Arecibo Radio is an internet radio station that focuses on underground, original, and niche music genres and cultures. Most of the music is centered around Chiptunes (original music using sound chips from old video game systems), VGM (Video Game Music; full-band renditions of classic 8-bit music), Neo-Synth (a new resurgance of 80's synth-pop), and other electronic music (Glitch, Chippop, Plunderphonics, etc), but also branches out into other areas (Trip-Hop, Ambient, Experimental Rock, etc).
The site and station has been my main personal project for some years now. I use it as a way to push my skills, knowledge, and abilities, as well as a playground to try out ideas that might otherwise be subject to someone else's discretion (and disapproval).
In addition to Web Design and Graphic Design, I have also done some Animation for Arecibo Radio. We decided to start releasing YouTube videos of certain important or entertaining segments from shows, so I created an "intro" animation that would be played before each video.
Sircle Media is a Social Media design, marketing, and advisement company. Its primary function is to provide it's clients with the best advice for running their Social Media pages, as well as running promotions, creating custom Facebook Tabs, and keeping everything related to the client consistent across platforms.
When the company I worked for decided to change its name, branding, style, and stance in Social Media, it was my job to come up with a new logo and brand design. The new name was "Sircle Media", which would stand for "Social Circle", so I had a place to start. I knew that it needed to include a circle (or circles), and had been asked to not use blue, since that seemed to be used by every other Social Media company out there.
After much trial and error, we finally decided on a design that used hues of warm colors and three intersecting circles, representing Content (creation and management), Search (SEO), and Social (interaction and community). Also included with the brand was a DIY kind-of feel, with dashed lines and a paper texture used here and there, that made things feel a bit rougher, and a bit more playful. Once the brand was solidified, it was time to tackle the website. We knew we wanted to keep it simple, and just one page (mostly). After a couple of months we added a blog section, which was time-consuming to make it look similar to the existing site design.
We're Here With The New
Before changing to Sircle Media, the company I worked for was called The GrubLife Group (its services were largely the same). When we were first getting into doing Facebook design, management and advisement, we had trouble convincing potential clients that Facebook wasn't just a fad. So we decided that we needed an entertaining and informative video to show what's possible with Social Media, and why a business needs it.
I was art director and animator, Liz Degen handled the graphic design of the elements, and Ryan Ivanoff wrote the script and handled the audio editing and sound design. Once the script was written and approved, I storyboarded the whole animation, using the script as a guide to tell the story. I then made a very quick animatic of the storyboard panels, to get the timing right. During this, I was also working with the Graphic Designer to come up with the look and feel of the individual elements, getting them all designed and finished for animation.
With the animatic and a rough draft of the narration to use as a guide, I began animating each sequence in After Effects. There were a total of 25 "shots", most flowing naturally into the next, creating about 5 large sequences. Each shot was rendered as uncompressed TIFF sequences at Full HD resolution, then combined into a single uncompressed MOV. I then took that MOV (which weighed in at 21 GB), and compressed it with Sorenson Squeeze. Once approved, it was uploaded to YouTube and Vimeo, and it was shown to a new potential client on every pitch.
After graduating college, it was difficult finding a job in 3D Animation, so I resigned myself to making demo reels for quite a long time. Eventually I decided "The heck with it, I'll make a short film!", which turned out to be not as simple as I had originally planned. I wanted to keep things very geometrically simple, so I started with a sphere. I had been working on some neat effects engines at the time and was playing around with Real Flow, which is program that can do very realistic (and also very CPU-intensive) simulations of water interacting with itself and other objects. This eventually got me to start thinking about how this program would simulate a collision between two suspended spheres of water. The simulation turned out beautifully, and thus began my great odyssey.
I took the idea of two colliding spheres and expanded it to a unique take on nuclear fusion, and then expanded it even further to a parallel of much larger collision between "heavenly" bodies. What began as a simple short film soon turned into quite an epic project, especially as I continously improved shots and designs, which forced me to go back and re-render finished scenes to match the look. Eventually I had the brilliant idea to not only increase the final output of this to 4K "Digital IMAX" resolution, but to also attempt Stereo-3D as well. This caused me to go back to the first shot and completely start over again (but with a lot of the ground work already done).
The project currently stands as a work-in-progress that I still plan on finishing (hopefully before I decide to start over from scratch again). Even so, I'm pretty happy with the way many shots came out, and it has certainly pushed my abilites and knowledge far beyond what they were previously. I've started working on the project again! Check out the blog to follow along as I finish it!