Recently, we highlighted entries from the first Motion League Challenge. One of our favorites was this piece by Manuel Creignou.

[iframe_vimeo video=”29225930″]

We got a chance to ask Manuel a few questions about the animation.

Motion League: First , the details. Which effects/techniques were used in your animation?
Manuel: I used a lot of masks and animated them with a lot of keyframes. Then I applied basics effects in After Effects :

  • few fractal noises for the background
  • tint and colorama for the colors
  • few more effects for the style

You can take a look at the screenshots.


(For the curious, here’s a list of the effects used: ≈36 masks, Echo, Colorama, Hue/Saturation, Fast Blur, 6 Beam effects, CC Vector Blur, Glow, Fractal Noise, Circle, Mosaic, and 4-Color Gradient. We recommend looking at the keyframe screenshot full-size to get a better idea of what’s going on.)

ML: Once you decided to take on the challenge, where did you begin?
Manuel: I began just by putting a lot of effects randomly on one layer. It’s not very common to use just one layer in motion design, so I didn’t really know what was the possibilities. Then I’ve tried different combinations of effects which looked interesting together.

ML: Was there anything in particular that inspired the work?
Manuel: I wanted to make keyframes animation for a long time. I used to make 2d animations with flash in my first job and I missed that. So, with this idea, the fish-ish character came up as well as all the masks animations with different shapes like triangles.

ML: What was the most difficult aspect of your animation?
Manuel: The timing of the keyframes animation of the fish-ish character was quite difficult. I animated everything without music to focus on the timing of the animation. I did the animated sequence few times before being happy with it. And then, when I put the music on it, I was surprised that the song fit perfectly with the animation.

ML: How long did it take you to animate?
Manuel: It took me 3 days (on extra-work time) to achieve it from the first tests. When the main idea came up, it was quite fast to make it.

ML: What are your tools of choice?
Manuel: Of course, I’m working a lot with After Effects. I’m also using Cinema 4D when 3D is needed. And I can’t work without a pen and a notebook for few sketches.

ML: Do you have a favorite designer or motion graphics piece?
Manuel: Jr Canest is one of the most inspiring motion designer for me. He has such a good style… and he rocks with keyframes. Studios like Psyop or designers like Matt Pyke or Sergio Saleh (Lumbre) are also a good source of inspiration. But more generally, I’m a big “liker” on Vimeo… just take a look at my page and you’ll see I’m inspired by a lot of diiferent things.