Raisinets a Type in Motion Project (one)

My first full type in Motion movie. Hope you enjoy it!

Raisinets Movie

Images, Storyboard, Conversation Parsing

Images, Storyboard, Conversation Parsing


Dark Knight Kinetic Typography

Another interesting video from my kinetic type adventure journey. Again this video does not have a lot going on, similar to the simplistic IKEA video style that I blogged about earlier. However, starting out, I think that’s a good thing. I really want to drill down on learning good basic type in motion (kinetic type) skills; timing, kerning, leading, movement, legibility. Effects can be great but first I want to make sure the foundation is solid before I go effect crazy.

The Dark Knight Kinetic Type video does some things that I like really well. First, they don’t overkill the effects, when effects are used it makes sense with the story and what the actors are actually saying. The effects aren’t thrown in for effects sake. The transition between Dynamite, Gun Powder and Gasoline (starting at 0:07) is so simple yet intelligent use of an effect. The way the first two words transition with the dynamite effect just makes sense, simple yet incredibly effective. They designer just leads the eye through the speech very naturally.

The transitions using effects, where there are pauses in speech are done particularly well, also especially (0:16). Also check out the line at (0:29) again, simple yet super effective. I think this designer has taken some lessons from Saul Bass in simplicity. Enjoy!

Dark Knight Kinetic Typography

Dark Knight Kinetic Typography

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The Sound Files…

Ok so my title isn’t a bad pun and forgive me if you aren’t a generation X. However, I promise the post will be worth the read. As filmmakers and motion graphic peeps, there is always a need for sound. Some people aren’t lucky enough to know someone with a sound studio in their basement. Also, the costs can get quite high, especially when your newer and on a tight budget. I found a great post on the Indy Mogul YouTube channel to all the sounds your heart desires (well most of them anyway). They’ve got a couple of great videos on where to find free sound effects as well as free music. They focus more on films rather than motion graphics, but there are a tone of great tips on sounds, editing etc. it’s a great resource. It’s definitely worth a subscribe if you want to get into film, especially as an amateur, they have tones of free great tips!

INDY MOGUL free sound effects

INDY MOGUL free music list

INDY MOGUL YouTube Channel

Simple Kinetic Type for a Newbie

Starting out with simply type sometimes can be a lot harder than if you have images to work with. They say a blank canvas is a designers worst nightmare…but last week it was my blank After Effects screen! But after some deep breaths and some chocolate, I went to YouTube for inspiration (good old YouTube) and I found this video by Peter Varadi called IKEA. It was his first Kinetic Type project as well, and I think because he kept to basics, it was a success. It worked with the music, timing was good and he played with certain words but just kept it simple for his first try.

It’s really just type and colours, but it was a really great reference for me starting out. I look at some much more complicated videos which I’ll talk about for other reasons because they were AMAZING, but I wanted to start here, because getting back to basics, really helps the task to be less daunting.

I found that by concentrating on simple letterforms and colour really helped me to start my project and bring out the main elements even just picking a typeface that works well with my subject. Then once you get comfortable with the key elements, you can turn to more advanced layouts and movements. If you don’t have the basics down, the entire project can become a bit of a disaster because there’s just too much choice out there!

So thanks Peter Varadi,for helping me to keep calm, carry on…and to focus on first things first. Enjoy the video!

IKEA by Peter Varadi

IKEA by Peter Varadi

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A Simple Lesson From Saul

I can’t have a blog that heavily focuses on motion graphics and kinetic type without paying tribute to arguably one of the best motion graphic and film designers of all time Saul Bass. Saul’s early film titles were major markers of modernity. He was one of the key designers that brought Abstract Expressionism to the forefront and to such a wide audience because it was done through films. The thing that is so striking about Saul’s work is that it is wonderfully simplistic yet extremely innovative. Even non designers and film makers of later generations are familiar with his movie titles. His work proves that the only form of TRUE sustainable design is well thought out, long-lasting design.

To take a brief overview of a few of Saul’s major titles, allows us to see why he was a “god.” It’s a reminder, and example to show that with all the great technology out there, great creation comes back to basics. Technology should only be used to assist in a design, it shouldn’t ever lead it. I’m only going to quickly discuss my favourite, but I’ve included other images for your viewing pleasure.

Anatomy of a Murder
The title sequence is one of Saul’s most simple and most successful. It seems almost too effortless between the integration of text, image and sound. Again, it comes back to simplistic strong ideas. They symbol for the film forms and falls apart in synchronization with the music, while the bold white credits over the black fragments add another layer of contrast. Saul used the music, a contemporary jazz score, that had a staccato and fragmented style and paired it with fragmented body parts which was obviously a fitting compliment to the movie subject.

In the title, the various pieces of the segmented figure form quickly into a total configuration and then after, the arms, legs, head, body and hands pop on and off with the various credits. The sequence ends with a pair of hands wich appear quickly, jump forward and obliterate the screen to black.

Hopefully you will recognize the other titles pictured below and if not…you should check them out!

Anatomy of Murder Saul Bass

Anatomy of Murder Saul Bass

Anatomy of Murder SAUL BASS

Advise & Consent SAUL BASS

Advise & Consent SAUL BASS

Bonjour Tristesse SAUL BASS

Bonjour Tristesse SAUL BASS

The Man With The Golden Arm SAUL BASS

The Man With The Golden Arm SAUL BASS

The Frank Sinatra Show SAUL BASS

The Frank Sinatra Show SAUL BASS

Simple Yet Effective

One thing that I’ve learned about motion graphics and online animated videos in general, is that you don’t have to be an award winning artists or a master illustrator to make engaging entertaining online media. Some of the best messages and videos out there are that way because there was a clear message and a very simplistic style attached to that message to get the point across. Sometimes the simplest videos can be the most funny, thought provoking or easy on the brain. Here is one of my favourites online animated video series that are done with super simple illustrations. They are very effective without all the bells and whistles of special effects and complicated layouts and visuals. The funny narration also helps, but I think the style that goes with the funny stories is also what gives them their character.

Hope they make you laugh!

Fun simple animation of the adventures of male bonding.

Fun simple animation of the adventures of male bonding.

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Now that’s Infotainment!

As you can probably tell by now, I am really interested in online video and motion graphics. I find it such a great way to educate people. It takes the best of entertainment: television and film and marries that with education and really cool new technologies and effects. I find it so fascinating and creative all at once.

One of the first ever motion graphic videos I was introduced to during my graphic design education was the story of stuff. I still think the video did such a great job of taking a very complex subject and laying it out for people step by step. Some may think it’s preachy, but I find it not too much so. I think that it does a great job of showing people from extraction through to sale, use and disposal, how ALLLLL the STUFF in our lives affects communities here and abroad. Because this topic is controversial and it also makes us question our own ethics, people don’t like to discuss it. However, this video has been watch over 2 million times on YouTube alone. So people must be listening…

The Story of Stuff Project

The Story of Stuff Project

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