An interactive animation of the Battle of Gettysburg
During grad school, whenever I heard a professor say to the class "I need you to come up with an idea for..." my mind would immediately start buzzing with ideas. I have an active imagination and a better than average memory, so when something gets stuck in it I enjoy reflecting on how to best make it real.
My last class Senior year of Undergrad had been a thorough overview of the American Civil War. It was fascinating for many reasons, but what I kept coming back to was the Battle of Gettysburg. After the lecture I kept seeing it unfold in my mind, the troops moving across a map of the battlefield, grey and blue-coated infantry as icons traversing towards each other. When my Flash class professor gave us the freedom to build whatever we wanted, I saw a golden opportunity to finally make my vision real.
Admiral Farragut and the Civil War
After Effects is easily one of my favorite applications. Not only can you use it to manipulate digital video and green screen, but also make some great animations. Since I'm a big history buff, I decided to make my own brief documentary about one of the more unique stories from the Civil War, Admiral Farragut's expedition against the Confederate States.
Sometimes is starts as a joke, then often it rapidly evolves into one of those "wouldn't it be funny if...?" discussions. Over at the Harvard Department of Continuing Education I spent some years taking classes and working there, getting to know the people and enjoying the culture of good-natured ribbing. One day, a manager asked if I could put together the assistant director of the computer lab there. Since I knew the AD and that he had a good sense of humor, I said "Sure, sounds like fun."
First I started with a photo of a weightlifter of impressive bulk if limited stature...
Then a quick grab of Pierre's ID photo from the Harvard Employee Portal...
And then a few tricks and pixel manipulations with Photoshop, and we have a wall-hanging worthy tribute to Pierre.