I began building the scene from photography. Even though I am a whiz with Photography many of photos do not get greatly altered for my projects. In most cases I shot what I am after – and do simple touch up and adjustments with Photoshop.
Tree Truck Photography
The nail photography was shot by Brian Jones – and worked perfectly.
The base of the trees from created from photography I shot of carpet patterns in Vegas.
Asheville Awards Presentation Graphics created by Gary Crossey of IrishGuy Graphic Design.
The journey with the Asheville Chamber of Commerce and the MEA began by setting up the Manufactured in Western North Carolina – where creativity and technology meet Innovative Solutions stamp. The graphic combines the Asheville Chamber of Commerce mountain icon with technology pixels. Working on the Branding team for Manufactured in Western North Carolina was an impressive project – bringing pixels to the Western North Carolina mountains.
We created all aspects of the graphics for the Asheville Chamber of Commerce award presentation.
Beginning with my photography – I select a series of business buildings for the background artwork. Using Photoshop, I removed undesired elements from the photography – cleaning windows, deleting objects from the windows, mirroring the image, and coloring to red. The live version of the background artwork had graphical animations that ran the length of the building to the center.
The Award Presentation was delivered using Director. The Award Presentation include integrated animations, video, infographics, all to a 154 step program.
Yes, this show had 154 show calls – this was more than a slideshow.
The 3D background animation had 5 interactive layers.
I designed the Red Hoop images for a manufacturing awards event. Included on this page are 4 or the 30 images created.
The cropped images express the close relationships that parts of the manufacturing community overlap and rely upon. The Full View of Red Hoops represents that local Asheville manufacturing community. Toward the center of the infographic – the overlapping is dense. The relationships are more engaged. The engagement level reduces as you move to the edges of the infographic.
Infographic for Asheville Award Presentation
RED Hoops series of infographics installation. EVENT: Asheville Chamber of Commerce Award Presentation.
I used tiny dots to create the graphics for the HEville launch. Each dot represented each member of the HEville network. During the launch party, the animations were protected. With the cycle coming to rest on the male silhouette. The same color palette was carried into the event.
Store Banner Ad
Online Sign-Up Banner
BANNER ADS created for Launch of the HEville Social Networking Web Site.
ALICE: Hall of Tears scene from the ballet created by Asheville Dance Company Terpsicorps.
GARY: It is hard to know where I began when creating Hall of Tears scene. There are layers and layers of video footage, frame-by-frame animation, green screen, and special effects. All of which came together to create this awesome stage design.
PLOT: This is the scene where Alice has gotten really large, and is crying. The water is from her tears. For this scene of the ballet. Alice was shot against a green screen – in this case we also had the dancer hold a green screen in front of her (as I just needed her hands and head).
On stage during the live performance – two dancer (tear drops) appear from a slit in the center of the screen. The video projection repeats on a loop.
Homemade Special Effects
When creating the water effects for the scene – I wanted the water to appear natural. I wanted a flow, spread, unevenness. All the characteristic of water. What I didn’t want to do – was simply turn to a 3D model to created water. Sure in certain scenes, and for certain effects it was great to turn to CGI to create the effect. However, for a modern ballet in Asheville – the digital media needed to be less polished and refined – the visual installation had its part to play as the backdrop.
Water Highlight – shot with a small hand-held digital camera
Creating Water Effect from rain
Video Editing projects are such fun when you have creative footage to work with. For Terpsicorps – Asheville Ballet promotional video there was so much beautiful footage that I could have used.
The art of video editing is knowing which shots will tell the story best. I had great fun getting to film dancers. Capturing the dancer’s motion and creativity. And then bringing all of those series of images to the video editing part – filtering and combining the storyline.
Due to the marketing masterminding of Brian Jones (Branding Creator for ALICE) the promotional video for The Mad Hatters Ball was a huge success.
The video was both showcased on local TV news and public access TV. Published by Mountain Xpress newspaper. And featured as bonus footage during the online interview with Asheville Citizen-Times – and that was just for the preview.
Video Promotion Script
Heather (the creator/visual direction of Alice and director of Terpsicorps) – “I had definite ideas in my head of what I wanted to see come to life, and I sat down and wrote out a bunch of storyboards and pictures and things that I wanted. Having absolutely no idea whether any that was possible. I guess all that comes down to see what happens and meeting these people who can make it happen”. Craig (Advanced tech, camera work, creative continuity )– “Bringing all these assets together is a gargantuan task requiring a lot of organization and production. Alice is a very complex project. We’re are going to be utilizing no less than four video projectors and six screens”. Gary (Digital Media Artist, Animator, and Special Effects) – “Some of the approaches that we’ve adopted is to use live footage shot in the Asheville area. And then apply different special effects and animation techniques. Using Adobe Flash, Adobe After Effects, and Adobe Premiere to create the content that we need for the show. Alice is a prime example of where all of our skills come together to create a beautiful project”.
THE MAP – Article on the creative process of Alice.
The playing card animation was commissioned by Tersicorps Theatre of Dance – Asheville. Alice in Wonderland – Chapter Eight – The Queen Croquet Ground.
What an exciting part of the Alice and Wonderland story. Alice has arrived to the Rose Garden and is now face-to-face with the mighty Queen. The stage is bathe with my playing card animation. A procession of dancers are flooding the stage – with impressions of my animation on their skin and white outfits. Everything and everyone got covered by the animated playing card wash. The visual effect was outstanding.
From the opening beating of the simple single rotating hearts – half white, half red. Before launching into the animated playing card parade. The mirrored tunnel effect added to the chaos of the scene to great effect. The heart design began as the photograph of my red jacket reflecting on the metal door. The door had a diamond design that created a strong silver in one panel, while my bright red coat beamed in the adjoining panel. For me the heart was the central design element for Alice in Wonderland – the scene is rich and heavy. With hundreds of little hearts covering the scene – little hearts that were created with my reflection. While the reflection on the heart is only one half of myself – the mirrored placement of the heart creates the whole reflection.
Video Projection – Animation Wash
Parading Playing Cards
Full stage front-projection washing over entire stage and two rear projectors for added 3D effect.
Off with her head
Undoubtedly the quintessential line from Alice – “Off with her head!”.
As the chaos of the scene grows the dark playing card animation slowly fade over the stage. The music gets darker – the mood changes. On the stage their are 5 men in a web of white rope. Pulling and turning, twisting their bodies into the same knots as the rope. The more entangled the twisted bodies became the heavier the dark animation painted their skin.
Unlike, the earlier lighter animation of white and red – which created an iridescent illumination. The dark animation achieved the opposite effect. The black of the stage literally absorbed the darkness of the animation. The crimson, dark grays, and blood tones created a sinister tension between the dancer and the entangled ropes.
Alice in Wonderland – Off with her head!
Animation cycle that covered the back wall of the stage. Unlike the front-projection that flooded the stage. The rear projection was onto the high-density screen. The clarity was incredible. The blood red of the animation reflected and painted the dancers skin.
Design Process – Animation Sequence
With every design the design process begins with the objective. For the The Queen’s Croquet Ground scene from Alice the animation was to serve to functions.
The scene relied heavily on flooding the stage with animated content. However, the general problem with washing an entire stage with visuals is that everything is covered the visual. Stage lights also serve to wash out projected content. For the scene – lights were lowered – projection increased. To create an awesome balance of visuals, dance, and audio synchronization. Finding this balance did take quite a few revisions – especially during the installation in the Diana Wortham Theater (which can only be expected).
The Playing Card Animation design process begin with simple sketches of playing card design. Before refining the designs in Adobe Illustrator. During the early design stages of the playing cards – I imported the roughs to After Effects – as I worked on refining the card design in Illustrator, the file would update to my After Effects animation. Most of the final animation effect was created prior to the card design being finished or approved.
Having a strong workflow plan completely helped to make this part of the project a huge success. The placeholder content that I had imported to After Effects was easier to animate and experiment with while the individual components were still so light. No delays from graphic card overload – fast and simple.
Once the final artwork was completed. I simply had to do to After Effects and render the animation. Revisions to the color content in relationship to the saturation of stage wash were done in Illustrator, and footage would be again rendered.
PLAY CARD GRAPHIC – Each card was created for the animation.
Asheville Graphic Designer Gary Crossey created the frame-by-frame animation.
Frame-by-frame animation for Art Installation. The closing scene of the WithOut Art installation. I loved the little red guy flying across the screen.
Creating the VIdeo Design for The Irish and How They Got That Way by Frank McCourt (author) was a great honor.
I shot most of the footage and photography for the production in Ireland. The video content loaded on three screens, with 172 cues.
Prides Crossing was such an interesting two act play. Watching the installation come together was amazing. Maybe that was the reason why my first week of creative production was very slow. I felt overwhelmed by the theater. Everything was too grand, and organized. I was the tech guy, and my office was in the middle of the oldest opera house in America. Just outside the theater there were young Amish men on horses. Lancaster was the place I had my a grilled Caesar salad – and became an instant fan.
The play was beautiful. The story was told in scene, that were each their own timeline. My job was to create the visual projection that would be used to transition begin scene, as the story skipped around different timeline. I loved the depth of time I got to design within. Granted each time slot had to be precise, but for one production I had to pull in different (precise) design elements for that time period.
The furniture on the stage was protected – making them easy enough to move off stage. The transitions were large and visual, while completely soft and gentle.
The play opened with a kaleidoscope image projected on the full height and width of the screen – a visual prelude to the story unfolds.
I will always miss Michael Mitchell (Director). Michael was such a brilliant director and I loved Michael very much.
Backdrop Designs for Video Installation
Creating graphic design that will be projected is awesome. However, you quickly discover that a little goes a long way. When designing these backgrounds – the director wanted to set the tone for the time period and placement.
The Tapped in Time section of Alice – The Ballet is when the White Rabbit proclaims I am Late. During the Ballet the stage was washed with digital numbers.
The Trapped In Time – midnight strikes.
Trapped in Time – Larger scale.
VIDEO FOOTAGE Alice – The Ballet
The trapping in time scene from Alice – The Ballet. The animation I created were broadcast across the stage. The digital numbers cover the White Rabbit. I liked the idea of using digital numbers to connect how the footage was created. Everything captured, edited, and burnt to digital format.
The Door Scene. Some artist look back on their work. And with experience can see something different they would have done. I do not feel that toward these doors. At the time, I loved creating them from my photography and drawings. Each door projected on to a moving screen. The dancers interacted with the moving screens.
DOOR 1 – The Snakes
The red of the door with the iron work protected so well. The difference between the dark tones and the orange-red saturation work prefect. The snake really do look quite evil.
DOOR 2: Two Heads
The doors came from my own photography collection. What I didn’t have image of, I drew. These doors were shown off on stage – scaled larger than life. The 3D effect at the top of the door and the lower corners is an old disco ball. The teeth from the monsters head is the Needle (Center of Dublin). I like combining textures and tones from different time periods.
DOOR 3: Little Door
The small door had a quick scene when door opened for a short animation. On stage the door animation and stage lighting for the effect of light coming out of the door. Really great effect – that out a full house roam every-time.
DOOR 4: Knockers.
The 4th and final door is the most plain of the designs. On stage, this door was beside the 3rd door – that had an animation scene – that the audience were to engage with. Pull the design back on this door kept the interest in point.
Creating work for a moving screen
Two doors came from one projector. To ensure that the image rests correctly – when arriving at an angle. This is where the math comes in – and the artwork starts to look a bit like this.
Creating the Rabbit Hole scene for the Asheville Ballet of Alice was one of the most famous scenes of the entire production. The rabbit hole was not only the first color scene, but it was also one of the few scenes that were completely made of video – with on live action. All the dancing and effects were recorded, and I got to do my bit!
Research for the Rabbit Hole Scene
How to create the rabbit hole? While others may turn to After Effects for all of their special effects I prefer to look at the real world. In Asheville, there are a few tunnels – and that is where my creativity took me first.
I began by walking the tunnel with my camera.
TRADESHOW GRAPHICS – American Intercontinental University
There were so many parts to American Intercontinental University tradeshow.
The trade show booth had the five large posters installed toward the back of the booth with the multimedia presentation played in a loop.
Multimedia presentation and visual effects created by Gary Crossey.
Art Direction, Character, and Background Art created by John Ryan -DAGNABIT.
Music by Transcendence (thanks guys for letting me use the score).
There is nothing more fun than printing in large format. The American Intercontinental University Trade Show Posters were over 5 feet tall and mounted on to a firm foam cord. The five-panel poster installation looked awesome.
I began the project by creating the orange 3D circle. The circles were created with thin layers of digital glass. I was surprised that the tube like quality of the orange circle graphics actually printed so well – the sense of 3D really did pop.
The silver texture in 2000 was a digital challenge – which I was certainly up for. The silver texture was created with fine gradients, noise, and blur effects. The printer did an awesome job to preserve all of the reflective textures and surfaces – ONLY WORK WITH A TRUSTED PRINTER.
Creating visuals for an art installation can mean many different things.
For the Gorgeous art installation, I used mostly frame-by-frame animation. Each frame created in Photoshop (27 frames a second). Combining the photography of Bart Peeters – I deconstructed the images in multilayers. Each layer reveals the newer self. The more understood. The more exposed.