After Effects – Workshop 3

With the harsh reality of winter settling in, it seemed fitting to have our workshop this week focus around snow. The workshop would give us two new abilities, the first being to move the camera angles within the frame and the second to add 3D effects.With the combination of these two techniques, we were expected to created a short video of a snowy still image.

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 10.17.07This project proved to be very useful in adding 3D effects into our animation, something I hadn’t done before. As we learnt in the workshop it’s not just about adding the effects, it making them look realistic. Certain aspects such as increasing the birth rate or changing the depth all had a final impact that enhanced the animation. The depth for instance, impacted on how close the snow flakes were to the frame. The variation of close up flakes and far away flake only improved the realism.

Overall I feel this workshop was very beneficial for me. Looking into the future and projects to come, I know the skills gained in this workshop will be used and used to my advantage.


Kinetic Typography

Part 1

Task four, within the portfolio project focuses around kinetic typography. We had to produce a sequence of twenty seconds or longer which consisted of kinetic typography. This sequence further had to be accompanied by a soundtrack featuring voice. Being an existing piece of media, we were given an extract from the film ‘Wolf Of Wall Street’. I did however feel that this dialogue lacked any creativity or meaning, so instead focus my sequence around a speech from the film ‘Coach Carter’.

As have little experience and knowledge of kinetic typography in the past, I thought it would be important to research the topic and see what it’s all about. Kinetic typography can be seen as a form of animation, it involves the combination of motion and text with the possible of adding of speech or music. As the briefs states, we should aim to include audio in our sequence. I hereby though it would be best to look at examples online to give me a better grasp on what I am to produce, it was when doing this that I came across a website with great examples, link found here: As the examples show, you have endless possibilities when coming to displaying the words onto the screen. It also shows just how creative you can when combining the text with speech or music.  This website gave me great inspiration when coming to produce my own typography.

Part 2

The sequence of Coach Carter carries along with it many meanings from fear, passion and the truth. It was because of this that I decided to add aspects to the animation that embodied the sequence, and the meanings. One of these aspects was to have the majority of the video in black and white. It would have been very easy to make the sequence more vibrant by using bright colours. This type of approach may work when using audio like The Wolf Of Wall Street but when using Coach Carter the effect of black and white is far more suited to the mood. The use of black and white further adds a continuity throughout animation, adding a constant flow through each composition. I did however at times feel it was appropriate to stray away from the use of black and white. Certain words within the speech, such as enlightened and liberated have far too much meaning to be displayed in black and white. As a result of this I changed these type of words into yellow, therefore giving them more meaning and importance when shown among other words.

The biggest constraint when producing this sequence was my knowledge and skills of Adobe After Effects. When it came to transforming text onto the composition I feel I was limited with the basics of positioning, scale and opacity. One of the main points to kinetic typography is add another aesthetic layer to the audio and text. This would have been far more achievable with a wider skill range. It is important though to create a form of continuity between the texts movement. The use of the same effects a few times can create a solid link between sentences, but to many effects will result in an unprofessional finish. I did however find that tutorials online and pure trial and error gave me the required skills to produce a high quality sequence.

Part 3

From this task, I have gained the passion and skills to create further kinetic typography sequences. Although I am pleased with my project, I would love to improve on it in the future, perhaps looking at a similar style to Steven Hubac on YouTube, link found here: I am also keen to produce a piece that evolves around music, possibly using ‘Yeah Yeah’ by Will Moon, can be found here: This would not only be a huge challenge but would be very rewarding as the typography possibilities are endless.

Overall this task may have been very time-consuming, but also extremely enjoyable. I will hopefully gather more knowledge from After Effects and learn from my triumphs and mistakes and possibly produce an ever higher quality animation.


Hubac, S. (2014). Inspirational quote from Coach Carter- Our deepest fear. [online] YouTube. Available at: [Accessed 4 Nov. 2014].

Moon, W. (2014). Willy Moon – Yeah Yeah. [online] YouTube. Available at: [Accessed 4 Nov. 2014]., (2014). 10 Very Inspiring Examples Of Kinetic Typography. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Nov. 2014].

After Effects – Green Screen

In today’s workshop we once again worked with the adobe software, After effects. In this session we were given the tools to create a short green screen sequence, with ourselves involved.

The first step in creating this sequence was to capture a short video in photo booth with a piece of green card in the background. This video simply had to focus around ourselves, unlike examples given in the workshop, I decided to add more movement in the video in the way of me running. I felt this produced a more interesting sequence than just sitting in front of the camera. The next step was to import the video into After Effects and replace the green screen with an image. As I was running, I decided to place an image of a treadmill in the background. As there was plenty of space left on the canvas we were instructed to create a short piece of kinetic typography. Trying to add a comedic level to my green screen, I decided to link my typography with the famous speech in Forest Gump.

Overall, with the small level of experience in green screens I feel I was able to create a very effective and slightly comedic sequence.

Animation History Research

Through the years animations has evolved, from the very basics of paper to the multi million dollar crossing films that we see today. Animation can be seen as far back as 1824, when Peter Roget produced his paper ‘The persistence of vision with regard to moving objects’. Roget was one of the first people to look into the theory of ‘afterimage’, the idea that images stay on the humans retina for about a 25th of second after.

One of the first pieces of machinery to produce animation was created by, Dr. Joseph Antoine Plateau and Dr. Simon Rittrer and was name the phenakistoscope. The concept behind this device was when spun the overlapping of the slots and images would create an animated sequence, as seen below.   tumblr_mrcplcnsSa1r9jbwno1_500

More than 40 years later two more inventions helped create a new age in animation, the praxinoscope and kinetoscope. The praxinoscope was soon taken to new levels and used in theatres with the use of a projector, as a result creating a new form of animation that could be easily accessible to audiences. The method of my stop motion watch GIF can be traced back to J. Stuart Blackton in 1906. He would use the simple, but time-consuming technique of filming one face, stopping the film and erasing the face and drawing another, as seen in the video below.

In the 1920,s animation took a big step forward into forming the animation as we known it today. This was thanks to, ‘El Apostol’, the first feature length animated film and also the very important founding of Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio. Walt and Roy Disney created a continuous high standard of animation, best seen in the creation of Micky Mouse. Micky Mouse was first seen in the film ‘Steam Boat Willy’, being the first cartoon based film to have synchronised sound

The hugely successful animated films that we see today would have only been possible with the work of John Whitney. Whitley was considered to be one of the key contributors in the world of computer animation. Computer animation would continue to evolve rapidly. Walt Disney would continue to play their hand in animation and produced Tron, the first film with CG. tron_2

 Less than ten years on animation made the biggest break through yet with the creation Jurassic Park and Toy Story. Jurassic Parking being the first film to use CG to create a realistic living object and Toy Story being the first full length feature film to use CG. Even in these computer animated films there are aspects of techniques used a hundred years before, such as drawings, as depicted in the picture below.



Animation in the past few years has reached a level that would never have seen possible. Films like Avatar or apps on tablets which enable users to animated on the go, have all created an easily accessible and easily enjoyable form of animation and who knows where animation may be in ten or twenty years.


Mosley, J. (2014). Animation History Timeline. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Oct. 2014]., (2014). – History of Web Animation timeline. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Oct. 2014].

YouTube, (2014). J. Stuart Blackton – Humorous Phases of Funny Faces – 1906. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Oct. 2014].


Part 1

For our third task within the portfolio project, we have been introduced to animation. From the brief we have been invited to take a look into three main aspects of animation. The first of the these aspects will take a brief look into the history behind animation, and in particular the praxinoscope. In task two, we must use our knowledge gained from the praxinoscope and apply it to our own 12 frame digitalized animation. Task three is also on the practical side as it delves into making a short experimental sequence using the technique ‘stop-motion’ animation. Carrying on from the project ‘Temporal Expressions’, the theme cycle will be used again, mainly due to the fact that a lot of animation is a contest cycle. THE PRAXINOSCOPEThe praxinoscope is a device that has been with us for over 130 years now, and constantly something that has been overlooked because of its pure simplicity. The beauty of the praxinoscope is that it goes back to the real roots of animation of using simple individual frames of a motion, the most famous of these being a horse galloping. The process of the praxinoscope is to place a strip of images around the outer ring, mirrors positioned in the centre of the device create the effect of motion once the praxinoscope is spun.

SIK-FLIPZBefore we undertook this task, we were given a very useful workshop seminar on animation. The technical knowledge gained from this seminar would help us when producing our own digitalized animation. The workshop consisted around twelve digital images of an animation walking. It was in Photoshop that we learnt how to organise the separate images into a timeline. Once in a timeline the layers could appear visible and invisible when played in a sequence. With the sequence compete it gave the effect of the animated man walking on the spot, from this we went further and made the man walk off the screen and back. As you can see in the example above, me and my partner Jack decided to make the illusion go further. We realised if we could make the figure walk in cycles, and position him at certain point of the screen, it would give the effect of him wall walking. To further enhance the illusion we used an image of a wall.

 Task 2


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DotsFrom the workshop seminar we jumped straight into making our own twelve frame animation sequence. Being one of my first experiments using this technique I decided to keep it relatively simple. The idea of a bouncing ball, or in my case several bouncing balls, is one that I have seen used before. The bouncing ball approach is one that can have great success due to the fact that it can look very realistic. It was pointed out to us that we should try to make our animation abstract, this being the reason for the multiple balls and the extra colour. The biggest difference from the workshop was that we had to digitalize our twelve frames into a GIF. As you can see in the first image, we digitalized the long strip of paper that we were using when experimenting with a praxinoscope. The first step was to photograph the individual images of each twelve frames. From here I could upload them onto Photoshop and start cropping the individual frames into a more suitable size. I first decided to make my first animation on the website ‘’. The big limitation with this website meant that my animation could only move up and down, making it look far to simple. From this I decided to use the technique gained in the workshop. When using the timeline in Photoshop I was able to create a far more pleasing animation due to the fact that the balls are moving left to right and up and down.

Task 3WatchFor part two of the brief we had to create a short experimental sequence that explored the technique of ‘stop-motion’ animation and/ or pixilation (animation of humans). I decided to use my Ipad as a still camera and to focus my technique around ‘stop-motion’. The main reason for doing this was due to my idea of having a wrist watch moving in a circle. I thought that the concept of a wrist watch moving in a circle linked directly with the cycle theme. The use of a watch further links to the theme as a watch is a never-ending cycle. As I found in the praxinoscope task, the more images you gather will result in a smoother and better quality animation. As a result of this, I did find this animation very tedious, as I ended up taking over 200 images. The results do speak for themselves though as the animation does move in a seamless and smooth way.

Task 4

looking further ahead, I really do feel that this task has fuelled my ambition to create more animation in the future. I especially look forward to the 2D gaming side of animation. Overall though I am slightly disappointed that I didn’t branch out more, pixilation for one being a technique that I regret not looking into, but defiantly something I can be creative with in the future.