Monday, 14 November 2011

Dynamic Image - Moneyspinner Animation

After Effects is incredibly powerful but seriously daunting when you get started. I jumped in with both feet and got stuck into some free tutorials I found online. While fiddling around with these I came across some nice animation tricks that procedurally generate seemingly random strings of text that weave around on the screen. This got me thinking...

How about strings of currency for my Dynamic Image movie? I created some strings of dollar, pound and euro signs and got them to move around the screen in a pretty cool way. Then I set up a camera and got it to focus on a "null object" in the center of the currency maelstrom. Then I set the null object to rotate, causing the camera to orbit the currency strings, and the "Moneyspinner" was born! I then fiddled with the camera aperture to give a pronounced depth-of-field effect. It's certainly coming together now:

So my idea for the project is to fade in to the moneyspinner animation, then bring in some captions in red as follows (one after the other):

  • The banks gambled with YOUR MONEY and lost
  • YOU are footing the bill through CUTS to services, such as
  • While the bankers continue to take HUGE bonuses
Then the screen will fade to black, pausing for thought and dramatic effect. Then the following caption will appear:
  • What are YOU going to do about it?
This will hang for a while, maybe zoom towards the viewer slightly before fading out. Then the footage I took at the protest march will fade in, complete with "Revolution" chant audio. This will be the first time audio is used in the piece. After ten seconds or so of the protest footage, an Occupy logo with come into the center of the screen, maybe with a call to action beneath it, such as "Get Involved!".

Well that's the idea!

Dynamic Image - Work In Progress

For the second project of the year I get to create a short moving image piece of 15 to 45 seconds under the heading "What if...". We had to research the Situationist International movement, which was quite interesting, and lead me to draw comparisons with the current global Occupy Movement.

So I headed off to St Pauls and filmed the occupation, taking in a few of the excellent speakers, including veteran CND campaigner Bruce Kent and Gay Rights activist Peter Tatchell. They were both great and inspiring, especially the former, although I felt most stirred by "the UK's most ethical MP" Caroline Lucas of the Green Party.

I ended up joining a march on Westminster, getting some nice (albeit shaky) footage on the way, using my new Canon EOS 600d. I actually think the shakiness adds something and maybe captures the energy of the march. Judge for yourself: