This is it! I’ve learned the basics of motion design, and it’s time to continue advancing with more projects. This week, I’ve decided to experiment with something I haven’t quite tapped into yet. Risky, right?
Yeah, it is. But there’s only one way to keep building skills – and I decided to challenge myself. Well, let’s take a look at what to do after completing animated projects, some more research, and my final motion project.
Chapter 11: Show & Tell is the last of Animated Storytelling by Liz Blazer. Throughout the book, she went through many how-to’s on effective storytelling elements, and now, presented ways to get your finished story into the world.
The first step is to get your story out there by submitting it to the right people/places. And to do that, you need to make sure your story is packaged in the right way – meaning, give them everything they need to submit your video if it’s selected for a showing. If you submit to a film festival, here are a few assets needed:
- The title logo and still, which will get presented along with the film, program, advertising, etc. is like the image branding for your piece.
- An intriguing summary of the film that’s one to two sentences long.
- A tagline – this usually gets printed in programs or online.
- Your bio kept short and sweet.
- The story of the film – which you’ll especially need for interviews or afterward if the film gets selected to show at the festival. This should start with why you made the film/what inspired you, and include mistakes that might’ve happened during development.
The next step is to determine where to show your film. You need to find the right audience, the ones that will be loyal to your film and films moving forward.
Third, a film festival may not be for you, and that’s fine. Instead of trying to receive awards, getting quick feedback on your work could be more valuable. Post online to get more immediate responses that can help your work, or inspire you for the next project.
Building your network is the fourth step. Connecting with peers and like-minded artists will help build a loyal audience, but in return, you need to be that for them as well. Be supportive towards your peers, tease your work, and continue building your network in person as well.
Finally, share your work, and don’t stop.
Because of my interest in 3D capabilities (particularly in After Effects), I focused my research this week on 3D animations.
This advertisement uses characters that have the effect of 3D with lighting and dimension. I enjoy watching this ad because of the colors, movement, sound effects, and effective story.
Another intriguing animation here uses a mix of 2D and 3D features to show items shredding through a spinning cylinder. I love the mix of the different animation effects, and it’s a great looping animation to add to a website to visually show the viewers what happens.
Lastly, this Sherwin-Williams advertisement uses effective animation with rendered paint chips to create different animals. The effects of the renderings and animations make this a beautiful composition and feels inspiring.
Something that I haven’t quite covered yet (until this week with advanced motion) is digital character animation. So, I wanted to figure out what it means to develop a 2D illustration of a character and render it to animate in After Effects.
I decided to make this more advanced by tapping into how to utilize the 3D layer feature in AE. I’d briefly learned how to use 3D last week with my UI animation, and thought that I might be able to take it to the next level this week.
So, I dove into quite a few tutorials about initiating 3D, lighting, textures, and the camera tool; and with these, I was able to develop my last project of a monster spinning. HOWEVER, I found that 3D characters aren’t typically made in After Effects alone, but use multiple programs. And after many trials and errors at my level of animation expertise, I had to find another direction – a “faux” 3D effect with 2D shape layers.
In week four, I illustrated a monster for my stop motion animation, and I wanted to use it again for this. I did have to simplify the illustration a bit to keep it mostly symmetrical and so that it didn’t affect the speed quality of AE.
This short spinning animation was very challenging and took me way longer than I’d intended. I would’ve liked to be able to achieve character feature animations like eyes blinking or the mouth smiling, but the spinning with moving limbs around, lighting elements, and texture features – I’ll just have to come back to that later.
Overall, I’m really happy with the 3D-like effect I was able to achieve and that I could test my hand at digital characters, which is something I’d like to continue building my skills in.
After completing the book, I’ve learned a lot about animating and storytelling for animation and film. Especially in the first few chapters where they were all about developing the story concept in pre-production, how to find your story structure, unlocking your potential with the story, and so on – I’ve come a long way in the last seven weeks of motion design just through these readings.
Then, with each project, I was able to put that knowledge into work. At the beginning of the last seven weeks, I’d only known the basic knowledge of creating a GIF in Photoshop. This was helpful during the first week where I created three different GIFs, but I very quickly started learning programs I’d never used before, like Animate and After Effects.
I’m really glad I was able to keep using After Effects and build my skills with its features. These last seven weeks involved many, many tutorials, and it was worth it!
As for the next steps on where I hope to go with motion design, I’d like to develop my skills with more advanced digital motion graphics and the use of 3D. I know I will keep working on these, and I’m excited to hopefully help others with animated logos, and create projects for myself as well.