Sunday, August 08, 2010

Grand Closing

It's been a great ride, blogger. For the past 5 years I've been posting randomness to you, but it's time to shift gears and step it up.

RIP free to come check out
Lot of bugs i'm still working out, but all the old posts from here are there now, and that's where im going to continue posting work+adventures.

It's definitely still a construction zone over there, so don't judge too harshly- html isn't my forte....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mt Jefferson Loop

With an inclination to get out of the Boston area and to go climb on some rocks is what led me up Mt Jefferson yesterday. Woke up at 6am and decided I wanted to get out, so I hit the road by 630, and 180 miles later, I was at the trailhead in Jefferson Notch.
The above shot is about a mile or so up the trail when you finally pass treeline. The parking area is the highest for a trailhead in NH, so it doesn't take very long.
This part of the hike was going up the Caps Ridge Trail, and it like a hiking highway- I'd hate to see it on a weekend day....

Even on this very used trail, there are some sections that require a little more than your average hiker may be expecting. Some easy scrambling over large boulders- I ran into a man who was pushing his 80's it looked like when I was about .4 miles to the top.

These are the castles that the hike refers to, going up the caps ridge trail. I thought that perhaps these were just caps, and the other ridge had the castles, but i haven't gotten a second opinion on that one yet. Since it was pretty busy on the way up, I didn't hang around and look at these as much as I would've liked to.

The above shot is a man working his way up the rock face. I was glad to be wearing my sneakers that have rock climbing soles on them, i find they grip more reliably on rocks then vibram soles do, which are on most hiking boots. I pretty much walked right up this face in the above shot.

This tower and building in the distance is the summit of Mt Washington.

Around this part of the hike my camera decided it was too tired to go on, which was a shame, because my descent on the Castle Trail was much more enjoyable than my ascent was. I scarcely saw any hikers, and the trail was much more challenging in some areas. I had a couple camera worthy moments when I sat ontop of one of the castles, but they'll be there next time i hike it.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dogs Vs Cats

After SLICED wrapped up/got cut off short, I moved onto a new project for Powderhouse called Dogs VS Cats. It's an hour long, one episode deal that premieres on July 24th at 8pm on Animal Planet. Here's the website link:

I developed the graphic look for the show- the open, the logo, the lower thirds, the scoring. My friend and co-graphics worker named Dave Strand did some history animations as well that are pretty damn funny.

Did a lot of this in cinema4D, and outputted it to After Effects for all the score changes.

Presently I'm puppy sitting while my parents are off on a european vacation, and ive been brought back into Hasbro for some more graphics work.

Oh yeah- and i'm getting married next summer, so we're doing a lot of planning for that.

Also: The Playskool Webisodes (or Playskool VIgnettes, for a more eloquent term) received two Telly awards- one Silver for Online Content-Infomercial, and a Bronze for Online Content-Brand Campaign Identity. If anyone actually follows this blog, they would remember a post from last year about this project. Originally it was a pop-up book idea, and then it morphed into me doing medical animations and the graphics package for all the episodes. Found that out recently when I went back to hasbro. Interesting....

Saturday, May 08, 2010

SLICED- Toilet Clip

SLICED premiered on the History Channel on April 22nd, 2010. This clip is from the Bathrooms episodes, which I'm not sure if it's hit the air yet, but it's an example of some graphics I've done for the show. A lot of the early episodes- 1 through 3, were done before I got working on the show. This clip has a pretty quick and easy 3D earth fly around to show weather patterns change depending on if their in the northern or southern hemisphere. This episode has a lot more bathroom animations I worked my way through as well.

Right now I've been working on the Bowling episode, and came up with a pretty cool after effects animation of a pinsetter....

School Scrabble

It's been a long time coming on this one. Links to the 4 video's live here. A little background: After the Playskool Webisodes concluded, I was eager to keep working in Cinema 4D and this was a perfect opportunity to do that with Scrabble as a subject. I did all the graphics on these four videos, all starting with the intro, then built the whole look from there. Working with an editor named Kevin Brewster, I supplied him backgrounds, transitions, wipes- the works, and he cut them all together.

These pieces feel like eons ago now- really I'm just glad though that they finally went online so I could do a post here on them, even for just archival purposes only. These videos also mark the beginning of Orphan Boy's rise to stardom (featured in these videos as the kid with the cabby hat on). In one of these videos he points at the camera and says "don't forget about those hot spots!" I put him in a starburst, laughing my ass off, totally expecting that to not make it into these. Well it did alright, and even though it probably won't make anyone laugh as much as it did us,

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Boston: From My Roof

Boston: From My Roof from ben russell on Vimeo.

This is something really simple I did a few weekends ago. The photo was taken from my roof. I duped it, put some distance between the two, added some fractal noise in between the two. Aside from that there's the burns and the film scratches, but not a lot to it really. Quick and easy.

Here's the photo I took and used below:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Reflective and Refractive Blocks Tutorial

Reflective and Refractive Glass Blocks Tutorial from ben russell on Vimeo.

I found this tutorial at Grey Scale Gorilla's tutorial site and made one today. The playback on this is kinda choppy, might have to look into that.

SLICED premieres this thursday at 10pm on the History Channel. I didn't do any of the graphics for that first episode, my contributions will begin on the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th i think- there's 20 altogether, and I've been working on about 5 in the last month.

I should probably look into getting the History Channel...

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Playskool: More Than Play Webisodes

This post is to finally acknowledge something that I started the end of last September, and finished sometime in January. Initially it was pitched by the executive producer as a pop-up book style, so my first 2 weeks on the project was working to R&D the look they wanted for the pop-up book, and the result was the above still image- part of an animation that's roughly 20 seconds long for an intro. Worked on that with another graphics guy, that I also happen to do a lot of snowboarding with, named Matt Armstrong. After the R&D period he left it up to me, and the meetings that followed turned into an ordeal/training of sorts to really figure out the best way to convey the message Playskool wanted. The project morphed into something else entirely- they wanted it faster paced, so we met those demands. I got with an editor named Kevin Brewster, and he went through the process of finding the absolute best pieces of footage, and worked it all into the moving frames look it has now. My role in this was now the intro/outro graphics, and all the medical animations.

A lot of the work I do I forget to post, because when it finally goes on air, or online, it's been awhile, and I'm always on to the next one by that point. Maybe I'm posting this for historical purposes then, just to have it down here as something I worked on. What it comes down to is that these vignettes were a bear to get right, but they were very informative in both how to convey things in a simplistic fashion without going too in detail, because truth be told I am not a medical animator, and didn't have time to do this as scientifically accurate as some of the animations definitely called for.

Still on my list of stuff to post when it becomes available- some School Scrabble videos (4 of them) I did with the same editor as the Playskool Webisodes (Kevin) and the project I'm working on now- SLICED for the History Channel.
Here's the link to the Playskool though,>stuff