Mid Atlantic Farm Credit: Crop Insurance
Art Direction, Illustration, Animation
Mid-Atlantic Farm Credit (MAFC) was looking for a video their sales staff could use to highlight their Crop Insurance product(s) to their non-corporate & relatively un tech-savvy customer base
(Keep it) Brief
MAFC and several other branches of the Farm Credit System wanted a handcrafted, organic, fun feel to bring some warmth & life into an otherwise dull subject: Crop Insurance. I worked with the team at Room 214 to concept, pitch, storyboard, illustrate and animate these videos for MAFC's sales teams to use to get farmers excited about Crop Insurance.
Illustration, Illustration, Illustration
This was my most illustration-heavy project yet, and with over :90 of animation & illustration needed between the 4 videos, I knew I needed to keep the style near my wheelhouse and find a way to fake a hand-drawn look that played to my strength of vector animation.
I played around with ways to roughen up strokes & animation within illustrator, but also knew I needed to avoid using any different brushes, because After Effects doesn't play nicely with anything other than the standard brush. By playing with some offset fills, roughen strokes, and some fun fill textures, I got the styleframe to a spot where we were happy with the look, and I was also confident that it was actually reproduceable in Ae.
Luckily, the client(s) loved it right off the bat, so we were able to jump straight into production!
Problem-Solving in Ae
Normally, I would use Overlord to bring paths directly into Ae, but this approach was far too slow for this project, and I needed to find an alternate solution so my working speed wouldn't be brought to a crawl.
I illustrated each scene in Illustrator (broken into nice layers, of course), and found that a nice use of the Turbulent Displace effect worked perfectly when the item was small in the frame. I used Ray Dynamic Texture & Ray Dynamic Color extensively to control and easily edit colors & textures, and keep everything consistent.
A big challenge of these projects was the different versions needed for each arm of the Farm Credit System, because each has different products they wanted to highlight, so I got to make use of my favorite Ae Feature...
I made extensive use of Master Properties (easily the most underrated/underutilized feature in Ae) to build a number of rigs that could be easily changed in each master comp.
The most challenging of these rigs was a hand that needed to be able to open/close, and turn 180 degrees from front to back. This was rigged entirely using master properties, and several layers of nested comps.