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SXSW Comedy Festival Mock Opening

SXSW is a large conference held in Austin, TX from March 13th-21st. The main purpose of the festival is to give influential creatives a platform to share their work and inspire others. Originally a music festival, SXSW introduced its interactive (now comedy) and film festivals in 1994, and now hosts over 72,00 registrants and artists each year. 


Create an opening title sequence for a show or festival. The title sequence must be 20-30 seconds.



Adobe After Effects

Adobe Illustrator

Cinema 4D

Adobe Animate

Adobe Photoshop






For the new SXSW 2020 Comedy Festival title sequence look, I decided to reach for a blend between the bumpers from 2017 and 2018. I channeled the funny imagery and bold use of color from the 2017 bumpers and the clean linework and smooth motion from the 2018 bumpers. I then decided to move through the piece by focusing on a centerpiece in each scene and pushing through it in z-space. I found this strategy worked very successfully in both achieving a fun and engaging piece that also fit the prompt. 




Due to my opening title for SXSW being specifically catered to the Comedy Festival portion of the event I used fun, bright colors and imagery that can be associated with comedy such as smiley faces, a chattering teeth wind up toy, beer bottles, etc.




I wanted a few scenes in this piece to contain assets which were 3D and moved throughout z-space while still having a 2D look to them in order to keep the look of the piece consistent. To achieve this I used Sketch and Toon in Cinema 4D. This was my first time to use Sketch and Toon and I had so much fun using it. Using this effect gave me so many ideas for other ways I can apply it to future projects and I find it to be an extremely useful skill for me to keep in my back pocket. 

While working with it I found that the best way to keep my renders looking nice and clean was to color them by using the luminance channel rather than the color channel. By cranking up the brightness to 100% I was able to get very nice, flat textures, perfect for the 2D cartoony look I needed. I then rendered these all with alpha channels so that I could easily composite my 3D assets with my 2D assets in After Effects.

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