ASIOKE is a short motion graphics piece I put together a few years ago using After Effects. It combines two of my favourite things; karaoke and paranoia.

Not a lot of subtlety, but quite a bit of Sting.

For the non-Australians the format is based on this government TV commercial from a few years ago promoting the National Security Hotline. Setting aside the intent of the ad campaign the actual TV spot was very well designed. They took a fairly abstract idea (phone calls ‘adding up’ to an image of Australia) and kept it visually interesting without resorting to hammy re-enactments or far-fetched scenarios.

The individual graphics for my my clip were created using Photoshop and and then brought in to After Effects for animation and blending. The hardest part about putting it together was just coming to grips with the interface and the sheer range of options and variables available within the program.

It’s taken me about seven or eight years to really get my head around all the techniques and effects offered by photoshop. In the past I’ve worked on files with dozens of different objects, text elements, masks and adjustment layers and it can get fairly confusing (especially when I decide not label any of my layers). But After Effects is another beast entirely. The ASIOKE file had about thirty or so different objects each with their own timeline synced to the audio track but within each timeline are literally dozens of sub-timelines allowing you to set keyframes for everything from opacity and colour to things like the number of virtual iris blades for the out-of-focus lens effect.

It’s really pretty overwhelming.

But also exciting knowing how much possibility the software offers.

As part of the clip I put together a spoof logo reminiscent of the commonwealth coat of arms but with spooky microphone men taking center stage.


Richard Pendavingh

Photographer, designer and weekend historian. Editor of The Unravel. Writes about design, tech, history and anthropology.

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