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Some Background

I became the official “Media and Communications Pastor” at Tabernacle in October 2015. But, before my role shifted solely to media & communications, I was the student pastor who also did much of the design work at the church. After the success of our “He is Greater” series, I became the unofficial official design guy.

About Choose Joy

We were going to teach the book of Philippians. We knew the series was going to be called “Choose Joy.” The premise of the series was that you can’t always choose what happens to you in life, but you can choose how you respond to those things.

The Letters

Choose Joy Sermon Series - FlowerI spent a few days playing around with different ideas. I decided that I wanted to build a nice contrast with a barren ground and flowers on top. The flowers would spell out the word “Joy” against the bleak background. Instead of drawing or rendering the words in Photoshop or CGI, I decided to literally make them out of flowers.


I set up a little studio in an unused room in the church. I laid down a white background to shoot against (made out of butcher paper). I set up my cheapo ebay lighting kit, and brought in a ladder to shoot from when I finished.

The process was pretty simple. I laid out flowers, weaving vines and other plant stalks into the letters. Then I cut off the tops of other flowers and placed them throughout the design. This is what the final product looked like.


Creating The Background

I wanted to do this graphic 100% in-house. I grabbed our Canon 5D Mark 2, and set out to find some bleak looking patches of ground. I found these places on the roof of our church, at a sand volleyball court, on a baseball infield, and an asphalt parking lot. There were 8 images in the end that I combined in photoshop along with a few layers of color and a vignette.

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The Bumper Video

The last piece of my process for a sermon package is typically the bumper video… the 30 second – 2-minute video that plays before the message. We use these for a variety of reasons (they act as transitions, they help set the tone, they introduce new topics). For this video, I pretty much used the background I created, but totally desaturated it.

The rest of the video was built in Adobe After Effects. I came up with some phrases that somebody might be thinking or saying when they are in a difficult season. I took these phrases and transitioned them out of the frame with a plugin called “Trapcode Particular” by Red Giant Software. This created the effect of the words blowing away in the wind.

As the video goes on, the saturation slowly increases. By the time the “phrases” are done, the flowers fade into the foreground. It’s not the most interesting transition, but it was the best I could think of (and my skill level would allow) at the time.


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