Behind the Scenes : Trocaire College

Frank

As you read here, Quinlan was recently awarded a Bronze Telly Award for the high definition (HD) commercial we produced for Trocaire College. As promised, we’re giving you an exclusive  inside look on what went into making this award winning commercial.

The idea behind the spot, titled “Trocaire is Healthcare”, was to give a feel of a custom mobile app showcasing Trocaire’s capabilities and educational programs. Apple’s iPad and Windows’ Metro user interface (UI) were used for inspiration while concepting the spot.

Once our team decided on a concept and storyboarded the spot, the collection of materials and production phase began.  Trocaire and Quinlan both agreed that the use of actual students in the advertising is essential.  The next step was to schedule a photo and video shoot of the brave volunteer students.  Every person seen in the spot was a student at Trocaire College.  All the still photos were silhouetted and composited into different scenes by our creative team. The video set up included a mobile greenscreen and lighting staged in an empty classroom, and the footage was shot with our Canon 60D HDSLR camera.  The final step in asset collection was shooting the star of the commercial, the swiping hand. With our greenscreen properly lit and camera perched over top, our actress performed several versions of swipes, pinches, drags and taps.

The majority of the post production for “Trocaire is Healthcare” was done within Adobe After Effects.  After Effects is the perfect tool for any motion graphics, whether it’s a simple logo animation or high end special effects. All the keying, or removing and replacing the greenscreen, was done using Keylight within After Effects.  When your greenscreen is lit properly, using Keylight becomes nearly a one click job.  When you have lighting hotspots or shadows throughout the screen, you will need to do a lot more work in post production.  I am an avid user of the term “I’ll fix it in post”, but when it comes to greenscreens, proper lighting is essential.  The trick is to make sure the screen is lit evenly.

The most difficult aspect of working with greenscreen footage is very quick movement.  The natural motion blurs these movements create will still show some green.  In order to remove these, you need to work with the Screen Matte and Screen Balance within Keylight.  This will shift these blurry greens to a more suitable color.  The tactic to avoid would be to crank the Screen Gain.  This will remove too much color and the rest of your key will not work correctly.

Once all the keying was completed, we needed to time each finger movement to the movement of the Trocaire program tiles.  Each tile needed to be fullscreen for a certain number of frames throughout the spot.  The drag and drop scene was especially challenging.  In order to sync up the movements, we used Time Remapping within After Effects.  Time Remapping allows you to shift the timing of a certain scene.  This gives you the ability to slow down or speed up one scene at different spots, and helps a great deal when you are trying to match action in two unrelated scenes.

To complete the final spot, we added some polish.  For the finger taps at the beginning and end, we used VideoCopilot’s Optical Flares to give the feel that the Trocaire logo was “powering up”. After the compositing of all the elements was complete, they were exported and brought into our non-linear editor, Adobe Premiere Pro.  In Premiere, we paired the final composition with our new audio track provided by Propellerhead Media, made some final tweaks to timing and colors, and exported the file into formats ready for high definition broadcast across Western New York. Take a look at the final video here.

Quinlan & Trocaire win Telly Award

Quinlan

We are thrilled to announce that we’ve won a prestigious Bronze TELLY award for the television spot we produced for Trocaire College. If you haven’t seen the commercial yet, you can check it out here.

2012 marks the 33rd annual TELLY awards, honoring outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, the finest video and film productions, and online commercials, videos, and films.

Our Trocaire College TV commercial was selected from nearly 11,000 entries.

Congratulations to our Interactive Developer, Frank Conjerti, and to our entire creative team for putting this spot together and making it happen for Quinlan and our clients!

Visit www.tellyawards.com and stay tuned for more information, including a behind the scenes look into the making of the award-winning commercial.

Essential (and Mostly Free) iPad Apps

Frank

With the release of “the new iPad” recently, a number of people have decided to bite the bullet and buy one for themselves.  As amazing as the technology crammed into this tiny slate is, the iPad is only as good as the apps available.  Being an original iPad owner, I have plenty of experience downloading the “one-and-done” apps.  Those gimmicky apps that either get deleted immediately or are tucked into a folder on your fourth screen.  Amongst the thousands of apps available, there are a select few that have been on my homescreen since day one, the Essential (and free) iPad Apps.

Paper for iPad   8. Paper (Free with in-app add-ons) – This brand new app has finally pulled off something that seemed obvious for the iPad but was never executed this well: simple note-taking and sketching.  Using your finger or stylus (yes, a stylus) in Paper actually feels quite natural, and the user interface (UI) is very responsive and well thought out.  The free app comes with one pen and nine different colors, however you can add different pens for $1.99 each or $7.99 for all of them.  For most users, the extra tools won’t be necessary.

Pulse News for iPad   7. Pulse News (Free) – Pulse News was the first news reader I downloaded and I loved it immediately.  However, over time, the app became too cluttered.  With the ability to add an infinite number of feeds, I was a little overwhelmed.  Since then, Pulse has successfully updated its user interface and developed smaller versions for the iPhone, Android and Windows Phone – all synced with a “Pulse.me” account so all your settings are available anywhere.

Wunderlist HD   6. Wunderlist (Free) – The one area where the iPad has lacked was a cross-platform To-Do list app in the cloud.  Not everyone is completely encompassed in the Apple ecosphere.  I, for one, own a Windows Phone.  Apple recently added Reminders with iOS 5.0, which works very well, if all your devices and computers are Apple.  Wunderlist is a free service that can be accessed  on a Mac, PC, Android, iOS and now Windows Phone.  This great looking app keeps track of all your tasks and syncs in the cloud perfectly.

Evernote   5. Evernote (Free) – Another cross-platform cloud based service, Evernote syncs notes, ideas, images, and even web pages to your iPad.  Evernote is incredibly useful and easy to use.  Have a quick thought or great idea? Simply fire up the app and jot it down. Evernote will save them instantly and you’ll be able to access them from the web or native OSX or Windows applications.

Instapaper   4. Instapaper ($4.99) – Now back to the cloud.  Another app I use daily is Instapaper.  A lot of times while browsing, I will come across an interesting article that I just don’t have the time to read.  With a free account, I can click my browser bookmark “Read Later” and Instapaper will save the article for me to read at a later date.  The best part of this service is that these articles can be read “offline”.  So, if you’re stuck at the mechanic with no wireless connection, you can still read all your Instapaper articles.

Dropbox   3. Dropbox (Free with available upgrades) – Dropbox could be my favorite app ever.  Dropbox is essentially a hard drive in the cloud.  The great thing about the free service though, is when installed on your home or work computer, your Dropbox appears as any other folder.  When items are placed into the Dropbox folder, they are accessible locally or in the cloud from any device. As a video editor, this has come in handy hundreds of times.  For long renders, I can set the output folder to Dropbox and head home to view the finished video on my iPad.  Once again, this is a free cloud-based service…notice a pattern yet?

Tweetbot - A Twitter Client with Personality for iPad   2. Tweetbot ($2.99) – The most useful tool in social media has to be Twitter.  Twitter gives us the ability to share news and information at lightning speeds.  It has become my only source for sports information and has had an enormous influence on network television, movies and politics.  That being said, the official Twitter app for the iPad has been a large disappointment.  Twitter on the web is relatively light to begin with, and it’s a shame they removed some functionality from their iPad app.  This is where Tweetbot comes in.  Every aspect of Tweetbot is considerably better than the official Twitter app.  All the functionality of the site is there and the user interface is outstanding.

Flipboard   1. Flipboard (Free) – This app seems to make it to the top of everyone’s iPad app list, and rightly so.  Flipboard takes any news feed, including those from Facebook, Twitter, and Linked in and formats them into a personalized magazine.  The user interface is incredible and the functionality is perfect.

What are your essential apps? Share them in the comments section!