© Mark Platten 2006



pop idol

- 3ds Max
- After Effects

A project which began life as a hasty mid-afternoon sequence for a pitch that was never taken further.

I was handed some cursory Adobe Illustrator graphics in Max, lofted them out for the basic 3d logo, and did what I could with it in the hours available.

After the initial effort, the redundant project was laid to one side and largely forgotten about.

I'd never watched Pop Idol - the programme, so perhaps the novelty value was a factor; or perhaps the kitsch logo simply made a welcome change from the usual kind I regularly work with.

Whatever the reason, I later returned to the project and gave it my own spin.

No great surprises in the production. Zing a camera around the logo, stir in motion blur to taste, sprinkle on plenty of TrapCode's 'Shine', simmer gently, add a nebulous blue background and some gently rippling pop-like silhouettes.
Exaggerated fall-off maps gave the emphasised knife-edge glows on the star's pseudo-glass material. As always, with thin horizontal elements you have to double-check the results on a target monitor, and my trusty Matrox Parhelia did me proud here: just enough subtle vertical blur took care of any nasty interlacing issues.

As the 3D elements had to be composited separately, I opted against raytraced refractions in MAX because, of course, the native renderer doesn't acknowledge refractions' alphas against their background in the scene.

With more time, a flat matte of all the glass material on camera could have been generated and used to deliniate some transform / distortion / lens compensation fx adjustment layer(s) in post, to simulate

When I finally got around to watching an episode of the programme, I was highly entertained - not so much by the procession of 15 minutes' fame-seeking wannabe crooners, but by the fact that the 'official', broadcast version of this logo sequence doesn't compare too favourably against my own low-budget interpretation.

So: who was it said the big boys can't be beat..?