1. What got you into Motion Design?
I’ve always had a passion for animation and illustration right from an early age. Naturally this led me to discover a career in art direction and motion design.
Giant Ant’s ‘Work Simplified’ for Slack (https://www.giantant.ca/slack-work-simplified) is a true favourite of mine. It tells the story of a busy employee fighting against the strains at work and their struggles of keeping up with the day ahead. The main purpose of the animation is to demonstrate Slack’s benefit of streamlining all of your comms into one app, ultimately making your life that little bit easier in the workplace. The use of traditional frame by frame animation is a perfect fit for the brand and sets the tone of voice well. It offers a personal touch to the advert and makes the viewer see Slack as humble and friendly.
Giant Ant have told the story using only visuals and well crafted sound design. With the absence of a voice over it requires more attention from the viewer and this is gained through the use of clever sound design. The sound designer has used crescendos and key changes to add dramatic effect making the viewer aware of any change in the visuals or story.
The character design is very playful and the overall aesthetic of the design is abstract and colourful. This makes it a fun piece to watch and engage with. The direction follows a one shot camera move as it pans across the scene revealing the solution midway through the animation. This is a clever use of the ‘one shot’ as it gives a sense of build up and tension. It eventually over powers you with information. This is important as Giant Ant want you to feel overwhelmed by the different notifications that you receive on a daily basis.
The art direction, illustrative aesthetic and idea of the one shot work very well together. Overall the animation is a very creative spot and does a great job in bringing traditional animation to the forefront of commercial motion design.
2. Animation comparison.
Between the two animations the first [on the left] uses easing to great effect. The way that easing has been used dramatically improves the overall animation and in my opinion is better. However linear keyframes do have a place and are useful depending on your objective for the animation and what sort of feeling you want to evoke. The first animation uses easing to influence the overall flow of the motion design and gives fluidity to its movement making it feel smoother. The easing isn’t a standard easy ease but instead this has been finessed in the graph editor. The in transition is very quick and gradually slows but then picks up great speed and transitions out fast. This style of easing helps to add anticipation and suspense. The key framing and easing of the ball helps to add physics and weight to the object. This is particularly good as it gives emphasis and brings focus and presence to the inanimate objects.
This was a fun project to work on. I initially used Adobe Animate but wasn't satisfied with the tools to achieve the style that I wanted. So I instead jumped into Photoshop and began using AnimDessin2. This is a free resource and I highly recommend you use it especially if you're an illustrator or animator. The result ended up with me producing my first ever cel animation! What do you guys think?
It was a very labour intensive process but enjoyable. It was interesting seeing the animation build and improve over time. I've included below an insight into my process just to show how many stages are involved even for a simple animation like this. I began with the initial rough to get an idea of timing, shape and form. From here I introduced the details one a separate layer sequence including the facial features and his hat. Once this was completed I began to clean it all up and added in a stronger weighted black outline again on it's own layer sequence to give better flexibility when exporting. The final stages included inking the artwork and exporting the sequence as a GIF from Photoshop.
I want to hear your thoughts and comment below if you guys have any good tips or questions.