Motion graphics project – 15-30 second motion graphics advert / Ident – Friday 10th May 15%
Individual project – Pre-production presentation Friday week 4, final presentation Friday week 12
Knowledge of After effects motion graphics is a vital tool in the local animation scene. In response to this and to compliment your 3D animation work you are to design and create individual 15-30 second motion graphics advert or ident of your choice.
Think creatively and reference other motion graphic artists to build your knowledge of the medium. Perhaps consider combining 3D and 2D motion graphics or other animation mediums.
This assignment will run alongside the main studio guided assignment and your personal development project. Formative feedback sessions will take place over the semester.
Include research into motion graphics and its creative uses. Your own reflection and application of feedback.
Week 4 Presentation – Pre-production – Idea, style, contextual research, a simple animatic / storyboard
Week 12 Presentation -Animation progress on your motion graphics projects – formative feedback from Bob to be taken onto final submitted versions
Notes from the first class with Bob:
About the man with a plan……
Bob is a freelance generalist.
Studios and pipelines – Has experience in the way these works.
He likes to move around the shop, doesn’t like to stay stagnate for too long.
Worked for Cbeebies. Worked on this project for two years.
He talks about using Duik and even if you want to be a character animator learn how to use rigs and how they work and are built to get a better understanding.
Its good at doing things very quickly with animation as in Key Frames.
It’s a necessary evil.
Bobs Motion Graphics class:
Gonna make a 30 second tutorial.
Motion graphics where animation meets design.
12 principles of animation is what we will be covering within the class
Examples he used where Sol Bass?
“It’s a way of framing something you are trying to say”. – A somewhat quote from Bobomb
Meet people, other people are better but they did not go out to meet them, so it gives people like Bob an up.
We use 25 frames for TV and for film 24
Click CTRL-Click on the time code to change it to frame mode
Key – Y – Centres Pivot
W for “Wotation”
S for Scale
P for position
Motion Graphics Research
What are the uses of Motion Graphics?
Motion Graphics is a type of animation wherein Graphic Design is thrown into the mix.
We see it all over the show. In television shows, advertisements, film. Anything that requires a little bit of info, motion graphics is used to make it interesting.
Also, if you watch those top ten lists, they have motion graphics for their numbering systems.
Earliest and famous incantations of it where found in Hitchcock films like Psycho.
Look into history:
He has a nice range of 2D and 3D motion graphics. He did a lot of effects for Marvel, latest update was his work on Avengers: Infinity War.
Toondra Animation Show
Very Colourful and vibrant.
3D Motion Graphics
This motion graphics is visually engaging and I honestly didn’t think about putting 3D and motion graphics together, however some of these guys have done an amazing job with it.
Title Sequences and End Credits:
I thought about creating something similar to double exposure stuff. I saw a few final years from a few years ago who did some really colour double exposure stuff in Graphic Design and illustration and till this day, I am in love with it.
The title sequence was created by a man named Patrick Clair. Patrick is known to be a Creative Director and Motion Designer.
Patrick is also the head of a company called “Antibody”.
On their website it states;
“Antibody is a different kind of production company where storytelling and design come together in unusual ways, led by directors Patrick Clair and Raoul Marks.”
This statement rings true with the title sequence for True Detective. Throughout we see the murky world of the show. Assisted by the lighting and colour, it reflects the dark tone of the show as well as representing the area that it is based in.
Within the interview that Patrick did with Art of the title, he talks about how the director mentioned the areas within the show that reflect upon the internal struggles of the character.
I find the consideration and well thought out design of this by the direct to be inspiring. He didn’t create the mood and lighting due to trying to cater to the edgy teens out there.
Instead he puts some actual effort into creating a bleak world to accompany the characters struggles.
Monsters Inc was very interesting as it moved to sound and had a unique style that was based off narrative points of the film.
What I like the most is the aspect of animating to sound. I believe by doing this, you will get, not only more interesting movements, but also ideas for what to animate.
Also the use of flat 2D objects with squash and stretch using what is seemingly transforms with After Effects is amazing to me.
Marvel End Credits:
Within the Captain America winter soldier film, we see a lot of influences from military propaganda, entwined with motion graphics.
What I like about this is that it not only show cases character, but it also gives us a visual over view of the story.
Propaganda and dark figures are the center fold.
Motion within this end sequence acts as a thread connecting everyone together, which I liked. Mainly because it gives it a sense of flow and a path to follow.
I like within this sequence how they used propaganda adverts as a backdrop/ design choice. In contrast with winter soldier, it does not act as an overview instead just builds on the style of propaganda during this era. It also, does not give us an overview of the story.
I liked the transition with the flags. The ease in is very nice and a great way to present a new animation. Note taken.
First Animatic and Idea
The idea that I had for my route in motion graphics was to create a 30 second long video linking the effects of air pollution to mental health and the style I was going to do it in was the style found within True Detective.
I did research of it above.
I grabbed some tutorials to see if I needed any enhancements/ plugins to use within After Effects.
I was at a loss to continue, as I had no access to green screens, no access to decent quality cameras and I had a main project and essay’s to do. I created an animatic, in-spite of this.
Bob was confused about what was going on with the idea. He said that he liked the original message and thought it was a nice direction. It was the execution I think he was more intrigued in.
He didn’t see it. Timing was an issue, it seemed sloppy and not well thought and I did nothing but agree with him. It does and it was. Pressure built, I something together.
I was at a loss, I don’t know much about environmental design and all of the research I have done prior gives me a drive to create something poppy and fun. This idea was not that.
On top of a reluctance to create a motion graphic about a serious topic, I decided that I would go a different route.
Another meeting with Bob and I said that I was not going to pursue this idea any further as I would like to have a little fun with this. I want to create bouncy, fun and vibrant motion graphics at the moment and I want to do it similar to monsters inc, battle block theater and paper mario.
I will be honest and say that I had no clue on how to use a dslr properly nor do I have a phone or camera to achieve a good enough quality to create this movements. I reverted back to the drawing board.
Revising my Idea
Back to square one. I went back to the drawing board and looked for inspiration. This time I noticed a shift in my inspirations.
I was intrigued by the use of “popping” effects. “Popping” is my term that I use to describe how an asset is brought onto the screen. If it comes in suddenly, it is a pop and motion graphics, these days, is full of them.
This motion graphic on the effects of global warming is an example of sudden and fast movements, popping.
I liked the different uses of motion graphic techniques used within this little video.
I like how it uses the staging, keeping main objects within the middle and using effects to add to this around the place.
I also really like the transitions within this video I think they grab attention. 0:20 – 0:22.
One aspect that I am taking away from the this is the ability to create transitions and to think of colour scheme.
Ahhh. Popping. This technique is used throughout infographics as animation is a means to get across information in a clear and effective way and does not go in an abstract artistic way. They can afford to get away with simplistic animation.
There is nothing inherently wrong with simple motion graphics or infographics. Sometimes simple is better.
I like how infographics works. I like that this infographics merges the two mediums into one. They are very similar in design and methodology after all.
However, a motion graphic route gives me more freedom, I feel anyway.
A lot of the same techniques are used within this video, so I will not talk about them again.
I like the vibrant colours within this video and I also again really like the transitions.
Main Inspirations and Final Idea
As I sat helping out with Natasha at Mini-Con, an idea sparked.
Amongst the plethora of cosplay that I saw, I saw a lot of fantasy characters which led me to think of Lord of the Rings, which led me to think of goofy old videos that circulate the internet about wizards and the silly and light cartoons and 2D animations made on YouTube, I decided to pull together all of these strands and to create a rough story board.
This initial story board we see that I have taken inspiration from paper Mario and the style is cut out animation with art to back this up.
But we also see the light hearted tone that I want to get across in my motion graphics.
I also want to set an audience, a hypothetical one. I like how Battle Block Theatre sets itself up as a children’s game. The simplistic animations and dialogue match this up.
I want to add dialogue to mine so I can animate toward sound and Battle Block Theater is a great example on how the animation is influenced by Stamper, who plays the Narrator through out the game.
The style of this animation is known as the “stick puppet”. The movements are simplistic yet effective in showing the environments and the
I am also influenced by this little motion graphics piece. Similar look to Battle Block Theater, it is based on craft materials. Known as cut out animation, this motion graphic, like BBT uses simple movements, none too difficult.
What I really like about this motion graphic is the design, texture and the use of drop shadows. The paper craft looks very interesting to replicate, it also gives it a playful appeal to it, in my opinion.
Paper Mario was also an influence, design wise.
I was interested within this game series as a little kid, however I never actually got to play it.
I really liked this cover from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. What interested me however, is the use of the vector graphics instead of texturing the characters to appear like paper.
I would like to do a similar thing with this. However, give them a mix of cardboard and ripped paper outlines.
I also like the goofy nature of Leonard DiVinci in local game studio Italic Pigs game “Mona Lisa”.
It also helped me understand what is shown in a 30 second teaser for a game.
Storyboard and Animatic
Their has been some changes from the first storyboard, mainly to how the lands part is.
But enough about that, I will explain the story.
I set it up to be a childrens game based off of RPG’s like Dragon Age and films like Lord of the rings.
It would be limited to 3 classes, so the game did not seem daunting or intimidating to the audience. I also wanted to keep it short as well.
The motion graphic would have a narrator, narrating to the audience. The information will be snippets of what the game will have in it.
For the scenes I want to have fun and not the story too seriously, it is meant for children so there is a silliness to it.
It will introduce a sword “that will stop it all”.
Snippets of the game will play throughout, until the end where the title of the game is revealed.
I added a little character. Bob said that this would take too long to animate. I agree with this, however mine are more or less scenery. If any movements are animated, they will be very simplistic. The main focus is using animated typography.
The feedback I got from Bob this week was that that it was too long. From the last animatic that I did there was an improvement, however there are some things that I would need to work on for my final outcome. These where:
- Work on the time
- Work on getting a script nailed down
As you can see in my initial concept, you see me playing around with ideas. Pulling together how a kid would go about making swords out of cardboard.
I plan to have a simple sword as part of the warrior class I will be adding to it. So I decided to make it look like a fancy, well built sword.
I thought to have uneven cut offs, thinking back to how sloppy and careless I used to be when it came to cutting out shapes. Impatient. I believe this will achieve the look that I am going for.
Below is the final look of the main sword.
I initially wanted to have a dry brush motif for the background, as seen within the blue. I also experimented with creating my own drop shadows, and they add more depth.
Although, the backgrounds still look flat.
Bob was intrigued and thought it was a nice idea to keep the backgrounds simplistic and bright and poppy.
He also liked the idea that I had to show the “flying” of the sword.
Although he gave me the go ahead, he did ask why there wasn’t any textures.
I said that I don’t have the materials and I wasn’t comfortable to take them from online. He encouraged me to put them in, as it would give it a nice look.
He suggested looking into adding wrinkled paper textures, recycling textures, cardboard textures and displaying the artwork through that. It adds more to it and keeps it from looking flat.
I thought this was a great idea. So decided to try it on the next concept I did later that day.
I was stuck in how to approach the “change your life” part of the script. So I did some brainstorming and came up with having a messy room flashing into a clean one. Here is what the messy room could look like.
So the 2 characters that I will have in my motion graphics.
I started with a rougher look to the wizard, however decided against this for being too harsh.
Below is the final face of my good wizard. I chose the design to cover his eyes because I envisioned this wizard being “draped” in over sized robes and hat. The shape also falls into my motif of keeping everything kid friendly.
I made the second evil wizard an anti wizard. He hates wizards but is a wizard.
I created a body that is round, but is still in the cardboard motif.
Bob looked at my concepts and thought that my reasons for the changes that I had to be of sound reasoning.
He did mention earlier about having textures on the drawings, like over lay them or what have you, so I thought to implement this idea.
Changes Based on Feedback
I began incorporating the textures that Bob had talked about. First I began to just simply, multiply the layer and then position the image of the cardboard on top of the background.
I then did the same with the little pieces of paper on this concept art.
I accidentally found this to work somewhat better than the concept above.
Sadly, I wasn’t able to get Bob’s opinion on this, however, the class seem to really like it.
It seems to add to the cardboard paper-craft motif that I am trying to portray.
I talked with Emmet Daly from the class to help with voice work. He was interested in voice acting and I needed a voice. So we worked together to create the piece.
I thought of Brian Blessed.
I also thought of Gandalf from Lord of the Rings.
After getting a pretty good idea on what voice I was looking for, we got to work. Refer to the final animation to hear the voice.
Tutorials that helped
I wanted to add slides and found this helpful tutorial from Ukramedia.
I wanted to add little pop circles after an object pops into frame.
Sound effects that I used
My background music, I wanted to keep on a friendly side, so I went with a happy sound track. I could have went with a grand background song, however, I wanted a happy go lucky song and this fit the bill.
I used two different fonts from dafont.com.
- JF Rock – Jester Font Studio – https://www.dafont.com/search.php?q=JFRock+
- Rocks_G – Goma Shin – https://www.dafont.com/search.php?q=rocks_G
This helped me with my final look immensely.
I decided to test export renders of my piece to see where I need to fix and add things.
My Final Motion Graphics
I fixed the timing of the ending of “See you there Adventurers”. I also fixed the timing of the popping sound bites to match the sword and also the background that pops upward.
Thanks to Emmet Daly for the narration and thank you to Natasha Henry for helping complete the making of the title “CardBoard Heroes”.
I am happy with the result. I feel the motif really suits the the game that I had envisioned to make. I had to cut out a lot of things from my final storyboard. I shaved about 10 or so seconds, however I think it was worth it.
I had a lot of fun with this project and I learnt quite a bit from it.
What could have been handled differently was the script and story as well as much more implementation of motion graphics techniques. However, I think I did a good job.