers, which we just happened to learn about on Monday. Then he pulls the whole image into After Effects to create the 3D simulation. Even though we haven't talked about using cameras in class yet he makes it seem like using them wont be that hard. Any of you who have taken topics in 3D know that controlling cameras in Maya isn't exactly easy. Don't worry, I have a feeling camera's are one of the many elements that will be much easier to use in this class than 3D. On a side note, if I could offer any advice to the rest of the class it's to follow this guys lead on naming each of your layers. If you haven't done much work with animation or Photoshop before this, trust me when I say that labeling each layer will make your life a lot easier. Especially when you're a weeks worth of work in and 100+ layers deep. Anyway hope you guys find this tutorial interesting, I know I did!

I couldn't figure out how to embed the video directly so just click on the text below. Sorry Arturo :-(.

Virtual 3D photos

Title Sequence - United States of Tara

This week I started watching the TV show United States of Tara. The title sequence is very well done and because of the things we've talked about in class, I found myself wondering how they made it.

I looked it up and it's stop motion made with paper pop-up characters and settings. I also found this behind the scenes video which shows how they did it, and has the completed sequence at the end.

The titles won an Emmy for Outstanding Main Title Design. The video led me to the creator, Jaimie Caliri's, site, where he has posted other amazing videos in the same style. I like his ad for United Airlines is even better than the U.S of Tara video.

Jamie Caliri United Airlines Dragon

I'd recommend watching his videos to anyone who's interesting in paper stop-motion.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

T-Shirt Wars

I was trying to figure out what to blog about, so I went on to YouTube and find a video that had something to do with this class. I found ones called T-Shirt war, a series of stop-motion music videos that I thought were very clever as well as interesting. I really enjoyed the behind-the scenes that were posted because I was able to see how much time went into every individual shot that completed the shoot. It was amazing to see how many people it took to put the whole film together, giving the illusion that the T’s had come to life. I also thought that they sound effects that they made were nice to listen to and kept me engaged in what I was watching which really isn't that the point of a video to get a lot of people to watch it. I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did.

T-Shirt War


T-Shirt Wars 2


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Star Wars Uncut

My friend recently showed me this video; it's a complete remake of Star Wars: A New Hope in 15 second intervals by fans. It was directed by Casey Pugh and even won a Primetime Emmy for interactive Media. In 2009 she called out for fans of the franchise to send in a 15 second shot or animation of the favorite scenes and she pieced them all together. The fan-made video, 2 years in the making, recreated the movie through live action, flash, stop motion, 3D animation, video game graphics, Lego's and more. As it gained popularity, it came under scrutiny for copy-right infringement, but it's loyal fans have claimed it just enhances the value of the film by showing how much it really means to people.

I haven't watched the whole thing (over 2 hours) but just skipping around you can see how the film is able to almost seamlessly transition between animation and live action by staying true to the story line. Each section, especially the animation and stop motion intervals, show people's interpretations of both the movie and of media. The video ranges from kids with paper beards taped to their faces to some really impressive animation and effects.

Getting Back into the Cycle

I thought it fitting for the start of a new semester to share some of what kicks around my mind. This is a slightly refined version of a concept I scribbled in a sketchbook last semester. The idea struck me all of a sudden and it still intrigues me enough that my hope is to make it a short animation sometime in the near future.

At first I imagined it in a similar style to my ACP Animation final project (below), which was done solely in Photoshop. But I am thinking differently now with all the opportunities available in After-Effects. I would really like to get a more detailed sense of movement which is next to impossible using stamps and brushes on a 2D plane!

Monday, January 23, 2012



This is a link to the coolest music video I have seen in quite a while. Stop motion done entirely with Jellybeans and the artist. It took them 22 months. Awesome.