Not slacking, rendering.
Whenever somebody asks me what it is exactly that I do, I often find myself struggling to find the right way to describe it. I joke and say “I make things move” which 100% of the time returns a strange look. Motion Graphics is, to put it (very) simply, taking the practice of graphic design and ‘making it move’ through animation. The thing is, we see it every day in hundreds of different forms, whether this be in television adverts, title sequences, animations or in apps.
Originally wanting to go into character illustration, I was very influenced by illustrator Jared Nickerson, whom a lot of my college work was based around. Then one day a family friend said to me “Ben, you’ve got to see this program called After Effects! It’s amazing” and proceeded to show me some examples of work. At the time, I put it to the back of my mind, it wasn’t until I was in my final project of my Art Foundation that I actually explored the idea of moving the graphics that I was creating. 4 years later and I have a degree in BA Motion Graphics from Ravensbourne and can’t get enough of it.
I could go full jargon mode right now and bore everyone with the likes of keyframing, 3D render systems, track mattes and particle simulations, however instead I’ll let you watch some of my favourite pieces I’ve seen in the last year in the motion graphics world!
Infinite Horizon: A stunning space-themed piece from UK-based WeAreSeventeen. What I love about this is the realism of the shot, the flat animations on the 3D footage and the camera work is amazing
OFFF 2016 Titles: These titles were created for OFFF 2016 festival, which is a huge digital design festival based in Barcelona each year. I went along last month and these titles, created by Aardman Animations were the closing titles of the event.
This very cool piece from ManVsMachine was used as promotion of the latest release of Cinema 4D. The nature of the piece shows the different animals fighting one another, with a big twist at the end. The colours are amazing and the animal models are incredible.
What I really like about the work that I do is that I can open up my computer at the start of the day, and within a few hours, have created a whole scene. Having had an upbringing in art, I’m always inclined to scribble away in a sketchbook, just drawing up scenes and environments and storyboards, studying the way that things move and how lighting affects objects in certain ways. I think that it’s very important to put the software on the backseat. It’s great and the things you can create are mind-blowing, but having an understanding of the core principles behind art, graphic design and photography is key.
This last video is really one of the most stunning pieces of Motion Graphics from the last year that I have seen. Created entirely within digital software, it’s well worth a watch or 5! These kinds of pieces are a huge influence in my work. 3D is a very big part of my workflow, I find it fascinating as you’re working with a 3-dimensional object and using physics and lighting to create a scene.
In the offices of QF I help out where I can. Whether that be creating fully fledged animations, on-screen graphics or name straps for interviews, you can be certain that I’m busy making things move.