So it’s convention time again at Canadian Tire and since we are so accustomed to “going big”, we are headed to Vegas this time. Last year we were at the Toronto Convention Center and it was a really huge, really cool, 5 day convention for all of the Canadian Tire Dealers (the guys that own the stores) and their managers, auto guys, seasonal people etc. There were business sessions, a huge product exhibition, parties, galas, awards banquets and a show featuring Randy Bachman! There were celeb athletes and personalities there like Cesar Millan, Ron Fellows, Scott Steckly and Lanny MacDonald and of course I can’t forget the cameo appearances by the Stanley Cup and the Nascar Sprint Cup. It was great! Our main hall for seminars etc. had 3 screens in it, 1 super-wide screen for the “Spyder System” projection and 2 regular 16:9 screens flanking it. The main screen was the backdrop for the stage which had either a Nascar or Ferrari on it depending on the day that it was. I got the distinct honor and pleasure of being the designer for the main graphics that were used on that super wide screen! (see pic below). In designing for it, I had a bunch of considerations; Designing in the 16:9 center portion of the screen so that the video could be projected on the “regular” screens as well as the center screen without cutting off content, design resolution and the ability to update and change screen info on the fly were some of the biggies.
This year the screen resolution is even wider than last years was…a 5:1 aspect ratio with a full resolution of 3840×768! HUGE! And again, I am having concerns about the design resolution because it is so big. Not just the size that’s concerning me though, I am dealing with motion graphics, so I want the best quality that I can get, so I am creating in a “draft mode”, but will be exporting at full res, 16bit, Field Rendering, Motion Blurring, Depth of Field on my flying camera and Frame Blending…and I have to create 30 of these things. “Hey Joe…what in the world did you just say?” (you might ask)… In a nutshell, you need a pretty beefy comp to export this size and quality (I might respond). Lucky I have one, but it’s always a concern. I just have to be extra technical when designing this to ensure efficiency with my data rates. “NERD” (you might say…)I guess so, I might respond. 🙂
Like last years animation, I have had to go back to the drawing board after showing preliminary drafts to the team and managers but unlike last year, I didn’t find going back to the drawing board as hard. I was trained and taught that a lot of the time I am the outlet through which people (clients) fulfill their thoughts and ideas about video and messaging. All I can do is advise, suggest and do…and this is sometimes way harder than you’d think, trust me! Last year, when I had to reign back on the creative, I felt like my vision wasn’t being appreciated, like the company was playing it too safe, like we could do so much more but at the same time I understood why we had to take a step back. This year, when the same thing was happening…”let’s reel it in a bit and play it safe“, I found myself thinking, “Joe, have thick skin and don’t take offense“. And I didn’t! I really didn’t have any emotional feelings attached to the work at all. Even though I had just spent the last day working on the animation, it didn’t bother me to return to the animation and start to change things up. Imaging how much easier it is starting over with no bad feelings…FREEDOM! And, growth. I definitely didn’t start off this way almost 12 years ago.
“Why are you telling me this” (you might ask)… “Because… (I would say back to you), in this line of work you rarely work for yourself”. That being the case, the logical other side of the coin is that we work for others. Others ideas, others messaging, others visions and sometimes even others mistakes…but it is “others”. All I can do is suggest, advise and recommend based on my experience; creative and technical and then do what the client asks. It used to kill me to think someone wanted me to change hours or days worth of work that I had put it. “How dare they ask me to change that, don’t they know that was my favorite part of the video?!” Now, I try to let it roll off the shoulder. Sometimes it is harder than others, but I guess it’s like practicing anything else in life, it gets easier and we learn how to do it better.
Last Years Animation BEFORE the revamp
Last Years Animation AFTER the revamp