AECOM Planning + Design Animations

Working with AECOM, I've been creating, animating and directing a variety of short movies for the fields of Landscape Design, Urban Planning and Environmental Sciences.  Here are a few highlights.




At AECOM, I created this animation to illustrate the current infrastructure of the water system in San Francisco's West Side Ocean Beach, collaborating with SPUR & SFPUC.  These animations have greatly helped create a greater awareness and understanding of the project for the public.




This project's masterplan was complex, with many elevations and concept elements that wove together.  The following is an excerpt from the 1st half of the original movie I created.  It shows how the plan concept was derived, composed of key elements that are driven by the interweaving concept of Mountain, Terrace, Garden, River & City.




I created this animation to illustrate how our designers came up with their initial ground level paving concept and how it was inspired from shifts and geology fault lines.




This movie effectively conveyed our team's 3 different designs using the concept of replenishing the flow of Qi energy into the project site.  Listening to cinematic music was a key element in finding the emotional inspiration to drive the content.  I composited special effects with stock footage in Adobe After Effects and made custom animations in 3ds MAX using Mental Ray Ambient Occlusion shader for the 'white model' look and then put them all together in Premiere CS4.  The perspective renderings were done by the designers.





Creating this movie was a major effort spanning several weeks.  After building the 3D Site Model and animating the fly-thru cameras, I worked closely with Transparent House on creating the lighting, feel and movement for the 3D Animation, which they then rendered out individual clips back to me for editing into the movie.  I also created some of the still renderings, supervised and polished some others done by the design team, and then animated in After Effects many subtle but evocative moments in each still, enhancing the emotion and story.  Towards the end of the movie where the camera pulls back from the site, in Premiere, I had a blast making the subtle lens flare effect disappear behind the towers at the appropriate time.  Details details!




This was the 1st movie I created that incorporated my experiments of animating elements on top of still renderings together with animated concept diagrams, with a soundtrack, courtesy of remix artist, Marumari.  It was a great experience that set the tone for future movie projects that excited our clients consistently.





Creating these simulations marked a great moment in my career as I had to do some creative problem solving in very little time.  I had limited tools and software to visualize our team's vision for the water feature in the plaza and I didn't have time to animate particle systems.  I came up with the solution of binding the water jet geometries in 3ds MAX to a pliable grid mesh that will displace and space warp a certain direction once I rolled a piece of custom shaped geometry underneath and animated that piece, which allowed the rest to just...follow.  I then composited and lit the scene in After Effects.