Skateboarding is a chaotic ballet of control and fearlessness. I love watching it. I love doing it but never seem to find the time any more. Plus I’m too old. Not too old to skateboard but old enough to be too cautious to skateboard. Needless to say I was pumped when Freestyle invited me to plug back in to the skater mindset and create a motion design
piece for their 2013 fall line of watches. Freestyle is a laid-back West Coast company embedded in the extreme sports world and embodying the easy going spirit of surfing. They are so relaxed that they essentially sent us a dropbox full of product shots and logos and said, “have fun.”
The blank canvas. Intimidating but limitless. One of those dream projects for a motion designer
had been dropped in my lap but how do you overcome the paralyzing fear of infinite possibilities to get the piece rolling?
Music seemed like a good place to start. We had just finished a project with rap artist Donnie Maserati
and he kindly obliged our use of a minty fresh new track. A track that makes your head bob.
Movement. Now we’re getting somewhere. Movement is what the Freestyle culture is really all about.
Gliding and rolling.
Balance and momentum.
Conquering and taming.
Conveying movement with motion design is easy. And those actions all translate well, but good motion design is complicated. Freestyle watches scream cool with their sweet colors and slick design. The watches already convey movement. I was set up for success. No pressure, right?
I cut out the product shots and loaded them up in After Effects. My After Effects comp was essentially a playground. After listening to the music a few times and trying out different layouts and movements for the watches the overall piece kind of fell into place. I played off the grooves and patterns from the Classic and Leash collections. I used clockwise movements and created a tick tock feel for the Analog line. The Predator line stands apart from the other four collections. To set it’s time in the spotlight apart from the rest of the collections I used sharp triangles to mimic teeth and quick cuts and swipes to resemble claws.
After I smoothed out some keyframes and adjusted timing we sent our motion design off for approval. It’s not too often a client comes back with no changes and full of excitement. Home run. They even asked for a rush delivery so they could add it to another project they had going on.
This was a fun piece to work on and I’m glad I had the opportunity to be a part of it. Going from blank canvas to finished motion graphics with good feedback is a primo feeling.