Roger Wickes

Creative Software Solutions


High Definition Video

High-Def is spectacular, and to participate in this resolution revolution, I have designed, modeled, animated, and composited several videos that can be used as backdrops for film and TV segments. I can design a custom one for your company as well. Most of the videos shown on this page are available for license through my agent, iStockPhoto.

Do you have an important presentation coming up? Do you want to make it look superb and engaging by having a moving, flowing backdrop? I can work with the text of your presentation to develop a custom backdrop.

Patriotic Ribbons



For the upcoming elections, these ribbons can be used as the backdrop for a TV commercial (HD resolution available) to discuss the platform or issue. The video is cyclic, which means that you can loop it into a continuous stream. A very hypnotic effect. For this video, I simulated cloth soft-bodies, and simply gently shook them while filming with the camera on its side. Actually it was a lot more complicated camera movement to vary the perspective on the back vs. forward ribbons. Physics and air resistance did the rest to give me the raw footage. I then spent hours looking through the footage for two places where the ribbon positions were sorta close, and then composited them together via a progressive cross over effect. Now with my loop, I composited the final loopable footage. A preview is available here, and the footage is available at iStockPhoto.com.

Easter Stage



Blu-Ray Road


This one of my first contributions as an exclusive to iStockPhoto.com To commemorate the Sony Blu-Ray DVD format, this video is used as a presentation backdrop for discussing progress and products using the technology. It is also available in Gold for more generic use. The ribbon represents a road/journey, and the mountain is Mt. Fuji. The laser was really tricky, requiring hours of adjusting the alpha and halo and most importantly the specularity and hardness of the internal lights to get just the right effect overall, and then animating the lights to pulse inside the tube as the tube spins was also tricky. The white ball you see in the photo above starts out as actually a spiky kind of halo crystal ball, representing the world of opportunity. The laser, of course, reflects the blue-frequency laser used in the Blu-Ray burners and readers, which has a higher frequency and narrower width than the red laser, allowing tracks and pits to be placed closer together. I am sure that in 20 years we will be laughing that we thought 50Gig was a lot to fit on a DVD, but for now, it is amazing. A preview is available at iStockPhoto, and the video is available for royalty-free license. A gold version is also available.

CG Segments/Cutaways/Titles


I did this for a friend, and we both liked it so much that I put it up for license; here is a preview at iStockPhoto.com. It is a compendium of video segments to be used as title video for cutting in various corporate videos introducing and discussing various aspects of a company. Suitable for new employee orientation or webcasts for "About" topics. Now, I must admit that I looked very closely at the Apple concept for this, and borrowed a lot of ideas. Note the color of the ground; very pleasing. The edge of the spotlight is soft, comforting. Even though it is strongly lit from above, the text is evenly lit across the front (that was a little tricky area light there that does not quite keep up with the camera moves, lagging a little behind like a rubber band).  I enjoyed making the camera fly through a letter, not using paths, just adjusting the handles on the bezier curves (okay, maybe I added a keyframe or two).


This is the Welcome video, translated into Spanish by a native speaker. This can be used like the Welcome video for Spanish-speaking companies or companies that want to reach the Spanish-speaking demographic (employees, consumers, investors). If you supply the words in whatever language, I can make a video just for you too!

CG Video - Mystic Dragon


For this project, my client modeled this fantastic Dragon; unfortunately it was a sold mass of over 3 million vertices, which, along with everything else totalled 10 million vertices - way too much for the average computer to render. To solve the problem, He wanted to show off the dragon, specifically this video fly-around (click here to view) by using some fancy techniques, which included defining lights and a path, animated materials, and two render passes; one background of mattes, and a foreground of only the Dragon and fire pots. I then composited them together using Z-buffers and some tricks so that the fire would appear in the proper place, yet still be compostited with depth of field that shifts during the movie so as to keep the Dragon in focus, and everything else slightly blurred. I added a touch of filters and Poof! have a dramatic video that truly shows off this brilliant model.

Golden Tree of Opportunity


This 20-second looping animation (click here to view) is one of the gaming displays at the new Wynn Resort in Macao, China as part of the Mystic Dragon series. The tree blooms golden blossoms as the camera zooms in and, as it flies through the tree, some flowers turn lucky jade by a negative animated lamp. On this project for a client in Australia, I textured, lit and designed a camera fly-by for a 10 million poly scene (way too many for reasonable render times). First, to reduce polys and enable the scene to be rendered at all, I matted the dragon and temples so that the 500-frame, 50%HD PAL scene would render on a high-end desktop in a short amount of time (in addition to adjusting a dozen or more other settings). After the crunch was over and we had Version 1.0 done, I then composited the resulting video with depth of field. I composited the scene using a defocus node with camera depth of field and tight f-stop. I adjusted the path to include other thematic highlights. I worked by email and phone, using YouSendIt.com FTP file transfer to transmit images and video to my client. The video was a big success. The tree was generated by a utility, but the animated petals and blooming action are custom. I used my technical, artistic, and photographic expertise for this project to be successful.

Webast: The New TV


The new era of webcasting, using the internet to broadcast your media, has arrived and I am excited to be part of it. Rather than TV, companies are using the Internet and broadcasting their content using streaming video services or even YouTube to get their message out. I directed this commercial from start to finish. I took this financial company's marketing materials, interviewed the CEO and CFO, and developed three concepts/approaches. They chose one and I developed three commercial script messages for that concept. We chose one and I storyboarded a one-minute commercial with three mockups, and they chose one. I then scripted, chose acting talent, and we filmed the actors in front of a green screen here in a studio in Atlanta. I collected DV footage and composited the whole commercial you can see here for webcasting. This was their first video commercial ever. There were no standards or pre-existing formats to go by. So, some of my time was spent simply setting all of that up, including uploading their DV footage and chewing up all their disk space. The other key to this success was that I gave them alternatives. I did not say "This is the script, love it or leave it"; instead, I coached them along the process, requiring them to participate in the decision making. Along the way, they felt more in control and I could open their eyes to other possibilities. When they wanted some last minute talent swap, no problem, I went with the flow. People find that working with me is very easy. With my demeanor, I was able to put everyone at ease on camera, and we got all our takes and shots in under budget.

I also scripted and directed a series of video interviews with their CFO which they added to their webcast library. These videos are unique within their ultra-conservative industry (financial management).  Together with the commercial and videos and other website content, their intra-net website positions them as a leader and gives them have a competitive edge. At the same time, they can explain how they do their business and represent themselves as experts in their fields. By incorporating their own employees and key partners as actors in the video series, I not only saved money, but it was much more personal and direct experience for them, and they felt very proud.To obtain approval, I even voiced it over. I'd love to make a commercial for you as well!

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