Category Archives: 2D

Happiness is eating the same breakfast

This was my favorite Taco Bell campaign I got to work on.

As a follow up to last year’s highly successful breakfast launch, Taco Bell wanted to go bigger and more heavy handed with their breakfast. Well, it doesn’t get much more heavy handed than calling your competitor a Stalinist dictatorship with full blown detention camps – unless you eat a breakfast crunch wrap.

Everything started with wild postings put up around a few major cities which directed people to the microsite where they were treated to the video I made.

I know it looks like I just used Video Copilot’s Twitch, but I found that you just don’t get the same level of control as doing it by hand. And here’s how…

There are three distinct eras the distortion had to come from: Shot on film from the 50s, transferred to VHS in the late 80s, and recently digitized and uploaded to the internet.

precomp 1 – Clean animation

precomp 2 – 8mm film overlay. I used a bit of stock footage, tinted and choked it to minimize the pop marks.

precomp 3 – Video Distortion – I used stock for the single frame film bits before the animation starts. Then used these adjustment layers:

       - Offset - animate shift center
       - Color Balance - Color Desaturation
       - Venetian Blinds - really really small horizontal lines
       - Wave Warp - set to 90 degrees with a relatively wide width, used primarily in the intro, outro 
       - Turbulent Displace - for general waviness 
       - Levels - crunched in primarily the intro, outro

I also had the whole thing translating on the X axis through random hold frames here and there.

precomp 4 – Color – To create the RBG offset I separated the VideoDistortion precomp into individual R, B, and G layers with Levels (Individual Controls) and changed the mode to Screen. Then I just animated the top two layers by hand to create the color offset that felt the best.

precomp 5 – Scale – the whole thing was built at HD… well, the 4:3 equivalent (1440×1080) , so I scaled everything down to 50% (720×540)

precomp 6 – re-scaled everything back up to HD, 1920×1080 this time, to get a natural crappy looking resize. I added one last subtle wave warp to get a slow moving wave along the edge of the composition/black bars… which you don’t see on the website version. Then added Posterize Time, set to 18fps, to give it an off putting odd playback.

Now, go make your own!

After all that, we finally released the full 3 minute spot online

Lastly Deutsch sent a bunch of Taco Bell super fans defector kits to promote the hell out of the campaign and join the defector revolution, which the did.

There was a whole secondary campaign which ran afterwards, which I animated the endcards for, but they’re not as exciting as this part.

Live Mas

One of the awesome things about working at Deutsch LA is getting to work with their impressive client roster. Volkswagen? Target? Dr. Pepper? I’ll post work with them later. For now I want to talk about my favorite* fast food chain, Taco Bell.

I got to help make these two spots for the launch of their Dollar Cravings Menu, as well as a third spot launching their new mobile app.

First up – the full 30.

The animated 15

And the Mobile App Launch

The mobile app is extra cool because not only did I come up with “Get.The.App”, but was able to stick a little easter egg in there for all you Taco Bell nuts. Did you see it? No? You have no idea what I’m talking about? Okay… A number of months ago Taco Bell ran a campaign making fun of other burger joints that make burritos. It was called #thatsLike. I was lucky enough to illustrate and animate a number of them, one of which is in the spot. Hmm… maybe I’ll write about that project next…

Shoot, while I’m at it… I animated the end card on this guy, too.

*no joke though, TB really is my favorite fast food place despite living next door to a McDonalds for the last seven years. Seriously… it’s weird. Three moves, 2 states, and I’m still next to those damn golden arches.

Snapple – Made from the best stuff on earth!

Big News!

For the first time in 7 years, I am no longer working for a company with the word “Monkey” in it’s name. Monkeys have been been part of my life for years (I may or may not have been nicknamed “monkeyboy” in my youth), so it’s hard to move on. However, as hard as it may be, I have left Monkeyhead and started work at Deutsch LA as the Broadcast Motion Design Director.

Once there I hit the ground running, and, with the help of a few talented guys, was able to make these 5 spots for Snapple.

Budget didn’t allow for much 3D, only a tiny bit of 3D done for the ice cubes in Diet Half-n-Half, and the bottle cap in Real Facts, but the rest was all After Effects.

I’m pretty pleased with the results, and so was Deutsch, as these are the first in-house motion graphics spots they’ve ever shipped.

And yes, that is Saul Goodman.