Evil Planet Commercials: Krazed, The Wireless Gaming Mouse

Krazed Wireless Gaming Mouse is an over-the-top parody of modern gaming mouses made to promote my new line of services for high-end motion graphics for commercials and ads, which are on sale for the time being.

The idea behind this parody commercial was to make it fun and humorous, rather than take a fake product too seriously and make it boring to watch for those not really interested in gaming items.

The gaming mouse was designed and modeled from scratch in Blender 3D and you can in fact purchase and download the 3D model here:
https://www.turbosquid.com/3d-models/wireless-gaming-mouse-3d-model-1251730
For the hand, I used a stock model, made by BlendSwap.com user, UP3D, and modified it to fit the campy tone of the ad.

In case you wanna watch my other commercials, here is a playlist:

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After Effects Template: The Conspiracy Theorist – Infographic/Intro

The Conspiracy Theorist: Conspiracy Cork Board After Effects Template

So… since last time’s conspiracy-themed After Effects template, I realized how much of its potential was wasted on a campy intro. Sure, it looks cool and all, but if you want something serious-er, it doesn’t quite work. So I decided to make a “serious” version, inspired by those those opening sequences at the beginning of conspiracy-themed films and tv series like the X-Files, Phenomenon: The Lost Archives, Fringe and others. It wasn’t just the fact that I love conspiracies and paranormal stuff, it was the fact that I really liked how that 3D effect could be accomplished inside After Effects without any 3rd party plugins and it’d still look good. So I devised a plan to create the entire template INSIDE AE. At first I wasn’t even sure it’d even work. Heck, I wasn’t even sure if it was possible to make it work AND be editable, so this was a “background process” in my head for days until I finally cracked it; From the right angle and the right speed, this thing could totally work! I’ve been using this technique for every single template I’ve done so far, although not for anything like this, but still, could it work?
So basically what I’m rambling about is the thumbtacks. Clearly it’s the most obvious protruding object in this picture. If the thumbtacks don’t work, the whole After Effects template falls apart. So I made a few tests and it worked. This was the green light. The thumbtacks were the linchpin around which everything else was revolving around, so naturally, when THAT worked, everything else fell into place.

After over 70 AE templates done, this one is, judging by the entire length and complexity of the composition, one of the most compact I’ve ever done. With only 40Mb of asset files and no third-party plugins needed.

Hit the break to watch it in action!

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After Effects Template: Anatomically Correct Eye Looking Around!

After Effects Template: Anatomically Correct Eye Looking Around!

YES! In case you didn’t hear enough bad puns in the last After Effects template post, here’s another one! AWWW YISSS!!! And I know what you’re saying, “this one is ALREADY contained in Mystery Files, why the heck did you bother with another post!?” Well, let me tell you, dear reader! The amount of work that went into this AE template is just too much to go unnoticed, so I thought it deserves its own post, ’cause reasons!
And for starters, this After Effects template is fully rendered within After Effects. No. I am not kidding. This is 100% rendered inside AE. No plugins needed, no fancy schwancy programs, just good ‘ol After Effects native plugins and expressions.

And it was no easy endeavor either. A whole lot more than you think went into making this thing. In fact, I had to undergo days of carefully studying eye anatomy to make this After Effects template work. Simple things that we take for granted had to be engineered from scratch inside After Effects to be procedural, for example: Have you noticed how the eye is not perfectly spherical and the cornea is actually bumpy? Well, when you move your eyeball to look around, that bumpy thing displaces your eyelids. And… that red thing where your tears come out of? It’s called a “Lacrimal Caruncle” , I didn’t even know that before I started working on this After Effects template! And have you noticed that your eyeball pulls and stretches the membrana conjuntiva around your lacrimal caruncle when you look to the side!? If you’re wondering, yeah, that has also been procedurally animated in this template, so all you have to do is move around a null and your eye will realistically (or as realistically as possible in After Effects) look around!

Now with all the boasting out of the way, allow me to tell you all you can do with this After Effects template: For starters you can control the eye; Where it looks, what it looks at, how fast it moves, etc Not to mention the creepy factor! But say it looks too irritated or not enough, no problem! You can control the amount of veins and irritation. Not your eye color? NO PROBLEM! You can give it ANY eye color you want, it’s all procedural! Not enough neurosis? Pfffftttt! Make that eye twitch like it’s sending Morse code messages! And that’s not even half of it. This template has enough options to turn this eye into a character of its own!

Hit the break to watch the eye in action!

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After Effects Template: Procedural Shattered Glass Template

After Effects Template: Procedural Shattered Glass template

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Don’t we have enough crappy procedural shattered glass templates? Like… After Effects Does this automatically, right?!”
Well, yes. But look again. Notice anything strange? Yup. Exactly. This is not your typical Shatter Plugin template. In fact, I want you to pay attention to the borders of those glass shards. As you can see, they are molded to the shattered glass texture. In other words, there’s a custom-made shatter map. Meaning that someone (Namely your’s truly) sat there for hours making the shatter map by hand. So what is the whole point of this? Well, for starters, flexibility. What this means to you as the user of this After Effects template, is that you have 100% control over how that glass breaks. Maybe not in the immediate control panel, as this template was designed for that that specific logo stinger. But if you are savvy enough with After Effects you can turn this shattered glass template into basically ANYTHING involving breaking glass, since this is a 3D effect.

Hit the break to watch it in action!

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Logo Reveal After Effects Template: Optical Scanner – Logo Stinger

Optical Scanner - Logo Reveal After Effects Template

For those Folks following my logo reveal After Effects template, this time I decided to do something radically different and it’s actually hidden in plain sight. This may seem to you like any other AE template but in fact it’s really not, you see, this whole template, except for the pre-rendered particles and  lens flare, is 100% rendered inside After Effects! Which may not sound like a big deal to you but in reality, this gives you the flexibility to extend it for as long as you want or change most animations to suit your needs, provided that you have the music to go with the new length, as every single element in this logo reveal After Effects template (except for the lens flare) reacts to After Effects’ native depth of field and lighting system.

The caveat, of course is that the specular effects on the textures are accomplished through the CC Glass plugin which, yes, is native to After Effects, but unfortunately it’s pre-composed in every “Texture” and has to be dealt with manually for each element if you want to change the animation.

One of the biggest challenges with this template was that lens on the optical scanner, which doesn’t look out of the ordinary, but it will actually render simulated reflections! And the way this is accomplished in this logo reveal After Effects template is by duplicating the assets in a pre-composition and positioning them in such a way that it looks like they are reflected.

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Necronomicon Illustrations, Pure Lovecraftian Goodness!

 

H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu

Cthulhu Concept Drawing

So I was looking for material to show to a potential customer and looking through my various folders of concept art and drawings I stumbled upon a small treasure trove of illustrations that I made for my “Book of the Dead Names” prop, which you can view here. Which basically was one of the many Necronomicon replicas I’ve made over the years, a subject that I have been passionate and obsessed about over the years, mostly because of the Evil Dead movies, but also because of Lovecraftian lore.
Now, If you don’t know what the Necronomicon is, it’s a fictional book created by American author H. P. Lovecraft, who created an entire mythology around it, from the creation of the the book, somewhere in medieval Damascus to the creatures depicted in it. These creatures were not all created by Lovecraft, some were created after his death by other authors like August Derleth but they are in one way or another mentioned somewhere in Lovecraftian literature and therefore are part of the Lovecraftian Cthulhu mythos.
So anyway, digression aside. This was a very thorough Lovecraftian bestiary that I spent quite some time working on. Most of the biology and physiologies were based on the author’s descriptions of these creatures but I did take certain liberties and creative licenses with some of them. Like, for instance, Night Gaunts were described as having no face, but for an airborne creature, I was thinking they should have a way to in-take air and feed for sustenance (after all, flying does burn calories), so I drew these creatures with nothing but a gaping, lamprey-like mouth hole on their faces. Similarly, I added extra nipples, folds and other features on the bodies of some of the other creatures, because, why the heck not. They are extraterrestrials after all.

Hit the break to read more.

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New After Effects Template: Jungle Temple – Overgrown Temple Logo Stinger

Jungle Temple After Effects Template

Lush vegetation, vivid colors and nature all over. Jungle Temple is one of those After Effects templates that scream “Adventure!”. Whether you are a Tomb Raider or an Indiana Jones fan, Jungle Temple is perfect for those engaging gaming YouTube channel intros or for your short or feature film!

This is an AE template that presented a lot of technical challenges, since I wanted the text to look wickedly cool and realistic, but still remain editable. Now, you might be surprised, but the theme for this After Effects Template was not really Tomb Rider nor Indiana Jones, it was Angkor Wat; a beautiful temple complex in Cambodia. The temple today is covered in vegetation and is a well know landmark that has been showcased in numerous films and I came across a bunch of photos of it doing some research for a different project and fell in love with the exquisite textures and imagery.
This template went through several iterations, including one with a pyramid and a stone Buddha face. But somehow none of them could carry across the message I wanted to convey in this  template. In the end I went with a minimalist approach for the overall design, splashed with a dash of detail in the textures, adding the complexity back into the stone text and the grass patches growing out of it.

The music was also an interesting journey. Since Cambodia is situated in Asia, I added a Tibetan flute and ethnic drums combined with chourus-y chants to make it sound like some sort of Buddhist monastery, but at the same time I wanted it to sound like something stereotypically out of a jungle. The result was an interesting marriage between ancient ruins and the green wilderness.

Hit the break to watch a video of the AE template in action!

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