There’s no denying the fact that Brian Yap is one talented Adobe Touch Apps user. We’ve seen his Touch Apps projectssuch as the Grovemade iPhone/iPad Cases, his demo videos on Adobe TV , and we’re excited to bring you more of his great designs. This time around, Brian has lent his talents to the self-described “world punk” band Firewater for their recent music video titled “A Little Revolution.”
We chatted with Brian to learn how he utilized his favorite app, Adobe Ideas, CS6 tools, and Creative Cloud in making of the music video. Check out our interview below and pick up some useful tips along the way.
Adobe: How did this opportunity to work on the Firewater music video project come about?
Brian Yap: Paul Griswold contacted me about working together for no reason other than seeing and liking my illustrations on an Adobe TV video – where I was using Adobe Ideas and talking about how it fit my style. We connected and talked a bit about wanting to collaborate on a fun project. Then, earlier this year, a friend of Paul’s and musical hero of mine, Todd A., contacted him in the hopes that he could get help creating a music video on a tight budget. The band was Firewater and the video was created for the first single off their new album.
Live footage was shot in Turkey and was mixed with animation built from illustrations I did on the tablet with Adobe Ideas and then fine-tuned in Illustrator. The pieces were then animated with After Effects, as well as other programs outside of Adobe. Being able to work remotely made it possible for me to connect with these amazingly talented guys and get in on this project, without ever actually meeting them in person.
Talk us through your creative process. How did you approach this project?
I started by working with the team to come up with a bunch of visual concepts to illustrate. I began collecting references and sketching things out. The process was cool because I would feed Paul Griswold sheets of designs and pieces, and then when the test animations started, it lead to other ideas and concepts.
Usually, whenever someone tells you to just draw cool stuff, the first thing that happens is white paper freeze, but Firewater’s music and the tracks from the new album are so filled with energy and ideas that it was easy to get things flowing and get into it.
Tell us why Adobe Touch Apps, specifically Adobe Ideas, was an ideal tool to use for this task?
I was able to work while traveling with Ideas and the Creative Cloud and keep all the many pieces and designs organized. Being able to draw while traveling for another project, or get out of the office or studio and work on this project really kept me inspired. The vector-based quality of Ideas meant that the process of cleaning up a sketch to make it finished and the way I wanted was super fast and easy so I could explore a lot more pieces quickly and feel okay about not sending everything.
What was the inspiration behind the images you created?
All the inspiration for the work I contributed to the piece was from the song. The tone of the music, the energetic and upbeat sound, and the themes in the lyrics, all helped to lead everything from color to what I was drawing. The video footage shot in Turkey had a “dance number” skew/protest march. It helped inspire me to keep the illustrations meaningful but usable in a way that matched the tone of the song.
Speaking of music, how critical does music play in your creative process? What genre or music gets you in a creative mode?
I’m definitely an aging music nerd. Everything I do is inspired by the music I listen to and when possible, like this project, actually part of the work. Todd A and Firewater’s sound and big catalog were on constant repeat during this project, and I think I made some new fans for them around me because of it. A lot of time it’s hip hop, like Ghostface Killah. When I need to slow it down, like when I’m sketching or playing with concepts, I get into bands with a more songwriting, musical exploration type feel. Lately groups like Manouk, Manchester Orchestra, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and instrumental outfits, like Red Sparowes, are as important to me working as the tools I use to draw.
What tips/suggestions do you have for creative individuals thinking about getting into Adobe Ideas?
The pinch and zoom allows you to work with an almost infinite sized canvas. Drawing on a tablet with a photo layer is an unbelievable way to keep a reference file, sketchbook and finished canvases all in the same place. I always say, just play around with it. Get used to the features and what it does and then make the tool work the way you work.
For veteran users like yourself, what tips and/or techniques can you offer?
I was using Ideas for a year before bothering to play much with opacity. It led me to a whole new way of drawing with Ideas that look like pencil by using a super low opacity and black or grey and just layering strokes. Always keep playing with the app. I think the simplicity makes it easy to use for everyone, but there are some smart guys behind this application and the ways we as artists use it is only fenced in by our imagination and willingness to adapt to a new artistic tool.
For more on the making of the music video, check out the project on Behance.
Interactive music videos are popping up more and more, and we’ve just come across the latest example for Evelyn, by ABBY. Not only does the song have a great beat to nod your head to, but you actually get to customize the experience by mixing different instruments and vocal styles together. If you want to listen to an instrumental version, you can just make the singer play the flute with a click of the mouse!