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BLOG TOPIC 3 – VCD302 Motion Design

Technical achievement

I am proud of my achievement in developing motion design skills and using particular techniques such as the rotation tool, the opacity tool, the scale tool and the constant change in temporal settings. I also used a clipping mask in a few of my compositions which was a challenge for me, and I discuss this further, later in this post. 

Figure 1 – Scale tool
Figure 2 – Opacity tool
Figure 3 – Rotation tool (not in final animation)

Implementation of motion design fundamentals

The bouncing ball scene has primary objects moving with both fast and slower temporal keyframes and uses the design principle of squash and stretch (Entertainment 2015), as they hit and bounce off the bottom of the screen (shown in Figure 4). This scene has secondary motion, moving in a linear right direction and reinforced by stripes moving in the opposite direction in the background, so the balls appear to bounce past these stripes.  

Two visuals shown below (Figure 5 and Figure 6) demonstrate how I scaled primary objects to make the camera seem it is zooming in or zooming out. 

Figure five displays temporal contrast for it has a slow time sequence of a moon phasing, then a fast secondary motion zooming into a small star in the background, to bring the next scene of bubbles floating.

Figure 4 – Bouncing balls
Figure 5 – Zooming in
Figure 6 – Zooming out

Design / aesthetic outcomes

I used the same colour scheme in all of the compositions in my animation; except for the phasing moon scene which was added to bring some contrast to the other brighter scenes. I initially wanted to stick to a 60s aesthetic, but now the animation is a fun, pop aesthetic that could fit in a children’s cartoon, filled with rainbows and bubbles! 

Also, I wanted to use repeated visuals of circles to tie each scene together. I gathered inspiration from Leborg (2006, pg. 61) who explores the technique ‘diffusion’; “an irregular dispersion of objects in a composition”. I used a range of different coloured and scaled circles to make sure my use of circles is not too repetitive. 

Figure 7 – My ball animation using diffusion
Figure 8 – Leborg 2006 – Diffusion
Figure 9 – My galaxy animation using diffusion

Learning opportunities/ analysis

Around week five of the design process, I realised that I did not incorporate much secondary motion. To fix this I tried to pinpoint how I could incorporate some secondary movement to different transitions. For example, the bouncing ball composition is made to seem that the scaling up of the final bouncing ball represents a camera zooming in. Down below are the new transitions I added to create more secondary movement. 

Figure 10 – Transition one
Figure 11 – Transition two
Figure 12 – Transition three

Another design decision was to add clipping masks to some transitions to assist the secondary zoomed motions. The more challenging clipping mask is shown in figure twelve, where the camera zooms out, masking the composition into a small ball that proceeds to bounce off the screen. I’m glad I made this decision for it adds more complex visuals to my animation.

Another critical moment happened once I had realised I had too many scenes that were making my animation too long and seem over-crowded. This led to a strict selection stage, where I cut compositions that I decided were unnecessary.

Down below are some of the compositions I had cut.

Reflection for future projects

I agree with Ambrose and Harris (2009, pg. 28) statement discussing how reflection should happen throughout all stages of the design process, not just at the end. I reflected early on in the prototyping stage that using the design principle of squash and stretch greatly enhanced my bouncing ball animation. This made me excited to explore more of Disney’s 12 principles of motion design (Entertainment 2015). For a future project, I could use exaggeration, anticipation and more dramatic temporal settings.

Due to only adding secondary motion to my animation later on during the design process of this task, I wish to take more time in future animations exploring techniques, such as panning. I believe that this project helped me understand the fundamentals of motion design and how to use them in a playful manner. 

Reference list

Ambrose, G & Harris, P 2009, Design Thinking, AVA Publishing, Switzerland.

Entertainment 2015, ‘The Illusion of Life, Principle of Animation, 12 Basic Principles of Animation’, online video, 13 Feb, Entertainment, viewed 20 March 2021, <;.

Leborg, C 2006, Visual Grammar, Princeton Architectural Press, New York.


Published by Kirstywordpress

University student - Graphic design

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