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Behind the Scenes: VentureBox Assist

 

VentureBox Assist: Product Overview is an informational commercial that I created for the company VentureBox. Before beginning production, I created a 5-second animation test:

The real process began by meeting with my client to understand the vision they had and the message they wanted to deliver. During that first week, I created multiple storyboards as we went back and forth on the exact wording. I found the music, got it licensed, and then VentureBox pretty much gave me free reign and left me alone to do what I thought was best. I really appreciated that. I then spent the next three weeks working on the video itself.

I used a lot of different tools to achieve the results I wanted.

I used a lot of different tools to achieve the results I wanted.

One of the myriad of project views.

One of the myriad of project views.

In my unending quest to be a better artist, I tried a lot of things I had never done before. This kept the project completely invigorating. The clock-to-globe shot was a tricky shot for me at the time. I rendered a spinning globe at two speeds (so I could have better blur), and then I comped the rotating clock over it. However, I also had to render multiple versions of the clock (including masked elements) so it would look more realistic. Finally, I had to match everything in After Effects, add camera movement, color correction, and then seamlessly transition all of that to the next slide. Of course, everything had to match the musical hits. I often had my calculator out so I could calculate the speed differences between frame numbers. 

I like adding little details to a movie, but most cases will go unseen. I do this for a couple reasons. First, I like art that has depth. I remember watching behind the scenes stuff for The Lord of the Rings when I was a teenager, and it affected and continues to affect me in a profound way. The amount of care and passion that the artists poured into those movies amazed me. Secondly, I like noticing new things on repeat viewings. There are a lot of small examples in this video. I added shimmers to the word "Assist" whenever it was on screen in a sentence. When the flashing cursor is in a text field, I matched it to the actual rate that a cursor flashes. In that same scene, the letters are typed to the beat of the music. Later in the movie, the way that the text "bubbles" on the iPhone appear is based on how they animated on an actual iPhone (for the generation at that time).

Digital artists understand that when you're making a cg film, you don't get anything for free. You have to create everything that you see in the shot. The Assist video was no different. I even created the interface of the program just for this video. The interface that the actual program had was utilitarian, which was fine, but I felt that it didn't fit the feel of the video I was creating. So, I made a new skin, but the essence remained the same.

The interface needed a different look in the movie, so I made one.

The interface needed a different look in the movie, so I made one.

Creating this video was so much fun. I remember being shocked by how quickly the time passed each night, and always wishing (as I still do) that I didn't have to sleep so that I could keep working. It was also a pleasure working with my client. I'd gladly recommend their services and abilities to anyone. They were extremely professional, kind, and easy to work with. I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to work with them.