Happy 21st, Pasifika!

Many people don’t realise that even traditional workflow tools can benefit from using programming techniques.

One of my earliest coding experiences was writing an automated script for Adobe PageMaker (a print-based layout application) – this took a CSV file exported from the Microsoft Access advertising listings, and created correctly-sized ad boxes with the advertiser’s name (saving production time of about 16 hours). In another project, I used JavaScript to program expressions in After Effects to automatically create a script-based numerical on-screen counter (from 100,000 to 259,000 – with motion blur). These approaches allow much more control and flexibility than traditional manually-based workflows.

For this promotional video for AucklandNZ.com to celebrate 21 years of the Pasifika Festival, I used particle emitters to control a separate timeline with 3,000 images (auto-imported) and animated using this particle system. With a few simple parameters, I was able to control sizing, speed and translation limits to create the right effect. I then added a few type elements for the years, and placed everything within a ‘space tunnel’ (actually a large graphic with a polar co-ordinate distort filter).

I designed a quick endframe in Photoshop, then asked the graphic design team to make sure it was on-brand and add any flourishes required.

Once completed, I then worked closely with the Pasifika events management team to get a soundtrack cleared for use, then edited it to match the animation.

About the Festival

The Pasifika Festival began in 1992, and has grown into one of Auckland’s biggest cultural events. It came to life through a joint initiative between the then Auckland City Council and the South Pacific Island Nations Development Association. The Festival aimed to bring Pacific Island communities closer together and to celebrate the richness and variety of their values, culture and lifestyles. It has grown to become the biggest celebration of Pacific Island culture and heritage in the world.

Date: 21st March 2013

Client: ATEED

Category: Code, Video