The Truth About Sex Graphics Package

Galleries - Motion Graphics

Article Index
The Truth About Sex Graphics Package
Title Design
Backgrounds + Transitions
Info Boxes
All Pages

Truth About Sex

Animation/ Design/ Illustration: Television Show
College Tuition Productions/ Playboy TV


Here is the latest television series I was asked to create the complete graphics package for: The Truth About Sex, for Playboy TV. It is sort of the mythbusters of sex. In each episode a sexual myth is confronted and using science, it is established true or not.


An interesting aspect to this project is how early I was brought in. Normally the graphics package is created in post-production when the episodes are being edited and the filming is over. On this show, though, I was able to be involved from pre-production through post, having a little bit of say and influence over the overall look and feel of the entire series.



What you will see on the following pages is just a small part of a vast 'toolbox' of elements created for the show to creatively maintain a visual continuity for the entire series.







First off the bat in setting up the look and feel of the show, for me, is creating a title sequence. Since the show hadn't been created yet it was a big collaborative effort between the producers, the executives, and myself to inturrpret a common vision.


During this process we created over a dozen sets of boards for the open, ranging from various degrees of science and seriousness to sex and playfulness. In the end it was a pleasant surprise that they picked my favorite set of boards, and we rapidly pushed ahead on a retro-educational film look.


The music that was composed by Scooter Pietsch [ ] as the title sequence early on was an absolutely incredible interpretation of the title sequence. I think the music may have changed for the final broadcasting, but it is what I listened to to help inspire the rest of the package, so I'm playing bits of it with some of these graphics.


Other than that there was only one last minute change made to the final title card for broadcast -- a decision I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH. The original is what you see here, as it was designed, originally approved, and intended. If you watch the show on TV maybe you'll notice the difference yourself.








An aspect of the show package that editors and producers can wield with great power are the Backgrounds and Transitions.


Usually backgrounds are subtle fields of looping animation to be used behind text or information that needs to be displayed. Well on this show, the backgrounds are big and bright and in your face, to be used behind text or information that needs to be displayed. That is pretty much the standard tone of this particular show.


The transitions are simply visual queues to hide an edit within. For example we have our infamous boob-atom from the title sequence, which rushes toward frame, fills the screen, then recedes back to where it came from. Wherever a transition fills the screen, we can hid the cut of an edit behind. It then appears that it hides one shot, and instantly reveals another.


The second approach for these particular transitions is hiding a wipe. Based off of our bikini girl in the title sequence, the body simply slides across the screen. An actual wipe transition is hidden behind the element so that there is a different clip, one being hidden and a second being revealed, on each side of the figure. Since we have a variety of themes within the show, I designed a number of different male and female forms to be used as transitions to keep with a particular genre or tone. You can see a variety of those below.














Like little bits of information within the show itself, the producers created a number of topics to be used to deliver factoids that were separate from the show itself.


Each one of these interstitials would need it's own mini-title sequence. They should all be similar to one another in style and tone, have a consistent feel with the packaging of the rest of the show, but finally be different enough so that they could stand alone, figuratively and literally. keep your eyes open on Playboy TV and you may just see one or two of these things pop up when you least expect it.








In the process of any science show, there are experiments. And in the process of experimenting there are a lot of comparisons made.


For this reason, it was thought to create a distinct visual identity to deliver information that was reminiscent of a scoreboard. Since our science experiments are all sexual in nature, we decided to add the visual elements of a strip club (obvious locations of sexual comparisons), which guided our design closer to that of a marquee.


A version was also created that allows the back-lit board to slide down and reveal a video clip behind it. This would be for visually accentuating the information being portrayed in the graphic.








Over the course of so many science experiments, there is a good chance that they would require visual graphics to represent information while it is being recorded.


This information could include heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, sexual arousal, or really anything that can be measured.


Since these little graphics are meant to be used by the editors, they need to be self contained and simple. They have enough to worry about than graphics issues.


The key to creating these things, then, for versatility are simple. First off make them larger than they need, because scaling them down and sticking them on the screen where they want is easy. Make a left and right version, so that the arrow pops on the correct side and can be attached to a source they like. There's no reason in making them flip a single sided graphic, since the layout of icon vs. text/information would then switch and be inconsistent.


The final key is creating a build up of graphic intensity that spans over a good piece of time, and render it out at around 90fps, which is 3 times more information than they would normally need. The length of time allows them to manually speed it up if they need it, and the extra fps allows them to slow it down without losing information.









An interesting addition to the graphics toolbox created for this show are visual sound effects. We essentially came up with a number of onomatopoeias that could be used humorously in context of participant reactions and experiments in the show.


Since variety gives the concept longer legs and more entertainment value, 16 different sounds were created and animated. Each sound had one version with a background and another without, and were ready to be dropped in simply and quickly by the editors anytime they felt they could use them.