Motion Design : To Achieve Your Goal, Every Step Counts

We recently had our first Motion Design Showcase, and it was very cool to see so many creative motion graphic works from different classes. I decided I would present my own work here on OOMPH. Although, I’m not sure what I should talk about. Ha Ha. But I will try.

I have a background in Graphic Design, but Motion Design is kind of new to me. I’ve never used After Effects a lot before I came to VFS Digital Design — just for keying the green screen and interface knowledge.

Our Term 1 Motion Project was to create a 20-45 second Motion Graphic Video with a story and some graphic animations. When I first got the brief, I struggled with it a lot — for two reasons: First of all, deciding on a story was hard for me; And secondly, I was unsure about what I could do with my limited After Effects knowledge.

I started to storyboard, but I made changes more than 20 times to my story. I was the last one to hand in my assignment. I discussed it with Kyle Norby (my Motion Design1 instructor) in class, and he suggested that it might be a good idea to stay with what I originally had in mind and just work more on it. He was right. So I went back to what I had in the beginning, and started to think about what kind of things I could do with my story. The next week I met with Kyle again, and I showed him my nice hand drawn storyboard :) (it took me for one week to finish it). But he only told me that the thing I was trying to make was “OK, just OK”. He said he felt it was a little bit boring, and he pushed me to go beyond what I showed him. I decided I wanted to challenge myself this time to make something not so boring.

Considering my limited understanding of After Effects, I made the smart decision to stay simple. My story is about a person doing a free kick, with a ball pass to his teammate, and his teammate then passes to another teammate, and finally they get a goal. My tag line is: Achieve your goal — every step counts. So, I decided to use three simple shapes in my video and animate them: Circle; Square; and Triangle. I went to Vimeo and found lots and lots of cool animation videos and watched them frame-by-frame. Especially ones by Jorge R. Canedo Estrada. I like his style so much, and he inspires me so much. I love how he makes simple shapes have personality, and the way he animates. I remember a quote from Jorge: “How can you expect your work to be good if you can’t even make one frame good?

I started planning out how every signal frame could be good. In addition, most of the time I played with key frames. I had a lot of key frames and they were dancing in my brain. I stayed awake for 45 hours to do my motion piece over the weekend and my wife complained to me that I am too crazy. I did hand drawings on 51 frames for my motion piece (it cost me 16 hours). But finally I did it. I created my first motion graphic. I’m happy with it in the end, even thought there are a lot things I could fix to make it better.

My classmates think I must be good at After Effects. But I say no — the secret is I spent almost double the amount of time on this that I should have, and I only slept 4 hours a day every day in term 1. Even when I slept, I dreamt about my motion concept and how to change my animation. Oh, but I do have strong Photoshop and Illustration skills and I have a good understanding of animation principles. Oh, and one more thing I would like say is, watching good animation or motion graphic videos frame by frame is a good way to learn animation principles.

In the end, I want to say thank you to Kyle Norby. He is the one who pushed me to be better and better.

Here’s my storyboard and the Motion Video:

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