Live Show Reel

Here’s a sampling of my animation and motion graphics work I’ve done for various live events. It’s different than some of my usual broadcast design stuff on my other reel.

It’s a process of design animation and motion that is mapped across a stage or an arena, so there’s different techniques used to make you graphics fit to something that size. Instead of preparing something to be viewed on a 50 inch TV, you are working on 30 foot screens and disjointed LED panels.

Last updated 5/1/2016

Music: Rataxes – Holding Hands – Creative Commons 3.0
soundcloud.com/rataxesuk/rataxes-holding-hands

Content © Univision Communications Inc

Low Poly Golf

Here’s a new low poly animation I designed in Cinema 4D just for kicks. I wanted to find another way to use the awesome plugin Unfolder from Code Vonc. I had previously done a low poly alphabet as an exercise, but I wanted to do something a little more substantial and developed.

Low poly modeling and animation seems to work best when you take something really complex and natural looking in shape and try to reduce it to the simplest of geometric forms. Landscapes are a good example of this, they provided a myriad of natural curves and organic detail, that can be visually appealing when you successfully reduce this down to simple polygons while retaining the form it represents. I bounced around different ideas and settled on a golf course. It offered the chance to fold up rolling hills, mountains, lakes, sand traps, different grass variations, etc.

I stared out drawing the course from an overhead view. I used the Polygon Pen tool because I could draw an oddly shaped hole and start filling in the detail. Once I settled on the shape I started carving it up with the Knife tool, then isolating certain polygon sections for the lake, bunkers, etc. so I could apply different materials to them easily. I worked on the camera animation to focus only on the area I modeled, just so I wouldn’t need to add in extraneous detail way off in the distance.

I grabbed some mocap data from the Carnegie Mellon mocap database and fit it to a simple low poly golfer I made form a base mesh. That provided the swing animation, then I had to apply many different instances to the Unfolder plugin animating the polygons folding o the screen, syncing it so they reveal at interesting parts during the camera move. I focused on the materials, lighitng and rendering last, ending up with a sort of early morning sunny scene with bright, vivid color on the course.

All in all it’s kind of cool, I could always add more detail (flowers, birds, golf carts, other golfers) but I think it works OK like this.

First Semester Finished

I just finished my first semester teaching as a college professor. I feel like I  skipped to the front of the line, lots of educators that went through lots of training and time to become college professors. But I was hired to take my largely informal, self taught Cinema 4D knowledge and convert it into a 4 month class.20150503_155949

I taught at New World School of the Arts in downtown Miami, and it’s a cool connection because it’s an accredited extension of the University of my Alma Mater, the University of Florida.

It’s been a crazy ride in less than 5 years, from going to unemployed and struggling to find anyone to give me a shot to work for them to  teaching students about what I’m pretty good at. I reflect back to when I was a “freelance” designer (a very fancy word for unemployed) who strongly considered going back to school myself to figure out something entirely different to do with my life that could get me an actual job that pays actual money. Long story short is I worked my way out of a hole, kept learning, trying, and grinding and now get to use that experience to try to give as much  perspective and information I can to anyone in my class who wants to absorb it.

The Cinema 4D community has been a great source of inspiration and information for me. I humbly try to spread the gospel of this creative software, fully aware that I’m not the best at it and never will be. I liked to emphasize to my students that at their current age I hadn’t even opened Cinema 4D yet, so they are ahead of my schedule. I look forward to doing it again, considering I learned a lot myself throughout the entire process.

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Univision Holiday Campaign Animation

This animation I made aired throughout the holiday season on Univision. My producers wanted it to be similar to the animation I did for their summer campaign.

The actual logo animation is a very simple spin inside Cinema 4D, it’s not going to rock anyone’s socks off. I created a very reflective red material for the logo because I wanted to try and make it look like it was a Christmas ornament.

The part I ended up liking the best were the gold ribbons, which were a technique I developed after to avoid dealing with the frustrations of working with Cloth in Cinema 4D. I hate using Cloth in Cinema 4D, I will avoid it at all costs. The ribbons are a Plane object modified with a Spline Wrap deformer to get their overall shape and control their path on a Helix spline. But if you stop there you have just a flat and dull looking line circling the screen. The key to making them float and fly in an organic manner was to apply a Displacer deformer to them as well. If you bump up the Height of the Displacement and the Global Scale of the Noise pattern you pick in your Shading options, you can get a wide level of displacement that makes the ribbon look more natural as it flows through the scene. Then you can just change the Seed value on the Noise shader and you’ll get different looking patterns for the ribbons, and you can find one that you like the best. Much easier than using cloth for ribbons.

Musical Particle Streaks

Here’s a sample of some particle streaks that I made in After Effects using Trapcode Particular. They were for Univision’s Upfront presentation in 2011, where the network unveiled new programming and company statistics for the upcoming year. It was like a big interactive Powerpoint presentation, except Pitbull performed. I’ve never made a Powerpoint presentation with Pitbull.

This was the opening sequence of the event, almost like a countdown with musical instruments tuning up before the show was about to start. I didn’t have a whole lot of time to do this, less than I would have liked. Each shot with a musician was to be contained in one of 8 screens spread around the New Amsterdam Theater in New York. The trail was designed to lead the audience across the stage to the next screen, and have the trail die off in the next frame. I couldn’t really show that without the actual set up in the venue, so I just combined them into one video for the post.

Each streak is actually 4 different kinds of emitters: one for the puff of smoke in the beginning, the main fat streak, the other skinny streaks, and the floating dust particles. I probably set a personal record for most particles ever used, they were a bit heavy when rendering in HD.

Short & Gray: Sweep Text

You better believe that Sweep NURBS can make text look cool.

I made a Tube

I made a tube in Cinema 4D.

I will now answer your questions about the tube:

Q: I’ve watched the tube and I’m confused. What exactly does this tube do?

A: The tube doesn’t really do anything per se, it is what it is. It moves, and then the pieces inside it move.

Q. I see. How did you go about creating this tube?

A: Well I was trying to come up with a different way of presenting/containing/revealing some text in Cinema 4D. Instead of having the letters just sit there, I put them in a tube that kind of looks like those things at the bank or the basis for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I used MoDynamics to get the right feel for the letters to behave in their new vacuum sealed world. Then I altered the position and rotation of the tube to shake things up and have the contents bounce around. I added some marbles inside there because I felt like it. Then I added reflections and materials in order to make it look cooler and we arrived at the tube which stands before us today.
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Short & Gray: Roller Coaster in Cinema 4D

For the longest time I tried to build this complex roller coaster scene and it never went anywhere. I wanted to build a theme park around it or do some cool materials on it, but I could just never get it to become anything that wowed me. Basically I built the track around the text, and unfortunately I had to keyframe the cars to death, this doesn’t run on some sort of physics system.

I thought I could use an Align to Spline tag, but the animation wasn’t smooth enough because the car had to slow down and speed up fluidly on certain parts of the track. And it took me back to high school physics when we discussed roller coasters, and from that I learned that each car in the coaster makes up the speed in terms of the system, which is the combination of all the cars combined. So each car had to be angled and positioned individually, instead of just cloning a couple cars and being done with it. It was a huge hassle, so that’s why there are only 4 cars, because it took forever to put them in the right position.

All in all it’s OK, I purposefully kept the camera far back so you wouldn’t notice a few sketchy details.

Short & Gray: UFO Abduction

A Cinema 4D conspiracy theory.

I’m going to New York for like 2 weeks, trying to make something happen. Peace.

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