UofA Football Starting Lineups

This project had quite a few different layers to it in terms of workflow. It was more of a design as I went and figure out a template on the fly kinda effort, unfortunately. If I had created a template better from the start, I may have had a better workflow.

The first part of it was obviously the shoot. We had a single 3-4 hour shoot on Media Day in early August where every player came through. We had set up 2 green screens; one with our standard stand ups, and the other for the slowmo Sony FS700 camera. Unfortunately the way this camera shoots we could not get every player, and we had to leave the shoot to use the camera elsewhere before we captured everyone. Hoping to rent an extra one this year so we don’t run into that problem, because the FS700 footage looked amazing. GS
After the shoot, I logged the footage pretty primitively, just in folders in Premiere.  From here, I began to start messing around with the footage. Once I found a song that had a good loop, I threw together some stuff and finally got a look that I was at least somewhat happy with. I then created a green screen template in Premiere for each player to follow. PremiereGS  I then exported this as Animation, and took it into After Effects to key. There were 2 layers to key, as you can see some of it overlaps, so each player had PlayerKey_1 and PlayerKey_2. This made things a little more difficult, but not too much.
I used AE’s great included plugin Keylight to key out all the footage. I use this for all my green screen stuff, and I’ve always been pretty happy with the results. I’ve found 99% of the time, as long as you have a well lit green screen and a decent quality camera you’ll pull a great key with Keylight. I then rendered this back out as Animation with Alpha so that AE didn’t have to worry about Keylight anymore.
From there, it was just a matter of duplicating a previous AE comp and replacing the assets with the new player (somewhat easier said than done).  Each comp consisted of basically 4 parts. The intro, the head, the player name, and the outro. AE_ShyThe intro, the head, and the outro were all pre-comps, and the player name was just  all in the main comp. I did this for a few reasons, and probably could have done it 100 different ways, but for some reason this is how it was. Since I had already edited the footage and keyed it out, all of the .mov’s were easily just replaced with the new footage. From there, it was a matter of replacing all of the text. Some of the text was entered as full words and easily replaced. I had expressions to link the intro and outro text as well. But some of the text I animated by letter. DecomposeText, SequenceLayers, and easeAndwizz scripts from AEScripts.com were a huge help in this. Still, I had to re-do each player. I also used Shy layers in AE to get rid of stuff I wouldn’t need to change per comp. By the time it was all said and done, I could make a new player in about 10-15 minutes.
I’ve always loved simple shape animations, and am a huge fan of simple motion tracking, so I spent a good bit of time coming up with some simple shapes I could track to the players. Because of their red jerseys having lots of white logos on them, it was generally pretty simple to track. Only a few times did I have to hand track a shot. One of the biggest downsides to doing football lineup graphics is that you have to be able to re-create it 22-30+ times. I would have loved to have been a lot more in depth and done some crazy stuff, but there was just no way to easily re-create that per play in a reasonable time. I’m hoping to have a little time over the summer to work on some ideas, so I can spend a lot more time on them this year.
Back to the workflow. Once a player was done, I rendered him out as a single player from AE, and imported into Premiere. My premiere timeline was setup to where any player could replace any player when needed. Each one was the same length, and they all matched up to the audio. So when a player needed to be taken out or added, it was very easy. The only other thing that had to be changed each week was the Outro with the opponents logo.


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