Motion Design Monday – Rise

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Motion Design Monday – Rise
Motion Design Monday - Rise

abduzeedoJan 27, 2020

Monday is our motion design day. Why? Well, just because it’s fun to say motion Monday? Honestly there’s no reason but the Aamir Khan totally deserved to be feature and shared here on Abduzeedo. It is a mix of beautiful 3D work with super smooth animations using Cinema 4D, Adobe After Effects and Adobe Photoshop. It’s also a personal project of Aamir. “I tried to create Rich Ancient look.” – Aamir adds.

3D and Motion Design 

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How to Create Procedural Clouds Using Three.js Sprites

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Today we are going to create an animated cloud using a custom shader material, extending the built-in Sprite material of Three.js.

We’ll assume that you are familiar with React (including Hooks), Three.js and React-Three-Fiber. If not, you might find this article that I wrote as a beginner’s intro to the library helpful as a quick start.

The technique that we’ll explain was used in two recent projects made at Low:

1955-Horsebit: a website for the campaign launch of the Gucci’s bag.

Let girls dream: a project to support a gender-equal future

We won’t cover the other elements, like the background, and we also won’t create the most performant cloud because it would get a bit too complex and the purpose of this article is to get you familiar with the technique while keeping it simple.

Note that the use of React it’s not obligatory here but I started using React-Three-Fiber for all my demos and projects, so I’ve opted to use it here, too.

We will cover two main points in this article:

How to extend a SpriteMaterialHow to write the shader of the cloud

Extending the sprite material

Since the goal is not to create a volumetric cloud (a real 3D cloud), I decided to extend a Three.js SpriteMaterial. We can instead leverage the fact that using a Sprite, the cloud will always be facing the camera, independently of the camera position or orientation. So if you move the cloud or move the camera you’ll always see it and it helps to fake the missing of 3D volume (check out the debug mode to get the idea).

Note: If you head to the demo and add /?debug=true to the URL it will enable the Orbit Controls which will give you some visual insight into why I decided to use the Sprite material.

There are multiple ways to extend a built-in material of Three.js, and you can find a good explanation in this article by Dusan Bosnjak.

import {ShaderMaterial, UniformsUtils, ShaderLib} from ‘three’
import fragment from ‘~shaders/cloud.frag’
import vertex from ‘~shaders/cloud.vert’

* We are going to take the uniforms of the Sprite material
* and we’ll merge with our uniforms
const myUniforms = useMemo(() => ({
}), [])

const material = useMemo(() => {
const mat = new ShaderMaterial({
uniforms: {…UniformsUtils.clone(ShaderLib.sprite.uniforms), …myUniforms},
vertexShader: vertex,
fragmentShader: fragment,
transparent: true,
return mat
}, [])

We need to compose our vertex shader, adding the necessary #include code snippets. If you are interested in how materials are built in Three.js you can have a look at the source code.

uniform float rotation;
uniform vec2 center;
#include <common>
#include <uv_pars_vertex>
#include <fog_pars_vertex>
#include <logdepthbuf_pars_vertex>
#include <clipping_planes_pars_vertex>

varying vec2 vUv;

void main() {
vUv = uv;

vec4 mvPosition = modelViewMatrix * vec4( 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 1.0 );
vec2 scale;
scale.x = length( vec3( modelMatrix[ 0 ].x, modelMatrix[ 0 ].y, modelMatrix[ 0 ].z ) );
scale.y = length( vec3( modelMatrix[ 1 ].x, modelMatrix[ 1 ].y, modelMatrix[ 1 ].z ) );

vec2 alignedPosition = ( position.xy – ( center – vec2( 0.5 ) ) ) * scale;
vec2 rotatedPosition;
rotatedPosition.x = cos( rotation ) * alignedPosition.x – sin( rotation ) * alignedPosition.y;
rotatedPosition.y = sin( rotation ) * alignedPosition.x + cos( rotation ) * alignedPosition.y;
mvPosition.xy += rotatedPosition;

gl_Position = projectionMatrix * mvPosition;

#include <logdepthbuf_vertex>
#include <clipping_planes_vertex>
#include <fog_vertex>

In this way we created a custom Sprite material. We can achieve the same effect in other ways for sure, but I decided to extend a built-in material because it could be useful in the future to add a custom logic. It’s now time to dig into the fragment.

Cloud’s fragment

To create the cloud we need two assets. One is the rough starting shape of the cloud, the other one is the starting point of the texture/pattern.
Keep in mind that both of the textures can be created directly in the shader but it will take some GPU calculations. That is fine, but if you can avoid it it’s a good practice to optimise the shader, too.

Using some images instead of creating them with code could save you some computational power.

Sliding textures

First of all let’s create two sliding textures, using the texture image above (uTxtCloudNoise), that we will use later to handle the alpha channel of the output. These are sliding textures that helps us to create a “fake” noise effect by concatenate, adding and multiply them.

vec4 txtNoise1 = texture2D(uTxtCloudNoise, vec2(vUv.x + uTime * 0.0001, vUv.y – uTime * 0.00014));
vec4 txtNoise2 = texture2D(uTxtCloudNoise, vec2(vUv.x – uTime * 0.00002, vUv.y + uTime * 0.000017 + 0.2));


We now need some GLSL noise: the Simpex noise and the Fractional Brownian motion (FBM) that allows us to morph the shape and create the vaporous border effect.

Let’s first create the Simplex and FBM noise to distort our UV.
We will use the FBM to achieve the effect for the border of the cloud, to make it like smoke, and we will use the Simplex to do the shape morphing of the cloud.

The distorted UV, now called newUv, will be used during the declaration of the txtShape:

#pragma glslify: fbm3d = require(‘glsl-fractal-brownian-noise/3d’)
#pragma glslify: snoise3 = require(glsl-noise/simplex/3d)

// FBM
float noiseBig = fbm3d(vec3(vUv, uTime), 4)+ 1.0 * 0.5;
newUv += noiseBig * uDisplStrenght1;

float noiseSmall = snoise3(vec3(newUv, uTime)) + 1.0 * 0.5;
newUv += noiseSmall * uDisplStrenght2;

vec4 txtShape = texture2D(uTxtShape, newUv);

And this is how the noise looks like:

Mask & Alpha

To create the mask for the cloud we will use the shape texture (uTxtShape) we saw at the beginning and the result of the sliding textures we mentioned earlier.

The following output is the result of the masking only. The border and the shape effect is fine but the internal pattern/color is not:

Now we calculate the alpha used on the sliding textures from before. We’ll use the levels function, that was taken from here, which is more or less like the Photoshop levels function.

Concatenating the distorted shape (uTxtShape) and the red channel of the sliding textures will give us the external shape and even the internal “cloud pattern” to create a more real look and feel:

vec4 txtShape = texture2D(uTxtShape, newUv);

float alpha = levels((txtNoise1 + txtNoise2) * 0.6, 0.2, 0.4, 0.7).r;
alpha *= txtShape.r;

gl_FragColor = vec4(vec3(0.95,0.95,0.95), alpha);

Concatenating everything

It’s time now to wrap everything up to display the final output:

void main() {
vec2 newUv = vUv;

// Sliding textures
vec4 txtNoise1 = texture2D(uTxtCloudNoise, vec2(vUv.x + uTime * 0.0001, vUv.y – uTime * 0.00014)); // noise txt
vec4 txtNoise2 = texture2D(uTxtCloudNoise, vec2(vUv.x – uTime * 0.00002, vUv.y + uTime * 0.000017 + 0.2)); // noise txt

// Calculate the FBM and distort the UV
float noiseBig = fbm3d(vec3(vUv * uFac1, uTime * uTimeFactor1), 4)+ 1.0 * 0.5;
newUv += noiseBig * uDisplStrenght1;

// Calculate the Simplex and distort the UV
float noiseSmall = snoise3(vec3(newUv * uFac2, uTime * uTimeFactor2)) + 1.0 * 0.5;

newUv += noiseSmall * uDisplStrenght2;

// Create the shape (mask)
vec4 txtShape = texture2D(uTxtShape, newUv);

// Alpha
float alpha = levels((txtNoise1 + txtNoise2) * 0.6, 0.2, 0.4, 0.7).r;
alpha *= txtShape.r;

gl_FragColor = vec4(vec3(0.95,0.95,0.95), alpha);

Final thoughts

Keep in mind that this is not the most performant way to create a cloud, but it’s a simple one. Using noise functions is expensive, but for the sake of this tutorial it should suffice.

If you have any thoughts, improvements or doubts, please feel free to write to me in Twitter, I’ll be happy to help.

How to Create Procedural Clouds Using Three.js Sprites was written by Robert Borghesi and published on Codrops.

Apple iMac could be getting a VERY futuristic new look

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Apple has filed a patent that suggests future iMacs could have a radically different design. The patent details a slick, mostly glass, all-in-one (AIO) design with a distinctly futuristic vibe. There are some similarities to the current aesthetic – the curvy junction between the screen and its stand; the generally minimalist, sleek approach – but other than that it's a whole new ball game. 

Below is the current Apple iMac (incidentally, our pick of the best computer for graphic design, and the best computer for video editing right now).

Apple iMac

This brushed aluminium look has been around for a while now 

Below, you can see the diagrams of the potential new design included in the newly published patent. The distinct screen, housing and separate keyboard encased in brushed aluminium have been replaced by an AIO made mostly of glass. 

The accompanying text details "a glass housing member that includes an upper portion defining a display area, a lower portion defining an input area… a continuous, curved surface between the upper portion and lower portion."

Apple iMac patent application

A new patent shows a mostly glass all-in-one design

The patent also includes a support structure on the rear, which TechRadar suggests could contain the machine's computing power, with the glass section being fitted solely with sensors for the inputs, display and camera. See the full patent here. 

Apple has gained plenty of news inches for its design decisions over the years – even something relatively minor, such as the replacement of Forest Green for Navy Blue in the iPhone 12 lineup – has people talking. So we're doubly excited at the prospect of something potentially radical to follow in the footsteps of the Mac Pro 'dustbin' and 'cheese grater' designs, for example. 

When, or even if, this spacey new look will become reality is quite another thing. At the moment, it's still in its research phase, so it's certainly not on the cards any time soon. Although it's worth noting that while the patent was published on 23 January 2020, it was filed last May, which means Apple has been exploring this direction for a little while now. 

Read more: 

The best Apple Watch apps in 2020Apple Pencil vs Apple Pencil 2: which should you buy?The best cheap Apple laptop deals

How to Keep Designing When Tragedy Strikes

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If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all! We all have personal tragedies. Sometimes those tragedies are more than anyone could handle, and that’s when you encounter some very basic, intense emotions. For some it’s the fiercely stark task of overcoming, shutting out all else; for others, it’s thoughts of helplessness. Unfortunately, most people will run the gamut of these polar emotions.

I’ve been through all this and not only survived, but thrived. The idea when faced with a debilitating horror, is to take stock of what you have, what you need, and think outside the box to solve them as quickly as possible—oddly, focusing on plans to survive keeps your thoughts off the actual disaster.

You’re going to face these things sooner or later, here’s how you too, can overcome your personal disasters…

The Immediate Impact of Disaster

If you’re a freelancer, even the common cold can put you out of work for a week or so. That’s income lost and a financial strain that most people can’t afford. My motorcycle accident set me back several months due to fractured fingers and arm (among injuries to my foot and other body parts), all on my right side. Working as an illustrator back then, naturally I wasn’t able to work, but the bills kept coming in and three weeks in the hospital, including two surgeries, wasn’t cheap.

An emotional event such as a divorce, or having a sick child who spends a lot of time in the hospital for treatments, can easily cause depression. The financial strain only adds to the madness.

…few people see it coming

Being fired or laid off from a regular paycheck is a shock to the system and causes major stress for you and your family. It can come up when least expected, or happen after months of corporate rumors. Either way, few people see it coming.

Sometimes family calls, and you must answer. The loss of a family member, parents, siblings will cause depression. Going back to work is the last thing on one’s mind. Sometimes that mental block goes on for weeks… months… a year… or years.

Recently a friend announced on Facebook her impending divorce—I’m betting that changed her algorithms so she now gets dating site, and divorce lawyer ads. She cried about no longer being supported by her partner and her desperation to find a full time job. She admitted to a trap many of us fall into, complacency. The days of leisure and hobbies allowed her to fall behind and now her ability to find a staff position, needing income for rent, health insurance, and such, was causing her severe anxiety. As with any tragedy, she reached out to her friends and connections for help.

There are several steps one must make when financially smacked. Here’s a list of steps that will help you survive:

1. Reach Out To Your Network

This isn’t a time to be shy or embarrassed…you’ll certainly find out who you can count upon.

First stop is to make sure your CV/Résumé is up to date, and that means not only with all information, but with the newest CV/Résumé “rules.” Check the latest articles on the web for tips on how to make yourself fabulous. Then reach out to your network and send those queries out with your CV/Résumé. Friends, family, connections on business sites, people you went to school with. Hit everybody!

This isn’t a time to be shy or embarrassed. Everyone gets into a jam at some point and needs help. You’ll certainly find out who you can count upon.

2. List Your Income And Expenses

How much will you need to survive until your income can be replaced? How much will you need to cut from your expenses to keep your debt low? What social safety nets does your country have for unemployed citizens? Who will lend you money?

Living on your credit card may look like an easy answer but it’s a trap. Paying back a large balance will take years as interest keeps increasing. It’s usually impossible to not use credit, so if you do, use it very wisely! Friends will understand if you can’t buy them big presents for their birthday, or take vacations with them.

There are even small things you can cut, which adds up to big savings.

3. Bring In Money Any Way You Can

Yes, I know you’re chuckling at, “…any way you can.” But it’s time to drop your pride. A part-time job is easy to come by but they are not glamorous, not high-paying, and not a design job. I’ve bartended, flipped burgers, driven a delivery truck, and sold personal possessions to keep money coming in. I took less money from quick freelance jobs because I had to keep a flow of money. I borrowed money from friends and family. Through it all, I now know who my true friends are. That’s one of the good things about needing help. Here’s some immediate income solutions:

it’s time to drop your pride

Ebay: If I know my fellow creatives, like me, you have too many toys. Time to make tough choices and ebay those collectable figures! While I miss some of those toys, I was able to pay a lot of bills with sales.
Social safety nets: Many enlightened countries have programs to help the unemployed. A Canadian friend hit rock bottom before she found out that Canada has an incredible government program to help citizens survive. There are food banks, and grants from organizations and while it’s embarrassing to use them, eating is better than starving and keeping your pride, especially if you have kids. Google “food banks,” “artists’ grants,” “low cost loans” to see what might be available in your area. Religious organizations are also a good way to find grants and food banks.
Contract work: In lean times, I would work as a contract Art Director/Designer via an agent who specialized in design jobs. It paid well, would last a week or a few months, and it was a great way to grow my network. One of the better ways to make money.
Design contests: The much detested design contests are an evil that outweighs going into debt. Sign up under a fake name and give it a try. Winning will at least bring in money.
Beg freelance work: Ask your network for freelance work. Ask if anyone knows of an open position at their company. Sometimes it happens, depending on the economy and hiring freezes. As with everything else, it pays to ask.

4. Take Stock Of Your Other Talents

After my motorcycle accident, and three fractured fingers on my right hand and a fractured right arm (held together by surgical pins) among other injuries, I was not up to illustration, even though it  was my main income stream. But as I had my thumb and index finger workable and not constrained by the massive cast on my hand and arm, I found that the postage stamp-sized drawings I could doodle were pretty awesome. When I blew them up on a copier to 11 x 17 inches, the line quality was interesting and distinct. A touch of wash here and there, and I could keep working. My clients willingly accepted the new “look” of my work—maybe pity had something to do with it—and I also picked up new clients.

If you have to work outside of the field, better that it’s something you will enjoy

I never really recovered from that accident and cold days remind me of every accident I’ve ever had. Thank goodness the computer came along and my loss-of-fine-control drawing hand was perfect for a mouse. Transitioning to being a designer, then art director, then creative director was the best move I was ever forced to take!

When a former employer laid off two-thirds of its creative department, in four or five waves, people wondered where their next paycheck was coming from. I assured many of them that being creative applied to many careers. Creative thinking put towards any product or initiative is critical. I also encouraged them to think of other ways to use their creativity to make a living.

Ten years later, my former coworkers are painters, illustrators, sculptors, jewelry makers, truck drivers, store merchandisers, writers, classic car restorers, and Uber drivers. Some have jobs on creative staff or freelance. Even the ones with non-creative jobs make creativity their hobby. It’s not a forever thing, unless you want it to be. If you have to work outside of the field, better that it’s something you will enjoy.

5. Stay Sane!

Throughout any problem, you will suffer anxiety, depression, anger, and a few other emotional states. It’s normal, don’t be embarrassed, or ashamed. There are several ways people deal with staying sane. It might be exercise, watching movies, getting together with friends, or family, and whatever gets you feeling happier. Most importantly… laugh! Do anything for laughs because it’s the best medicine and you’ll need lots of it!

There are also ways to get free counselling. Google “free counselling,” and “support groups.” It helps to talk to others suffering the same emotions and needs, or a professional.

At one point I started seeing a counselor/therapist and it really did help. The most amazing psychological breakthrough was the therapist asking me if I had any recurring dreams. I had one that popped up in every dream. No matter what was happening in the dream, I would, out of nowhere, get anxious about the realization I hadn’t fed my cat in two years. I was desperate in the dreams to get home and feed the poor cat. That always became the focus of my dreams. In the non-dream life, my cat had died years before. The therapist smiled and said, “you’re the cat; you need to feed yourself.”

After that, I never had that same dream. I got a new cat, and always remembered that no matter how bad things got, I had to keep my sanity to get through it all. It’s the foundation of one’s existence.

In Conclusion

There’s always a way to climb out of a hole and it’s a huge help if you have lots of helpful connections. As mentioned before, your network will be your best way back. Luckily, I did a lot of favors over my career, so there were a good number of people who stepped up when asked for help. Some didn’t, but that’s how we find out who are real friends are. Sometimes that’s worth more than anything they could give you.

As I write this, I’m getting over a killer flu that had me sleeping for three straight days and loopy for four more… and my car needs $4,500 worth of work or it will explode. I’ll catch up, but it means my 1980s transforming robots from Japan are going on ebay.


Featured image via Unsplash.


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40+ Inspiring Book & Paper Sculptures

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The book serves as a tool to record historical events that transcend through the ages, passing down knowledge from generation to generation, spanning scientific studies to artistic fields. Today, it…

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Branding and Visual Identity for Music and Arts Festival

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Branding and Visual Identity for Music and Arts Festival
Branding and Visual Identity for Music and Arts Festival

abduzeedoJan 27, 2020

Student-run fundraiser 25tolife is hosting a music and arts festival with all proceeds going to the Canadian Cancer Society. 25toLife is a joint project between Kamal Masri’s SFU Beedie School of Business Project Management class and the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS). This project aims to raise funds for cancer research and to support individuals who are affected by this disease while learning project management. The event will feature a variety of live music, arts, poetry and dance performers. There will also be a raffle with some fantastic prizes to take home.

This year’s event inspired Broklin Onjei and Creative Invention Studio to create a fun concept Identity for the upcoming event in 2020. Expanding their creative thought seeing something new and different in 2020, they used abstract contemporary modern geometric shapes with trendy and fashion colors to reach the audience.

Branding and Visual Identity



Design Studio: Creative Invention Studio

Art Direction and Graphic Design by: Broklin Onje

3D Everydays Inspiration

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3D Everydays Inspiration
3D Everydays Inspiration

abduzeedoJan 21, 2020

We have already featured Stuart Lippincott here on ABDZ and will keep doing it because he keeps delivering incredible and inspiring work with his Everydays series of posts. For this post we will feature some from the December Everydays 2019, make sure to check out his work for the full set of images. Ah, in case you wonder, the tools used were After Effects,  Maxon Cinema 4D and Octane Render.


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How to Send Customized Messages to Slack From your App

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Slack is a popular messaging app used by many teams. It comes with a lot of services and an API for developers to integrate it with their applications. In today’s post we’ll see how to…

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Disney Plus UK is launching sooner than we thought!

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Disney fans, rejoice! If you're in certain countries in Western Europe then you'll be able to get your hands on Disney Plus a whole week earlier than expected. The streaming service, which is already going down an absolute storm in the US, is now set to launch on 24 March (instead of 31 March as initially expected) in the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy and Germany. 

The new Disney+ launch date may be only a week earlier, but when there are delights such as Baby Yoda in The Mandalorian to look forward to, who wouldn't be happy to have the service for an extra seven days? We're even considering upgrading to one of the best 4K monitors for the occasion. 

Disney Plus

Just some of the exclusive goodies on offer

The other good news is that the pricing of Disney+ has also been announced, and for what you get for your money, it's going to be much better value than Netflix. In the UK, Disney+ will cost £5.99 per month or £59.99 per year. Users will be able to stream 4K content on four devices at once, and there are no hidden extras. They'll also be able to download their favourite shows or films, to watch offline. 

To compare, Netflix also costs £5.99 per month, but you have to pay more (either £8.99 or £11.99) if you want ultra-HD content, or to be able to stream on one more than screen at a time. And with Netflix UK having recently won the rights to Studio Ghibli's content, it seems competition between the two streaming giants is really heating up, and that's before Disney+ has even fully launched.

Disney Plus' available shows and films will include much-loved classics from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and National Geographic, and there's also previously unseen content, including the aforementioned The Mandalorian, and the catchily named High School Musical, The Musical, The Series. 

You can sign up now on the Disney Plus website for more updates.

Read more:

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