So I was casually farting around with serious purpose on Twitter last month and stumbled up on a tweet by comedian/writer David Schneider about UKIP’s proposed cut to the foreign aid budget. It struck a chord with me and thought it’d be cool to put some visuals to the words. Fun do this, this between-the-jobs personal project to keep me on top of things in AE as most of my work recently has been animating other’s designs, rather than me designing stuff. Sound effects compiled and edited together by me from my fantastic stock library of noises…
These date back aaaages – firstly, it’s autumn 2012,. I was approached about making a showreel for branding/ad/marketing/web agency Five by Five (they do a lot of stuff). With this, I had to animate their static designs for use in their showreel, which meant I pulled apart all the PSDs they’d used to build websites, Facebook pages for TV shows, app walkthoughs and everything else besides. Not easy or quick, but I still managed to some new tricks and gained a couple of long term clients in the process –
A little more recently in October 2013 I took on this big batch of work for a long-standing client of mine, digital agency Mason Zimbler, and this was animating & editing their showreel.
Now, the vast majority of their work consists of websites, infographics & various ad campaigns, rather than “pure” motion graphics &, but right here is where I absolutely smashed it. I took a handful of (well, close to 15) their static web infographics (some 7500px high, with 500+ layers), organised them for animation in After Effects and added the magic sparkly stuff. Granted, most were never meant to be animated in the first place, several didn’t make it in at all, but animating each layer, adding camera moves and then speeding them up somewhat in the edit made for a killer piece.
Along with the infographics are website builds, app walkthroughs and composites with 3D models – again stripped down, organised & renamed before animating them all into shot in AE & C4D. Quite a workload for one man, but it looks well, with plenty of blink-&-you’ll-miss-it details dropped in here, there and everywhere.
Shortly after finishing up that one, I started on MZ’s Christmas video mailout which was based on an infographic they made for 2012. Animating this one didn’t make the final cut for the showreel, so with a little repurposing, I adapted it all for the screen. Again, it was a deliberately quick animation with lots of little throwaway details, all set to the wonderous muzak of the 12 Days Of Christmas…
Shit, almost a full year since an update. Not good.
As it’s happened, the vast majority of my work over the past 18 months has been of that “for internal use only” lark, or done white-label for big ad & digital agencies. Most of what you see here is what I’ve done in my spare time, which these days with a 2-year-old typhoon of the male kind to tend to, is few and far between. Every now and again, I can spend some time between jobs working out how to do cool shit with new plugins and make something all seasonal n’ shit, like this basic fluid test in AE with Newton.
1. Make a ton of small circular shape layers or masked solids to act as your fluids.
2. Tweak an untold amount of settings god knows how many times and watch your dual Xeon workstation slow to a 5fps crawl while it works out the physics calculations on a couple of hundred layers.
3. When you’re done with Newton, make simulation look like liquid – add fast blur (10-15px), then simple choker and tweak to your taste.
It’s not perfect but for 2D mograph, it’s wicked. Newton 2 has huuuuuge potential, gotta use it more.
More shit to come, soon… ha.
This is the edit of around 50Gb of footage & stills I filmed at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta over the weekend of the 9th – 12th of August 2012, and promptly forgot about/had to put to one side due to a massive workload at the time and only now have I eventually made the time to finish this, current as ever, haha…
Another collaboration with Gav Strange! This time around it was part of the launch for 50-50 skate shop’s Diamond Supply Co. collection –
Gav – “Hey Ciaran, I’ve done this 50-50 x Diamond graphic, think you can animate it for the launch night?”
Me – “Yep, no probs, hit me up with the .AI file and I’ll see what I can do…”
Short while later, after much awkward 3D modelling, mainly trying to get it to match the flat 2D design, this came together – personally, I’m digging the refractions & reflections parts at the beginning. We projected it out on the walls of the building across the road and had it looped on TVs & monitors in-store for added sexiness – check the instagram nerd-fest for more.
Thanks to Gav and all at 50-50 for getting me involved, as ever, it’s always a pleasure.