Starting this project I knew that it was going to be a challenge because it would incorporate something I’d never dealt with before – motion. Even though I was new to using motion, I soon recognized that this would open all kinds of exciting new possibilities in ways to communicate concepts. I knew that I wanted to use this new element of motion to enhance the message of the graphics I created. My objectives for this project then, was to learn how to use adobe after effects well enough to communicate what I wanted, and to learn more of what I can do with it. I didn’t just want to create something flat and empty that moved. I wanted this to communicate something to the viewer, leveraging the new element of animation.
When I started sketching I was still trying to get my head around the idea of motion. I tried a long sheet of different ideas to use motion in. Slowly, they began to have more meaning as I progressed. They ranged from really simple and empty animation like popcorn machines to more intriguing ideas like a single card shifting from an ace of hearts to a joker. The concept that I had may sound rather cynical, that is that love is a joke, but the card flips again and reveals that the cruel joke can also change to true love. Similar to the concept of the two sided coin of the greek god Janus, love is a two edged sword- and that is what this simple gif is about.
So, after I decided to go with the ace of hearts, I began exploring how I could make my animation move. Originally I wanted the ace of hearts card to flip over to show a joker on the other side. Because I had no previous experience, however, I wasn’t sure what I could do in the time I had. Other exploration of motion included thinking of different ways the joker could laugh and how the cards could move.
I found as I moved to illustrator however, that instead of having a heart on one side and a joker on the other, the two cards would mix better if they both had a heart and one represented the ace and one the joker. I was still unsure at this point weather it was possible to make the card flip so I had created subtle gradients behind which the cards could move in the animation.
Some of the feedback I received on my animation was to see if it was possible to flip the cards rather than slide them from top to bottom. Luckily in the end, I was able to learn enough about after effects to pull of the original idea! I was very glad to be able to follow through with this feedback as well as follow the original idea for the animation.
Once I started animating, I realized that the paper texture I had added in the ai file was causing problems with the movement of the joker hat and cupid arrow. I took this out and replaced the after effects files with the new ones and this really improved the way the animation moved and looked.
Though this project I learned so much more than I expected. I learned about how to think in motion, how to arrange things using motion, how to time things, and how motion can open new ways to communicate. I was able to learn more about what adobe after effects was capable of and how to implement it in a way that could enhance the concepts behind the designs.
When I started with Adobe After Effects a few weeks ago, we were not on good terms. Now having worked more with it and learned what it is capable of, I have new respect for it. After effects is capable of so much! I really hope I can learn more about it and begin to use it more in my creative designs including websites, online aps and more!