In today’s workshop session, we looked at and discussed the features of Adobe After Effects. More specifically, we worked on creating particle effects and animations with imported graphics from Photoshop. This would be the last workshop we’re having on After Effects, as we’re moving on to other types of software and coding. Overall I’ve found After Effects very useful and fun to create animations with, especially during the kinetic typography task.
In the first part of the workshop, we all produced short animations that made use of a winter background and particle animations, similar to falling snowflakes. As we were creating these animations, we learned how to change different elements like camera angles and particle effects.
In the second part of the workshop, we produced simple drawings on Photoshop, created patterns out of them and then imported them into After Effects as image files. I wanted to use the effects available in After Effects to make a short and bizarre animation that looked similar to an optical illusion.
While it took me a few hours to animate my kinetic typography, it would have taken longer if I hadn’t had previous experience with After Effects. I had used After Effects before in a workshop at University, and on a college course last year, and the experience proved to be very useful for this assignment. Overall, I would say I’m very proud of the final result that I produced and I learnt new features from this software (e.g. how to move many items in unison).
One of the things I would improve about my kinetic typography would be the timing of some of the animations. Next time I create an animation like this, I would like to get the audio and video synced up as well as possible. I could also use a bigger variety of fonts to make the animation more interesting.
The only major problem I had throughout this assignment was the fact that Adobe After Effects doesn’t work on any of my computers at home. This is why I used the University Library to get all my editing and animating done. While this gave me a limited time to work on my project, it helped me improve my speed and efficiency with using After Effects.
Of all the projects we’ve done so far, I would say that this has been the most fun to do, as we were allowed to choose any audio from any exiting media and animate words to it the way we wanted. This task was creative and it also gave me a chance to improve my software skills.
I finally completed my kinetic typography animation with Adobe After Effects. The full process of animating it, rendering and exporting it took a total of 4 hours. Since we could choose any audio to go with our animations, I decided to use a clip from one of the Joker’s scenes in the game Batman: Arkham Origins (2013).
The original audio can be found from the following link:
After looking at and researching different types of stop-motion animation (e.g. clay-based, paper-based), I decided to use paper in my animation for this assignment. Pictured below is my first solo attempt at a stop-motion animation. It follows the theme of “water cycle“.
Click to see full-size
The animation is made up of 25 frames, all of which I took with a digital camera. I wanted everything in the picture to move, so that all the emphasis isn’t one the water. This is why most of the shots are at a slightly different angle. I could have improved the steadiness of the shots and put them together in a less shaky way; this is one of the only major issues that I would improve about my first animation.
In order to animate the water drop in my animation, I looked at short videos online that showed how they are formed. In my animation, each stage of the drop falling into the bowl is made up of individual drawings that I produced.
Concept and Colour drawings:
In order to get a better understanding of how to carry out this task and create a stop-motion animation of my own, I decided to look at other sources, such as online videos and webpages that focused on this type of animation. Although I’m more used to digital animation, I’ve wanted to try animating like this since I saw stop-motion films (e.g. Wallace & Gromit, Chicken Run, etc.) as a child.
The picture below shows an example of a set used by a professional studio to create stop-motion animations.
I found researching this subject particularly useful, as I haven’t done a lot of stop-motion animation up till this point. The final result that I will be animating will follow my chosen theme of the “water cycle”.
The following links were some of the examples I found most useful for my research:
http://www.aardman.com/ – The official website of the famous Aardman Animations LTD. This page gives details on the company and its previous projects.
http://www.awn.com/ – Short for, Animation World Network, AWN reports on animated movies as well as other types of animation. This expansive website also provides other interesting material such as interviews with famous people in the industry, as well as trailers, previews and articles associated with animation.
traceloops.tumblr.com/ – A useful and cleverly presented collection of animations, made from different techniques (e.g. hand-drawing, rotoscoping, etc.)
During the week in which we learned about After Effects, we were given a new assignment that put our skills with this software to the test.
In this assignment, we have all been tasked to produce an animation lasting more than 20 seconds, using our skills that we have gathered from After Effects. In our animated sequences, we need to bring in kinetic typography (moving text) that corresponds with a soundtrack featuring a voice. The soundtrack can be from any media of our choice (e.g. TV, games, radio, etc.) and motion graphics/special effects need to be used for every word that spoken in the soundtrack.
I think that for my sequence, I will be animating something from a film or game, as they are two of my favourite types of digital media. I need to look at more examples of kinetic typography before I animate my chosen soundtrack.
This is the video that I produced in the second workshop we had about After Effects. We all recorded videos of ourselves and used green screens to edit our images onto other backgrounds. As seen above, I put myself inside a picture frame with cloudy mountains in the background.
I took this opportunity to practise my animation skills with the text, as I used different features such as motion blur and 3d rotation. Overall, I’m proud of my simple attempt at a short After Effects animation and I look forward to using this software for future projects.
This week we have been having workshops that have introduced us and allowed us to work with Adobe After Effects. In our both of our workshops, we have been working on kinetic typography by creating text and applying different motion affects to it.
I found these sessions very useful, as I’ve wanted to try out a program like this and create my own motion graphics. If I keep improving on my After Effects skills, I could eventually move to on to make motion graphics and different animations on my videos.
Soon, I will be uploading a very short video that will contain most of the skills that I have learnt so far from After Effects.
In order to practise for our stop motion animation assignment, I decided to go back to Photoshop and revise the process of frame-by-frame animation. I found this very useful as it helped me understand the process better and it has improved my animation and software skills, especially with Photoshop.
My animation is made up of 19 frames, and it took me under an hour to make all the frames, put them all together and animate them. I found doing this very helpful, as it has given me inspiration for what I need to do for my assignment.
Recently, we’ve been practicing our animation skills ever since our workshops from last week. We’ve been experimenting with frame by frame animation and creating GIFs with the help of Adobe Photoshop. Before the workshops, I had no idea that it was possible to animate with software that is most commonly used for image manipulation. Pictured below is an example of an animation that I produced in Photoshop:
Click to see in full size
Using our new and improved animation skills, we need to create looping stop-motion animations of over 12 frames for this assignment. The subject of our animations can be anything that follows the theme of “cycle”, as long as it’s taken with a video camera or DSLR.
Additionally, since I have an iPod Touch, I can download Stop motion Animation Maker Pro and create my stop motion animation that way.
I’ve always loved watching and creating animation so I look forward to carrying out this particular assignment.