Innovative Works - Entering Another Dimension with the Charlotte Ballet


I was recently hired by Mythic for a new project for the 2015 season of the Charlotte Ballet that has quickly become one of my new favorites.  One of the most satisfying experiences is when I am able to be a part of a job from beginning to completion.  Not only was I given the opportunity to complete the final image, but I was able to sit in on the photo shoot with Jeff Crovotta, which is always a treat.

I'm always blown away by the athleticism of ballet dancers. Watching them perform the super human things they can do is simply spellbinding. Watching a guy my height jump four feet straight up in the air and complete a flawless split as many times as needed to get the shot is also rather humbling - I can't even touch my feet. The subjects of this image are no exception to the rule. They demonstrated a powerful connection as they created beautiful lines and poses under the watchful eye of Jean - Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride, Charlotte Ballet's prestigious artistic directors. And by the way... the dancers weren't running or walking towards the camera.. no, they were just standing in place like that... I know, right?!

What Mythic needed for this image was for the approaching heroes to pass through a mysterious portal from another distant dimension, devoid of color. They also requested some geometric lines to complement the shape and movement of their bodies. For this I was able to use a great plug-in for After Effects by Rowbyte called Plexus. The software uses paths made by the user to create beautiful constellation like patterns. Utilizing the seamless nature of Adobe Create Cloud I just dropped the near final PSD saved from Photoshop straight into After Effects, created some simple paths and then fired up Plexus. From there I was able to easily refine the settings in an intuitive way, and Plexus connected the dots. I moved my path around to match key points in the pose and quickly I had a great element to bring into my final composition. 

All things said and done, I'm very pleased with this new piece. I really appreciate the minimalist aesthetic of Mythic's concept and may experiment with it in some of my own work.