A Brief History Of Skateboarding

Antonio Vicentini is back with another great spot (some adult content), this time using Cinema 4D, After Effects, Photoshop and Flash. Antonio kindly put together some information about the spot:

“Do you know those projects that change your life? Well, this is one of those. I learned, failed and experimented a lot. Especially with 3D stuff that I wasn’t comfortable with. This was the first time I actually learned how to use Cinema 4D. I took a few classes from a friend and then started toying with the basics hoping to create something weird and interesting. Greyscale Gorilla helped me a lot with this tutorial, which I used to show the Urethane formula. I also had a little fun with the Sketch & Toon shader but the most exciting thing I found with my limitations was the Valkaari plugin HOT4D. A tool that allows you to create beautiful surfaces that look like an ocean or organic things. I used it a lot, especially for distorting trivial things like the cow.

Sometimes animation gets very repetitive and boring and I start to get very lazy

I animated a lot of little things in Flash. It’s still the best software for frame-by-frame animation in my humble opinion. The workflow is killer. I usually avoid animating in Photoshop but there was a specific scene — the police car morphing into the bottle — that needed it. I was pleased with the final result.

I also played with a bunch of tools in After Effects to create looping textures, distortions and different patterns masked using Track mattes. Tools included the Pen tool, expressions, basic effects such as Mr Mercury, Turbulent Displace, Matte Choker, Noise, Liquify, Mesh Warp, Twirl, Smear and a dozen others.

To bend objects such as the worm along a path I used the great free plug-in Omino Snake, and AeScript’s BAO Mask Brush also came in handy. This script is my favourite thing in After Effects so far and for those not familiar with Trapcode Particular it’s something worth trying. You can easily create complex animations such as the Chinese Flying Dragon. The dragon was created using a long and irregular sine wave-shaped mask, and animating the position of the wave and the offset properties of the composition. The dragon itself was created from 10 separate layers including the head, body, legs, scales and tail — which gave me better control for its properties.

Sometimes animation gets very repetitive and boring and I start to get very lazy. So with some research I found a few ways to animate without keyframes and repetitive tasks. My favourite code right now is Dan Ebbert’s Undulations expression. Man, that guy is a hero. Thanks to him I was able to animate an entire character with just variables and numbers. If you dig the visuals, jump over to David’s website and learn more about the key scenes.”

  1. Shannon [NewBlueFX]

    Loved the mixed media feel of Antonio Vicentini’s “A Brief History of Skateboarding” from all the various free plugins out there. Great work!

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