Inside the Inspired World of Ash Thorp: Sapphire & After Effects

Tags: Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, Continuum, Sapphire

Ash Thorp is a doer who likes to be involved in every stage of a creative production when possible. The multi-hyphenate artist — designer, director, and illustrator — effortlessly blends his love of comics, anime, and space into both his professional and personal projects. His credits include films like Ender’s Game, Ghost in the Shell, and Assassin’s Creed, the uber-popular video game Call of Duty, and Netflix’s newest must-watch documentary The Great Hack.

Ash Thorp looking through a camera lens

Now an owner of his own company, ALT Creative, Inc., Thorp’s creative career path started when he was just a kid raised by his mother in an artistic household. What they may have lacked financially, they made up for with imagination and creative problem-solving. “Art has always been a part of my life,” says Thorp. “So I had a sense of purpose ever since I was young.” That drive led him to chase his dream of working on feature films. He gave himself one year to accomplish it. He refers to it as his year of “pure potential.” It was the most challenging year of his life between a daily commute from San Diego to Los Angeles (5-6 hours daily), his position as a junior designer at Prologue, and navigating family life. At the end of the year, he had accrued enough of a portfolio (and enough confidence) to go freelance and he hasn’t looked back.

Thorp leans towards projects he feels a connection with while offering clients a unique perspective, and on a personal note, always hoping to learn something new during the process. “I use Sapphire near the end of my productions. I think of it as the icing on the cake,” says Thorp, who relies on the plug-ins inside Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro. “It’s the last missing piece that pulls everything together and finally reveals what all the months of hard work has ultimately created.”

“I like how simple and intuitive Sapphire is, making all the tools so easy to use,” continues Thorp. “Since the combinations of possibilities is infinite, using Sapphire truly makes each experience so rewarding. I have brought Sapphire to many of my recent projects and requested that my team have the same tools. It really helps make everything in the project move smoothly and efficiently. It’s an extremely valuable asset.” Among his favorite effects are S_Glow, S_WarpChroma, S_ZBlur, and S_RackDefocus which he pairs with various noises and layering with Adobe’s built-it Lumetri tools to produce stunning results.

Thorp’s artistic passion and creativity oozes at its greatest on his breathtaking personal projects including Awaken Akira, a tribute to the iconic anime Akira, and Epoch II, a cosmic space journey meets ode to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and Vimeo staff pick. “Sapphire helps me achieve the look and feel comparable to some of my all-time favorite films,” states Thorp. “On Awaken Akira, we relied on the amazing S_Glow’s ability to adjust and implement it in a way to mimic the original anime. And Boris FX Continuum worked great alongside Sapphire on my recent short, Epoch II. I really enjoyed Particle Illusion and adding more dynamics to my footage.”

(To fully appreciate Epoch II, please read the description on Vimeo)

“I know it may sound simple, but I greatly appreciate tools that work and do what they say they are supposed to do,” ends Thorp. “I have very little time to spend troubleshooting technical issues and get frustrated when they don’t deliver on their promise. I’m so grateful that Sapphire has been consistently amazing to work with over the years.”

Learn more about Sapphire

Visit ALT Creative, Inc.

Listen to The Collective Podcast created by Ash Thorp


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