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All Posts in Motion

27th July 2019

Happy Go Skate Day

To help celebrate Happy Go Skate Day last month I put this jolly little animation together for it. My workplace, Six shared it on Instagram as quite a few of us either grew up skating or still do it to this day so it seemed like a fitting tribute. Fortunately, I managed to finish the whole thing in just one sitting (which is unusual for me!). That said if I took any longer, I would have missed putting it out on the day so having tight deadlines are good because you are realistic with what you can do and commit to.

With that in mind, the simpler the better. Most importantly it had have soul and capture some aspect of skateboarding. I used the half pipe shape to draw a big smiley on the page, then thought about how the skateboarder should skate. One aspect I thought of was based on something I've recently been learning which is to go up and back down the ramp effortlessly and let gravity do the hard work for you. It sounds so basic and easy when you talk through it and technically it is really. All it involves is a little trust in how you're moving and patience. So when you go up a ramp, naturally you'll get to a point where you've stopped propelling and gravity will help bring you back down to Earth (excuse my very basic Science lingo), at this point you want to relax and turn your head back down the ramp to turn your board and ride away clean. Here's a much better way to explain what I just mentioned along with a video.

It was that smooth, gradual and floaty movement that I wanted to mimic in my animation. When the character races across the bottom of the ramp, I stretched his body to exaggerate his movement which is a technique I've wanted to toy with for a while.

All in all, I'm really happy with how this turned out!

19th March 2019

Peblo 2.0

In my last post, I showed the first iteration of my Peblo animation. In case you missed it, here it is again.

On a basic level, I wanted to create a scene where the main character is caught off guard by a wave and bursts out in a fit of laughter. Before shortly returning back to normal. This is my first story using the character Peblo which I created a few years back. He's been steadily evolving into a more solid idea and style over the last few months in the bid to start creating short animations with him. The illustration was created in Procreate and animated using Adobe After Effects.

In my first iteration, I learnt how to control facial expressions using sub comps and hold frames to switch between different states e.g. blinking, smile changing to open mouth. To mimic how gravity effects your eyes, nose and cheeks when you jump upright - I learnt how to add a delay to a null object. That way when Peblo giggles and starts to move up and down, his features are offset so they move a fraction of a second after his body.

The problems I faced however were:

  • How do I make the water more obvious that it's water.
  • How do I make the scene feel more realistic but not compromise on style too much.
  • Is it clear that Peblo is giggling?
  • Does Peblo move in a natural/smooth way?
  • Is it clear that we're viewing the stone from above on a beach where the waves are crashing onto the shoreline?

This time, I used various effects to help achieve the final outcome. Through some experimentation, I managed to find an effect called "Dissolve melt" which allowed me  to create a layer which looked like water drying on a surface. I used this for Peblo's face, to show he wasn't submerged but sitting just above the top of the water.

I also revisited the background, opting to move away from a minimal detail view to something that felt more familiar with the texture and colour of Peblo. This was so the viewer felt the character was in his natural habitat, and therefore easier to identify.

Just like how if you get close enough up to sand, you start seeing different colour grains and materials, I added further spots of colour to visually convey how close the scene is from the camera. To exaggerate the movement of the water, I added a stick and blue bottle top to the scene - animating them in their own unique way to create depth and realism.

As for Peblo himself, I tweaked the delay of the null objects ever so slightly so the animation felt tight and subtle. To show he was laughing, I disrupted the water by adding ripples and a turbulent displace effect to distort the detail. (I'm now thinking I should also distort the shape of the stones underneath as you would be looking through the water at them)

30th January 2019

Peblo animation

I've been messing around in procreate a lot recently on my ipad in the bid to animate a little character called Peblo. Here's a rough animation test I did earlier today using After Effects. I really like the time delay for the facial features so it feels more realistic and charming at the same time.

Still some work to be done in animating the water and movement of Peblo as the water catches him by surprise.

15th May 2018

Magic 8 ball

As a new initiative at work to practice more motion design, a couple of us have started a group called the Motion Mingle. It's fairly laid back and on a daily basis we talk through any ideas or concepts we're working on and see if we can help each other out. All of us have a very unique set of skills and experience that lends our thinking to different tasks. For our first mingle we decided to create piece of motion design based around the word 'Floating/Floaty'.

For mine, I wanted to try and mimic the floating action of an answer revealing on a magic 8 ball. I tried to study real footage of a ball in motion to mimic it as best as I could. In trying to figure out how to animate something like this, I learnt a number of new effects and tools. One in particular was using a high contrast plane to mimic liquid dissolving. For this I used an effect called 'Turbulent Diffuse' which I could manipulate over a period of time to create the idea of liquid dissolving. This was fine in a linear aspect but I wanted to find a way to show the liquid dissolving in a circular motion as if it was swirling. In this instance I applied an effect to the comp that contained the Turbulent Diffuse effect called Polar Coordinates. This way it displaced in a circle where I could alter to my desire.

Getting the prism to reveal an answer in a lifelike way was really difficult to finesse but overall, I'm really happy how it turned out.