Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Southern Miss Basketball Short

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I'm back at the After Effects tutorials, this time working with some jittery text with a little stop motion feel. I saw this tutorial from Red Giant on how to create this effect and thought it had a really neat look. I decided to give it a shot and I think the resulting piece turned out very nice.

As I've been working a several items for Southern Miss basketball recently, I decided to do a little list of highlights of their past accomplishments. I found this effect worked very well when I overlapped each fact a little bit. That way, new text started falling into place as the final characters of the previous one fell out of frame. I reduced the frame rate in half to get the stop-motion feel, and then added a little camera shake and background opacity jitter to the whole piece to further the aesthetic. It is definitely a technique I am going to keep in my bag of tricks for video use down the road, as I think it works great as a text animation. I could see it being very useful in several types of projects. Thanks again for tuning in!

(Also, I would like to credit Hyde Producer/Composer from soundcloud.com, for the track in this video. It can be downloaded here.)

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Hat-centric Personal Facebook Cover Image

I'm definitely a hat guy. I've loved them probably as long as I've loved sports. Because of that, I have always gotten a hats not just from the teams I root for, but from each team I've worked with so far in my sports design career as well. These hats help show the story of my design career in a very neat way that your standard resume or written biography just can't accomplish. They add personality, color, and life to the journey I've been on.

Because of all of that, I decided to create the above image as a cover photo for myself. The hats tell my story so far, and the message below them shows that my drive is only getting started. I can't wait to see what other hats get added down the road.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Southern Miss Logo Reveal Title

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As I continue to learn After Effects I am obviously trying new things. On this project I decided to work a little bit with sound effects and stock footage to create a neat little title based around the Southern Miss football helmet logo.

I started at Aetuts+ where I found this quick tutorial on a neat logo reveal using the Stroke Effect. It was really easy to figure out to apply to the Southern Miss logo, as I focused it around the yellow outlines. I added a little glow to the moving strokes to give it a bit of flare as it animated on.

I then broke the logo into two parts, having the white interior reveal itself while a light sweep happened across the yellow outline that had come into full view. I'm a sucker for the slightly flashy, so I went with it.

From there, I wanted a cool transition to the second title, the Southern Miss athletic theme for this year, "Rise to the Top." As I sat there pondering where to go, it hit me: "Michael, you need to put fire in this video." So I did.

I took the basics of the Green Smoke tutorial on Video Copilot (a must-see website for all who want to learn more about motion graphics) and applied it to my video, having the helmet logo kind of melt away as the fireball shoots across the page. From there, I finished up with the Rise to the Top logo fading in from the burnt-out area of itself to finish the whole thing off. It was a fun piece to create, and suggestions are always welcome!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tennessee Smokies Website Background

If you stroll over to the Tennessee Smokies website now you will see the background I created for them at the end of my internship. I love having this piece in my portfolio as it is main thoroughfare for people to get Smokies info and thereby also see my work.

My idea on this one was to show the unique connection the Smokies have to two areas: the city of Knoxville and the Smoky Mountains. I achieved that by putting the skyline across the header that goes as if you were looking up from southern Tennessee at the trek across I-40. I then put the stadium lights on either side to echo the "stadium in the mountains" (even it is a little bit down the road from them). I felt the stanchions rising out of the mountains just gave the whole background a cool look and helped to frame up the header nicely.

Hendricks and Baez were probably the team's most successful players last year so we decided to highlight them in the background as well. I chose pictures that pointed towards the main info to help frame up the body of the page.

In all, I think this piece turned out great, and I hope you stop by the Smokies website to check it out live!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Little More After Effects: Baseball Matchup Graphic

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So as I mentioned in my blog post last week, I have been teaching myself After Effects recently. With that I have been creating projects for myself to continue to get accustomed to the program.

I had the above idea one day while fiddling around in the program. As I get more into motion graphics, I'm realizing just how many there are around me, especially being such a big sports fan. With that in mind, I wanted to take a stab at my own matchup graphic. I used the last matchup of the Tennessee Smokies season as a test run since it is where my baseball career has left off at the moment.

I really loved the idea of steel doors shutting on one thing only to reveal another, so I went that route. After revealing the matchup logos, the video felt kind of stagnant, so I added in the team names sliding in from center. Even with that though, the piece still felt like it died after those names finished. To alleviate that feeling, I added a little rotation expression to the logos to keep them moving throughout the piece, thus keeping it "active" for the full duration. I made this rotation happen in 3D space to only further that feeling.

I feel overall that I accomplished my goal with this piece, exploring scene transitions and movement from various directions. However, I am up for suggestions on ways to continue to improve. Thanks for viewing!

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Memphis Tigers Infographic - Texas Players

This was a neat project I wrapped up for the Memphis Tigers football team this past week. They wanted to send out a flyer showcasing how many players on their team were from the state of Texas. I saw this as a perfect opportunity to create an infographic to showcase both the number of players on the team from Texas as well as the footprint the Tigers have in the state.

To do this, I first started with the list of players, topped off by the list title of "16 Current Players from the State" to give the eye a starting point. I pulled out a couple players to showcase via photos to bring a little life to the piece as well as to help the viewer's eye move around the page a little. I then thought it would be a great idea to tie each player to the city they were from, and what better way to do that than with a map of the state? By tying the list of players to all the cities they represent, I created a great little crisscross of connections that showcase the footprint the Tigers have in the Lone Star State.

This piece was very enjoyable to work on, and I think it does a great job of delivering the message the Tigers wanted.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Southern Miss Women's Basketball 2013-14 Schedule Poster

Above is a poster I recently finished for the Southern Miss women's basketball team. As you can see, I really shifted my recent schedule poster trends. I moved the title all the way to the bottom and put the schedule to the top. It's something I've never really seen a lot of but I thought really fit with the horizontal team photo. The team really wanted a 3D effect on "Rise to the Top" so by splitting the schedule like I did I left myself a perfect spot to insert that into the background and let it move forward into the foreground.

To go along with the brighter pieces that Southern Miss is trying to come up with, I once again kept a light background but added a little extra pop to the jerseys as well. I really think the jerseys jump off the page and put the focus on the players. As I've seen recently, the schedule is really almost secondary on a schedule poster, and these pieces are really a place to show off the team.

This piece was a new challenge, working with an interesting layout and 3D type, but I think it was a major success. I hope to be getting a printed sample in the near future and will hopefully have photos of it to show down the road.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Portfolio Video: An After Effects Creation

Recently, I've started to get involved in motion graphics creation. It has been a world I've always kind of shied away from, as I've always been more focused in static design, whether it be print, web, or social media, up to this point in my career.

However, I felt the time had come to expand my abilities, and so comes this project. I thought creating a video version of my portfolio was a great way to get into After Effects and learn as I create (which I feel is probably the best way to learn). I'm obviously relatively new to this field compared to my static design experience, but I think for a first project it turned out pretty well.

With that being said, I am definitely open to any feedback on how to improve on motion graphics. As I start learning, I'm like a sponge and ready to absorb all the information I can. Thanks for watching!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Southern Miss 2013-14 Men's Basketball Poster

A big shift in the style of my Southern Miss work came with this poster. As you probably notice, this poster is much lighter than my previous work, as the athletic department now shifts to using lighter backgrounds on most all of their work. One of the difficult things about the light background was making the yellow still a usable/noticeable color in the image. Do try and help achieve that, I mixed in some textures and drop shadows, as well some thin black strokes in places to make it pop. Once again, I was playing with the the picture vs. pictures foreground to background, and I again turned to a faded background to help make Coach Tyndall pop off the front of the poster. I was pretty pleased with the outcome, and you can definitely expect many more Southern Miss pieces to have a similar color scheme down the road.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Southern Miss 2013-14 Cheer Poster

It has been a quite busy time for me the past few weeks wrapping up several projects across the board. Above is a poster I recently completed for the Southern Miss cheer squad. It was a challenge making the two pictures not clash with each other, but I believe in the end the faded on the background photo and extra pop of the colors on the front made everything work together. The biggest challenge actually came at the bottom of the poster making sure all 13 sponsor logos made it onto the poster along side the Southern Miss social media info, making sure all of this didn't take away from the poster itself. In the end, I think I found the right balance and the overall look was a success.