BLOG TOPIC 5 – VCD302 Motion Design
How I began the process
The define and research stages
Majority of the brainstorming and the preliminary research I had done for this project can been seen in my previous blog post ‘Pitching my animation!‘.
To start the ideation stage (Ambrose & Harris 2009, p. 48), I used a journal to note the script of the audios, and then make thumbnails around the script of the audio, to brainstorm what illustrations I wanted to create. In these thumbnails/ sketches, I made note of certain key word mentioned in the audio to create illustrations for each scene.
Prototyping and key moments of developing my animation
A great tip that was introduced to me in this tutorial (Jorn schakenraad 2018), was to have different elements of your illustration on separate layers. For example, here is my illustration that I called ‘tiny world scene’, which had the sun, cloud and trees all in different layers. When imported into AE, I was able to create objects from each layer and therefore was able to move each of those elements in different ways.
Tiny world scene with the seperate elements imported from the Ai file which was separated by layers
The next step included of basic animation techniques such as small movements of the illustrations and simple secondary movement. This was done to gather an idea of how the video could later look once it was completed. I made sure to do these steps for all three of my animation before I added more complex AE techniques.
The following points are summaries of key tools and complex techniques I had learnt to add to my animations;
- The Wave Warp tool – This was used in in two scenes which can be shown down below. The first example displaying the ‘Nature’s Emergency’ scene was a simple and helped me grasp how the tool works by making the speed of the waves slow and width of the wave large. However, the second example was more complex, and I completed by following along to this tutorial (FLOWTUTS 2019). I made snappy waves that resemble a flickering flame. The width of these waves were skinner and faster compared to the first example.
Nature’s Emergency scene with slow and large wave width
Flickering flame scene with fast paced and short wave width
- The use of 3D layering, the mirror effect, and the path tool – The butterfly scene is one of my most complex yet favourite scenes in the animation series. I followed a tutorial (MotionMile 2014) where I first created an ai file with of a butterfly wing and body which was imported into AE. I used a 3D layer on the singular wing to make key frames of the wing swinging backwards and forwards. With the use of close key frames to speed up the motion I was able to create a fluttering wing. With the mirror effect I simply duplicated the wing to the other side of the butterfly’s body to complete the butterfly. The path technique created a path for the butterfly to follow as it flies across the screen, which was traced out by using the pen tool.
Butterfly scene – the mirror effect, 3D layer and the path tool
- The manually sketching a scene keyframe by keyframe – For the water droplet scene I had created an ai file that had tracings of a water droplet splashing, which included of fifteen layers displaying a different frame of the splash. This was then imported and organised in AE where once I had hit play, the scene cuts to the fifteen frames of the water splashing so fast that it is seamless and resembles a complete water droplet splashing onto the ground.
Water droplet scene, imported illustrations frame by frame.
This project was a great opportunity to further expand my skill set on After Effects and challenge myself to go beyond techniques such as simple changes in elements positions, scale, and opacity.
Ambrose, G & Harris, P 2009, Design Thinking, AVA Publishing, Switzerland.
FLOWTUTS 2019, Wave Warp Animation – Quick Tips, online video, 30 October, FLOWTUTS, viewed 4 June 2021, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhvEYgbDVsI&ab_channel=FLOWTUTS>.
Jorn schakenraad 2018, Animation Following Path after effects tutorial, online video, 9 July, Jorn schakenraad, viewed 2 June 2021, < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGHTO-FkoFg&ab_channel=jornschakenraad>.
MotionMile 2014, After Effects Tutorial – Animate Butterfly/ Bird, online video, 27 February, MotionMile, viewed 10 June 2021, < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqMD4e4mCk4&t=682s&ab_channel=MotionMile>.