When it comes to creating films, there are a variety of unique elements that the everyday viewer won’t know about but they add to the depth of the film. Mise-en-scene is one of the many creative flairs that helps to make a movie visually stunning for audiences of all ages. Many new filmmakers find themselves wondering what… Read more »
We’ve talked a fair amount in the past about two of my favourite things: custom web art and motion graphics. We’ve even discussed hybrid motion graphics that combine 2D and 3D visual elements. There’s no need to go over old ground here — excellent visual content is vital to both the look and success of… Read more »
In the first part of this series, we introduced the concept of hybrid 2D and 3D animation. This involves either animating a sequence in two dimensions and superimposing 3D elements, or by creating 2D assets in a three-dimensional animated environment. Because 3D animation takes place in a 3D visual environment, it allows for much greater… Read more »
Digital animation has come a very long way in the last two decades. Consequently, we’ve now reached the stage where 3D rendering suites and animation are so ubiquitous that some might even say traditional ‘flat’ animation is obsolete. While fully hand-drawn animation is more or less obsolete (with the exception of some independent animators like… Read more »
Infographics (or ‘information graphics’) are nothing new, dating back as far as the early 17th century. However, with the development of photoshop and an online culture of ‘sharing’, infographics have taken on a renewed importance. Their applications are endless, and are produced by anyone from marketing firms to educational or political groups. An infographic breaks… Read more »
(This is the second post in a two-part series on soundscapes in animated promo and product videos. Read the first here.) We’ve discussed how two elements of soundscaping, music and SFX, can be used effectively alongside animation to produce excellent app promos. We deliberately excluded voice from that discussion, as we think it is a… Read more »
In our last two blog posts we discussed how traditional filmmaking concepts could be used and updated for the modern app product video. We have explored the concept of mise-en-scène as the visual events staged for the camera, such as setting, lighting, and staging. We now want to turn to how these concepts play into… Read more »
In our previous post we explored the very basic idea that we can learn a lot from traditional filmmaking in order to market products digitally through viral videos. We now turn to the issue of how we transform these concepts into concrete actions: how we can not only use traditional film techniques to create viral… Read more »
Whilst the app market has developed rapidly, ‘new’ forms of marketing have, too, exponentially grown. Many app companies now try to market their apps by using promotional media – particularly in the form of videos – with the ultimate hope being that their promotional video will be unique and creative enough to go ‘viral’, thus… Read more »
So you’ve created a great app and want to get it downloaded onto the phones and tablets of people who could benefit from your invention, and hopefully you’ll be fairly compensated for your endeavours! We’ve suggested in a previous post that a promotional video or motion graphics animation can help you to do just that…. Read more »
As any designer knows, planning can (and often does) make up the bulk of creative work. This might sound obvious, but the better you plan, the better your work will often turn out. I’ve spoken in the past about the importance of developing your own planning process (see this page) in design. The same rings true for motion graphics and animated work.
Storyboarding is a particularly popular method for planning any sort of visual media project, whether it’s a live-action TV episode or shorter app content. This is because storyboarding allows designers and animators to combine scripts with their own creative vision. It also gives you something to appease your clients whilst your work is on-going, allowing them to return any feedback to you prior to the actual animation work beginning. I’m going to talk today about a few ways in which you can start thinking about ‘process’ when it comes to working with motion graphics, and in particular how you can make storyboarding techniques work for you.
Starting a new project
Just like with icon design, motion graphics projects usually involve some level of consultation and a design ‘brief’ between the designer and the client. The key difference, though, is that motion graphics often involves a pre-written script from which to work from. So the main things you should be asking a client in the consultation stages should be about any tone, character and style specifications they are looking for in the animated piece. This is the key thing you should be taking away for your final designs.
Types of storyboard
One of the most common types of storyboards best-suited to motion graphics work is called a ‘treatment’. Sketches are obviously the foundation of any storyboard, as you try to visualise on paper how you are going to translate the script into a final project. A treatment combines sketches and script side by side, tying the visual elements you’re going to create together with the script’s contents and concepts.
The main advantage of a conventional storyboard such as a treatment is that it allows clients to see your line of thought and give feedback before the real work begins, rather than you spending days on a sequence that they then don’t like. Another advantage is that it acts as an artefact for you and any other collaborators to work around and communicate through.
Particularly if you’re pitching a new idea to a client, or they’re particularly picky, it helps to fully develop your storyboard and concept art. One way you can do this is through style frames.
“Style frames are meant to indicate what would be the visual style of the animation.” MCKIBILLO
These are images of single ‘frames’ to demonstrate the overall style of what the final animation might look like. As you can see in the picture below, they look like screenshots from a full animation. They are a big step up from storyboard sketches and can perfectly complement your storyboards and your creative dialogue with a client, as they give the viewer a much greater feel for where a motion graphics work is going.
Kristian Mercado sums up the aim of style frames best:
“I like to try to weave narrative into a single image, I give the audience a small piece, but I make sure that glimpse allows them to visualize the rest of the world, so most of the work ideally happens in the imagination.”
By combining traditional storyboard techniques with style frames and other methods, motion graphics work becomes easier in almost every way.