Thought at Work is a completely student-run design conference held annually at the Rochester Institute of Technology. In addition to planning and organizing the logistics of the conference, each year, a pair of students create a title sequence introducing the weekend's speakers. Shown at the opening remarks of the conference, the title sequence is intended to excite the conference attendees, getting them pumped about the engaging talks and activities to come. I had the opportunity to work with my friend Wei Wei Huang to create the title sequence for Thought at Work's 2016 conference.
One of the unique aspects of the conference and of RIT in general is the collaboration of design and technology. Inspired by this special relationship, our title sequence explores the future of design and technology. We enter the dream sequence of a sleeping student who jumps from a barren desert of soon-to-be obselete technology into a surreal, future world.
Unlike the student title sequences of the past, we wanted to create a strong story for our piece. To establish the narrative, we individually brainstormed as many ideas of cool or bizarre future innovations as we could and then attempted to link these ideas together into a sequence that creatively transitioned from one innovation to the next. By blending our ideas, we were able to come up with more creative solutions than we likely would have individually.
Wanting the piece to be both fun and surreal, we opted for lots of vivid and bright colors. It was important that the entire piece felt like it existed all in one bizzare universe, so the color palette needed to be strong and consistent throughout. We also incorporated a lot of gradients in an effort to make the environments feel even more rich.
We created detailed storyboards and worked to really nail down how each transition would work and how the speaker names would be incorporated as a part of the story rather than just an overlay. The sketches directly informed our vector illustrations. The entire brainstorming, sketching, and storyboarding process happened rather quickly in an effort to allow ourselves enough time to successfully illustrate and animate.