Hack the Moon

A variety of digital animations and graphics used in a campaign honoring the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing.

One of my major assignments during my 7-month co-op at Draper in Cambridge was to design a variety of assets for their Hack the Moon campaign. That year (2019) was the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, and the campaign's purpose was to inspire the next generation of engineers by highlighting the stories of the people involved in the Apollo missions.

I was given complete freedom and independence (within brand guidelines) to create these graphics and animations, which had a differing list of specifications. They were used to fill a wide range of promotional spots, from three-panel digital boards in Boston's heavily trafficked transit stations, to homepage heroes on Draper's website, to targeted paid media posts. One of my animations comparing the Saturn V rocket to SpaceX's Falcon Heavy even made it into Boston Magazine!

You can find photos of the digital boards, a gallery of examples and a video player with the full animation that was run in MBTA stations below. I used Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator to create these assets. The movements and effects were mostly created without plug-ins and included masking, camera layers and advanced interpolation. The only plug-in used on the transit station ads was Red Giant Universe's old TV effect to give the TV screens a vintage feel. Type Monkey and Motion Monkey plug-ins were also used sparingly for some of the social animations.

The graphics and images used for these animations were mostly from Draper's historical archive of the Apollo missions, although some assets were stock or photos in the public domain. One of my favorite strategies for creating these animations included looking through all of the pictures of sketches, plans and line drawings from the Apollo missions, isolating them into transparent assets in Photoshop and then animating them in After Effects.

  • — category: animation, branding
  • — company: draper
  • — year: 2019
  • — for: Apollo 50th campaign
from wehackthemoon.com:

“With a fraction of today's technology, engineers found a way to guide us to the moon & back. Here's how they did it.”