“We use Sapphire in a lot of subtle ways that aren’t ‘knock you over the head, here’s a plug-in effect slapped over a comp!’” says Evan Fellers, Executive Producer of Boston-based ad agency Black Math. The agency, founded by Fellers and Jeremy Sahlman (Creative Director), designs, shoots, and animates commercials, but also provides music composition and sound design, app and web creation, and even live event curation.
“We like to involve ourselves with just about anything if there’s an opportunity to birth something awesome,” states Fellers. “I’ve used Sapphire for just about as long as I can remember, and I love having it on artists’ systems here.” The team uses Sapphire across Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro, The Foundry’s NUKE, and Autodesk’s Smoke/Flame.
Black Math often delivers colorful, whimsical spots to match their clients needs. “Whenever possible we design our work first,” comments Fellers. “Then after looks are locked, it hits the animators’ desks to figure out how to bring a certain look to life. Sapphire’s broad toolset allows an expanded range of movement when pushing and pulling things around once animating, which helps in the manifestation of our designs.”
The team typically uses Sapphire to generate textures, mattes, and add subtle lighting effects to play off the key elements of a spot. “It sounds simple, but the Blurs, Grains, and Lighting effects render very quickly,” states Fellers. “Some of our favorite effects are the ones which we can achieve with other non-Sapphire techniques, but Sapphire renders the same (or better) results much more quickly.”
“Sapphire allows for artists to push each effect’s values way past typical numeric boundaries, which is liberating,” ends Fellers. “It’s a super awesome product. Keep up the good work.”