DJ Video Background | Motion Graphics with After Effects

andrew rodrigues

DJ Video Background Loop animated in After Effects for my friend, DJ Andrew Rodrigues, who is performing at a “NYC” themed party in Portugal.

dj video backdrop graphic design
Background image and Andrew Rodrigues’ DJ logo, made by me.

This motion graphics animation was made from scratch using collage and blending techniques. I wanted to keep in mind the context- there was going to be a DJ standing, probably in the center, with this video projected right behind and over him. I wanted to use geometric shapes that would emphasize his position in front of the projection, and add depth to the whole room. So I chose a lot of imagery that used 1-point perspective, with animated images moving “forward” and “backward.”

Had a lot of fun mixing the colors and effects (slipping in that old Red, White, and Blue– ‘Merica, represent!), but had to keep in mind that the video shouldn’t be too bright all around. Club settings are very dark, so you don’t want some big thing blaring light at you too much. Simply turning the logo color black in most cases created that nice balance of bright color and darkness. I purposely avoided the “I <3 NY” symbol so that it wouldn’t conflict with Andrew’s logo. I wanted his logo to be the only serious graphic in the vid.

This was honestly the first time I’ve used the newest version of After Effects since my freshmen year of college. I love teaching myself new programs, and this was a great opportunity to do that.

After Effects can look intimidating for beginners, but once you get the hang of the layout and the way the program thinks (like getting to know any new program) it’s very straightforward. Sometimes the methods can be very tedious, and I think to myself that it would be SO MUCH faster and easier to just draw or paint the frames one by one rather than jumping through hoops to get the details working using the program’s logic, but meh.

Tutorials on youtube help A LOT! I used a number of short vids to help clarify things about the program and to gather pro-tips for speeding up my workflow. In the past, I used tutorials to learn Adobe Premiere, so I knew that youtube was actually a reliable source. A few years ago, I got a job opportunity that required Premiere, so a few days before the interview I watched a bunch of youtube vids on how to navigate the program. As a result, I was able to make videos immediately, even though I’d never touched the program before, and I was quickly promoted through the company for my skills.

It actually doesn’t take too much effort to learn something new. Just time, the desire to learn, and focus.