Website

I wanted my website to be as functional as possible, with a visual focus so that it wouldn’t be cluttered or confusing. I just wanted to have big pictures for people to look at, to showcase my work. Simple.

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Sequence Project Evaluation

 

I regard this project as a major success.

We all accelerated our learning of Motion Graphics, and I think it’s very likely that all three of us are going to go into motion in future. I feel like I’ve personally achieved a great deal, in producing a large amount of content and making it of a standard which I believe is strong. There are of course elements that I would want to improve but overall the work and the outcome has been very satisfying.

I wanted to experiment a bit more Cinema4D, but I had to focus more on the 2D graphics, which was fine, but it just means I am not yet confident enough with the program to go and experiment and make things with it. After Effects, however, I am now much more confident than before, just through the sheer amount of hours I spent with it during this project means I’m much faster and efficient at it as well as being able to produce higher quality work.

 

Focusing on the final title sequence, I think that it might be a bit slow, which is a bad thing considering the audience would be a Netflix style audience, just wanting to watch it as a casual thing rather than appreciating the art. I did say at the start of this that we should make animations which are as good as they can be, but treat them as throwaway items, using them for a matter of seconds or even less, just because while we obviously want to watch them as much as possible to satisfy our egos, the general audience doesn’t want to be looking at some random After Effects footage for too long.

The group dynamic worked quite well too, we all contributed ideas to the development of the project, and worked at a good speed in my opinion. A highlight of this was coming together for the critique render, where we maintained seven machines rendering the scene at once to get it ready in time (because we had quality settings which weren’t optimised for fast render time). Even with that crunch moment, there was never a time when I was overly stressed out, because we all knew what we were doing, and could help each other when it came down to it.

 

This project has accelerated my enthusiasm for After Effects, and I am experimenting with it virtually every day now. I am overwhelmingly happy with the outcome we produced, and I hope to learn Cinema4D in the future so that I can be more useful in that department.

CRT Template

 

When working with creating the screens, we decided that we needed to create a template which we could run the videos through to make them look convincingly like an old CRT screen. Not only did it have to be convincing, but it had to be consistent, hence using a template.

Miles found a way of making things look like an old screen, similar to the dots method that I used in the title text. It used a grid of dots, but then split them out into three layers, one for each colour of the LEDs, so red-green-blue. I figured out how to turn this into a template using composition linking, so that we can literally drop in any video and make it look like it’s being displayed on an old screen.

The way it works is, the first composition is where you drop the video in. Then this goes to three other compositions – one for each colour, where some colour balancing is applied so that it’s more contrast-y, but more importantly, each of the compositions isolates a particular colour band. This comp also has a grid of CRT pixels, which are more like rounded rectangles than dots, and uses that as a matte so the video only shows through these; lighting up each colour like a real pixel does.

These three comps are then brought back into a new composition which puts them together and applies a warp as well as slight echo effect to make it more natural appearing, like an actual screen.

Finally this goes to an comp called output which had an adjustment layer with a curves effect on just so we could tweak it in the final stage if necessary.

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I am extremely proud of how this template turned out. There was a while where the effect was too strong, and then it wasn’t strong enough, but we tweaked it until it had a nice balance between highlighting the pixels and actually showing the video through. If it was too strong, then it was just dots and you could barely read it, too weak and the template was pointless and it would be indistinguishable from the original.

Type Experimentation

Initial Experimentation

Futureworld is a scifi. I wanted to reflect that in the text, so using glowing text on black like an original computer terminal was a starting point that I used.

In the early tests, I used a trim paths function on the line to make it cycle around and generate in. I also used a radial fast blur effect to make it glow as if it was coming through the screen. These weren’t exactly how I imagined them to be though, I wanted it to be made up of more dot like forms before the line draws out, but these were quite nice anyway.

Here I tried using the CC Lens effect to make it warp more like the iris in the original Futureworld sequence. After we talked about having the circular arrangement of the scene, I played around with this effect to make it warp like an eye as a method of transitioning out of view. This works quite nicely, maybe a bit too fast but there is potential here for something.

This experiment uses the lens effect again, but this time it is on the whole time. I just wanted to try and see what it would look like to have the text constantly warped, to show there is a distortion of the facts going on. I also tried it in red, inspired by Stranger Things’s title sequence with its nice glowing red text.

Another experiment with the lens effect, this time using it as a method of transitioning the text in rather than out. I have to say I really like the speed interpolation, the way it decelerates but carries on moving slowly is very satisfying. I also gave it a noisy glow, still thinking about Stranger Things.

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Looking at the sequence for The Matrix, they push into the text and it transforms into a grid of scrolling numbers before transforming into a 3D scene. I like the movement and the way it seamlessly blends from large numbers to a small grid composition. Futureworld is also about the hidden meaning; of the park, and of the people, so this would link in strongly with the idea of the text transforming from one thing to another, revealing the true nature of it.

Also, as we are looking at a retrofuture style, which uses old CRT type screens with large pixels, we could use this as a method of transformation, so in the drawing I’m thinking about it pushing into the letters and you see the pixels as 3D objects, and it kind of moves in and past them, like the title sequence for Tron Legacy.

First attempt at matting the text to a dot matrix like a real screen. I used a grid of dots as the trackmatte, with the same outline generation effect on the text as before. This is a good start, but clearly the dots are way too big, so the text is illegible, and the way the glow spills out by many dots just looks weird.

This version I made the dots much smaller, and put a noise layer over the top to make them flicker. I also included a slight lens effect near the end just to see what it would look like affecting this dots style. Finally, there is the radial fast blur effect again to make the light kind of cast out through pinholes.  I think this works, though it’s quite dark and maybe hard to read? I do really like how it’s like holes being pierced in the wall with the light shining through.

This combines the dots and the strong lens transition at the end. I really like the forms at the end of it, the abstract lines coming out of the text is great.

Here, I tried layering it so that the comp is duplicated and adds a layer of colour behind it. I used green simply because it’s to match the computer terminals of the era. I tried square pixels here as well to be more like an actual CRT screen. However, they might be too big and chunky because it looks weird.

I toned down the brightness to try and make it more green but that didn’t come off well. I also made the density of the dot grid higher so there are more dots to display the text through which makes it much cleaner.

This is the final version of the text, where I made it fade through from just lines, to a dense dot matrix. The length of the blur lines grows as well to help exaggerate the effect of the lens as that sweeps through and forms the eye shape. I also adjusted the speed of the lines as they draw in, so that they from very slowly at first, and then speed up when you get the sense of what it’s mean to be, which feels quite natural. I am very satisfied with the transition between solid line and dotted forms, and the way it ends as well turned out as good as I had hoped for.

This was a test we did, based on one of the original concepts looking at the landscape of futureworld. I found some random stock footage, of Iceland, which happened to look very surreal already, added a reflection to it and then made the text layer warp the background with it. This is quite nice; I’d be happy to use this as a backup if our main idea didn’t go well. I am particularly fond of the part where it’s going through the canyon and the text fits perfectly and starts to warp with the edges of the rock face.

Concept Development

Moving along the screens, we could make it black and white and use a colour pop to highlight important elements such as scientists or pieces of scientific equipment.

I like the idea of having a continuous motion along the screens, that could be really good at creating tension and suspense, which we could use to build up to something at the end of the sequence.

If we had it moving along all the screens, we could have the credit names either on the screens as part of the analytics, or (also) have it on things like clipboards and papers, maybe engraved on some machines for example as well.

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Following discussion, we decided to use this idea of the continuous motion, but developed it so that the motion was circular, for a few reasons. Firstly, it would be very strange to have a room with a long row of monitors all in a line. Secondly, once the camera reached the end of the row, it would feel empty unless we did something majorly contrasting to the rest, which could arguably be a useful technique, but I think it would juxtapose the rest of the scene too much to work. Finally, we looked at the original Futureworld sequence and it uses the iris as a main focus, so having the desks arranged in a circle, we could echo that iris shape, maybe even pay homage to it with going above it and zooming in or out.

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Motion Design Research

We looked at a range of courses to find imagery and motion which could inspire us going into developing an idea.

 

http://www.creativebloq.com/design/top-movie-title-sequences-10121014

 

Vinyl

http://www.artofthetitle.com/title/vinyl/

This sequence uses a high contrast image along with aggressive motion. This successfully portrays the edgy street style and the themes of music and drugs. It keeps coming back to the needle in the groove of a record, drawing back to the title. It uses a lot of gritty textures and weird bubbling materials to enforce the edginess. This gritty style, not necessarily through lowering quality, could be something of making our sequence seem more harsh and real.

 

Trapped

http://www.artofthetitle.com/title/trapped/

I love how this sequence draws contrast between landscapes and the human body. It’s a very surreal style, causing disbelief of what is what. The colour palette is very muted as well, suggesting tension and themes of death.

 

FITC

http://www.artofthetitle.com/title/fitc-tokyo-2015/

This piece is completely insane in its depth and creativity. Every frame is a new scene full of detailed composition. This could be useful if we head in a more technological direction, how to layer pieces up and make them all move and work together successfully. I’m interested to see how this one was made, as it looks like there are so many layers, but some seem to be repeated without looking like it; the style is very cohesive even though there is a lot going on.

 

http://www.artofthetitle.com/title/marco-polo/

 

Halt And Catch Fire

http://www.artofthetitle.com/title/halt-and-catch-fire/

This sequence has a highly technology-related feel and theme. The visuals are very detailed and the way it all moves is a juddery, almost nervous way.

 

http://www.artofthetitle.com/title/red-lights/

http://www.artofthetitle.com/title/x-men-first-class/

General Motion Design Research

I gathered a range of examples of Motion Graphics that I thought were impressive and/or interesting.

 

DVNO – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiDsLRQg_g4&list=PLiqnqkC3IGe2T_rN3AFggGxxcT3eA3y5Z&index=3

Insane amount of style and character to this one. They use many logos from the 80s era, but twist them to the lyrics instead. Playing on old style is an important tool.

 

Ghost in the Shell intro – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsiepGvjjTM&index=8&list=PLiqnqkC3IGe2T_rN3AFggGxxcT3eA3y5Z

 

Trevor Something Music Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFi2GdN6sBA&index=9&list=PLiqnqkC3IGe2T_rN3AFggGxxcT3eA3y5Z

Interesting cyber style like Matrix, made using a Kinect camera to input 3D data and morph the lines around him.

 

X Men First Class Intro – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JKVgem3Q6o&list=PLiqnqkC3IGe2T_rN3AFggGxxcT3eA3y5Z&index=10

 

Blaze Up De Fiyah Music Video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRpUtwyEU_w&index=11&list=PLiqnqkC3IGe2T_rN3AFggGxxcT3eA3y5Z

 

Blade Runner Intro – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fu7jN2_2pE&list=PLiqnqkC3IGe2T_rN3AFggGxxcT3eA3y5Z&index=13

 

Halo 3 Loading screen – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daLvkZqsVR8&index=1&list=PLiqnqkC3IGe2T_rN3AFggGxxcT3eA3y5Z

 

Infinite Warfare UI – https://vimeo.com/191052116

 

Ghost in the Shell homage – https://vimeo.com/96559833

 

Watch Dogs 2 Marcus Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzlbaMboCiM

Really fun, punchy style. Gets the attitude across using Halloween as a method of conveying the theme.

Jr Cranest Reel- https://vimeo.com/185496774