Easter 2014 - Bumper Animation


Easter was a little crazy for us at Arrowhead this year. We had just moved into our new building and were still trying to figure out what we were doing, but we still built a lot into our Easter service. In particular, our creative team crafted this theme "Jesus is alive and he is Lord." Pastor Ben asked me to make a 30-60 second bumper animation, and his only specifications were that he wanted it to feel epic. He wanted the music to vibrate the room - to be utterly powerful. I had just received our new Mac Pro (which we had preordered three months earlier) and was eager to push its processing power to the limit. I loved the idea of flying through dark clouds as scripture appeared in front of the audience.


I began by drawing clouds (based off of photographs I took on our church campus) in Photoshop CC. Each cloud is about 7000px wide - about 8 feet wide if it were printed - and I ended up making 10 different clouds. I then found a really great sky background (with a creative commons license) and colored it in Photoshop to match the tone of the video.

Pastor Ben and I selected scripture and then I went to finding just the right song for the video. After a few hours of searching and listening, I chose Returned Prodigals by Ryan Taubert through TheMusicBed. It was perfect. It's a really powerful song and in our auditorium, the audience could feel the bass pounding against their chest. Perfect.

I began by making cloud fly-throughs in Apple Motion 5. I changed the clouds and locations of clouds and filmed it again. After repeating this process 7 times, I created a new Apple Motion project that would include the sky background, the text, the motion blur, depth of field, and the lighting. I used 12 different lights within Motion to get a smooth (but dark) tone across the scripture and the clouds.

Rendering, even on our new Mac Pro, took quite a while. Of the 8 animated shots that are in this video, each took an average of an hour to render. That's due to the high resolution of the elements and all the depth of field and lighting used in the scene.


  • Apple Mac Pro (late 2013)
  • Photoshop CC (2013)
  • Apple Motion 5
  • Final Cut Pro X