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BLOG TOPIC 6 – VCD302 Motion Design

Technical achievement

Some of the more complex techniques that I had learnt and achieved were the wave warp effect, the mirror effect, and the 3D layer tool. I go further into this development of skills in my previous blog post.

Wave Warp effect
Mirror effect and 3D layer technique
Frame by frame illustration change

Implementation of motion design fundamentals and where did it fall short?

I focused a lot on primary motion, by making several elements in each scene move, from water droplets falling, clouds floating, and text moving in time with the audio.

Example with many primary object moving in frame

Although, I lacked in skill when it came to secondary motion. The visual inspiration for my animation series was Noma Bar’s work. I wanted to incorporate smooth transitions from illustration to illustration like Bar, although, I did not achieve this.

Noma Bar – example of smooth transitions

I mostly used the scale, position and opacity settings to make composition transitions. Bredies, Christensen, Conradi, Joost and Unteidig (2016, p. 135) state that it is appropriate to apply research in the design process, however, one must be sure that they are well informed on the techniques used because a weak understanding of methods can result in poor research. I researched Bar’s work yet failed to understand the techniques and methods he used; therefore, my goal of smooth transitions from illustration to illustration was not met.

Design / aesthetic outcomes

I was pleased with the environmental aesthetic I created through my illustrations, however, during the selection phase (Ambrose & Harris 2009, p. 12), I had realised my lack of colour consistency. This occurred because I was focused on the quality of each illustration separately but failed to consider how they would be visually connected as a whole. I then created a green/ blue warm colour scheme. This attempt of colour consistency was mostly achieved in my third animation.

My colour scheme

Learning opportunities/analysis

  • The issue of the lack of colour consistency was a setback, but I do consider it a learning opportunity. Once I had realised the issue, I went back to the initial visual research I did. The mood board below is the colour scheme I used for the rest of my series.
Mood-board where I gathered a colour scheme
  • During the prototyping stage (Ambrose & Harris 2009, p. 134), I had reflected on how basic my skill set was in AE (After Effects). Then, I invested time in watching tutorials which then introduced me to a technique of using text being used as a clipping mask. This technique became a repeated system throughout my series, especially in each ending scenes. The ‘Nature’s emergency’ clipping mask made the series more complex and more visually entertaining.
Nature’s Emergency clipping mask – Animation one
Nature’s Emergency clipping mask – Animation two
Nature’s Emergency clipping mask – Animation three
  • The addition of keywords was another big design decision. This decision was made during the prototype stage (Ambrose & Harris 2009, p. 134) because I had my illustrations and incorporated secondary motion at this stage, but it seemed as though something was missing. It was a helpful decision for it did add more entertainment to the animations.
Animation without text
Preferred animation with text

Future practices and goals

I would love to take the time to practice using camera techniques such as the 3D camera tool. I had later found this video of what I would love to achieve in terms of secondary motion for this example has very smooth and energetic transitions and motion.

(Coat of Arms 2019)

I wish I had pushed myself to attempt using the pen tool in AE. For example, using the pen tool in AE to create the water droplet splashing would have made the motion more fluid, where currently it is rigid because it is a different imported illustration in each frame of the scene. It would make the quality of this scene in particular better.

Reference list

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

Bredies, K, Christensen, M, Conradi, F, Joost, G & Unteidig, A (eds) 2016, Design As Research: Positions, Arguments, Perspectives, Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Basel/ Berlin/ Boston.  

Coat of Arms 2019, Google BigQuery – Analytics Data Warehouse, online video, 13 March, Coat of Arms, viewed 12 June 2021, <;.


Published by Kirstywordpress

University student - Graphic design

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