Personal Dark Lords Animation

My final animation for Dark Lords.

Before making my final sting, I sketched out ideas in the form of storyboards. I then chose the best one and made a more detailed storyboard for me to follow when making the final animation.

The graphical elements of my final design were kept simple and geometrical as the guidelines pointed out.

I created each individual shape in Illustrator on their own separate layers. This is to ensure that each shape can be treated separately when imported into After Effects. I created 3 triangles, 5 rectangles and 2 block-like shapes. I filled the shapes in with the colour palette provided in the guidelines.

Once the shapes had been drawn, I imported them into After Effects, on a new project. When importing them, it was crucial for them to be transferred as ‘composition-cropped layers.’ The layers could then be animated separately.

Since the guidelines outlined that the animation should be in 3D, I added a camera to the composition, and checked the 3D box on each layer. The camera allowed me to orbit around the shapes in the composition, so I could see each element from a different angle. Before I actually started animating, I separated each shape on the composition screen. I moved the triangles to the front of the composition, towards the camera as I wanted them to be at the forefront of the animation. I arranged each shape in this way, positioning them away or towards the camera. This will affect how the 3D looks later.

Screen shot 2014-04-03 at 09.52.26

After this, I animated the shapes in order of how they would appear on the final composition. So I began with the rectangles, I positioned them how I wanted them to first appear before adding a keyframe for the position as I wanted each rectangle to zoom away and reveal the textured background. I used keyframes on each individual rectangle so their position would change as the one before it moved off the composition. I did this by adjusting the the X axis for each keyframe.

Screen shot 2014-04-03 at 09.56.00

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Screen shot 2014-04-03 at 10.00.27

I then worked on the triangles. I added position keyframes to the triangles so they could come in from different angles and stop in the formation they are in, as seen is the final composition. This was very similar to the rectangles except I changed the position for the yellow triangle on the Y axis for the keyframe.

I then added a null layer to treat the triangles as one element and added keyframes to scale them down.

Screen shot 2014-04-03 at 10.05.49

For the black and yellow blocks I again added positioning keyframes but I wanted them to appear one after another, so I moved the yellow block’s keyframes along the timeline so it could appear on the composition a bit later than the black block.

And for the Dark Lords logo, I made sure earlier on that it’s positioning on the Z axis was between the 2 blocks so it could zoom out the way that it does. Again I used positioning keyframes on the X axis and moved it under the triangles.

For the shadow effects, I desaturated the paper texture in the background so it wasn’t as yellow to begin with. I then added a light to the composition. The light allows me to position a sort of spotlight over the composition and cast shadows on the elements within the animation. I wanted these shadows to be fairly obvious to create that 3D effect. I positioned the light a little to the left. I bought the intensity of the light up and the darkness of the shadows down so the shadows didn’t darken the composition too much.

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I then needed to add a bounce to each shape so the animation didn’t look so rigid. I added a bounce expression to the movements that I wanted to be ‘bouncy.’ I added a code to each keyframe to create this effect.

Screen shot 2014-04-03 at 10.23.06

The final thing I did to finish off the animation was add a motion blur. I simply did this by clicking on the motion blur check box on each layer. This creates a blurring effect closely resembling real life when something is moving fast.

Screen shot 2014-04-03 at 10.25.17

After the animating was done, I added it to the render queue and exported it into full resolution. I then compressed the video in H.264 in Quicktime.


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