July 18, 2016

XT July Monthly Sale

ExtremeTerrain is currently running a monthly sale for July, and I was responsible for the creative. I initially found this JK Wrangler image from our in house photographs and did a little retouching. I added some elements to make it look like the jeep was kicking up dirt and really wheeling. This shot has a lot of background included and was cropped in closer in various ways for a variety of graphics.

I found and retouched similar images for the TJ and YJ gens, shown below, while adding some extra elements such as dirt, a lens flare and XT branding:

These images were used for homepage graphics, email a-spots and b-spots, as well as various other site and social applications. Where live text was used I livened up the copy by mixing typefaces as shown below in a forum banner:

Visit ExtremeTerrain.com during the month of July to see this creative live on their site.

July 06, 2016

Happy 4th of July: Animation

This year AmericanMuscle wanted to send out an email that focused solely on creativity and the July 4th holiday. The focus would not be to sell products or push customers to the website but rather focus on the friendly message. This email lead to endless creative opportunities and animation was the focus. 

All along I had the vision of simple fireworks in the back of a scene. I began by finding a base image that included a photo of the 2015 in the parking lot.

I took that base image into Keyshot and rendered out a 2015 in that exact angle, since this car is primarily stock. Being an aftermarket company, the more aftermarket mods shown, the better. In addition to the 2015 render, I also exported a 2014 render to make this a multi generational shot. 

From there the compositing began. I needed to rework the trees so there would be more visible sky behind the two cars in my new composition. I made a selection of the original trees and made a black paint layer of those, while also adding some additional stock trees to get the shape I was looking for. I took the 2015 render and painted in parts of the car to show off the additional aftermarket mods. I placed the 2014 Mustang behind the 2015 and did some post work on the lights to illuminate them.

There was an original request to also have a non animated version for our social channel, so I found some stock fireworks in a warm sky that reminded me a lot like the original image and would work well with the rendered reflections. I added reflections to the windshield as well.

From there it was time to take the layers into After Effects. Without ever opening the program before, I had a lot to learn. I ended up finding some stock video footage that would work well for the fireworks in the sky. I took one piece of footage and split it up to change the timing of each firework so they would overlap and occur within a short sequence. I found a new sky image that did not include any fireworks to use behind the trees and made the fireworks video clips into the Add mode to get rid of their original black background. From there I placed the necessary copy and had myself an animation! I experimented with file dimension and size to see what would work best for Facebook applications. It was critical to view it on desktop and mobile since Facebook treats the same post very differently. For email, I adjusted the layout and made the height a bit shorter to make the file size more manageable. Below was the final gif:

For the first time in After Effects, I could not have been happier with the turnout! I would like to perfect the reflections of the fireworks within the animation, but with the time crunch I believe it gets the job done.

July 03, 2016

New CB360 Tires

The CB got her fresh new tires installed on the freshly polished wheels & they look sharp! I ended up going with Avon AM26 Roadrider Motorcycle Tires from BikeBandit.com. 100/90-18 on the rear and 90/90-18 on the front. Stay tuned for the next project!