Archive for the ‘90-News’ Category

Edgar Febus joins 90

Posted on: August 23rd, 2017 by 90 Degrees West
90 Degrees West Editorial Team. L to R: Alex Deaton, Edgar Febus, Scott Whiteaker, Joel Anderson, Scott Conger

90 is excited to announce that editor and motion designer Edgar Febus has joined our team!

The Puerto Rico native began his career working with global agencies and brands for the Hispanic market. He has earned an outstanding reputation with his award-winning work at rukus and Technisonic Studios.

Edgar solidifies two strong traditions at 90.   He’s passionate about his work and also brings extraordinary motion graphics skills to the edit suite.

Bonus…expect more lunches from the grill!

Let’s get to the bottom line!  We’re proud to show you his reel….

Sapporo: Discovering a Legend

Posted on: April 5th, 2016 by Preston Gibson

In late 2015, our friends at Moosylvania came to us with an exciting challenge: take a handful of historical assets, combine it with a dash of stunning painterly textural goodness, and produce a 60-second animated spot illustrating the globe-trotting 19th-century journey of Sapporo’s founding brewmaster, Seibei Nakagawa.

From the start, Moose was clear—this piece needed an epic tone and a coolness factor that would play more like a legendary tale and less like a history lesson. We pulled this off utilizing a combination of 2d & 3d techniques honed while working on last year’s music videos and our spot for Busch Gardens’ Tempesto. Another killer original score and sound design by Mark Bartels took it to the next level.


Our behind-the-scenes breakdown reveals the layers of sound and visual detail that brought Seibei’s journey to life. A remixed version of the original soundtrack highlights this attention to detail. We projection mapped 2d brand elements like the Sapporo can, pint, & bottle to create 3d assets that could live in our cg world. With this technique, we were able to animate a still photo of beer in 2d, then project it into 3d (no fluid sim necessary!). We produced additional 3d elements from scratch—shading and lighting them realistically—then treated them in post with heavy color correction and a healthy serving of blur and grain to break the pristine digital renders, leaving them feeling like dimensional black-and-white objects. A ton of compositing love helped Moose’s historical assets and our original cg elements to live happily side-by-side.

Projection Mapping 2d Brand Assets

PintCan_02 Pint_02 Bottle_03

Audio Workflow

With the visuals chronicling the story of Seibei, and the voice-over defining what it truly takes to become a legend, the function of the audio score would be to pull these together to illustrate the emotional journey of such an endeavor, as well as create a vibe: in this case, boldness and grit. Collaborating with Moose from the beginning proved advantageous because a couple tracks were pursued initially, before finally honing in on this final direction.

Instinctively, working with just a VO scratch and style-frame animatic, we scored a more narrative,  cinematic track. But once we began pulling  renderings together along with the pace of the edit and transitions, the team decided the score needed more attitude – heavier and with a slightly aggressive bite to it, but keeping the emotional build to demonstrate the courage to take on risk and the honor of achieving one’s true passion. It became an emotional-vibe track, rather than a storytelling embellishment.

To set the mood, we started with an underscore with a strong backbeat rhythm accompanied by a thick distorted bass that would build throughout. This provided our attitude. Bringing in orchestral strings would be the core emotional essence of the piece, starting with tremolo strings to communicate the agitation of entering the unknown, then followed by the driving rhythmic string motif , alluding to the toil and determination of pursuing a passion. And finally the anthemic full legato string melody that builds to the end to signify the beating-the-odds victory.  Adding to that, the musical and abstract sound design really enhanced the mood throughout. The score is both electronic and organic, and fully integrates music with sound design.

Original Storyboards

First Contact

Posted on: August 3rd, 2015 by 90 Degrees West

Mark Bartels

I’m always looking for new ways to grow my sound design repertoire. To that end, Loring and I here at 90 have started building a tool that many sound designers have in their toolbox for extracting something a little more obscure from the natural world we hear: a contact microphone.


When people think of a microphone, they probably imagine the common air microphone: an instrument which converts sound traveling through the air – air-borne noise – into the electrical realm. And that’s how we hear most sound, right? Through the air. But sound waves also travel and resonate through solid material objects – structure-borne noise. There are many sounds that can be picked up through structural transmission that can’t necessarily be picked up through the air. A contact microphone is a very cool device that does just that – picks up vibrational frequencies in solid materials.
I remember watching a National Geographic doc on insects and was amazed by how remarkably clear the sounds were of the tiny creatures they had filmed. The crunches of a spider chewing on its prey, the pitter patter of the tiny legs of a millipede as it crawls across earth, the crackle and pops of a butterfly breaking out of a cocoon. Capturing these practically inaudible sounds with such clarity is made possible by utilizing the contact mic. Check out how they captured the sound of a centipede walking (skip down to 3:40).

A contact microphone consists of simply a small ceramic disc (about 1.5 inches in diameter) glued to a brass disc, connected to audio wire that leads to… well, the electrical realm. The ceramic material has the inherent quality of being piezoelectric: meaning that any pressure applied to it will produce a small electrical current. Thus, any vibrational fluctuations the ceramic disc picks up can be transduced into electrical current, amplified and then recorded. This can lead to some very unique sounds, as recording audio through different materials can produce varied, sometimes surprising effects. Master Sound Designer Ben Burtt created his famous Star Wars laser gun sound (among many other sounds) utilizing a contact microphone, attaching it to an old radio tower guy-wire and striking the wire with a hammer. Here’s a quick demonstration:

Digging a little deeper into the use of this tool, I’ve discovered the contact mic can inspire all sorts of sonic creativity. Some of my favorite sound design artists employ this instrument quite frequently. So, of course, I decided to build one for myself! Loring and I ordered the parts and soon enough we’ll have a brand new contact mic to start making all sorts of unique sounds –  like this!


90 Degrees West Expands Motion Design Team!

Posted on: July 24th, 2015 by 90 Degrees West


It’s a done deal. 90 is proud to announce the newest member of our motion graphics team, Jim Roberson. Jim has fantastic chops and more experience than you can shake a stick at. He has worked as a producer, director, cinematographer, and most importantly – a top notch motion graphic artist. He understands all facets of commercial production which translates to a seamless, professional and easy process for you.

Jim’s client list is almost as impressive as the work itself, and includes names like: ESPN, Samsung, Cartoon Network, Discover, MTV, Comcast, Toyota, Motorola, Visa and a bunch more. (He even worked on Archer!)

Jim joins us full-time from a freelance career where he worked primarily with clients in the Atlanta and New York City markets. Check out his reel. And if you see him out and about, say hi! He’s originally from Alabama and happens to be really, really nice. (You know, southern hospitality.)