On 13th November, Facebook celebrated Women @ Leadership Day Asia Pacific (APAC) here in Singapore at Marina Bay Sands. The conference featured women in Facebook from all around the APAC region, sharing experiences, lessons and heartfelt stories aimed to empower.
We had the great honour of working together with the creatives over at Facebook APAC headquarters, designing the stage graphics and producing videos for the event.
Our journey was a short, but arduous one. Through all the sleepless nights, rushed flights and spirited smites on the Wacom, we made it - and here’s the process.
Facebook Women@ Leadership Day is an internal event set up to celebrate and empower women in Facebook. It aims to create an inclusive and supportive working environment for everyone. The reaches of this event spans far beyond just women in Facebook, it reaches men (male allies) and influential individuals outside of Facebook as well.
We were tasked to produce, direct, film and all the other fun stuff for this event. The final outputs included a Sizzle Reel, Animated Logo Holds, Speakers’ Walk-Ups, Quotes, Portrait Stills and Discussion backdrops for 6 individual screens at the event - plus a pro-bono keynote slide template because, why not.
A brand guide for the event was given to us, the shapes and colours were elements that we had to adhere to for this project.
This project brought us places - not just Marina Bay Sands and our office. But to 9 countries and 11 cities! Japan the land of the rising sun, Thailand the land of smiles, Australia the land down under, India, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Philippines, and Malaysia too!
The idea was to make the visuals as fun and as engaging as possible while keeping it clean, minimalistic and chic. We tried playing around with the shapes within the brand guide, utilising the elements within it as best as we could.
The poppy red was the main colour that the client wanted for this project, we were given the creative freedom to pick the rest based on the brand guide that was given to us.
We realised later that there’s a fine line between distracting and overbearing, and engaging and interesting, which is why we created an alternative version of the dynamic animated one above.
We opted for something more mellow and toned down. One that seeks to create an atmosphere that would enhance the sensory experiences of the audiences, and something that would complement the speakers instead of overpowering them.
The overarching theme of this year’s conference was “Stronger Together”. That theme greatly influenced the animation and design layouts for all of our outputs. Form the movement of shapes to the animation, all of it was done intentionally to show convergence and unification. Whether or not it’s coming together, or moving towards one direction in unison.
Mainly 2D and shapes animation on After Effects were used for this project.
The plugin Overlord really helped a lot in this project. It created a faster workflow, allowing us to import designs done in illustrator into After Effects as individual shape layers instead of doing imports the conventional way (i.e. importing illustrator layers then converting to shape layers).
In order to achieve the effect that we desired in the logo, we used a lot of ease on the keyframes, to create a feeling of sleekness and class.
Shape animation wise, we played with a lot of fills, masking, lines - manual work - to create the transition from one shape to another.
The amount of layers that can be found in this project is bonkers. There were about 200 - 300 layers within the files, and managing them was a hassle.
The files we were working with were also very heavy, which meant that a lot of time was needed to render them, and that made revisions very tedious and unwelcoming.
The sheer amount of footages that we had to sieve through was crazy. When it came to the video that we did, finding the best fitting footage that brought out the message of the conference and incorporating them into the video was a feat.
We had to ensure that all the 6 screens looked whole - like 1 giant canvas, taking into consideration the fact that there was no center screen. Creating the interactivity, cohesiveness. and unity was a difficult but satisfying task that we managed to overcome.
Benjamin, our director was overseas, overseeing the filming of the assets required. The files had to be sent over to us immediately so that we could work on them, ensuring that no time was wasted. The files though, were not little at all, which made the transfer and transmission of files difficult and time-consuming.
This project required for us to work with a foreign codec as well. Following the completion of an asset, we would compress the file as best as we could, enabling an easier transfer. But we all know that compressions come with compensations of quality - there were many cases of bending, where the lines within a gradient could be seen due to the compromised quality. We had to work closely with the techies over at Facebook for this, having them convert the mp4 files into the codec that they wanted - Quicktime Hap - while we tried our best to optimise the files as much as we could.
But alas, all was well.
We would most definitely do better layer management from here on out - though we always knew the importance of this. Moving forward, we’d look to improve communications, internally and externally as well - allocating tasks appropriately based on time and abilities for better efficiency and effectiveness.
What You Enjoyed
Watching the whole project come together was very fulfilling and satisfying. To know that all of the hard work, sleepless nights and tears all fell together perfectly for the event.
We enjoyed playing around with the shapes and animations for this project as well, given the large focus that it had.
The teamwork was insane for this project, so much transnational communication, inter-studio collaborations, and Skype exchanges led us to the final output - the camaraderie was through the roof - and we loved every second of it (looking back at it now).
We will very appropriately end this process piece with the quote above. It’s been a good run. Stay tuned to our social media pages for videos!
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