By Logan | March 4, 2015 | 0 Comment
While freelancing for Maritz, LLC in the winter of 2014, I was given one of the most challenging projects of my career thus far. Maritz is comprised of three main divisions: Travel, Research, and Motivation Solutions. The latter, Maritz Motivation Solutions, asked me to produce their holiday card and an interactive piece that complements the card. MMS sends this card out to their clients around the world each year (their client list includes multiple top Fortune 500 companies). Below are screenshots of the design for the holiday card. Since the piece is sent to many people of different beliefs and faiths the card had to be relatively generic in depicting the holidays so the client chose to go with a celebration theme. On the back of the card is a QR code which the recipient could scan and watch the video as well as a physical web link they could enter into their web browser.
In previous years they had used things like augmented reality apps to make something “pop” off the card when a phone scanned it. This is a problem because not everyone has access to a smart phone or wants to download another app for a one time use. I knew right away that I wanted to make an animation piece for the interactive solution. I pitched to them the idea of an apartment type building where on each floor a scene unfolds depicting scenes from the holidays that might happen in people’s lives. As the camera pans through the scene it stops on each floor and a scene unfolds of different people from different walks of life. At the end the camera then pans up into the sky to display the same logo/icon I developed for the front of the holiday card and then the company logo. Below are some concept pictures and highlights from the animation project.
The clients loved this idea so I moved forward to illustrating the scenes in Adobe Illustrator before moving them into Adobe After Effects where I compiled the layers, animated the characters, and created the motion paths for the camera in 3D space. Some of the things that were challenging for me to achieve was making the characters walk in a fluid and lifelike way. I also had to learn how to create fireworks in After Effects after one of the Account Executives thought it would be nice to have them at the end of the animation. I think it probably took me close to 100 hours in total to illustrate, animate, and render the final animation.
In the end, several different divisions of Maritz like the animation so much that they had me produce customized versions with their own logos at the end for their clients as well. The video below shows the version I completed for myself as a self-promotional piece for the St. Louis AIGA Mentor Match Program in December of 2014.