PixelPlex - Motion Graphics, Visual Effects, and 3D Animation in San Diego

The Giving Tree

San Diego, CA

On October 10, 2014, I had the opportunity to provide live motion graphics support for the “Celebration Under the Dome” fundraising event hosted by the San Diego Public Library Foundation at the Central Library in Downtown San Diego.

If you live in San Diego and haven’t been to the Central Library yet, do yourself a favor and go check it out. The library was decked out with decorations, tasty food, and live entertainment spanning three floors. The video above shows a few shots I was able to capture with a small camcorder as I snuck out of the control room at the tail end of the event (I missed the trapeze artists!). It also shows examples of some of the graphics I created, which were displayed on 50″ and 70″ HDTV’s set up throughout the library. The theme for the evening was based on the children’s book The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. To support this theme I modeled a 3D tree in Maya and composited it in After Effects with models of stones and grass, as well as a spherical sky map and a lens flare to simulate the sun. This next video shows one full camera orbit around the tree.

The lights floating around the tree represent donations. As such, the number of lights increased from zero to several hundred throughout the evening. And we did live transitions from the tree animation to motion graphics for each donor as donations came in. We also had a live ticker running across the bottom of the tree animation which updated with new donor names throughout the evening.

This fundraising event was a great success, and I’m glad I was able to contribute to such a worthy cause. Thanks to everyone at the San Diego Public Library Foundation and the City of San Diego for their technical support and creative collaboration, and thanks to the awesome folks at American Dream Cinema for bringing me into the fold.

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