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2020 Reel Open Breakdown

A new year deserves a new motion graphics sizzle reel. And a good sizzle deserves a fun intro clip. As I've been learning new skills and expanding what I want to create, I thought this would be a good chance to make something in a style I'd like to make for clients. Dress for the job you want, right? So this year's reel intro is all about combining stylized 3D environments, rendered with Redshift in Cinema 4D, with illustrations, drawn in Procreate and rigged in After Effects with DUIK. Below are some of the individual 2D elements pre-3D integration.


The 3D of this scene is a mix of simple landscape object geo that I tweaked with sculpting tools within C4D, Quixel elements such as rocks and stumps, various PBR textures for the ground, and Forester trees saved as animated Redshift proxies scattered with Forester cloners.

Redshift was a treat to use for this. I find RS has a simplicity and versatility that allows me to work pretty quickly. Quixel Bridge and textures packs such as Greyscale Gorilla's and others make it easy to kick out what's kickin' around in my head.


This dragonfly has a lot more detail than anyone will see, but alas, it can't be helped. I used reference imagery to draw the wings in Procreate then in Photoshop I created Diffuse, Luminance, Normal, Spec, and Alpha passes for Redshift. The body is mostly modeled with lofts in C4D.


I guess it's only fair (wink wink) that this magical glen have a hipster fae. She is definitely judging you. But she'll point you to the tallboys if you ask. I intend to ask her for a Spotify playlist.


Next up is the frog. This one was really fun to rig and almost impossible to see any of in the intro. But so it goes, right? Also, this is the first time I've tried cel animating a water effect.


I'd be lying if I didn't admit to thinking "would this intro look dope on the side of a sweet 1980s camper van". So, I just had to have a Pegasus. It's also a little bit of an homage to the mascot of my Angel City Derby days. As a note, I didn't really care too much about how goofy the first few frames of the animation looked, so please overlook that part, as you really only see it rear up in the actual intro. Gotta pick and choose your battles. I believe that's called "stylistic streamlining".


Honestly, this took me the longest. I really wanted to stay fun and 2D with my name. Something about "Penny Zee" just never looks that good in some kind of 3D logoform. So, I opted to add some old school video game elements and just enjoy the simplicity of it.


Finally, I used After Effects to bring it all together and add the little extra effects, Depth of Field, glows and bloom, and overall color treatment. Shout out to Boris FX Sapphire, Frischluft Lens Care, Video Copilot Saber, and Red Giant, well, lots of Red Giant.

Thanks for checking this out!

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