• Client
  • Red Hat
  •  
  • Project Type
  • Animation
  •  
  • Roles
  • Creative Direction
  • Visual Design
  • Modeling
  • Animation
  • Sound Design
  • Editing
  •  
  • Partners
  • Tim Kiernan
  • Cut Chemist

Ideas Worth Exploring



Ideas Worth Exploring was the theme of Red Hat's 2018 annual Summit conference held in San Franciso, CA. Creative partner Tim Kiernan and I were tasked with creating a conference opening experience that would ignite the imagination of the audience. The visual identity of the event was set in space, which felt grand but also isolating. We needed to portray the endless possibilities of space exploration while preserving the impact and importance of each attendee's role at the conference.

NASA's Voyager Golden Record project encapsulated this sentiment perfectly and lead us to the question — what if all of the amazing open source ideas at the Summit were captured and sent out into space? With this in mind, the idea of the space-traveling turntable was born.

  • Creative Direction
  • Visual Design
  • Modeling
  • Animation
  • Sound Design
  • Editing

We wanted the conference opener to feel interactive which is why it became a mix of animation and archival footage from past Summits. This is also what led us to work with Cut Chemist to scratch the visuals live on stage during the opening. Above is an edit of the video that we presented to Red Hat's stakeholders and Cut to help sell the concept.

I created all of the animated visuals in this project from scratch. Here are a few behind the scenes examples of how I created my assets, rigs, and visual effects.

Full timelapse of how the record player was designed and modeled. All of the parts of the record player were simple / rigid, so I decided to use spline modeling and not worry about generating a perfect mesh.

We experimented with different ways of visualizing the archival footage such as holographic projections and microscopic views inside of the record itself. However, we eventually opted to incorporate an LCD into the turntable which somehow felt like the most "realistic" option.

The blue orbiting rings were a part of the conference brand which I used to create the inner label of the record. The golden texture was a nod to the Voyager project. Above shows how the effect of the rings shedding their golden skin was achieved. Rather than a particle system, I used Cinema 4D's often overlooked PolyFX tool. Motion blur and shallow depth of field help to hide the uniform rectangular shapes of the polygons for a more organic look.

Cinema 4D was used for creating the models, rigs, and animations. All rendering was achieved in Redshift 3D, my favorite render engine for stylized photorealism.

I was also in charge of all editing and sound design. There were many layers of sound throughout this piece that helped create the overall tone of the video. The sound was a mix of voice over from Red Hat videos and public domain archival recordings from NASA. Reverb and radio effects were created in Ableton Live.

Getting Cut Chemist set up for rehersal the night before the show.

Cut Chemist performing on the main stage for thousands of attendees with my animations as the backdrop. The combination of space visuals, turntable animations, and live scratching all culminated into a memorable experience and was a great segue into my much needed vacation.

About Me

I'm a visual designer, sort of. I specialize in 3D motion design, but leaving my comfort zone and learning new skills is my passion. Throughout my career I've found myself working on a range of different projects like creating an employment branding strategy for a global brand to filming medieval vikings in the snowy mountains of Utah.

These days, I'm busy hanging out with my daughter and making animations from my home studio in Raleigh, North Carolina.