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Monthly Archives: November 2009

Some slow motion experiments shot on Sheridan’s Sony HVR-V1U camera.

Design Statement & Rationale

My goal for the 10 second academy leader was to capture and create a visual narrative from existing objects – as opposed to superimposing the numbers. I thought that a pinball machine would give me a good opportunity to play with the sequencing of graphics that you would typically find on one. It also allowed me to use the different components of the table (ball, flippers, lights, etc.) to enhance the aesthetic I was looking for.

While I did manage to get access to eight pinball machines, each with a variety of numbers, it proved impossible to just straight forward shoot and edit the sequence – a little After Effects compositing magic was necessary.

The biggest challenge was controlling the visual distractions in the compositions while focusing the user’s attention on the numbers. After completing my first rough edit I found that there was too much irregularity between the sequence numbers to distinguish them from other elements on the screen. To solve this I used After Effects and Photoshop to control when each number lit up (each lights up exactly 10 frames into each second). I also timed other elements (balls rolling, flippers moving, lights flashing) to synchronize with the timing of the numbers. This created a consistency and rhythm that was easier for the viewer to understand. It also naturally drew the eye to the numbers through the use of motion.

Finally the short intro and credits where designed to complete the experience of playing pinball – as in starting a game (using the plunger), and finishing (viewing the highscore).


After Effects Insight