I was thrilled to be contacted recently by Tom Guttry, Head of Splunk’s Media Studio and Robert Hammond, Principal Multimedia Producer at Splunk Inc. to design the Event & Seminar Video Walls and Booth graphics for their biggest event of the year, .conf18!
This year, .conf18 is being held at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida and the guest speaker is Steve Wozniak.
Splunk is a huge software development company based in San Francisco, founded on the premise to “make machine data accessible, usable and valuable to everyone” and is publicly traded on NASDAQ.
Motion Design for .conf18 Conference Stage Video Wall
The main stage at .conf18 required motion graphics for an enormous video wall backdrop to the conference events, such as the CEO Keynote and important product announcements and updates for the attendees. These graphics were to be branded and styled generally to Splunk Inc’s branding guidelines, and specifically to .conf18’s style and branding guidelines. The graphic walls are a whopping 10720x1600px at 29.97fps. A total of eight, loopable :20 second moving graphics were needed for all the conference events, in addition to the .conf18 opening and keynote graphics produced by Splunk’s in-house Media Studio. A new iMac Pro 10-core Macintosh workstation was acquired by CODesign in order to meet the artistic needs and tight production timelines required by the project. The final digital files were delivered in the HAP codec in order to be playable on the conference’s three main stage screens.
Stills from some of the the .conf18 Video Wall graphics. (Click on image to enlarge)
While rendering these monster files, I noticed that After Effects wasn’t fully utilizing the iMac Pro’s cores or graphics card. After some research I discovered RenderGarden by Mekajiki (“It’s Not A Farm, Just A Little Garden”) script for After Effects. Trying out the generous fully-functional demo, I found the script enabled the iMac Pro to use its full capability, allowing customization of the number of core processes needing to be initialized. Previously, the native After Effects renders were taking so long that there was a possibility of not meeting .conf18’s tight deadlines. Purchasing RenderGarden also freed us to create animations and designs at this large size that might have needed to be abandoned for time.
Eight of these massive video walls were created as :20 second loops so they could be switched in and out of the conference events. Other elements such as Splunk and .conf18 logos, infographics and live video (see photos of conference above) were overlaid onto the graphic walls live as needed.
Appropriately, Steve Wozniak was interviewed in front of one of my graphics, produced on the newest version of the computer he invented. Thanks, Steve!
.conf18 Event Booth Graphics
I also was asked to produce and design graphics for their event booth which were about half the size of the Event graphics, but arranged vertically. These were to be more dynamic than the Event graphics and set the tone for the booth draw in attendees. Click here to see the video of the endless looping graphic.
All of the .conf18’s graphics were branded and styled according to Splunk’s extensive and specific branding guidelines and color palettes. Early in the project, I was told by Tom Guttry that “Splunkers love to see their code animated!”, so I utilized Splunk’s provided code samples, and made prodigious use of Splunk’s software interface elements including Splunk’s Tube Graphs, City Graphs, Mountain Graphs, and Radar Graphs.
The Adobe Creative Cloud software was also used to produce these graphics, and in addition Maxon’s Cinema 4D was used in the “Tube Graph” graphic when I couldn’t get the 3D bend in the code background just right in After Effects’ 3D space. C4D and After Effect’s integrated workflow allowed me to use the C4D camera to animate the Tube Graph elements in After Effects, creating a seamless perspective landscape.
“A Million Data Points” Video Graphics
Splunk Inc also produced videos for .conf18, highlighting their recruitment program’s focus on diversity. The “You Are A Million Data Points” video series illustrates how diversity contributes to Splunk’s corporate culture, richness, and the importance of thinking differently. I worked with Sarah Harbin - Senior Video Director | Brand and Creative - on her vision for the graphic titles she wanted to illustrate this concept. Again, these graphics were branded and styled to Splunk’s strict guidelines.
Opening Title sequence for “A Million Data Points”.
Sarah’s concept was to use Splunk’s color palette and data “points” (dots) to represent the spectrum and diversity that Splunk celebrates. In the sequence above, the subject’s name and Splunk Title are displayed below the main title; “A Million Data Points”. the main title explodes into color dots towards camera.
End Title sequence for “A Million Data Points”.
The End Title animation concept was the reverse of the Opening Title. In it, we see the color dots re-converge into the video tagline, “You are a million data points.” over a field of color dots behind the text. As the tagline recedes into the background, the remaining color dots converge into the splunk logo and corporate tagline followed by call to action text (added later) underneath the company brand.
Thanks again to Tom Guttry, Robert Hammond, Sarah Harbin and the rest of the “splunkers” that I had the pleasure of working with from my Los Angeles office!