Creating a Cool Flash Intro

pwpcoverFor Practical Web Projects, December, 2004.

Creating an animated intro for the hypothetical “Mash and Grab” website.

When creating the intro for the Mash & Grab website, it’s important to grab the attention of the visitor right away, with relevant motion graphics that make use of the branding that has been developed thus far. To that end, we’re going to create something that follows the tradition of television style motion graphics done with After Effects (think TV show intro) and eventually finish off at the Mash & Grab logo. We want to convey excitement and movement, while at the same time indicating that this is a high-tech venture.
We’ll start off with a black screen, into which will drop dollops of mashed potatoes, filling the screen from bottom to top, until the entire screen is white. Then the pieces of the logo will fly on, settling into proper position. Once in position, they will all begin to pulse and “dance”, gradually settling down to the final logo form. At the end, a “diner floor” background grid will fade in, and will continually pan from right to left, giving the appearance that the logo is moving. Almost everything will be controlled by ActionScript.

All the while, there will be music playing. This is custom music written for the job by Glen Rhodes, and the music too follows the progression of the motion graphics. It begins as a simple jazzy piece to indicate the traditional roots of popular take-away. The music will, however, begin to morph gradually into a more modern sounding piece to reflect the nature of Mash & Grab being an online and relatively high-tech experience.

Once the action has settled down (and the song has finished), we will automatically forward the user to the main index page, and if they so happen to click anywhere on the intro movie at any time, we will be good enough to forward them at that exact moment.

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