Case Studies

Case study: Lexi / animated lower-thirds

By 3 December, 2015 No Comments

Wanted to bring you something different from the regular case studies and cross over into the world of YouTube. This isn’t branding but rather working with an established brand. Got contacted for this project before Thanksgiving and we worked to push the change out as fast as possible.

The brief

Create a lower-third for Alexi’s YouTube videos but something that also could work with Twitch. Me and Michaela, the one in charge of the project, talked back and forth about what we could do to get the best end product and what programs we should use.

We landed on a After Effects template file, that can be used in Final Cut X , two .gif files for streaming and 5 tutorial videos. That way they wouldn’t have to go back to me each time they needed a new name added and they knew they didn’t need more then 2 lower-thirds for the Twitch stream. At the start they would have needed 6 different lower-thirds so this way Michaela can now create any number of future lower-thirds.


Lexi color 2

Color Inspiration

Michaela sent over a few images to use as inspiration for colors that Lexi wanted and I also picked up colors from their current video intro. That we it would still be inline with their current setup and not stick out like a sore thumb. When working with a already established brand you and when you’re not doing a re-brand it’s very important to understand all of the rules they have set. Even if they haven’t set any rules for Lexi they’re still there. It’s a understanding between Lexi and her viewers.

It’s not the first time I work with animations so I had a few ideas that I wanted to try out for the in and out animations. I wanted them to feel cutesy but also smooth and more of a MTV/Music Channel feel then a TV news broadcast. It wasn’t just the colors that had to be playful but the animations had to have the same feel.


Lexi After Effects

Layer structure

I used After Effects to create everything that you can see below. You can use both Illustrator or Photoshop and then import those files and you’ll still have all of the layers intact. However I wanted to keep the file and file size to a minimum so creating everything in After Effects was the best alternative.

The whole setup is pretty simple actually. I used color blocks, so Lexi can easily change the colors of each block depending on what’s needed. For instance around Halloween you might want black and orange and during Christmas you might want red and green. The point is to make the entire thing easily controlled and changed even for someone with only a little bit of experience in the program.

With the animations I’m using both a animated mask, a animated alpha channel and several keyframes to actually have things move. I also rigged a control layer so you can easily change size, position and even do further animations if needed. All without having to go in and individually change each layer and adjust mask and alpha channels. Again everything to make it as easy as possible to change for someone else that isn’t me.

Lexi compositions

Several compositions to make up one final file

I used a second composition to animate the moving pineapple. Created the pattern in Photoshop by using offset and then by using Motion Tile in After Effects I could animate it moving sideways like that. All you’re seeing there is one pattern file repeated and not one big image that is moving. The orange background is it’s own layer behind the pattern so even that can change color by changing the color of the block.

Final version

Going to show two of the final animations that also was made in .gifs. I simply exported the files as PNG sequences and then imported them as a video layer inside of Photoshop. Used “Save for web…” and saved them as .gif files. A pretty simple way of getting a high quality .gif file without having to use other applications. Photoshop CC have a decent timeline these days and not just frame animation so using it is easy.

Lexi lower-third

Lexi lower-third

Hunter Pace lower-third

Hunter Pace lower-third

This was a very fun project to work on and hopefully work won’t stop just because it’s the holidays. I know that I’ve screwed up the whole podcast thing but it took way too much time to set it all up. I’ll however try to have one-shots of it whenever I have time.

On a brighter note I’m working with two awesome guys to get a new show started. It’s going to be a show about in-depth Twitch stuff and hopefully it will be something you all can enjoy. It’s all still in the works, we don’t even have a name yet and we only have a few segments that we’re solid on. No matter what I’ll post information here and on Twitter (@visiblespeech) about the project as we start to set things in stone.

Enjoy your weekend! I’ve got some pro-bono work that I have to get going (non-Twitch related).




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