My ink illustration turn to pop for motion. Great song by Marc Sound.
My ink illustration turn to pop for motion. Great song by Marc Sound.
My design work began in the nightclubs of Atlanta. Back then I created frame-by-frame animations. Now, I pull in the strong arms of Adobe After Effects to create my motion graphics. Using After Effects to create tempo-synchronized graphics. The background patterns were created in Adobe Illustrator for the website and incorporated into the piece installation.
Motion Graphics created for Asheville DJ iGuy. The video piece was integrated into a one-page website design. The visual were also used with projectors for special Asheville party event.
The motion graphic effect created for the video.
Internet tech is often blamed for moving forward to fast. The changes happen too quickly for people to keep up. Sure, sometimes this may be true. However, there are some techs that flood around for years before taking a hold (Bluetooth). Or, there are other techs that are reinvented, or at least relaunched and begin another cycle of usage. The latter example is the certainly the story of the GIF animation.
GIF animation early days may have been jumping hamsters and spinning blinking buttons (my personal fav). Which is a far cry to presenting high-end fashion for some of the most pristine fashion houses. 2015 is the year that GIF animation returned to the tech world as a stylist fashionable option for delivering media rich content.
A national banner ad created for PBS The Newshour show. The banner was first created as a Flash banner. For display, the format has been converted to an animated gif (for our Iphone and Ipad users).
Creating content for PBS was awesome. The website banners were firsted designed to be deployed in Flash. The example posted is an animated gif (for our iPhone & iPad users). Some image quality is lost during the Flash to GIF conversion.
The Dolly Parton 9 to 5 video was super fun to make. First off, this is an awesome remix, that always gets a great crowd response.
For the video footage, I pulled interview and live footage from the 9to5 Academy Award performance. With the layered dance moves of John Travolta (Urban Cowboy). And then a little Madonna to keep the groove going.
The playing card animation was commissioned by Tersicorps Theatre of Dance – Asheville.
Alice in Wonderland – Chapter Eight – The Queen Croquet Ground.
What an exciting part of the Alice and Wonderland story. Alice has arrived to the Rose Garden and is now face-to-face with the mighty Queen. The stage is bathe with my playing card animation. A procession of dancers are flooding the stage – with impressions of my animation on their skin and white outfits. Everything and everyone got covered by the animated playing card wash. The visual effect was outstanding.
From the opening beating of the simple single rotating hearts – half white, half red. Before launching into the animated playing card parade. The mirrored tunnel effect added to the chaos of the scene to great effect. The heart design began as the photograph of my red jacket reflecting on the metal door. The door had a diamond design that created a strong silver in one panel, while my bright red coat beamed in the adjoining panel. For me the heart was the central design element for Alice in Wonderland – the scene is rich and heavy. With hundreds of little hearts covering the scene – little hearts that were created with my reflection. While the reflection on the heart is only one half of myself – the mirrored placement of the heart creates the whole reflection.
Full stage front-projection washing over entire stage and two rear projectors for added 3D effect.
Undoubtedly the quintessential line from Alice – “Off with her head!”.
As the chaos of the scene grows the dark playing card animation slowly fade over the stage. The music gets darker – the mood changes. On the stage their are 5 men in a web of white rope. Pulling and turning, twisting their bodies into the same knots as the rope. The more entangled the twisted bodies became the heavier the dark animation painted their skin.
Unlike, the earlier lighter animation of white and red – which created an iridescent illumination. The dark animation achieved the opposite effect. The black of the stage literally absorbed the darkness of the animation. The crimson, dark grays, and blood tones created a sinister tension between the dancer and the entangled ropes.
Alice in Wonderland – Off with her head!
Animation cycle that covered the back wall of the stage. Unlike the front-projection that flooded the stage. The rear projection was onto the high-density screen. The clarity was incredible. The blood red of the animation reflected and painted the dancers skin.
With every design the design process begins with the objective. For the The Queen’s Croquet Ground scene from Alice the animation was to serve to functions.
The scene relied heavily on flooding the stage with animated content. However, the general problem with washing an entire stage with visuals is that everything is covered the visual. Stage lights also serve to wash out projected content. For the scene – lights were lowered – projection increased. To create an awesome balance of visuals, dance, and audio synchronization. Finding this balance did take quite a few revisions – especially during the installation in the Diana Wortham Theater (which can only be expected).
The Playing Card Animation design process begin with simple sketches of playing card design. Before refining the designs in Adobe Illustrator. During the early design stages of the playing cards – I imported the roughs to After Effects – as I worked on refining the card design in Illustrator, the file would update to my After Effects animation. Most of the final animation effect was created prior to the card design being finished or approved.
Having a strong workflow plan completely helped to make this part of the project a huge success. The placeholder content that I had imported to After Effects was easier to animate and experiment with while the individual components were still so light. No delays from graphic card overload – fast and simple.
Once the final artwork was completed. I simply had to do to After Effects and render the animation. Revisions to the color content in relationship to the saturation of stage wash were done in Illustrator, and footage would be again rendered.
PLAY CARD GRAPHIC – Each card was created for the animation.
Made In Honduras published in the New York Times and The Washington Post.
If you don believe in online marketing, you might want to track how many clicks these banners got – it was huge!
Using Adobe Flash, I created the Motion Graphics from still photography. Due to the size requirements for Banner ads, I had to reduce these ads to a 27K file size. Creating a banner ad is certainly one skill, having that banner come in under 27 K is quite another skill altogether. Data file reduction is a skill that I excel in.
[kml_flashembed publishmethod=”static” fversion=”8.0.0″ movie=”http://fastfwd.info/ALH_Banner/Doors.swf” width=”500″ height=”500″ targetclass=”flashmovie”] [/kml_flashembed]
Creating animated motion graphics from 2D still images can be difficult enough. For the success of my Honduras truck door animation, I had to first track down the model of the truck - locate photos of the inside of the doors.
National Web Site Banner Published on New York Times and The Washington Post Web Sites.
The sample animation has been converted to an animated gif. The original project was package as a Flash banner ad.
The importance of creating a true to form storyboard is the key to keeping any design project on budget. I love making storyboards. I like to arrive to a video shot, or begin an animation - and know that what I am creating has been approved.
People who are new to digital media often underestimate the value of a true storyboard. Those who enter into a motion design project without a storyboard are a bit crazy, or rich. Ah, to have clients who are that rich to waste production time on non-complete design ideas. The storyboard (even in the smallest of projects), outlines the main action of the design piece. From a well developed storyboard a client can gain a clear sense of composition and timing.
Always request a storyboard.
*Special Note: Yes, there are those designers, that take the time to create a storyboard - then go on a creative leap of faith - that's not the person that you want doing your digital media projects.
Animated banner ads created to publish on New York Times and Washington Post. Believe me, I never saw so much travel before. These banners were not only loaded up millions of times an hour, 1000's of people were click on the follow-through message.
Motion Graphics take a long time to create. Having a precise storyboard is a great method to visualize the end result prior to starting.
Some people say it is difficult to work with animals. I know that anytime a client requests that I work with my animals – I jump on it!
Meet Miss Sandy Mush – our Carolina Dog. She is super smart, a real leader and fun to work with.
The animation was created as a vector graphic in Adobe Flash (oh we do miss the creativity that we had with Flash, but they are long gone). As are the days of Director.
Prides Crossing was such an interesting two act play. Watching the installation come together was amazing. Maybe that was the reason why my first week of creative production was very slow. I felt overwhelmed by the theater. Everything was too grand, and organized. I was the tech guy, and my office was in the middle of the oldest opera house in America. Just outside the theater there were young Amish men on horses. Lancaster was the place I had my a grilled Caesar salad - and became an instant fan.
The play was beautiful. The story was told in scene, that were each their own timeline. My job was to create the visual projection that would be used to transition begin scene, as the story skipped around different timeline. I loved the depth of time I got to design within. Granted each time slot had to be precise, but for one production I had to pull in different (precise) design elements for that time period.
The furniture on the stage was protected - making them easy enough to move off stage. The transitions were large and visual, while completely soft and gentle.
The play opened with a kaleidoscope image projected on the full height and width of the screen - a visual prelude to the story unfolds.
I will always miss Michael Mitchell (Director). Michael was such a brilliant director and I loved Michael very much.
Creating graphic design that will be projected is awesome. However, you quickly discover that a little goes a long way. When designing these backgrounds - the director wanted to set the tone for the time period and placement.
On top of the backdrops were visual elements being projected on the screens and stage.
Transition to scene 2 :17 seconds
Transition to scene 3 :15 seconds
Transition to scene 4 :15 seconds
Transition to scene 5 :11 seconds
Transition to scene 6 : 21 seconds
Transition to Scene 2 - NEED TIME
Transition to Scene 3 - NEED TIME
Transition to Scene 4 :17 seconds
Transition to Scene 5 : 45 seconds
Transition to Scene 6 : 66 seconds
The Tapped in Time section of Alice – The Ballet is when the White Rabbit proclaims I am Late. During the Ballet the stage was washed with digital numbers.
The Trapped In Time – midnight strikes.
Trapped in Time – Larger scale.
The trapping in time scene from Alice – The Ballet. The animation I created were broadcast across the stage. The digital numbers cover the White Rabbit. I liked the idea of using digital numbers to connect how the footage was created. Everything captured, edited, and burnt to digital format.
When I began design work for Alice – The Ballet. The first visual concept that I needed to face was TIME. Alice is Wonderland certainly has many dips and turns in the storyline. While the theme of manipulating time remains constant.
Prior to the opening of the ballet – my clock hands were projected on the theater curtains. First as a still image on thick red velvet curtains.
A short animated GIF – of the beginning sequence.
As a digital artist I tend to have a strong visual idea in my head – and I then set about creating that image. For the Alice Ballet the hands of time I needed the clock hands to regal and strong.
The audience were greeted with the clock arms. First, as a still image of the clock. Ten minutes before the start of the show the clock hands began to move. The clock animation is used during the opening and closing of Act 1 and 2.
Time Keeps Moving – bending time is always possible when creating visuals for Alice.
I am such a big fans of After Effects. I am a power house junkie with After Effects. I can think of a better reason than to use After Effects for my clock animation
From the basic animation of the clock hands I was then able to expand the look, feel, texture, and tone of the animation.
The backdrop clock animation was a fun layering effect. Again playing with the visual idea of time, and the rabbit hole, and falling.
The metal texture of the clock is my reflection on the staircase of Lloyd Bank in London. It was a cold Sunday morning. The bright polished metal and outdoor piping all looks super cool.
My bright red winter coat and testify to how cold it was. While also creating the constant of color against the metal panels of the bank. I refined the texture and tones in Photoshop.
The Caterpiller scene for Alice The Ballet – was fantastic. Smoke and Mirrors and perfect timing for every effect. The timing for a dancer is second nature.
Alice opens with the story of falling down the rabbit hole. The opening for Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance "ALICE" production began with an 8 minute multi media segment. The stage design included three projectors. Two front projectors and a rear projector. The depth of images that could be created on stage with three HD projectors was incredible. As the designer of all the media content - it wasn't until the dancers were in the theatre that I actually saw the installation at it's true size. AND WHAT A SIZE!
FULL STAGE BACKDROP (very large projection).
ALICE - Video installation for Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance.
Director and Creator: Heather Maloy.
Motion Graphics: Gary Crossey.
Graphic Design: Brian Jones.
The opening scene of Alice falling down the rabbit hole, with Heather Maloy (as Alice). The sky and trees were shot on a reclaimed beach near Jacksonville. The trees were bleached from the sun and had such interesting forms. I tried to capture arrangements of branches that resembled the form of the dancers.
Color appears as Alice enters the rabbit hole. The rabbit hole footage was created from the lighting inside the tunnels in Asheville and laying with After Effect.
The silver clock featured in the rabbit hole and the White Rabbit being trapped in time was my grandmothers 70's wooden clock. After photographing the clock, I covered the wood with the silver Lloyd's bank (London) metal doors. The red on the animated clock hands is the reflection of my red jacket against the huge diamond metal doors.
Creating the Rabbit Hole scene for the Asheville Ballet of Alice was one of the most famous scenes of the entire production. The rabbit hole was not only the first color scene, but it was also one of the few scenes that were completely made of video – with on live action. All the dancing and effects were recorded, and I got to do my bit!
How to create the rabbit hole? While others may turn to After Effects for all of their special effects I prefer to look at the real world. In Asheville, there are a few tunnels – and that is where my creativity took me first.
I began by walking the tunnel with my camera.
Recording interesting design aspects.
Creating visuals for an art installation can mean many different things.
For the Gorgeous art installation, I used mostly frame-by-frame animation. Each frame created in Photoshop (27 frames a second). Combining the photography of Bart Peeters - I deconstructed the images in multilayers. Each layer reveals the newer self. The more understood. The more exposed.
CLIENT: Club NV Atlanta
PROJECT: Multimedia Protection
Creating the 3D figures was awesome fun. Most of the texture and alpha masking work was done in Photoshop.I then added the texture maps via my 3D software.
Creating the graphic design style for the figures – was quite a development. Firstly, I wanted the character to make movements that can’t be made. In my design world there is no gravity – this girl floats in mid air (quite comfortably).
The transparent body texture that I created allowed the viewer to see though the body – to see that visual motion that you normally could not see. The visual content from the transparent figure creates a visual overload (where body parts are difficult to distinguish). While the motion of the motion of the characters is so slow that go unnoticed. Both over and under whelming the viewer.
The panels are samples from the media presentation. The animated (often) mirrored characters slowly move into each position. Then pause. The media installation had a stillness to it. Content paused. The viewer had time to say “what the hell is that?” Or, “I like the red dot”.
The point was the view could connect. The content moved slowly, if at all. For some viewers it took a while before they realized that the content had altered. In a time – when video is full of motion and content. The video projection software had another layer of effects that created more visual complexly to the installation.
The style of the project begin with this simple rendering – think Grace Jones as a Playboy Bunny. Using two colors to create the female silhouette – wearing a dicky bow was also on the table.