It’s that time again where students in Term 3 at VFS Digital Design get to work on the Animated Typeface project. Recap: It is a collaborative class initiative where each student makes a second long animated sequence for 3 – 4 glyphs. This time Blackout Midnight was used and this typeface was created by Tyler Finck.
These sequences needed to be 25 frames long using three or fewer of the chosen colours. It has been amazing to see the incredible work DD31’s turned in.
To view the full project, please check out:
Blackout Midnight Animated Typeface
Here is what some students have to share about their experience:
The first thing that came immediately to my head when I saw the letter “B” was “Batman”. Initially, I wanted to transform the letter into a bat. However, it didn’t seem to clearly communicate “Batman” and there was a chance that it seemed like it was symbolizing a bat. Unless it looked exactly like the Batman symbol, it would have given the audience too much room for interpretation. Given the limitation of 25 frames over 1 second, it would be difficult for the audience to take a good look at the Batman symbol. As a solution, I decided to use the searchlight as a more obvious metaphor for Batman.
Originally, the 6 would have been a lock opening and closing, but it seemed too simplistic which in turn can be translated as lack of story. As an alternative, I thought of the number “666”, also known as “the number of the beast”, which symbolizes the devil, hell, and death. There would have been two other “6”s appearing to complete the number “666”, but within the one second timeframe, I have decided that it would be visually distracting. The main focus of attention is the flame which symbolizes flame in hell, and I have also chosen the primary colour to act as the background to help with additional portraying of hell’s image.
This was an amazing project to work on. We had the chance to see the class before us create some excellent portfolio pieces and a lot of us were very excited for this project. We also were given a very good typeface to experiment with.
One thing I wanted with my letters and numbers were for them to have a story and connect in some way. I started with the ‘T’ and decided it would be fun to play with the idea of a tornado, which led me to my overall theme of storms. The shark was added in at the last minute for fun.
For the ‘E’ I used the idea or electricity and lightning. The entire animation is frame-by-frame using several references (my favorite being Pikachu’s lightning bolts). With suggestion from my classmates I added light flickers and other effects to solidify the action of electrocution.
The ‘9’ was the hardest part for me. The only metaphor I could think of at the time was ‘cloud nine’. Therefore, with keeping with the theme I used after effects and Photoshop frame by frame to create a cloud with lightning to form the ‘9’.
The ‘A’ was a last minute addition to my assignment and therefore I decided to animate outside my theme. This was fun to make and easy using after effects. It was a great project and I would love to do more with animated typefaces in the future.
For this project, I wanted to do something more experimental and fun. I tried to stay away from creating a character for each letter. First, I did a research in several websites on typeface motion and related tutorials. After the research, I came up with what I would like to do for each letter.
Using the program, After Effects, I started working on the letter, W. Basically, the graphic was a circle divided into four parts, in which each part was animated inside the shape layer mask along with an effect called, Turbulence. When all four parts have been animated, I combined them into a new composition and added rotation for a more dynamic motion.
For the letter X, I wanted to experiment by adding more effects. I wanted to create an animation that consisted of a more natural and organic motion. Essentially, I used an effect called, Echo. Then, in order to give a softer look on the animation, I have applied two more effects, Matte Choker and Simple Choker.
After I received my letters, the first thing I did was a little research on the topic of animated typeface to see how other people has being working with this kind of projects and also to get some inspiration from them. I found out that I really liked the ones that had some abstract and organic animation so I decided to take that path for my letters. We had the freedom to do any type of animation we wanted, just with the restriction of using three colors that were previously selected in the class and 25 frames to do the animation, and I found this the most challenging part of this project, the restriction of time.
With the H, I wanted to incorporate some basic animation principles and combine it with some frame by frame animation. I end up doing the smoke frame by frame entirely in Photoshop and after that I animated the H in After Effects and added the smoke previously made in Photoshop.
For the 7 I end up wanting to do a “glitch effect”, I didn’t wanted to use any external plug-in or something that did it by itself, so I end up doing the effect almost frame by frame by applying some adjustments layers with a transformation effect that moves around and gives you this glitchy effect.
Gallery of Animations: