The Biology of Beer Goggles

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There’s some serious biology behind the concept of beer goggles. But don’t take it from us—we’re just a bunch of design-lovin’ magazine staff members. Get your facts from the experts—in this case, Men’s Health, and the talented designers behind a humorous and educational video on the subject of  that bothersome eyewear we all like to avoid.

HOW had the opportunity to chat with Alberto Scirocco, creative director of Columbus, OH–based leftchannel (a motion design studio comprised of multidisciplinary graphic design artists specializing in motion graphics, TV spots, music videos, broadcast identities and more) regarding their Men’s Health video titled “How Beer Goggles Work.”

Read on to learn more about this one-of-a-kind project.


What was the concept behind the design?

AS: We were given illustrations by Zohar Lazar from a print magazine feature and tasked with bringing them to life visually. The challenge was to expand on five original drawings while staying true to the original work. Since we had to make a minute-long animation, we had to extrapolate everything else based on those five frames. Conceptually, we referenced a Chuck Jones style of character animation and tone that fits with his best-known Looney Tunes directorial work. We knew it would fit well with the style of Zohar’s illustrations.

Did you run into any production challenges along the way?

T8444AS: A big challenge was that Zohar’s original illustrations showed the main character changing his appearance drastically in each frame as he becomes more drunk. That works in illustrations as you shift from scene to scene, but with motion design, we had to animate him consistently while gradually morphing the character’s progression of drunkenness so it worked over the course of the one-minute piece. Another challenge was that the illustrations were essentially close-ups of the drunken guy and girl, so we had to create long scenes that were interesting and clever to match the detailed voice-over about the science behind beer goggles.

What was the toughest part of the project?

T7133AS: All the line work is hand-drawn, and we had to do it all in about two weeks. The animated short was part of Men’s Health’s digital magazine edition to be released and viewed on an iPhone, iPad, as well as the traditional desktop computer. We had to format the piece in five different ways, not only 16:9 but vertical formats that you would watch on your mobile devices. We had to design in a way that was suitable on [both] horizontal and vertical displays.

The easy route would have been to use the horizontal display in a vertical format and use empty space as filler, but we made every scene of the short focally centered. By centering every scene, it wouldn’t matter if it was being viewed on an iPhone, iPad, or desktop computer as nothing too important to the animation would be cut out, and it would look and feel like it was made to be watched on that specific device.

Anything else you’d like to share about the project?
Watch it—and beware of beer goggles!

See more of leftchannel’s stellar work here.

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