Our next and final major project is officially underway, with a choice of various kinds of motion design applications. I’ve chosen to tackle the opening and closing credits of the film Ratatouille.
The form of my project will be two 2-3 minute animated sequences set to music used in the film. In terms of graphic and motion design, I’m aiming to create various illustrated scenes using principles of grids, scale, colour and form to produce a sense of nostalgia and warmth as is conveyed in the film. The music I’ve chosen from the original animated closing sequence, as well as the main theme for a reimagined opening sequence, is similarly warm and romantic, which would directly complement this kind of design.
To complement the themes of the film, I’m also aiming to incorporate a picture pop-out style of illustration by utilising layers in Illustrator or Photoshop with the cross-program compatibility of After Effects to apply different layers as separate compositions in order to create 2.5 dimensional effects of illustrative layers in a 3D space. This kind of motion design is utilised in the original animated closing sequence as well which helps to enhance the picture-book quality and theme of the animation.
I will be utilising various production techniques to bring this animation to life and will require two main stages of illustrating and animating. To kick off the design process, I’m starting in the research stage of Ambrose and Harris’ 7-step design process and constructing video treatments of some of my animation inspirations, especially those created by Pixar.
The idea that there’s quite literally an infinite number of possibilities is potentially overwhelming, and I need to be careful to avoid analysis paralysis and decision fatigue. Starting with a purely analytical task in order to build up a collection of information and inspiration is a step that I quickly realised the value of during my completion of Task 1 and Luba Lukova’s essay on the editing process (Lupton 2011, p. 180). Even in the early stages of tackling this first task, I found myself brainstorming ways I can use these examples of motion design in my own composition.
After working on these treatments, I moved on to the ideating stage and drafted some rough ideas and concepts for the illustrated scenes I wanted to create and how to incorporate motion design. My aim was to integrate motion design principles in a way that made sense with the animation and theme of the overall composition, while trying to apply as much newly acquired skills and knowledge of our studies in motion design in a balanced manner. To do this, I visualised a particular scene and focused on a key type of motion design (e.g. scale, position, colour, stroke, repeater, etc.) to incorporate, or vice versa.
It’s going to be a long journey to create this final project and this research stage is one of my favourite parts. Stay tuned!
Lupton, E (ed.) 2011, Graphic Design Thinking: Beyond Brainstorming, Princeton Architectural Press, New York.