Fall 2020 // Tuesday 1:30–4:10 // Online

Motion Design

Projects and Exercises


Project 3: Something in Motion

For this project you will be able to choose from a few options below or create your own project. If generating your own project you need to make sure to create a schedule and similar outcomes to the projects listed below.

Full Project Description

Project 2: Obstructions

Create a series of videos based on a design concept or principle. The first video is open for any approach or technique. That video will then be remade 3 different times, each time with a specific set of obstructions that must be followed.

Full Project Description

Project 1: Moving Poster

Develop a storyboard and visual style for a simple task. This project focuses on the planning process for creating motion and how to take something simple and make it more interesting through the potential of motion.

Full Project Description


Exercise 9: Wash, Rinse, Repeat

Pick an object in your house that can make a repetitive motion (stapler going up and down, scissors cutting, light turning on and off, etc.) and make a short animation of that object. Use the loop expression to make the motion repeat over at least 15 seconds of video even though the actual motion might be a second. If you can, think about the secondary motion that can happen in the video to help build complexity. Can you add extra graphic elements to exaggerate a motion? Can something subtle be happening in the background to make the world you are building feel more real?

Technical Requirements
  • 1080x1080
  • Around 15 seconds
  • Uses the loop expression

Due Tuesday, November 24 by 1:30 pm ET

Exercise 8: Logo Reveeal

Make a short video that animates an existing, relatively well-known logo. The video should use one of the strategies we covered in class. For example, you could pick the Target logo and your video would somehow emphasize that the logo is a target. The choice of logo is up to you but the colors, logo, and type should all remain the same (look for an eps or svg file for the logo). You are not redesigning anything.

Technical Requirements
  • 1080x1080
  • As long as it needs to be

Due Tuesday, November 10 by 1:30 pm ET

Class Exercise: Short Animation

Create a video that is Halloween or voting themed and uses at least one After Effects effect. You can use type, shapes, images, and videos or some combination of the four (basically anything you want). The video should have audio and be around 10 seconds long.

At the end of class we will screen the videos and the top two videos in each category will win a prize. There will be a People’s Choice award and a Teacher’s Choice award.

Technical Requirements
  • 1920x1080
  • Around 10 seconds long
  • Uses at least one After Effects effect
  • Has audio

Due Tuesday, October 27 by 1:30 pm ET

Exercise 7: Poster Animation

Recreate a Joseph Müller-Brockmann poster (MoMA, artnet, Grapheine, International Poster Gallery, or you can download some images here) as accurately as you can in Illustrator (1080x1920) and then animate it in After Effects. The posters are generally in German so you might not be able to read all the content but I would try to find out what kind of event the poster is promoting. Knowing the event might influence the motion of the poster. Your animation should enhance and bring the poster to life. More than likely the font is Akzidenz Grotesk.

Technical Requirements
  • 1080x1920 (or dimensions close to that but keep the proportions of the original poster)
  • As long as it needs to be
  • As exact of a replica as you can make
  • Only animate things that already exist on the poster

Due Tuesday, October 13 by 1:30 pm ET

Exercise 6: Bouncing Ball

Make a realistic ball bounce around the screen in a designed setting (look up staging in the 12 principles of animation). The ball should pretend to exist somewhat as a real object and use the sides of the frame as walls. The ball should bounce or interact with one of those walls at least once. Motions and physics can be exaggerated.

Technical Requirements
  • 1920x1080
  • Somewhere between 5 and 15 seconds
  • Ball interacts with the edge of the frame at least once
  • Designed setting for the ball to exist in

Due Tuesday, October 06 by 1:30 pm ET

Exercise 5: Type in Motion

Find a short bit of spoken audio. The audio could be from a movie, tv show, speech, etc. but should not have much background noise (so no music). Make a short animation that has the words come on and off screen timed to the audio track.

Technical Requirements
  • 1920x1080
  • Somewhere between 5 and 15 seconds
  • Uses audio

Due Tuesday, September 29 by 1:30 pm ET

Exercise 4: Sound and Motion

Make a 15 second animation using the layered Illustrator file on Blackboard and some kind of audio. The animation should be 15 seconds long and uploaded to the Vimeo group when you are done. Upload the video your final video to Vimeo, add it to the group on Vimeo, and submit the link on Blackboard for this assignment.

Technical Requirements
  • 1920x1080
  • 15 seconds long
  • Uses audio
  • Nothing extra added to the composition

Due Tuesday, September 22 by 1:30 pm ET

Exercise 3: Literal Type

Choose a word and create an animation that reinforces the word’s meaning. Do this for a total of 3 words. The file does not have to loop seamlessly but can if it makes sense. Use Futura Bold for setting your words.

  • transition
  • expansion
  • migration
  • elimination
  • repetition
  • compression
  • disruption
  • silence
  • softness
  • loudness
  • heavy
  • lightness
  • addition
  • subtraction
  • movement

Once you have your three different words, assign each word to one of the methods of creating your animations below. Your final output should be three different animations that are around 1 second each. Each animation should be a different word and use a different method of creation.

METHOD 1 Make an animation in Photoshop as an around 30 frame (or more) gif but export it as a video (export > render video). METHOD 2 Make an animation entirely in After Effects using the transform properties and should be around a 1 second movie. METHOD 3 Make an animation physically using your phone or other video camera. This should also be around 1 second long.

Technical Requirements
  • Three different words animated through three different methods
  • Each animation around 1 second
  • Each animation created at 1080 by 1080
  • Uses ONLY Futura Bold
  • All three videos combined to create one video with each animation playing three times

Due Tuesday, September 15 by 1:30 pm ET

Exercise 2: Flip Book

A flip book is more or less a physical gif. Images are placed in a sequence that allows a user to flip through them and create motion from still frames. A flip book is also like a stacked storyboard. Instead of the frames being shown in side by side sequence they are stacked on top of each other. If we took apart a finished flip book we would have a pretty good storyboard.

On the first page of the flip book draw a circle. On the last page of the flip book draw another circle. The circles could be the same size and in the same place or different sizes in different places. Now create a narrative between that connects those two circles by drawing on the pages in between.

Once you are done, take a horizontal video of the flip book (it doesn’t have to be perfect, do the best you can) and upload it to Vimeo. Once it is on Vimeo add it to the class group and submit a link to the video for the Exercise 2 assignment on Blackboard.

Technical Requirements
  • Somewhere around 50 pages
  • Drawn in Sharpie or other thick black marker

Due Tuesday, September 08 by 1:30 pm ET

Exercise 1: dot gif

A simple way to start thinking about motion is through a gif, a short animated image that is controlled through individual frames. The gif should tell a (very short) story that is unique to you. Make a 15 to 30 frame, greater than 1 second, looping gif that tells that story.

dot gif gifs

Technical Requirements
  • 15 to 30 frames (or more)
  • at least 1 second of animation
  • infinite loop
  • gif format

Due Tuesday, September 01 by 1:30 pm ET