The KOYU spot Rama and I did together was focused on the design of the keyboard, so I wanted the M60 spot to be about variety. I felt inspired by the incredible amount of creativity and expression mechanical keyboard hobbyists have. The concept was to create a collage of desk spaces inspired by photos of existing Rama Works products posted by the community. The M60 frame would serve as the constant in a revolving door of personalized work spaces.
At some point during the design process I decided to walk back the lifelike style and put more emphasis on the product. The images looked great, but I felt like they were too mucked up by props and environments. I took the base concept of the keyboard on a desk and started designing dreamlike desk spaces that accentuated the finish of each keyboard. In the first scene where you see the text from the terminal window, I lit the scene as if there's an entire monitor. I even bent the text as if it's being displayed on a curved CRT.
Rama Works M60-A finish lineup
Even though there are now much easier ways to edit your keymaps, many hobbyists create their own firmware in a text editor. For authenticity I created a keymap of my own and built a hex file in terminal. I recorded the process and recreated it in After Effects. In the video someone types the make command into the terminal window and hits enter. As the code begins to compile, the force from the last keystroke starts the 'revolving' effect that carries us through the rest of the spot.
Building M60-A firmware inside terminal
I was lucky enough to continue working with the sonic branding team at Another Country Detroit for the audio on this project. They created a rich binaural environment, perfect for experiencing with headphones. This technique allows for perceived motion above, below, and behind the head. It took me several views to catch all the hidden details in the track.
Each of the keysets in this project has three primary colors, and three secondary colors. Before this project I would have built three identical materials to color them. However, thanks to a cool trick I learned from Billy Chitkin, I was able to consolidate everything down to one material and control how the individual keycaps receive their color based on their object ID. Overall a fairly simple setup, but I'm always looking for ways to optimize my scenes and keep everything organized.​​​​​​​
Thanks to Zambumon, Olivia, Oblotzky, The Key Company, QC_Cumbers, and Janglad for designing some of the beautiful keyset colorways seen in this spot. I wouldn't be creating these animations without the growing community of makers bringing their ideas to life.
And thanks to Greyscalegorilla for making the Everyday Material Collection, which served as the base for many of the materials in this project.
Visuals: Todd Hersey
Made with Cinema 4D and Redshift.
Audio Post Production: Another Country Detroit
Producer: James Henry
Composer: Joe Philips
Sound Design: Joe Philips, Jeremy Schemm
Mixing Engineer: Jeremy Schemm