Sunday, April 1, 2012

Mega Loser

I made it to the end. My internship is over and I took away a wealth of useful information over the past three months mainly in Adobe After Effects. I also learned about each and every employee’s life. I learned what their favorite food was, what they did on weekends and if they had a significant other. I prodded them with multiple questions regarding their careers, interests and/or specialities. They whispered the secret of life to me.

Everyone was sad I was leaving considering I was the best intern they have ever had (this is what I tell myself). My final discussion/bonding exercise with my coworkers involved many daydreams about winning the lottery. Each of us eagerly told one another what they would do when they won the 640 Mega Million dollar jackpot. I didn’t win and neither did they (according to

My final project was given to me on Monday, March 26th at 3 p.m.. This 20 second animation, was one of my most challenging projects because it was going to be repeated before every baseball game throughout the season on actual television. It was a 20 second MLB spot reminding the audience of upcoming baseball games. It couldn’t look like shit because then they wouldn’t run it or lie and say  “this is great, Bryan, I can’t wait to run it”… and then also never run it.

Step one was procuring needed supplies to create this animation. I figured it would take around 8 hours to make the way I wanted, so I put aside time by creating a schedule using Sticky Notes on my MacBookPro. I had to also take into account my daily school work. So my first “supply” was time. Managing time is one of the hardest things for a student to do considering there are so many distractions in college (strip clubs, girlfriends, alcoholic friends, habitual drug abuser friends, slackers, and burnouts).

Once I set aside my time, I organized all the other supplies (graphics/video) I was going to use into a neat folder. The files included: a baseball bat, a ball, a metal background, logos, a background picture, footage, a sound effect and of course the rules given to me by Fox 56.

The first thing I did was put the logos supplied to me in the middle of the screen overlaying a background picture of a generic stock photo stadium. I had to blur the background to take emphasis off of it and disguise it so no one knew where the stadium was from. Then, I made sure to align center and align middle the New York Yankee and CW logos so they were directly in the center of the screen.

After about 4 static seconds, a bat comes swinging through with multiple keyframes on perspective and rotation. I also added a shatter effect to the logos and made a ball appear and grow out of the yankees logo to simulate the ball being hit out of the yankees logo. All of this was timed out to 1/30th of a second (a frame) so it was dead accurate.

Then, my metal grate appears on a motion track and a baseball (presumably the one I hit already) flies across the metal grate making the text appear on screen. I added a directional motion blur effect to simulate the text being sweeped by the baseball and did simple mask on the text, timing it right so the ball gradually showed the text. The logos only did a simple fade because I didn’t want there to be too many things going to distract the viewer. A tracked line of “glow” flows down the piece of metal in the middle hinting at the magic it holds and what is about to come. I also created a glistening light ray on a direction path over my metal grate to call attention to my message.

In a split second, my picture in picture footage comes out of the metal bar and does a flip rotation for reveal. I had to create a rounded square mask shape on the footage to make it look as if it was molded into the screen and the pre-comp the metal screen with the footage so I could bind them when I did the flip animation.

I stopped to eat dinner and ate a sirloin steak with A1 Cracked Peppercorn Steak Sauce, mashed potatoes and green beans. I drank two Blue Moons each topped with a freshly cut mandarine orange.

Then I turned the metal grate into another pre-comp so it could be drug off the screen using a simple position keyframe. And finally, my video grows to its actual size in my 1080p composition and the bar holding it is extended. The ball makes another appearance and flies in revealing CW going right along with the announcer. I used the same animation settings with the ball and text as before.

I almost forgot the sponsors! I pre-comped the pre-comped pre-comp and drug the whole grate over to reveal the sponsors so everyone knew who was spending the big bucks. (And also so they got their publicity and people would buy their product). Great way to finish. Hooray.

See it below:

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