After Effects – All Stars Roller (part 2)

I took some time in the past week to think about what sort of sequence I wanted to make for my contribution to the class roller. My main goal was to pick something relatively simple, but eye-catching and about someone memorable to me. I’d pretty much already decided that I was going to pick an actor and initially I thought about trying to do Michael J. Fox for his roll as Marty in (my favourite movie) Back to the Future. However, the idea I had, which circled around the idea of the fire tracks and a speedometer showing the 88mph, seemed needlessly complicated for something I needed to make on my own.

Instead, I thought of other childhood favourites and eventually settled on Adam West’s fantastic role as Batman. I thought about the hilarious re-runs I would watch and the best parts were always the fights – they were great for a child to watch because of the POW and SPLAT images that would block out most of the violence. The iconic Bat Signal hailing the caped crusader will always make me smile with glee. What better ideas than these to make my roller?


I started by searching for a font that resembled the original television show logo and found one that worked perfectly. Making this up into his name, there was only one way to introduce him – much like the transitions from the old show, his name needed to spin on the scene. I could already here the sound effects playing in my head as I keyed in the rotation and resize.

After that, I went onto Production Crate (my new favourite site, thanks Gary!) to find some effects that would work well with the roller. ‘Lo and behold, there were some that felt perfect – the West would get into a scuffle, behind some cartoon-ish smoke, with a large CRACK finishing it off just like it would have in the series. After that, I wanted a Bat Signal to appear and swoop around the name like a spotlight before settling for the hero shot with the name in full and the logo to its right for the last frame.

There wasn’t anything too complicated done in this version of the exercise, but I still really like it. I think it matches the simplicity and style of the show. If I make time to create a 2.0 version, I would make some of my own SMACK images (as I’m now calling them) instead, so I can include a few of them popping up one after another. However, we did have to restrict the length of the clip to no more than 9 seconds. Mine JUST makes the cut, so adding more to it would mean I’d have to speed up all the action and it could become too difficult to see what’s going on. Currently I like the timing and the look.

If I have time to make a second roller, I might do that just for practice, but I think this one will definitely be my contribution!


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