filed to Freelance by Jake Jurich on September 24, 2020


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The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) had to go fully virtual for their September 2020 Annual Meeting (three guesses as to why!). What normally would’ve been a weekend jam-packed with dozens of Facial Plastic Surgeons giving in-depth and informative talks on specific topics in their wheelhouses suddenly had to happen via webcams…and that’s where I came in.

My task: to incorporate the pre-existing conference graphic design language into an animated intro that would unify all the individual video presentations submitted by the doctors under one central branding, while allowing for title/speaker customization on a per-animation basis. While I was stitching these animations to the front end of each video (of which there were 64), I was to check the presentations themselves for audio/visual hiccups, correct them, and upload the finalized videos en masse to the virtual conference infrastructure’s Dropbox. So let’s start from square one.

I’d already animated the AAFPRS Academy logo. This would open the conference intro animation. Next, I looked at the conference aesthetic PSD I’d been given, and decided to work along the diagonal lines prevalent in the design:

The Photoshop file I started with.

Masking the end of the logo animation comp together with an inverted, white version, I transitioned the logo into the corner of the title card as I slid it together in After Effects:

Animate one iteration of the logo, copy all keyframes to the identical-yet-inverted version, and mask in the new version in alignment over the animated sliding panel.

The rest of the build came together nicely, including animating the “rising” motion of the title/subtitle onto parented null objects so the individual titles could be repositioned independently of that motion on a per-video basis:

The whole title sequence, including the “NO RECORDING” warning at the end, was rendered out as an MOV with an alpha channel, so I could layer it in over a freeze frame of the presentation video in Premiere. I used a Gaussian Blur adjustment layer in between the title and the frozen video to streamline duplicating the timeline out for 64 videos:

The doctors used all kinds of screencap software— In the case of videos with black bars on the sides, I masked around the slide/presenter and placed a modified version of the conference design underneath to fill the frame out nicely, as seen above. I also added that bottom bar graphic, updated for each video with the speaker’s name and credentials. All of these elements—the video, the bottom bar, and the occasional background design—blurred under the adjustment layer at the tail end of the intro animation clip.

I built one video out to this point, and ran it back through several rounds of notes with the folks at AAFPRS to ultimately get final approval for duplication across all 64 videos. At that point, it was a matter of duplicating the master After Effects comp, replacing the title/subtitle in each, and rendering those out. Those were imported into Premiere, and used to create skeleton timelines with the animation, music, adjustment layer, background, and bottom bar already customized and in place, so as videos continued to be submitted I could throw them into their corresponding sequence and dig in quickly. Once each was assembled properly, I checked them for proper a/v sync throughout the entirety of the presentation, adjusting where need be. I filtered the audio tracks to bring the voice out in particularly rough recordings, and used Adobe Media Encoder to render these finalized videos in large batches after each day of work.

The 2020 AAFPRS Annual Meeting was a huge success, even in a first-time virtual setting, and I’m thrilled they enjoyed my contributions as much as I enjoyed putting them together! This is largely the same process I went through for May 2021’s Masters of Facial Plastic Surgery virtual conference, and am underway on now for Fall 2021’s AAFPRS Annual Meeting.

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