Phyllotaxis Patterns

This project was one of the more technical ones, I had a pleasure to work on. I can’t post the final result, as it contains a lot of non-public information. However, I can post extracts from build up process and few video scenes with selection of stills.

Team on this project consisted of:

  • 3 x Motion Graphics Artists (including myself)
  • UI Designer
  • UX Researched
  • Project Manager.

Final ask was to create 3 different pitch videos for a series of 3 bank’s internal projects. To make it more efficient, we split work between animators based on skill level and expertise. I was initially responsible for creating templates and reusable assets for other Motion Designers and UI Designer.

Since my role revolved around Technical Motion Graphics, I had a chance to utilise my rig building skills and coding experience quite a lot.

For example, I was tasked in creating a responsive circular pattern array with multiple controllers. One version created during research phase, was more “natural” with Phyllotaxis spiral pattern as seen in nature. While 2nd version was more of a symmetrical / evenly spaced out.

Final version approved by a client, was symmetrical one with multitude controls for spacing between icons, colour, gaps between rows and delay in animation, which you will see further down on this page. In the test demo videos below, you can see the difference between natural Phyllotaxis circle pattern and geometric one. It is more clearly seen, when they are animated and “build up” to final image.

HUDs graphics

One of the elements I had to design and rig was a HUD graphic interface. It was used to “target” and highlight parts of the video on the screen.

Initial design was done in Illustrator and then rigged inside in After Effects, without any plugins. With each iteration, I improved on general animation, details and fixed render errors. 3D effect was done entirely inside After Effects with Shape Layer’s 3D extrusion option.

Fun fact – you can’t make 3D Shape Extrusion in After Effects too small, or it will glitch and won’t render properly – shapes will “collapse” on themselves. Looks like After Effects CC2020 can’t handle 3D extrusion that well, as promised by Adobe.

Below you can see how each set up looked at different stage of production and polish.

FUI Elements

Major part of this project, were Futuristic User Interface elements.  All of them were procedurally animated and looped in After Effects. They were used across all the videos, with different colours and styling to highlight speaking points, provide more information and add extra polish to final videos.

You can see a selection of them, animated and rigged. Main request from other animators, was to keep them modular – being able to mix and match them across different sections of the video with ease. I achieved that by using PreComps a lot, smart and responsive Expressions, and trying to keep everything “self contained”. This way, everything was simple to understand once imported into master After Effects projects.

Stylised Background

One of the elements that was consistent across 3 videos, was background. It was relatively simple, with small animated accents, few details and layer of polish.

I have added “blinking” dots across whole grid, different types of “cloud” highlights to bring some lines “forward” by making them brighter. Whole thing was rigged in a way, that could be made same-but-different. It was done by changing single seed value – animation would offset and dots would appear in different places, but always on the grid.

To finish it off, I have added grain noise and camera distortion with  fade blur on the edges.

Individual scenes

Unfortunately, I can’t publish any of the final 3 videos that were produced on this project. They feature quite a lot of internal business information.

However, I have exported 4 separate scenes, which should give you an idea how the whole thing looks like. You can see how individual elements from templated rigs came together and were used multiple times to save time in production.

Stills Selection

Here is small gallery of stills exported in higher resolution from the project. They feature some of my favourite set ups and scenes.

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