Designer and art director Peter Quinn recently put out a really great video showcasing several of the 2D and 3D showreel tropes being used right now. I won’t spoil it by listing them all here, but it’s a great watch. As designers we all follow trends at times. It’s important to know what others are doing and what clients are asking for, but often trends become stereotypes and lose value.
A video on the 12 principles of animation titled “The Illusion of Life” by Cento Lodigiani has been making the rounds this week. It’s a very well down breakdown of the animation principles defined in the 1930s, which are still relevant today. What makes this video work so well is the simplicity of the design. By using a simple shape, it focusses the attention on the principle described and shows just how well it works by bringing life to a square. Cento has also created a Tumblr with handy GIFs of each of the principles.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a traditional animator, or if you think motion design is separate from animation, these principles are worth studying. Apply them to your next motion design piece. You’ll have a stronger result because of it.
To learn more about these principles and get a great foundation on animation, I highly recommend The Animator’s Survival Kit by Richard Williams. It’s a great read and reference to have with you at all times.
“Week in Motion” is a series of posts where we will cover a few motion design related events that occurred during the past week. These might be bigger posts/announcements you have heard, or some smaller things that slipped through the cracks. This week:
Krakatoa for Cinema 4D was announced.
ArtSmart v2 was released on Cineversity featuring some nice updates.
Ryan Summers posted Crazy Robo – Animation Test featuring some nice C4D animation and particles created in Photoshop.
Shader Effector for After Effects. SHADER EFFECTOR. AFTER EFFECTS.
Video Copilot released a new model pack for Element 3D: Future City Pack. Oh, it’s free.
Beeple just being awesome again. This time for The Glitch Mob’s Can’t Kill Us music video.
Greyscalegorilla has 40% off everything today only using code “40OFFGSG”
The Mac Pro is finally available for order, though you might have to wait until February or March to actually get one.
What did you see happen this week?
Dubai-based freelance motion designer and animator Nico Bolacha (aka: NEEKOE) recently posted a personal project on Vimeo titled PTEROIS. It quickly circulated the site and became a Vimeo Staff Pick, accruing lots of comments and buzz. Nico mentions that the purpose behind this project, was to step out of his ‘comfort zones’ and allow his skills and knowledge of Cinema 4D to grow and branch out to new levels. Nico loves to be part of a community of motion designers and was gracious enough to give some of his time for us to interview him about his recent work. In this interview Nico discusses the reasons behind this project, the challenges, the success, some news for up coming personal projects, and gives credit to sites and resources he used to develop PTEROIS.
Unite user joedonaldson recently posted a project he recently completed for The Noun Project. If you’re not familiar with the site, its purpose is to build a collection of royalty-free symbols & icons the entire world can use to visually communicate. It’s been amazing to watch it grow over time into the vast collection it currently is. Take a look at Joe’s work below and let him know what you think on Unite.
Recently, we highlighted entries from the first Motion League Challenge. One of our favorites was this piece by Manuel Creignou.
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.
Late last week, OFFF Barcelona took place. And it wouldn’t be OFFF without an epic title sequence. This year, PostPanic created the nearly six-and-a-half minute sequence. More cinematic than design, but plenty heavy on VFX and awesomeness with creative ways of integrating the titles into the narrative.
The short film is a dystopian view of a possible future that is both disturbing and incredible. After six months of work,on-location in Prague with post in Amsterdam, the result is definitely “unsettling and menacing”, which was the intent of director Mischa Rozema. [box type=”info”]Warning: If it offends you, there are some images of violence. Also, one particular shot towards the end—near the 5:00 mark—might be a problem if you are squeamish.[/box]
A simple, but very well executed 30-second spot submitted for the World Table Tennis Championship 2011.
Despite being so simple, there’s a lot to take away from this. Clean geometry, well paced builds, a subtle gag (moving the table), and great sound design all help polish this already clever concept.
[iframe_vimeo video=”15204313″ click_words=”Gettin Money With a Mouse and a Wacom Pen” click_url=”http://vimeo.com/15204313″ ]