MADE IN THE MIDDLE | 2018 MAIN TITLE SEQUENCE

Made in the Middle is a design conference in Kansas City, MO, which spotlights artists, makers and designers from around the Midwest.

 

The sequence was designed to work with their existing 2018 visual ID, which created an interesting challenge because the stretched / photocopied look translates very well in print / web, but not as easily in motion, where those textures and real-world idiosyncrasies work against fluid motion.

To recreate the effect I built a “digital photocopier” in Adobe After Effects that I
 

could run text through to inherit those qualities, including settings to smear the copy to a desired length, angle and period of time, and a particle system to simulate photocopy image distress any scale.

It was an unique design challenge to first set the type and block out the motion, then go back in and replace that motion with smears instead of traditional keyframes, then readjust the original typesetting to factor in those distortions.

Score by NZCA Lines.

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PROOF-OF-CONCEPT EARLY MOTION TEST

LOGO LOOP

This animation was played at the conference during breaks and speaker introductions.

DISPLACEMENT MAP PASS

Instead of using traditional keyframes, most of the animation was done with gradient displacement maps, offsetting the type based on luminance values  from an associated guide animation. Here's what that looks like:

DISPLACEMENT MAP PASS

     The entire piece was animated in an unconventional way, using displacement maps to drive the motion of the text, versus traditional keyframing.

TITLED CONFERENCE VERSION

The version that played at the conference, with speaker names included.

All animation was done in Adobe After Effects. It was one of the more complicated and elegant projects I've put together, with dozens of displacement and effect layers (in fuchsia and purple below) influencing the type layers beneath them, and lots of dependencies to keep the type, displacement gradients and textures all working and stretching together, across cuts and in 2 + 3D.

After Effects Timeline - MitM