Profile: Steve Oakley, Practical Illusions

Tags: Continuum

Steve Oakley is the owner of Practical Illusions and lead creative artist. Practical Illusions provides high-end editorial, effects and production for the Midwest market.

“Our clients are typically television networks and fortune 500 companies. A lot of them are back in NY. They can be very demanding to say the least, and that’s fine. With dependable tools, we can be confident about meeting their needs.”

“We do a mix of show opens for TV, spots, and occasional long form work. We also have been doing trade show displays as well for large corporations.”

"We work in a client driven business that expects visually stunning results every time and at a moments notice. It really is an instant gratification world. Television networks want you to deliver something new based on the look they’ve developed for that year, so that’s theme and variation. Corporate marketing people view their 40’ wide x 10’ high LED wall display as a fresh canvas for delivering their message and a chance to experiment. These customers are very interested in new and innovative looks.

“Boris Blue gives me not only the capabilities to create that distinct imagery and just about any wild look my clients seek - it does so with the speed necessary to meet even the most crushing of deadlines. The real time 3D capabilities are something we've been pushing on pretty often for upping the look of what we are delivering, and Blue has made our life a lot better in that area. We've stacked up a couple dozen layers in 3D space and animated it, and it all played back in Real Time. It’s a joy to hit the space bar and watch this sort of thing play without rendering."

“Recently, we used Boris Blue 1.0 to create 3D Text On Path motion effects that fit into the TV network’s look for this year. Blue is simply an incredible experience with the amount of real-time it delivers. There is nothing like it out there. It’s fast, and it does 3D text and 3D model import, which puts it into pretty exclusive territory.”

“Blue makes it just plain fun to work with a bunch of layers; it doesn't slow down. Its great for turning out 3D animated text and logos, even with a client sitting in, because it has the level of real-time feedback that keeps them happy. Change this, change that, hit play and it just goes.”

“Blue's custom edge bevel text and 3D model import along with Red’s 3D text have saved us from having to invest in serious 3D applications. For the occasional times when we need real 3D work, we'll hire a freelancer with their own tools, but RED and BLUE’s 3D abilities take care of the motion graphics work that we turn out every day without getting out of control.”

“Our client’s expectations are getting higher, and they want it faster and better. They know that the technology has gotten better and so their expectations have gotten higher. Looking forward, it would be great to see more OpenGL powered effects in the Boris toolset. Blue is the biggest step in that direction.


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