This project has been live on my website for a little over two weeks now, so I thought it might be high time that I said a few words about it. The project was envisioned as a companion piece to one that I put together earlier this year to promote International Student Scholarships now available at ETSU. This time around the scope was broader in an attempt to advertise not just the scholarships available, but to promote the university, itself, to all prospective international students. Being that the two pieces were directly related and the new promo would directly reference its predecessor, I wanted to create a sense of continuity without simply replicating the look and feel of the Scholarship video.
In the development phase, I was informed that a voiceover would be required this time in favor of footage of a sitting speaker, so, immediately, I saw an opportunity to incorporate more animation and motion graphic elements into this video. I decided to keep the shiny black frame from the original video, but, as previously stated, I really wanted to give this video its own identity as well as broadening the visual scope of this project to parallel the expansion in scope of this project’s content. The core elements of the new motion graphics and animation package that I developed for this video included revisiting an expanding upon the expression-based animation that I explored in the Choices teaser trailer for the titles (with the intent of stripping some of their frenetic nature in favor of a sleeker, more modern look), a floating cloud of degree titles in 3d space that could be flown through, a lazy susan style twisting video frame that could be deployed randomly in 3d space, and a map line animation that traced the routes to the major cities within a day’s drive of the campus.
After a little initial editing to the expressions (mainly removing the wiggles and restraining the randomness), I was able to strip the frenetic energy of the original Choices titles to create a more modern and sleek look that incorporated a little bit of the old school 1980’s Superman titles.
The wall of degrees was modeled from a Lloyd Alvarez tutorial on AETutes that utilized several scripts from AEScripts to simplify the creation, animation, and 3d space distribution of the over 100 different degree programs available at the university (more info available here).
The lazy susan effect was easy enough as I merely animated position and rotation on a precomposed video frame and placeholder and then replaced the placeholder with the corresponding animated slideshow or footage and I reused Alvarez’s 3D Layer Distributor Script to randomly distribute and then manually adjust positioning on the floating video panels.
Finally, for the animated map lines, I used a simple stroke with a border and no fill that had an animated starting offset along with a custom vector map that I created over the top of a detailed map image sample from Google Earth. Once everything was edited together along with the voiceover (record and edit the voiceover first as you can set the timing of your animations once and be done with it!) the client was pleased and here we are today!
As to the credits, the voiceover was provided by Rob Nelson, Director of Distance Education at ETSU; footage was filmed by David Currie of the ETSU Office of eLearning; photography was provided by Charles Warden, ETSU Photographer; the onscreen talent includes various international and domestic students at ETSU at various events and around campus; and, last but not least, I performed all post-production duties with After Effects, Final Cut, Photoshop, Illustrator, Soundtrack Pro, and Audition.