Alpha Fastexpert

Based on the Omega Speedmaster (without trademark issues)

Software – Illustrator, After Effects, Photoshop (for the GIF)
 
 

This item was made for a larger animation project. It was a tryout to be the animator for a large YouTube channel. The link to the finished animation is here. Unfortunately I didn't quite measure up to the stars in the competition (there were about 150 applicants).

I chose the Omega Speedmaster as a reference becuase it is a little reference to a good friend of the YouTuber the application was for. He is known (among many other things) for loving the Speedmaster.

 

Starting

I began with placing the reference in the illustrator file, easy enough, then started with the watch "frame." Basic metal shapes using simple linear gradients (and being sure to leave room for the buttons and crown later). I had to guess a little on the bevels, but I think they look alright. I chose a very basic gray palette for this object since the reference object had no color in it either.

 

Dials & Numbers

Then I put in the major dail using 3 circles with the different dash and thickness options applied to their strokes (this way I didn't have to do any fance revolving or copy/pasting). Then I made the minor dials by making 3 circles over the large dark-gray circle and subtracting them (the Pathfinder Tool is good for this, but I use the Shape Builder Tool out of habit). I applied a drop shadow to give the illusion of dephth and then added more dials using the same method as before, being sure to leave room for the numbers which I added next (there are no numbers for the major dial in the reference).

 

The Hands

Up next were the hands of the watch. Each one has a drop shadow for depth, an inner depression (made using a linear gradient that goes from a lighter gray than the hand to a darker gray then the hand, left to right), and circle objects that completely surround them with midpoints where the hands would be attached to the watch face (these circles make it easier to move and pose the hands as well as animate them in After Effects).

 

Face Details

Since this piece is based off off the Omega Speedmaster, I decided to call it the Alpha Fastexpert and used closely matching fonts for the text on the watch face. To the right is a close-up.

 

Buttons & Crown

Next were the metal components on the outside of the watch; the buttons, the crown, and the watch band.

The crown was made by copying two rectangles (one light gray, one dark gray), duplicating them, and scaling them. Repeat until finished. Then I overlayed a gradient with low opacity to add another level of detail. The buttons are just rounded rectangles filled with the same gradient I used for the body.

The watch band was made using a similar technique to the crown. A base shape: 3 light gray rectangles (the middle being taller) with slight gradients to simulate curvature, and 2 dark, thin rectangles that wnet between; then I duplicated, scaled (only on the Y-axis) and repaeated for both sides. I added a a gradient over the whole band to make the upper portion seem brighter (receiving more light) than the bottom. I put a glare on the glass shape (made using the mesh tool and setting the blending mode to "screen") to give it a nice, glossy look, and it was finished.

Below is the wireframe for the completed object and the layer panel from Illustrator. The reason for so many is to make animating in After Effects easier, each object can be imported and animated separately, can be placed exactly where they are located in the vector drawing, and still exist in one file which can be edited later.

Wireframe of the finished watch

And the final result: