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

Content © Univision Communications Inc

Live Performance Graphics: Upfront 2013

I had to create graphics for a segment of Univison’s 2013 Upfront presentation in New York City at the New Amsterdam Theater. An Upfront is basically a fancy powerpoint presentation touting a networks past accomplishments for the year while demonstrating what else is coming on the horizon, and it gets exceedingly more elaborate each year. My animation was supposed to be a weather alert that interrupts the show because it’s snowing outside, which was a themed segue to the debut of a new show.


Basically received the direction to try to make it look like a news broadcast, just a quick bump that wipes to an exterior snow shot of Central Park. They were also going to pump fake wind and snow into the theater to sell the the effect some more.

We are currently redesigning the graphics for one of our news shows, and my producers referred me towards that. The graphics involve a lot of rings so I started adding all sorts of Tube primitives, Torus primitives, Sweep NURBS, and Radial Cloners just to create this elaborate looking ring design. I moved the camera and the object, trying to make this a complex looking shape. When all else fails and you have like 2 or 3 days to model, light, texture, and animate something that needs to look like it could belong on broadcast TV, you don’t get too picky or philosophical with questions like WHAT DOES THIS SHAPE MEAN MAN?


In After Effects I brought in the camera from Cinema 4D, so I could composite in some wind and snow that looks like it belongs with the ring. These weren’t 3D particles, just 2D clips I put in there pretty quickly, but they work well in the scene. I added some camera shake too which I tend to like, it makes the camera feel like it’s being affected by the motion design.

So that was the piece for the main screen, but I also had to create complimentary graphics that go along with the rest of the stage. There were secondary screens throughout the theater that needed to be tied together with the big screen on stage. I composed a bunch of tech overlays and scanline objects together, with some text that read “Weather Alert” all in red to contrast sharply with the cool blue look in the center. The final result was kind of cool and kind of cheesy in the delivery, but I still like how it came out.

C4D Games: Duck Shoot

So this has been done for awhile, but I completely forgot to post it. Like 5 months. Oops. I obviously run a tight ship here on my site.

This installment of C4D Games is recreating a carnival style game of Duck Shoot. You take aim at moving duck targets, some are big and some are small. You can specify point values for the different sized ducks, and the game automatically tallies the score for you. You can shoot one bullet before having to reload (musket style weapons) just so it’s more challenging. Check out the sample video to see how this is coded with XPresso, and how all the MoGraph an Dyanmics settings are configured to get this game working.

Click here to download the game and check it out.

C4D Games: Mini Golf Windmill

Mini golf is a nice alternative to real golf, which I happen to be pretty bad at yet still keep playing after all these years. In this edition of C4D Games we tackle perhaps the most treacherous test of concentration in all of sports: the windmill hole in mini golf. The objective here is to putt your golf ball through those dangerous windmill blades and get you ball to come out the other side and into the hole.

We’ve got a variety of elements in the works here. MoGraph is used to create and power the windmill as well as for the unique setup of getting our putter to swing back and through our golf ball. Lots of dynamics are in play here too, as the hole course needs to be one big obstacle for our ball. The ball’s dynamic properties are activated on collision with the putter, and it rolls along the hills and dips of the terrain.

XPresso links up our properties so that we have control over our aim and power of our putt and the configuration of the windmill. This was a fun little project to make and it lends itself to being rework and configured to other holes.

Download the file here and try and sink this putt.

Welcome to C4D Games: Ring Toss

Welcome to the inaugural voyage of C4D Games. The idea behind C4D Games is to design projects in Cinema 4D using the components of the program to create small little interactive games animators can play, while demonstrating some fun uses of Dynamics, XPresso, and MoGraph. My goal is to build a little library of projects that you can download and examine how they work inside Cinema 4D. Learning is way more fun if there are games involved, so I’m going to do my best to come up with new games as often as I can.

Up first, we have a classic game of ring toss. These games can be very hard or even totally rigged in carnivals, (you could also do this in Cinema 4D with one setting on you Dynamics tag) but I won at it last year at a beer festival. I won an ugly T-Shirt that is too small for me from a company that makes a rather bad tasting beer in Asia. There’s no prize in this game I made, but the key to good competition is keeping score. This ring toss game is configured in XPresso so it can count your score based on you being able to toss the rings on to specific bottles. You can alter and arrange different colored bottles to result in different scoring in the game. The XPresso looks complicated but it’s just the same steps repeated several times for multiple rings and bottles.

Check out the video and download the file to play some ring toss.

Download C4D Games Ring Toss

Protagonistas Show Opening

Me and a couple other animators were given less than a week to prepare an entire graphics package for this new show called “Protagonistas.” The producers left the graphics on the backburner in the hands of some animators that weren’t cutting it for about 3 months. I would have loved to collect checks and produce subpar graphics for 3 months, but instead I was asked to make something nice in about 5 days.

Protagonistas follows the cookie cutter reality show format of: Auditioning contestants in front of 3 judges -> move selected contestants into house -> sit back and watch them fight/argue/have sex/argue about sex fights -> vote contests off until a star is born.

This show searches for the next big telenovela star. I was denied an opportunity to be on the show to which I am still outraged. Just because I’m white and don’t speak Spanish shouldn’t preclude me from becoming a telenovela star. I could totally be on Que Hora Es? and they know this. I will have to catch my big break at another time.

I highlighted the main part pf the show’s opening that I did in this clip, they added some sound effects and music for the broadcast addition. I had to make a tunnel full of screens showcasing clips of the contestants on the show. They wanted all this to feel like we are going into the camera lens, which is the main element of the show’s logo. The tunnel is a heavy render in Cinema 4D with the help of MoGraph. I modeled one flat screen TV and placed it in a radial cloner, then made a linear cloner of each radial cloner. The camera is set to have a very wide lens to make the tunnel appear a lot deeper than it actual is. I had to apply different clips to each TV so there was some variety among the monitors, so there were a lot of materials. I didn’t have Cinema 4D 13 at my disposal so I couldn’t use the new multishader setting where you can add entire folders to just one material.

The shutter is a transition I made with another radial cloner to the contestants on the show. They wanted a sort of “beam me up Scotty” effect to introduce the characters. Each contestant enters through a combination of effects like linear wipe, turbulent displace, and emitting some particles using Trapcode Particular. I used a lot of tech overlays from the Motion Designer’s Toolkit because having pre-rendered footage like that is the only way I could pull that off in a few days.

This intro marks the first time in Univison history that the female contestants are wearing more clothes than the males. Despite concerns from me and multiple other people with common sense that framing the male characters waist up without a shirt will make people think they are naked, this is exactly what the shows producers wanted to infer. There was plenty of room for me to include the tops of their pants, but I was told to scale them up so that viewers will obviously be so captivated by a bunch of naked hombres on the screen. This will clearly lead to incredible ratings, increased advertising revenue, and ensure that the visionaries that insist on shooting guys waist up without shirt get promoted.

Mograph Dancing Music Orb

I was trying to come up with a new way to show what the Sound Effector in Mograph can do for a lesson in my upcoming book. I wanted to make something that was beyond the simple “Hey look at the clones scaling up to the sound of beat” animations we’ve all seen. So I created this shiny, squirmy, dancing turd rock. GENIUS. There will be a short and sweet lesson on how to create it in my book, in case your future clients demand you make one.

Woooooah We’re Halfway There

I have wanted to update my site but I’ve been locked in on a rather interesting and time-consuming side project. I’m halfway through the first draft of a book about how to use Cinema 4D. Yes, the same guy who cranks out a ho-hum blog post every month or so is writing an entire book. Makes perfect sense.

I’m still not 100% sure why I was the one asked to write this book, they could have picked a million other designers to do it. It must be because I am an industry leader in 3D animation using Cinema 4D and sarcasm they drew my name out of a hat or something. Whatever the reason, I didn’t ask any questions and I got to work ASAP before they changed their mind. I’m taking the project quite serious because it’s obviously a great opportunity at my age to become a published author. It’s also a much better side project, and I don’t have to waste time racking my brain trying to come up with a new tutorial or creative design file I can sell for a $1.25 at the Envato Marketplace.

The book will be a thorough overview of the essentials features of Cinema 4D. It will have roughly 80 short lessons that go over just about everything you need to know to become well-versed in the program. A general concept I try to infuse into the lessons is to compare how certain techniques can be achieved in Cinema 4D versus how they are accomplished in real life, and I draw from personal experience to make recommendations and encourage further exploration of the program. You could write whole books on individual components, menus, and tools within the program, so I did my best to cover the most useful and straightforward topics to turn the reader from a novice to advanced user if the book gets read from cover to cover.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to channeling my unfiltered creativity and seek the proper inspiration as I forge ahead with my pièce de résistance.

Sent from my iPad 3 via WiFi at Starbucks while adjusting my dark rimmed glasses.

Flame Thrower Text Tutorial

Good fire footage is a must for every animator’s library. Fire is something so natural and organic that you can’t effectively simulate it with cheap plugins. It tends to feel fake; you have to use real fire footage in your designs if you want it to look best.

I got the opportunity to use this Rampant Design Tools 3K Fire and Flame footage on some of my performance loops for Premio Lo Nuestro. It’s a great set of high res fire footage shot on RED One cameras and it blended in perfect with my comp.

So I did a tutorial highlighting the clips and present this example of what you can use this fire footage to create. It uses Cinema 4D and MoGraph to create our title animation and camera movements, and then After Effects to blend our 3D with out fire footage as well as turn up the heat on our animation. Wow that pun was terrible. I’m so sorry.

The footage is available at 25% off using the Coupon Code: BIGMIKEDESIGN

Cinema 4D Tutorial: Baseball Wall Title Sequence Part 2

Here is part 1 of my Baseball Wall Title Sequence tutorial in Cinema 4D, also with compositing and post effects in After Effects. This tutorial shows you how to recreate the titles seen on ESPN this year promoting their baseball broadcasts. All of the elements in the scene are generated in Cinema 4D to create a portion of a stadium in 3D, and then you import this into After Effects and add your own titles onto the wall.