The Optimal Path [Work-In-Progress]

I’ve been quiet lately.

Not quiet on Twitter; never quiet on Twitter. Just haven’t updated this website for a bit of time or been to a major tournament in about a month.

Final Round was huge. I really didn’t expect the amount of attention that came from commentating Final Round at all. I’ve been working on using my new sudo-fame on improving our locals and giving more attention to regular players and organizers that work hard to make everything in my area possible.

I now work at Xanadu Games as the FGC tournament organizer and run the weekly streams at The Cave Gaming. That’s pretty cool.

Earlier today, I was experimenting with a cool project, which doesn’t really have a name yet. The project is essentially just a local version of the Red Bull “Hometown Hero” campaign, where they followed different people in the country and showed their stories. I’m doing a similar thing, except exclusively for people in my area. Once again, no project name yet.

I spent about five hours making this. John recorded some lines, I found some epic music and stock footage, then finished producing what I think is probably the most epic 45 second video I’ve made in my entire life.

The finished video will be a bit longer than 1 minute and 30 seconds and will be used to raise interest in the local venue, The Cave Fairfax. Hopefully, pulling new people and old gamers alike or at add to stream and attendance retention. Title of the video is “The Optimal Path”, named thus because of Zidiane’s knack for attempting ‘the most optimal combos possible’

Majin Sharpie WTF

I’ve been doing some work on the branding front, especially with getting ready for events that I’m going to attend or stream. This was the first time I’ve actually done something with Adobe Effects for that purpose.

It started with a commission that I got as a Patreon reward from DragonsInMySky. As an aside, I highly recommend checking out her Patreon and commission information because she does fantastic work. From there, I needed to was just as simple as making a Photoshop edit with some cool event information.

Finished Photoshop edit with FINAL ROUND LOGO information and MAJINSHARPIE art.

I actually used the edit as the featured image for the FINAL ROUND 18 event page added to my event schedule earlier yesterday. I could have stopped there, but nah, WHY NOT GO THE EXTRA MILE? I mean, honestly, everyone uses this type of advertising stuff on Twitter now-a-days. Circa eSports is a good example of an org that consistently uses these ads. GIFs tend to get more attention on Twitter, I’ve noticed. So, why not make it into an animated gif that stood out?

Here is where we get into some simple Adobe After Effects stuff. My first attempt was pretty trash. I learned from a tutorial I found on YouTube, but skipped a step that ended up in just a slow zoom in and out from the layers. The reviews I got on them were a bit less than expected. The biggest criticism was that it was really jumpy and static; I was told that easing my layers would make it look more natural.

Test #1 Animating MAJINSHARPIE with Adobe After Effects. (click photo for original YT link)

A second attempt was actually a lot better. I added some Puppet effects in After Effects to animate the fingers and head to give it the illusion that it was moving. Still not 100% yet. I’d like to add a bit more life in her and change the way the background animates. Something along the lines of this would be ideal, but I don’t know how feasible it is right now.

Well, that’s all I got for now! I’ll keep blog updated on some more tests I run!