Aaron Latimer was tasked with designing the video element for the projection mapped cross. The goal of the design was to move and transform the cross stylistically, through geometric shapes.
This project was an interesting one for Aaron. He’s a video editor. Not a designer. Here he was, never having designed something in his life, now tasked with designing the centerpiece for Easter. The idea was simple. But the execution was technical and meticulous. Plus, some of the equipment they used made it harder on themselves than it could have been.[quote]The idea was simple. But the execution was technical and meticulous.[/quote]
They rigged two projectors, sitting on their sides, to display the video projected onto the cross. They masked the video both in ProPresenter and in After Effects, where Aaron did the design work. The most difficult part, perhaps besides the multiple revisions of the video, was figuring out how to get all the masking done right. It was tons of trial and error.
As any new designer can tell you, the biggest learning curve was the communication on what the expectations were. Aaron was so focused on how to create the video that he forgot to ask a few vital questions. The most important one: What are we going to make this look like? No, really, what will it look like?
It turns out, “geometric shapes” can mean hundreds of different things. And colors are vitally important, especially when you have the mood of the music, the lighting, and the moment all working together for the big pinnacle of the Easter service. When Aaron started, he mostly just began throwing stuff together for a draft. It was good, but it wasn’t great. It wasn’t what they needed for the moment they wanted to create.
In hindsight, he wished he would have asked these questions sooner:
- What will it actually look like when it’s done?
- What do we want it to do? We can make it do whatever; we need to figure out as a group, before I edit it, what vision we’re shooting for.
- What colors should this thing be?
Because these questions weren’t clarified, they went through a total of 12 different versions of the video. Half of those were rejected by Aaron himself, before anyone else even saw them. But a lot of them were from the rest of the team – either during the process or after seeing it during the preview night.
They eventually were able to pull it together and turn it into a powerful moment in the service. And it was worth the trial and error – worth it for the moment in the service and also the new knowledge of how to better communicate design ideas.