SOM Kickstart

During my first week of completing the School Of Motion After Effects Kickstart Course I realised immediately that I had a lot to learn. I loved learning how to do all the little things I had previously gotten stuck on. This was such a great course to do in order to take my work to the next level!

Below I have posted the exercises I feel show a range of different skills I have learnt over the past few weeks. I hope you enjoy!

Working With Rotation

In week one I was already learning how the principles of rotation come into action when animating. Below is the video I submitted and the feedback I was given by my teaching assistant Kaci Smith.

Kaci’s feedback was very valid and taken into consideration. She loved the contrast of scaling between the shapes, but thought that the grey background washed out the animation as a whole. Below is my updated submission with Kaci’s feedback in mind.

Changing the background colours I managed to create a much lighter-feeling sequence I was much happier with!

Timing Movements Perfectly

Another section of the course I really enjoyed was learning the importance of realism when creating human operated movement. In the exercise below I had to make it look like the mouse was moving and operating as it would during a normal production.

This exercise was really useful because I often see ads and animation videos that use the first person perspective like this. I learnt new techniques such as how to make a mouse click look realistic and how helpful it can be to operate two layers using the same keyframes to achieve precise synchronicity.

Animating in Cursive

I was so excited when I saw the preview for this lesson as I had attempted this technique multiple times before but could never get it right. In order to do this we had to import a Photoshop file into After Effects and trace the text with the pen tool before adding a trim paths and an alpha layer to mimic the cursive text.

Kaci loved the animation as a whole but suggested I slowed down the shapes movements to maintain the focus on the cursive script. Below was my second submission with the feedback in action, It definitely keeps the focus more on the script.

Geometric Dance Sequence

I LOVED this exercise as there was so much room to get creative. During the lesson we were shown how music and video go hand in hand. We were also shown a few techniques about operating paths smoothly and effectively. There was a choice of 5 different audios to animate to, I chose this one because it was fast paced enough for me to fit many different examples of animation in the 15 seconds.

I received amazing feedback on this piece so I was really happy with the results. It was suggested that I could add stretch and squish to the ball bounce in the second scene. At the time I chose not to use this technique as the music was already fast paced and I thought it would throw off the timing. I am going to try it again with the feedback in mind and see if it can still appear smooth.

Unofficial Final Project

Unfortunately I had lots of technical problems with the courses final project file. The file was corrupted and after multiple attempts to fix the problem combined with slow replies due to the time difference, I made the decision to do my own thing. After making my new video I was actually really happy with the whole situation. It gave me the opportunity to think 100% independently. Meaning I drew all the art work, developed a story line, and utilised all the skills I have learnt throughout the course. A huge area I focused on was the design and feel of the animation, including the colours, character design and music. I also wanted to create a project that had a step by step instructions format as I’ve seen so many projects like this and wanted people to visualise my work in a ‘for the client’ setting.

Cactus Project