Just Ask Part 1 Title Package (video Confessional)

For those of you who care, I’ll keep doing these so let me know if these help/assist/spark ideas or make you flat out laugh at me because you know of an easier way to do this.

After the missions message for the first of the year, we started a “quick” two part series called “Just Ask”. Andy talked about how so many times we want people to come to church with us and we hint around it but we never actually ask. It’s like saying “Hey we should do lunch sometime” and you mean it, but you don’t actually set up the time and date.

For this series we went REALLY generic and a little bit more artsy. there could be more subtle meaning into the title package but honestly, there’s not. It’s just a visual piece that I created from a design that Mike lead the charge with. We used Benji Peck out of Nashville and originally he was hired to take some stress off of us during the holidays and this look was going to be used for missions as well with some slight tweaking.(see previous post for details on that little fiasco). Benji just does great work.

Here is the Title Package:
Just Ask

this piece for me was a little bit therapeutic because the flower was a still graphic and I spent about 4 hours just separating it out. Here is the original graphic…
Justask Cover

Luckily all the little dandelions were separated out but I had to recreate the the flower in After Effects. I took three of the pedals that were flying (from the still) and then masked each of the little stems that came off of each little pedal (about 8 little lines each) so that they could move independently from each other (using a wiggle expression in After Effects). Then I took the three pedals, duplicated them a couple of times and surrounded the main stem so it looked like the original. I was worried about the wind blowing and trying to make the flying pedals as real as possible. It could have been better and overall I really like the feel. Props to Mike for making the look of this happen.

This week we are using this same title package but taking it a step further.

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12 thoughts on “Just Ask Part 1 Title Package (video Confessional)

  1. Thanks for the explanation. I love the simplicity of the design, but its always great to hear a little bit about what goes in to pulling something off.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to break these down for us. It’s extremely helpful. You guys do great work.

    How many hours total does your team put into a series opener like this? How do you go about bidding out your projects and artwork? Do you have certain designers you tend to work with?

    Again, great work.

    Brad Ruggles

  3. Art or not, this is still visually awesome. i love these posts, casue it makes me dream and work harder at what we are going to create.

    You’ve probably answered this in another post, but we will someday have After Effects in the shop and I was curious what computer system are you running.

  4. Brent – We work on an Apple with Tiger right now. We are all running CS3 for the adobe stuff but do our editing and authoring in Apple. Thanks again for the kind words.

    Brad – some promo’s, title packages, “commercials” can take 50-60 hours combined from the 5-6 guys in the department with everybody doing something different. The “just Ask” piece is hard to say because the design was done when I got it. From then Mike got the separated layers for me, Matt made a 1000×7000 pixel background, and then I dug my heals in to separate the flowers and then created the move with the title. Total for me was around 8-10 hours. Matt possibly 2-3. I love it the best when all the guys have their fingerprints on a video somehow.
    As far as bidding out, we love using new designers. We often ask for “KEY ART” and then Mike does the rest. We have a standard budget for it and ask the designers to sign their work away to us because we have to make sure it gets to all the campuses and all the partnerships. Also, before Mike got on staff (about a year ago), North Point NEVER had an in-house designer. We always contracted out. We still contract out for a lot of designs and motion graphics and Mike plays a huge part in working with these designers in getting the look we want.

  5. What was the thinking behind not having an in-house designer? what do you think now that you have one? Could you live without it?

    No offense to Mike, I am sure he is a great guy. Just curious.

  6. Right now I am not sure what we do without Mike.
    The thinking early on is freshness with designs. Different people bring different looks, different insights. We used some designers over and over again, at least those who were reliable and timely (granted we were last second a couple of times as well).
    I love the way we have it right now. Mike is more than capable to do the designs if we asked him too and has done many last year but he also enjoys giving art direction. The biggest thing though is now that we are exporting to so many different places, it’s hard to get a designer on board with that and explain the different process’s. Because Mike understands this and can make it happen, allowing designers to focus on key art and we handle the output – to me is a win, win for everybody.
    Plus, with Mike NOT having to do every design, he can stretch and learn other tools (After Effects). This has been REALLY huge this past year. The way our process works now, not sure what I would do without him. That is ditto for all the guys.

  7. Brad-

    Our current big struggle with more detailed projects is render time. We rely on local drive rendering on some fairly fast PCs and Macs, but they still can take 2-7 hours for rendering alone. Do you guys have external boxes that help with rendering?

    I even set up distributed rendering with all my networked macs and found (to my surprise) that it didn’t save any time at all. So I scrapped it.

    What I’ve heard is to just buy a massive array of disks connected by firewire 800 to each render machine and let it do it’s thing. I keep hearing that anything you try to do over network is wasted effort. Any insight?

  8. Hey Trevor – thanks for the blog link!
    I can just tell you what we do. We have no distributed rendering on any of our computers. Final Cut and After Effects we just render out like normal although I would like to research AFTER Effects more with the XSAN because I think you can do it.
    We do however have 4 xserves that are used for COMPRESSION. Let me tell ya, these babies smoke. Our 45 minute messages (DVC PRO 50) compress in 5-10 minutes for MPEG2. QuickTime web compressions for demo’s are done in seconds. If I want them faster then I will turn on all the guys’ computers “shared rendering” and it will cut that in half. We do use XSAN where all of our media lives and let me tell ya, it’s the bomb. One hard drive on all of our computers. I have no idea how we used single hard drives. I know we aren’t the only church using it and it has it’s problems that I have no idea how to solve, but that is what makes the compressions happen. All of our data is not living on each computer but rather on a central XRAID system. (About 25 terabytes). That might be the reason why the renders are so slow because it might be trying to copy data from one computer to the next in order to render things. Trevor what are you trying to set-up with distributed rendering?

  9. Hey Brad Ruggles – we are not looking for any staff designers right now but we are always looking for new designers. Post an online portfolio. I am sure there are more people then just me who are looking for quality stuff. You can always send your portfolio to myself or Mike at North Point’s address:
    North Point Community Church
    4350 Northpoint Parkway
    Alpharetta, Georgia 30022

  10. I’ve done a lot more freelance recently with websites I’ve worked on like CofCResources.com, JSO Technology and BigGameMidWest.com but my portfolio of church-related designs is online at:

    I would love to do some freelance designs for NorthPoint if the opportunity ever came up. Having worked as a Media Director at my previous Church I’ve had the chance to work with both graphics, web and video for churches.

    Again, great job on all the stuff you guys produce and thanks for taking the time to share with us through your blog. Keep up the great work!

    Brad Ruggles

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