Every Nation 2013 World Conference Speaker Intros

Okay, I have made a lot of videos since my last blog post. I’m going to attempt to catch the heck up in the next couple of days.

Last summer thousands came to Orlando, Florida from all over the world for Every Nation’s World Conference. With the lineup of world class speakers comes irreverent intro videos, which is my department! So first was the daunting task of collecting photos and videos from each speaker. Now I had pitched a The Kid Stays in the Picture/Ken Burns approach where we tell the story using photographs with slight animation. A great thought, until it came time to make the 6 intro videos.

An Unenviable Task

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I’m sure there’s a better process, but this is what I’m most comfortable with. I took hundreds of photographs into Photoshop. I isolate the foreground with the Polygonal Lasso Tool, and the background with a combination of the Patch tool and the Rubber Stamp tool, saving the foreground as a transparent png, and repeat for days.

So at first I brought them into After Effects in an attempt to incorporate depth of field by making them 3D Layers and placing them far apart on the 3D plane resizing the background so the dimensions matched up properly. Then I made a camera and turned depth of field on, keyframing subtle moves in 3D space. It was a great thought and after about an hour of work…I had a 2 second animation that looked no less convincing than if I just animated the motion of both images in Premiere, which is what I ended up doing with varied levels of success. The illusion works best when you subtly scale and move foreground and background in opposite directions.

I ended up using that After Effects method on the final shot of each intro to incorporate the 3D Raytraced text. It was a bit of a pain, first having to work with After Effects Raytracer (this was back before we purchased Element 3D) and then lining up all the 3D layers, but the final product really sold it.

Voiceover Professional

I got to direct my boss Thelma for the voiceover. A real radio professional, Thelma was known as Joey on NU107’s Zach and Joey in the Morning in the Philippines. We recorded these voiceovers, pretty much as she wrote them, on this little rig, a Primacoustic Voxguard Isolation Panel with a Blue Yeti USB mic and pop filter, in Adobe Audition.

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Over the years working many corporate freelance gigs, I’ve accumulated quite a library of cheesy corporate stock music tracks. I never thought I’d ever have the opportunity to use any of them, but now it was their time to shine as they fit these intros like a glove.

So armed with music beds and voiceovers edited down to 1 minute, all that tedious work began to come together on the timeline. You can see the final products embedded below.

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