Happy Presidents Day! Ben’s Presidents Morph In Adobe After Effects


I haven’t blogged about this very much, but one of my main activities this the past year has been learning to do motion graphics in the software program Adobe After Effects. It’s been a steep learning curve, but my efforts are beginning to bear fruit. This week, I posted two short videos to YouTube, both of them morph sequences created in After Effects. The first is a collaboration with my son Ben.

David Chelsea is reading: A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel
by Amor Towles


My son Ben began an ambitious painting project thirteen years ago at the age of nine in a school art class; when the teacher gave him a choice of several pictures to copy, Ben picked a portrait of George Washington, which he copied in black and white. When he took the same class a year later he naturally chose to paint the second President, John Adams, and a few months after that he decided to attempt a complete series of Presidential portraits, all in black and white like the first one. Ben has been at it intermittently ever since, and he is now up to the is up to the 27th president, William Howard Taft. As you can see, he’s gained a lot of proficiency since George Washington.



I decided to make Ben’s Presidents the basis for a morphing project in After Effects, scoring it to a music box rendition of The Stars And Stripes Forever. I have posted the results on YouTube here. I’m hoping this will lead to actual commissions. If, say, YOUR son has painted a series of Presidential portraits, I will be happy to turn them into a video morph.

Just for fun, here are a couple of in-between stages:



You can view Ben’s Presidential series here.