Thursday, April 1, 2010

Live Action Backgrounds

I recently became a director of sketch comedy videos for the Upright Citizen's Brigade website,

Here's a video I directed and did the effects for recently.

Some people asked me how I created the backgrounds for the video, so I figured I'd go over the basics.

In Photoshop I start with flat colors. I try to go with a middle color for each section, that way I can add shadows and highlights later.

Then I add extra layers on top of darker colors to create shadows. It's pretty common for me to use 3 or 4 layers per section to build up shadows gradually, instead of trying to do it all at once. I use different opacities and blending modes on the layers to get the look I want.

Next I do the same thing, but with highlights.

This still looks very computery, so the next step is to overlay photos of textures to get the types of variation in color and value that make something look real. For the wood I added some wood textures (a no-brainer), and for the glass I added some concrete textures to make it look frosted.

And finally I flattened the glass section and warped it a bit to make it look curved instead of flat. In general, it's much easier to work with rectangular shapes (because it's much easier to make rectangular selections), and then when you're done, warp them into the shape you want.

And just to give you an idea, here's a screen capture of just some of the layering that went into making this background.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I Would Hate To Be You

Here's a music video I made for my friend Peter Squires's song "I Would Hate To Be You." You can download the entire album for free at

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

3D Animatics in After Effects

A while ago I applied for a job to make 3d animatics in After Effects. To show them I was capable, I went ahead and created an example shot myself.

Monster Chase Animatic from Adam Sacks on Vimeo.

I made all the drawings in Flash and put them together in 3d in After Effects. I never heard back about the job. Oh well.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Science is Real -TMBG music video

Here's another They Might Be Giants music video I worked on. It's called "Science is Real," and was directed by Andy Kennedy and David Cowles, and animated by Andy, Chris Conforti, Sean McBride and myself.

Now because this video praises science and mentions evolution, some people who believe God created the world in 7 days are using technology that is a result of science--like computers and the internet--to refute the premise of the video. Hilarious

And in case you're wondering, I animated the part from where the kid sings the world "Real" through the part where the different objects come together to spell the word "Real."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Electric Car: Behind the Scenes

If you wondered how the TMBG Electric Car music video was created, Max and Ru just released a making of video. Check it out

And also check out their post with some more explanations.