Since early 2018, I was enamored with augmented reality, but struggled to find an easy way to bring it to life. Learning Unity seemed like a bridge too far, and creating a full app in ARToolkit just felt like a hassle. Even if you managed to create it, it would be limited to iOS devices and users would still have to download a bunch of data to have it work.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, AR.js presented itself, building on the incredible A-Frame platform, and suddenly everything was in reach: cross-platform, web-based AR. No downloads, no multiple apps. I ran to glitch to bang together a prototype, and then brought it to Liz Shaw to really bring some razzle dazzle and get it up and running on HubSpot’s platform. After we proved out that what we wanted would work, I asked Megan Conley to do some animation that anchors the AR experience.
The final result was a shirt, designed and centered on the brutal utility of a custom AR.js marker. We did three different AR experiences that were timed out over the course of our week-long marketing summit at HubSpot. You can check out the page on your phone (www.hubspot.com/ar) and point your camera at the marker below to get a glimpse of what we were up to. (It can be a little tricky if you have a lot of glare on your screen.)
Creative Direction/Design: Matthew Watkins
Code: Liz Shaw
Animation: Megan Conley
Additional Design: Tyler Littwin
Official music video for Cowlick and their track “They Don’t Get Down.”
Direction by Matthew Watkins & Paul Lamontagne
Illustration by Paul Lamontagne
Animation by Matthew Watkins
I partnered with Kara Myrick on developing the creative branding for INBOUND 2017.
This included event and experiential design, as well as the development of a new style guide and motion design system that shaped all video work, signage, print, digital, merchandise, photography and everything in between.
For the event, I designed and animated 500+ pieces of video content for eight different screen types, including a waterfall. We created sound reactive content for a one-of-a-kind LED centerpiece that included four seamless rings.
Creative Direction + Design:
Environmental and Experiential Creative Direction:
Andrew Snyder, Catalyst, Ltd
Claudio Gutierrez, CG Creative
Event Photography by:
I wrote, directed, and animated this video that played as part of the opening moment at INBOUND2017. I shot in 15 different locations from the South Field Air Hangar to the Rhode Island State House. The final show composition was built by four different edits: center 4k image, two 1080 side screens and projection-mapped letters.
Produced by Jamee Sheehy
Music by Marlon Doucette
Lighting Design by Troy Eckerman
This project took nearly three years to complete. Fran asked me what visuals we could do for his song, Noel Pancho, short of flying to DR and shooting a video there. There was no money at the time, and I’d been dying to do a rotoscope project, so I pitched it, Fran and Arc liked the idea, and I dove in.
At the time I was completely ignorant of what I was taking on. I shot Fran’s performance in June 2014, and at the time I was planning to solo the whole thing on a Wacom Bamboo tablet. It wasn’t until November 2014 that I realized how fucked I was, so I spent 2 months experimenting and finding a system that I was confident would work. In December I bought an ancient Cintiq monitor that was a game-changer. In March, after spending about half my time working and the other half fretting about how the hell I would get it done, I sent an SOS to Pat McNamara, who jumped in and brought a ton of new life to the project. Pat's first job was to tackle the block coloring of the first shot, which runs about 30 seconds. This amounted to about 400 frames of coloring inside the lines, skin, beard, hair and lips. The magnificent bastard did it and asked for more. Akhil Bhatt joined up soon after and we had a little factory going. I would still be coloring in Fran’s face on the first shot if it weren’t for these guys and I can’t thank them enough for burning their eyes out with me.
A little bit of technical stuff here: every bit of the performance is animated frame by frame in Photoshop, first the outlines, then the color, then shadows and highlights, and composited in After Effects over the various backgrounds, rendered, and finely edited in an NLE as there was some slipping of sync with the varying of frame rates. Even with all that software, the process was decidedly low-tech.
The song itself is a coming-of-age tale, but set against the backdrop of a young man’s visit to the land of his ancestors, to which he is both deeply rooted and alien, a truly analogous journey to that of discovering who you are as a teen. Fran’s story is both profoundly personal and stunningly universal, I am very excited to have played a role in telling it.
In Summer 2018, I put together a series of compositions to be live mixed during Bearstronaut’s headlining show at the Sinclair. Unfortunately, due to a death in the family, I was unable to attend and VJ the show. This collection of comps might yet be re-incarnated, but I was proud of the work and wanted to share. Miracle Mile characters and Tarot Cards designed by LaMont Creative.
The INBOUND Studio is a new content channel that was launched in 2017. We recorded interviews with remarkable people in entertainment, tech, academia, and non-profit. The INBOUND Studio boasts interview with Trevor Noah, Issa Rae, Judd Apatow, Tig Notaro, Open Mike Eagle, Ed Catmull, and many more.
Through 2018, I directed shoots and post production, designed and animated graphics, and oversaw and designed social content.
A collection of projects I shot, directed, edited, designed and animated for HubSpot.
Produced by Jamee Sheehy
“Wild Style” is the hard-hitting single from Boston’s own STL GLD, a hip-hop super group consisting of Moe Pope and The Arcitype.
The video was made at a breakneck speed, employing elements of Photoshop animation and as well as custom lighting and textures from Element 3d.
Song produced by The Arcitype.
Additional vocals by Christopher Talken and GaJah.
Shot by Niklas Weikert.
Edited, animated, and generally worked over by Matthew Watkins.
As part of Converse's Rubber Tracks initiative, I illustrated and animated graphics for a web series called "Geek Out." The series focused on technical tips and recording methods viewers could use at home or in the studio. I created a vector-based sketch style that was used in eight videos.
Official music video for "Mistake" by Honduras
Directed by P. Nick Curran
Animated and generally worked over by Matthew Watkins
Midnight is a music video for STL GLD.
Directed, edited, and composited by Matthew Watkins
Director of Studio Photography - Max Esposito
Addtional Footage from
My first paid job as an animator was working on tour content for the Carole King & James Taylor Troubadour Reunion Tour. I worked on a small team of animators and designers lead by Hamilton Hughes Design. We produced over three hours of content for a seamless LED ring, part of the stage designed by LeRoy Bennett.
A lyric video for the band Shearwater via SubPop Records.
Directed and Animated by Matthew Watkins
Produced by P. Nick Curran
Loroto Productions, LLC. 2016
A music video I animated for Sixo via Fake Four.