Creating Content with Bite
by Meagan Keane
posted on 05-31-2017
Anyone who loves live-action shorts, series, podcasts, or gaming videos knows that the place to go for fun and entertaining content is Rooster Teeth. The streaming pioneers produce as much media each week as a broadcast cable channel. All production is done in-house for the company’s popular shows, including Red vs. Blue, RWBY, Immersion, The Rooster Teeth Podcast, and Million Dollars, But….
Brian Behm, Rooster Teeth’s Motion Design Director, joined the company five years ago and has watched it grow exponentially. Nearly all of the company’s 275 employees use Adobe Creative Cloud for teams to ideate, produce content, and deliver fun and addictive videos to its 30 million YouTube subscribers, 5 million unique monthly visitors to RoosterTeeth.com, and 2 million registered community members.
Establishing a brand identity
After moving to Austin, Texas, Behm sent a reel of his motion design work to Rooster Teeth. His timing was perfect and the company brought him in to work on a couple of rebranding projects and the rest of Red vs. Blue season 9.
“At the end of those projects I sat down with the CEO to look at the pipeline and we figured that there was another month of projects for me,” says Behm. “Five years later, the list just keeps growing!”
Red vs. Blue
When Behm joined as employee number 14, there wasn’t even an art department. Everyone was a generalist, and the company was just starting to move into specialization. In addition to helping build the art department, Behm put together a visual language for how the company talks about its brands on screen. Today, the Rooster Teeth art department produces a range of content, from merchandise designs to visual effects for the brand’s films.
“I’ve touched a little bit of everything over the years and it’s been fun,” says Behm. “It’s really awesome to know your work will be seen by millions of people.”
The Rooster Teeth way
Rooster Teeth’s audience are fans of anime, gaming, comedy, and “geeky” content. The brand is smart with a bit of a “tongue-in-cheek” style. The Achievement Hunter and Funhaus channels are places where people love watching others play video games. The team designs the content with a sense of humor that makes people want to hang out there, like they’re hanging out with their friends.
To produce the volume of content that Rooster Teeth is known for Behm and the team are constantly working in Creative Cloud for teams. The software is installed for every person in the organization that needs it, providing anytime, anywhere access.
The motion design team spends a good chunk of time in Adobe After Effects CC, as well as Adobe Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC. For audio work, Behm creates music in Logic or Garage Band and then bounces that out and builds the rest of the sound mix in Adobe Audition CC. The editorial department relies on Adobe Premiere Pro CC for video editing and designers in merchandising live in Illustrator CC and Photoshop CC for their design needs.
“We would be at a loss if we didn’t have access to Creative Cloud for teams,” says Behm.
The proof is in the projects
Rooster Teeth recently re-launched its Let’s Play channel. People tend to binge watch Let’s Play videos from across a network of creators, so we wanted to create one identity for the brand to make the individual videos feel connected. We landed on an idea to create funny four-second bumpers with an early-MTV animation vibe that were branded “Let’s Play” and were not specific to any single creator.
Let’s Play Disco Ball
“We wanted to create a couple hundred bumpers so it was an ongoing project,” says Behm. “We did them relatively quickly with all of them going through an Adobe After Effects CC post workflow. It’s probably been one of the most fun projects I’ve done in my career.”
Let’s Play Banana Fight
Future growth mindset
The Rooster Teeth IT department also appreciates being able to easily ramp up and ramp down with contractors, who often work in-house. With Creative Cloud for teams, it’s easy to assign access using the Admin Console while they’re working on a project, and turn it off when the project is complete.
Behm looks forward to taking advantage of the collaboration and accelerated workflows enabled by Creative Cloud. “I’d like to get all of the assets needed for each show’s branding into Creative Cloud Libraries,” he says. “I’d also like to do more with the integration between Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC.”
In addition to his work at Rooster Teeth, Behm hosts a motion design Twitter group called #MoChat that meets on Tuesday nights. He enjoys diving deep into topics and learning from other designers. “There are so many people from that group who have made me a better designer,” he says. “When you’re around great designers it pushes you to work harder so you can keep up.”
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Topics: Creative Inspiration & Trends, Video & Audio
Products: Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Creative Cloud