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