PlayStation Now Countdown Video

With the official launch for PlayStation™Now just around the corner, we were asked to create a special countdown video for a company event that would serve to symbolize the release of our new service. We were given complete creative

control with the only caveats being that it had to look 'techy' and that it 'be exciting'. With these requests in mind, I set out try and achieve these goals. For this project, I was responsible for all design as well as art direction. 

Style Frames

I knew from the beginning what sort of look and feel I wanted to go with. I envisioned a short loading sequence followed by a number of HUD elements flickering on showing miscellaneous information and then the actual countdown following that. A lot of my inspiration in the beginning came from the way screen elements looked in the film Alien, in that I wanted something with a bit of a retro   

feel and not overly polished. With the basic concept in mind, I started to explore some ideas. I quickly zeroed in on what I wanted to do and started with creating a series of style frames that would serve to convey the overall style of the piece as well as how the sequence would flow. The following images are what I presented to our team for approval.

What I ended up with was a large HUD displayed over a starfield that I imagined would be spinning slowly. I designed all of the various analytics arrays in a way to be totally random yet appear convincing at first glance and would be flashing and moving in various ways. I had an idea wherein as the countdown got closer to

one, there would be a visual degredation (i.e. pixelation, flickering, etc.), as if there were a surge of energy building which would then fade to white. Our team loved the idea and approved it without any revisions. The next step would be to begin the animation process. 

Animation Test

I don't get to do motion pieces very often, so I took this opportunity to crack open After Effects and prepare a sort of animation test. I started out exploring the analytics arrays and how they would turn on and animate during the course of the video. Once I had that in a place I was happy with, I moved to animating in the

circular grid, choosing to have it appear from the edges inward. Lastly, I spent a decent amount of time exploring ways for the numbers in the countdown to cycle through. I was really happy with what I ended up with, which is why I wanted to include it in this project entry. 

After completing the animation test, I turned all of the animation duties over to Tom Srisook for the remainder of the project. Together, we worked on fleshing out the rest of the video and ended up with something that was a lot different than I had envisioned during the style frame design process. We added some things like the initial static video clips (which includes a 1 frame cameo appearance of

Arnold Schwarzenegger's Mr. Freeze) and the HUD loader, and removed other things like all of the degradation near the end of the countdown. Tom did a fantastic job on the motion graphics as well as the sound design and everyone really enjoyed it at the event. You can watch the final video below.  

Final Video