Odds in Favor of Trapcode
By Aharon Rabinowitz
Published on Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

With over fifteen years of postproduction experience to his credit, Compositor, Motion Graphics and Visual Effects Artist, Owain Street has lent his creative expertise to numerous commercials and title sequences for broadcast TV.

Since 2000, as a Designer and After Effects artist at 422.tv, one of the UK’s most recognized post production and VFX houses, Owain has produced some stunning visual work using Trapcode Form and Particular. One commercial that really stood out for us is a 30 sec commercial for OddsChecker.com (an online bet comparison site). We asked Owain to tell us a bit more about the project.

Owain said, “The brief was to try to create a dynamic feeling sports sequence, communicate the idea of “odds” and clearly brand the commercial. I played around with a couple of ideas and then tried out using Trapcode Particular to re-create sports footage with odds and numbers. The client loved the concept & feel of the effect and ran with it”.

“One feature in Particular that made ‘Oddschecker’ possible, was the ability to use layers as particle emitters. Once I had mattes for the live action, I could use Particular to “describe” those live action elements as hundreds of particles. Also, the ability to use custom particles was essential – the sports people needed to be displayed as “odds” like 5/1 or whatever. In fact it was the ability to be able to do these two things that led to my initial concept of turning the sports people into odds in the first place. This is one of the great things about Particular – it allows the creation of a wide variety of effects. It feels like a design tool – a long way from a plug-in that has “one look”, its flexibility is one of its big strengths. As well as the ‘Oddschecker’ effect I have created snow, smoke, fairy dust and energy streams among other things and I’m sure there will be more to follow!”

Another commercial that we had to mention is one of a series made for De Montfort University. Each of the six 10 second commercials used Trapcode Particular and Form to some degree but this particular one is stands out from the others as it was created entirely with 3D Stroke.

It’s such an elegant piece of work we asked Owain why he chose Trapcode. He told us, “For me as a motion graphics designer / VFX artist Trapcode software is a fantastic addition to my tool set. They look great, they are relatively easy to use (3D stroke / Shine / Starglow), but in the case of Particular and Form have a lot more going on when you take the time to explore the various settings. For example, as well as the flexibility of Particular as I mentioned earlier I used Form in the De Montfort “Philippa” sequence to generate the “topography” she casts her hand over. This was done using greyscale images that I had created in Illustrator to drive the Fractal Strength parameter in specific areas of the Form image, all I then needed to do was keyframe the displacement amount, to animate the topography rising up from a flat surface to create the appearance of hills. It is this kind of looking “under-the-hood” that can lead to really nice, controllable effects.

You can check out the other 4 equally impressive commercials HERE.

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3 Responses to “Odds in Favor of Trapcode”

  1. Pierre Says:

    Hi everybody!

    Is there a tutorial of Owain Streets work? I would like to know how he did the waves in the “Philippa” clip. Amazing.
    Thanks! Pierre

  2. Aharon Rabinowitz Says:

    Pierre – check out this tutorial, it should help: http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/videos/redgianttv/item/290/

  3. Pierre Says:

    Hi Aharon
    Thanks for your reply (and sorry for my late reaction…)
    I checked out that this tutorial, and I think I learned a lot about how fractal fields work. However, I cannot see how Owain managed to make the lines move over these topographic hills. I used a greyscale image as displacement layer to elevate the curves. And I set the Flow direction of X wich makes the animation flow somehow, but not the lines per se. The lines just stay in place…
    Maybe I’m just missing something here…
    Thanks Pierre

 

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