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Design for Motion Fundamentals and Techniques of Motion Design

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DESIGN FOR MOTION Fundamentals and Techniques of Motion Design AUSTIN SHAW Foreword by JUSTIN CONE of Motionographer

Design for Motion

Design for Motion Motion Design Techniques & Fundamentals Written by: Austin Shaw Edited by: Danielle Shaw ~ Focal Press . . Taylor & Francis Group NEW YORK AND LONDON

First published 2016 by Focal Press 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 and by Focal Press 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN Focal Press is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2016 Taylor & Francis The right of Austin Shaw to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Shaw, Austin. Design for Motion: Motion Design Techniques & Fundamentals / written by Austin Shaw. pages cm 1. Computer animation--Study and teaching (Higher) 2. Computer graphics--Study and teaching (Higher) 3. Animation (Cinematography--Study and teaching (Higher) 4. Television graphics--Study and teaching (Higher) I. Title. TR897.7.S3885 2015 006.6’96—dc23 2014045698 ISBN: 978-1-138-81209-3 (pbk) ISBN: 978-1-315-74900-6 (ebk) Typeset in DIN by Servis Filmsetting Ltd, Stockport, Cheshire Cover Images Courtesy of Yeojin Shin, Gentleman Scholar, Audrey Yeo, Hyungsoon Joo, Junki Seoung, Daniel Uribe, and Sekani Solomon

Dedication This book is dedicated to my daughters Athena Blue and Chloe Shaw, who remind me to be curious. And, to my father Larry Shaw, who always believed in my words.

Contents List of Contributors........................................................................ xiii Chapter 2: Style Frames ............................................................ 15 Foreword by Justin Cone................................................................ xv What is a Style Frame?..............................................................15 Preface........................................................................................... xix Visual Patterns .....................................................................15 Acknowledgements ....................................................................... xxi Stylistic Guides .....................................................................16 Concept is King .....................................................................17 Introduction: Motion Design ........................................................ 1 Design Like a Champ............................................................18 Motion and Graphic......................................................................1 Enjoy the Process ......................................................................19 Art and Design .............................................................................1 Author’s Reflection ....................................................................20 Graphic to Motion ........................................................................2 A Moment in Time......................................................................20 Contrast Creates Tension............................................................2 Varying Compositions ..................................................................3 Chapter 3: Design Boards .......................................................... 23 Design-Driven Production ...........................................................3 What is a Design Board?............................................................23 Types of Projects .........................................................................3 The Importance of Style Frames and Design Boards..........23 What is Design for Motion?..........................................................4 Promise to the Client............................................................24 The Purpose of This Book............................................................4 Insurance Policy ...................................................................24 Using Design Boards .................................................................24 Chapter 1: Design for Motion ....................................................... 7 Guiding Productions .............................................................27 Beautiful Motion Begins with Beautiful Design ..........................7 Author’s Reflection ....................................................................27 Building on Traditions ............................................................7 Unified Visual Aesthetic.............................................................28 A Brief History of Style Frames...................................................8 Storytelling ...........................................................................29 Other Disciplines ..................................................................10 Finishing Touches.................................................................29 Professional Perspectives—Erin Sarofsky ...............................31

Chapter 4: Presentations and Pitches........................................ 39 Chapter 7: The Inner-Eye........................................................... 79 Process Books and Pitch Books................................................39 The Internal Editor.....................................................................79 Process Books ......................................................................39 Free Writing ...............................................................................79 Pitch Books...........................................................................40 What is Free Writing? ...........................................................79 How to Make Process and Pitch Books.....................................40 Looking Inward .....................................................................80 Professional Perspectives—Lauren Hartstone ........................43 Stream of Consciousness.....................................................80 Free Writing and the Internal Editor ....................................81 Chapter 5: Developing Concepts................................................ 51 How to Free Write.................................................................81 Creative Briefs ...........................................................................51 Be Brave ...............................................................................81 What is a Creative Brief? ......................................................51 Making Discoveries...............................................................82 Types of Creative Briefs .......................................................51 Free Writing is Personal and Private ...................................82 The Form of a Creative Brief ................................................51 Word Lists..................................................................................82 The Needs of a Creative Brief ..............................................52 What are Word Lists? ...........................................................83 How to Use a Creative Brief .................................................52 Words are Powerful..............................................................83 Professional Perspectives—Carlo Vega....................................53 Spectrums of Meaning .........................................................83 Good Ideas are Hard Work ...................................................58 How to Make a Word List......................................................84 Concept Development ...............................................................58 Mind Maps..................................................................................84 What is Concept Development?............................................59 What are Mind Maps? ...........................................................84 Questions and Answers ........................................................60 Internal to External...............................................................86 Development ......................................................................... 60 Making Connections .............................................................87 Professional Perspectives—Karin Fong ...................................61 Using Contrast and Tension .................................................88 How to Make a Mind Map .....................................................88 Chapter 6: Process-to-Outcome ................................................ 69 DOs & DON’Ts List.....................................................................88 Process-to-Outcome Spectrum ................................................69 What is a DOs & DON’Ts List?..............................................88 Author’s Reflection ....................................................................70 Creative Borders...................................................................89 Process .................................................................................71 In Relation to Process-to-Outcome .....................................89 Outcome ................................................................................ 71 The Initial Shape of a Concept...................................................89 Value of Process-to-Outcome ..............................................72 Initial Shape of a Concept.....................................................89 Be Comfortable with Ambiguity ...........................................72 Be Engaged in the Process ..................................................90 Know Where You Are ............................................................72 Tipping Points .......................................................................90 Professional Perspectives—Lindsay Daniels ...........................73 viii Contents

Chapter 8: The Outer-Eye .......................................................... 93 Contrast for Image-Making .....................................................128 Mood Boards..............................................................................93 Color......................................................................................... 130 What are Mood Boards? .......................................................93 Depth........................................................................................ 130 Internal and External............................................................93 Efficiency ............................................................................... 93 Spatial Planes.....................................................................131 How to Make a Mood Board..................................................95 Depth of Field......................................................................131 Author’s Reflection ....................................................................96 Perspective ..............................................................................131 Professional Perspectives—Alan Williams...............................97 Atmospheric Perspective ...................................................132 Written Treatments .................................................................101 Color Perspective ...............................................................133 What are Written Treatments?...........................................101 Professional Perspectives—Danny Yount ...............................135 Writing for Development ....................................................101 Narrative Structure ............................................................101 Chapter 10: Cinematic Conventions, Thumbnail Sketches, The Shape of Stories...........................................................102 and Hand-Drawn Storyboards .............................. 141 Scripts ................................................................................. 102 Using Written Treatments and Scripts ..............................105 Cinematic Conventions............................................................141 Professional Perspectives—Patrick Clair...............................107 Basic Shots and Camera Angles for Cinematography.......141 Chapter 9: Image-Making ........................................................ 112 Cinematic Elements of Design Boards ...................................145 Image-Making and Design for Motion.....................................112 Thumbnail Sketches ................................................................148 Composition .............................................................................112 Hierarchy of Visual Importance..........................................112 Approach and Practice .......................................................149 Positive Space and Negative Space....................................113 Thumbnails for Style Frames.............................................149 Symmetry and Asymmetry .................................................115 Practicing Cinematic Conventions .....................................150 Motion .................................................................................115 Hand-Drawn Storyboards........................................................150 Methods and Formulas.......................................................116 Working with Storyboards ..................................................151 Sea Glass ............................................................................117 Storytelling and Continuity .................................................152 Professional Perspectives—Kylie Matulick ............................119 Storyboard Usage ...............................................................152 Value ........................................................................................127 Professional Perspectives—Robert Rugan.............................155 The Range of Intensity from Light to Dark.........................127 Value and Color ..................................................................127 Chapter 11: Concept Development Exercises .......................... 160 Why Value Matters..............................................................127 Part 1........................................................................................160 Mastering Value..................................................................128 Description/Creative Needs ...............................................160 Value and Line ....................................................................128 Creative Brief......................................................................161 Value in Nature ...................................................................128 Part 2........................................................................................163 Deliverables ........................................................................ 163 Professional Perspectives—Chace Hartman..........................165 Contents ix

Chapter 12: Design Essentials ................................................. 171 Chapter 14: 3D Software for Design ........................................ 195 Designer’s Toolkit....................................................................171 Using 3D Software for Design .................................................195 Finding and Making Assets ................................................171 Modeling .............................................................................195 Prepping Assets..................................................................171 Materials ............................................................................. 195 Mark-Making Tools.............................................................172 Lighting ...............................................................................197 Sketchbooks .......................................................................173 3-Point Light Setup.............................................................197 Computers ..........................................................................174 Cameras in 3D ....................................................................197 Digital Backups...................................................................174 Rendering ...........................................................................198 Cameras.............................................................................. 174 Multi-Pass Rendering.........................................................199 Wacoms and Cintiqs ...........................................................174 Compositing 3D ..................................................................201 Scanners .............................................................................174 Digital Library .....................................................................175 Chapter 15: Matte Painting ...................................................... 205 Alternative Tools.................................................................175 Analog to Digital .................................................................205 Matte Painting for Motion Design.......................................205 Professional Perspectives—Will Hyde .........................................177 Sketching ............................................................................206 Under Painting....................................................................207 Chapter 13: The Art of Compositing......................................... 183 Asset Creation and Modification ........................................208 Compositing ............................................................................. 183 Compositing Assets ............................................................209 Concrete Compositing ........................................................183 Perspective .........................................................................210 Abstract Compositing .........................................................183 Lighting ...............................................................................210 Core Principles and Skills of Compositing ........................185 Color Correction for Matte Painting...................................210 Mattes .................................................................................185 Texture ................................................................................ 210 Feathering........................................................................... 185 Working with 3D..................................................................210 Duplication .......................................................................... 186 Basic Transformations .......................................................188 Creative Brief—Matte Painting................................................211 Retouching .......................................................................... 188 Process ...............................................................................211 Color Correction and Color Grading ..................................188 Hue, Saturation, and Value.................................................188 Professional Perspectives—Greg Herman ..................................213 Blending .............................................................................. 190 Creative Brief—Compositing Exercises ..................................191 Chapter 16: Stylistic Creative Briefs for Portfolio Concrete and Abstract Composites ...................................191 Development ............................................................................. 217 Style .........................................................................................217 What is Style? .....................................................................217 Clearly Defined ...................................................................217 Range of Visual Styles ........................................................218 x Contents

Using the Exercises .................................................................218 Chapter 20: Character-Driven Design Boards ......................... 265 Aspect Ratio and Size .........................................................218 Exaggeration of Essential Qualities ...................................265 Alternative Aspect Ratios ...................................................219 The Process of Character Design ......................................265 Number of Style Frames for Design Boards......................220 Translating Character Design into Motion.........................266 Schedule and Deadlines .....................................................220 Creative Brief......................................................................266 Practice Process-to-Outcome............................................220 Keywords to Kick-Off Creative Briefs ................................221 Professional Perspectives—Daniel Oeffinger.........................273 Chapter 17: Type-Driven Design Boards.................................. 225 Chapter 21: Information-Graphics/Data Visualization History and Culture ............................................................225 Design Boards ...................................................... 279 The Basics...........................................................................226 Anatomy of Type .................................................................226 Information-Graphics and Visual Hierarchy ......................279 Casting Type .......................................................................228 Visual Language .................................................................279 Integrating Typography ......................................................229 Visual Metaphors ................................................................279 Type Treatments.................................................................231 Cinema-Graphic.................................................................. 280 Creative Brief......................................................................231 Aesthetic .............................................................................280 Usage ..................................................................................280 Professional Perspectives—Beat Baudenbacher...................233 Creative Brief......................................................................282 Professional Perspectives—Bradley G Munkowitz (GMUNK)..285 Chapter 18: Tactile Design Boards .......................................... 241 Chapter 22: Illustrative Design Boards.................................... 293 Analog and Digital...............................................................241 Analog and Digital...............................................................293 Texture ................................................................................ 241 Various Styles .....................................................................294 Materials ............................................................................. 243 Creative Brief......................................................................296 Tactile Design in Motion .....................................................246 Creative Brief......................................................................246 Professional Perspectives—Matt Smithson ...........................299 Professional Perspectives—Lucas Zanotto ............................249 Chapter 23: Finding Inspiration ............................................... 304 Life Mood Board—Creative Brief.............................................304 Chapter 19: Modern Design Boards ......................................... 255 Author’s Reflection ..................................................................304 Simplicity and Reduction ....................................................255 Creative Brief......................................................................305 Naïve Sensibilities ..............................................................257 Professional Perspectives—Gentleman Scholar....................306 Vector Artwork....................................................................257 Creative Brief......................................................................257 Chapter 24: Looking Forward .................................................. 313 Professional Perspectives—Bran Dougherty-Johnson ..........259 Project Credits ..............................................................................314 Index.............................................................................................. 327 Contents xi

Contributors Professional Perspectives— Additional Professional Ben Gabelman Graham Reid Industry Contributors Contributors Preston Gibson Ryan Brady Rish Beat Baudenbacher Evan Goodell Caresse Haaser Chris Salvador William Campbell Nath Milburn Chase Hochstatter Keliang Shan Patrick Clair Paige Striebig John Hughes Yeojin Shin Lindsay Daniels Sarah Beth Hulver Sekani Solomon Bran Dougherty-Johnson Student Contributors Dominica Jane Jordan Jordan Taylor Karin Fong Joe Ball Rick Kuan Daniel Uribe Chace Hartman Nathan Boyd Hyemin Hailey Lee Audrey Yeo Lauren Hartstone Vanessa Brown Scott Cheng Yi Lim Greg Herman Daniel Chang Ana Cristina Lossada Faculty Contributors Will Hyde Peter Clark Jordan Lyle Michael Betancourt Will Johnson CJ Cook Nick Lyons John Colette Kylie Matulick David Conklin Stasia Luo Dominique Mertens Elliot Bradley G Munkowitz (GMUNK) Casey Crisenbury Madeline Miller James Gladman Daniel Oeffinger Jason M. Diaz Alonna Morrison Minho Shin Robert Rugan Eric Dies Robert Morrison Jr. Woon (Duff) Yong Erin Sarofsky Jackie Khanh Doan Eddy Nieto Matt Smithson Gautam Dutta Sara Odze Contributors xiii Carlo Vega Taylor English Lauren Peterson Alan Williams Kalin Fields Raffael Pindell Danny Yount Chris Finn Patrick Pohl Lucas Zanotto Rainy Fu Lexie Redd

Foreword Justin Cone Something subtle but revolutionary happened over the last elements superimposed onto a stream of live-action decade. No one noticed, but it happened in plain sight, on blogs footage. and social media and on stages at conferences around the world. An accepted term used by thousands of designers and filmmakers There’s nothing wrong with this definition of motion quietly shed its skin and did something marvelous: it matured. graphic design. It’s accurate. But it’s also limiting. It runs dry long before describing everything motion design has become over The term was “motion graphics,” an awkward, always the last 50 years or so. There’s another interpretation of motion plural construction in heavy use by filmmakers and broadcasters design that turns out to be a fount of possibility. It requires a slight with roots that snake back to at least the 1960s. While the term rearrangement of the words and the addition of a preposition so is still in use today, it’s rapidly giving way to its wiser and more that you get “graphic design in motion.” This seemingly superficial relevant successor, “motion design.” That simple change is a change is the key to understanding the true power of the field— silent earthquake, the shock waves of which will quietly upend and why the book you’re reading is a doorway to the future. communication practices across industries for decades to come. Graphic design rose to power in the twentieth century, How can a one-word change possibly matter so much? when mass media and advertising combined to wallpaper the First, it helps to define motion design, which turns out to be a world with messaging of all kinds. While radio and television complicated feat. Both “motion design” and “motion graphics” increasingly dominated the airwaves, graphic design dominated are derived from the same longer term: “motion graphic design,” everything else, enjoying a kind of ubiquity previously unseen in a frustratingly vague concept. the world. From packaging to billboards to periodicals, graphic design not only forced its way into everyone’s field of vision, it Looked at one way, motion graphic design is about the also earned respect as a vocation. Graphic designers shared design of “graphics” used in the context of moving images. A symposium panels and respected professorships with even the helpful example: designing a map that appears over the shoulder most revered practitioners of design: architects. While the latter of a newscaster during the nightly news. In the parlance of specialized in the built world, graphic designers crafted worlds of broadcast television, the map is a “graphic,” a composite of Foreword xv

symbols, which became increasingly important as we spent more impossible. This book distills what we know so far. But it’s more and more of our days staring at surfaces and screens, effectively than a shortcut through the wilderness. It’s a reminder of the oblivious to the constructed spaces around us. richness of motion design. There is perhaps no other field that draws so heavily on such a wide variety of creative disciplines, Why did graphic design become so important? The including (but not limited to) painting, illustration, writing, graphic thoughtful combination of images and words can be incredibly design, animation, filmmaking, visual effects, sound design, music powerful. Well-designed communications stand out from the composition, computer science, and, on occasion, choreography. noise of modern life and demand our attention. Wielded by nations The master motion designer has a deep, enduring appreciation for and corporations, graphic design can sway millions of people to all of these disciplines and more. change their behavior and adopt new beliefs, to go to war or to fight for peace. *** The parallel development of broadcast television I adore Milton Glaser. Famous for his iconic “I © NY” visual slogan, throughout the twentieth century laid the groundwork for a he is one of the most prolific graphic designers of the last 100 revolutionary new form of media. On one side, the communicative years. His creations have adorned museum walls, filled textbooks, powers of graphic design had been honed to a fine craft. On and papered city streets since the 1940s. But he really messed up the other side, television sets beamed entertainment and news back in 2012. into virtually every living room in the developed world. So when technology made it possible to merge these two forces—to put In an interview with Brendan Dawes, Mr. Glaser said: graphic design in motion and transmit it around the globe—the “Someone asked me the other day what I do all day, and I said, ‘I hitherto marginalized field of motion design accelerated rapidly move things around until they look right. And I suspect that that’s toward the mainstream. as good a definition of graphic design as I could come up with.’”1 Adding the dimension of time to graphic design turned Taken out of context, this idea can save you tens of it into something new. Under the influence of a timeline, the thousands of dollars. Why go to school when all you need to learn old, static techniques of designers morphed into strange new is how to move things around? There must be a tutorial online fields ripe for exploration. Photography bloomed at 24 frames a somewhere for learning to move things around! second and became cinematography. Illustration danced under the spell of animation. Typography became a visual stream of But at the time of the interview, Milton Glaser wasn’t a consciousness seemingly capable of tapping into a viewer’s mind. student of graphic design. He was a master. With more than six To understand these new forms of communication, practitioners decades of experience under his belt, he had internalized the could lean on motion design’s mixed history of film, animation and principles of design, nurturing a kind of intuition that affords him visual effects. Often, though, they were like biologists in a jungle the luxury of simply “moving things around until it feels right.” on an alien planet, labeling discoveries as they went, looking for Make no mistake, though. When Milton Glaser moves things commonalities to the world back home. around, it’s a very different process than when a newcomer to the field starts moving things around. Mr. Glaser’s feeling of All of this newness and confusion has made teaching “rightness” reverberates with the wisdom that thousands of and mastering the field extremely difficult. Difficult, but not successful projects—and even more failures—have instilled in him. xvi Foreword

Learning to design for motion on your own, without the aid text shares a rich landscape of knowledge, inspiration and best of a teacher or a textbook, is a twisted path through the fog. It’s practices, encouraging you to find your own way. It also serves daunting and confusing and deeply frustrating. I should know. It’s as a lifelong companion, reminding readers of all skill levels that how I learned. At first, the thrill of crafting a beautiful image and there’s always another way to see a problem, always another tool seeing it come to life on a timeline seems like a reward that will that could be dusted off and put to good use. never end. Speaking personally, I am elated to see this book come to But then reality sets in. Deadlines loom. Budgets shrink. life. It’s long been needed by the industry, and I cannot think of Expectations rise. You realize that your early attempts were born an author more suited to write it than Austin. As an immensely from a clumsy combination of blind luck and endless time spent talented artist, designer and educator, he is uniquely qualified to noodling over an idea. As you try out your skills in the real world, act as a guide into the wonderful wilderness of motion design. those luxuries evaporate. Quickly. In short, you find that you need help. The rest is up to you. This book lifts the fog and shows the ways forward. Yes, Note there are many ways forward. There is no set path through motion design—that’s one of its many joys—and this book embraces 1 “Process.” brendandawes.com. Accessed August 21, 2014. that complexity. Instead of carving a narrow path to success, this <ttp://brendandawes.com/blog/Glaser>. Foreword xvii

Preface Austin Shaw When I began my career in the field of motion design in the early academic world, motion design is becoming a recognized major 2000s, the people who were designers of motion came from a and course of study. The principles and exercises detailed in this variety of creative backgrounds. Many were like me, having trained book are designed to teach you how to come up with ideas and as fine artists, illustrators, or graphic designers. Some were film create design for motion. majors in school, while some had studied animation. Still others had no formal training, but they were quick to learn software and Design for Motion originated as a class that I created at had innate artistic ability. During this time, it was common for the Savannah College of Art and Design. As a Professor of Motion designers to be hired as freelance talent by production companies Media Design, I wanted to teach a course that focused primarily on and animation studios. These companies had staffs of animators, the design side of motion design. I reflected on my years spent as compositors, and directors. Then a shift occurred where a number a designer in the industry. My goal was to create a curriculum that of small design studios opened. The designers were the core staff emulated real world studio demands and standards. After a period of the companies, and the animators and compositors were the of trial and error, through early iterations of the course, a syllabus freelancers. emerged. This textbook reflects the syllabus and can be adapted for usage by educators. Today, you can find all kinds of opportunities to work full- time or as a freelancer in the field of motion design. Although it is Many of the visual examples presented in this text were still defining itself as a discipline, the need for motion designers is created in my Design for Motion course. The students range from growing. As digital media generalists, creative problem-solvers, undergraduate to postgraduate. Their creative work serves to and storytellers, we are employed across a wide range of creative demonstrate the validity of the principles, theories, techniques, industries. Motion designers work at design boutiques, advertising and exercises outlined in this book. Additionally, I have reached agencies, media networks, and major corporations. In the out to a number of industry leaders to share their personal perspectives and experiences as designers for motion. Preface xix

How to Use This Book Chapter 11 introduces a practical creative brief that Chapters 1–4 define the primary terms and outcomes of Design utilizes concept development exercises and visual storytelling for Motion, including Motion Design, Style Frames, Design Boards, tools. The principles and tools outlined in the previous chapters Process Books, and Pitch Books. are combined to create strong concepts and narratives prior to establishing a unique visual style. Chapters 5–8 introduce the Process-to-Outcome Spectrum, concept development exercises, and storytelling Chapters 12–15 cover the core tools and skills of Design essentials in relation to Motion Design. The anatomy of a project for Motion, including the designer’s toolkit, compositing, 3D is discussed beginning with a creative brief, through ideation and software for design, and matte painting. These core tools and execution. principles are fundamental to being able to confidently create a range of visual styles. Chapters 9–10 focus on image-making principles and cinematic conventions. Chapter 9 examines core visual principles Chapters 16–23 are comprised of creative briefs for as they relate to Design for Motion. Chapter 10 covers basic visual exercises across a range of visual aesthetics. These exercises are narrative tools such as cinematic vocabulary, thumbnail sketches, great for portfolio development and to refine your design skills in and hand-drawn storyboards. relation to motion. xx Preface

Acknowledgements I would like to thank my wife Danielle Shaw for editing this book. I would like to thank David Conklin, Peter Clark, Sekani You have provided moral, emotional, and grammatical support Solomon, Amanda Quist, and Devon Hosford for providing throughout this process, and I could not have written this book additional editing, feedback, and comments. without you. Thank you to my industry friends for both believing in and Thank you to Justin Cone for writing the foreword to this supporting this project. Thank you Erin Sarofsky, Chace Hartman, book. Your passion and dedication to the industry and its evolution Rob Rugan, Carlo Vega, Greg Herman, Adam Schlossberg, Bill is truly inspiring. Hewes, and Jaiman Yun. I have a very special thanks to Geraint Owen—for all of your support. I would like to thank my art and design mentors Vincent Capraro, Steve Demas, and Beat Baudenbacher. Thank you for I want to thank all of the industry contributors for sharing sharing your time and being patient enough to teach me invaluable your time, insights, and examples of your work and process. lessons. Thank you William Campbell, Patrick Clair, Lindsay Daniels, Bran Dougherty-Johnson, Karin Fong, Lauren Hartstone, Will Hyde, Will Thank you to my Design for Motion students! My students Johnson, Kylie Matulick, Bradley G Munkowitz (GMUNK), Daniel have pushed me to make this book, to explain myself more clearly, Oeffinger, Matt Smithson, Alan Williams, Danny Yount, and Lucas and they continue to both inspire and challenge me. Thank you Zanotto. for contributing your talent and hard work to many of the visual examples presented in this book. I would also like to thank my publishing team at Focal Press. Thank you Dennis McGonagle for championing this project. Thank you to my fellow Motion Media Design faculty at Thank you Peter Linsley for guiding me through this process. the Savannah College of Art and Design for your support and for Thank you to the interior design team for creating a beautiful creating a wonderful community for teaching and learning. I would book. like to especially thank my department Chair, John Colette, for believing in the Design for Motion course and for his persistent support throughout the writing of this book. Acknowledgements xxi

Figure 0.1: THIS INFORMATION GRAPHIC REPRESENTS TWO ESSENTIAL SPECTRUMS THAT COMPOSE MOTION DESIGN. THE HORIZONTAL AXIS DEPICTS THE CONTINUUM BETWEEN MOTION AND GRAPHIC, WHILE THE VERTICAL AXIS DEPICTS THE CONTINUUM BETWEEN ART AND DESIGN. xxii Introduction

Introduction: Motion Design Motion and Graphic Art and Design Motion design is an emerging field that combines both motion There are two different extremes of motion design: motion media and graphic media. Motion media includes disciplines that is more like fine art and motion that is more like design or such as animation, film, and sound. The defining quality of motion commercial art. Motion in the realm of fine art evokes qualities media is change that happens over time. Graphic media includes of mystery or ambiguity. Motion in the realm of commercial art disciplines such as graphic design, illustration, photography, and aims at communicating certainty. Of course, there is motion painting. Graphic forms of media do not change over time. They design that has aspects of both fine and commercial art. For appear static through a defined viewport. Because change happens instance, a commercial may start with art and mystery, but will over time, motion design is often called a time-based media. finish with design and certainty. The first twenty-five seconds of Change can happen over the course of a few frames, seconds, a thirty second commercial takes the viewer on a journey that minutes, hours, or even days. Interactive motion, installation art, inspires emotions and ideas. The final five seconds invariably ends and new media art may not even have a fixed duration, or may with a logo animation that leaves the viewer with no uncertainty possess a shifting timeline. Motion offers the opportunity to play about who has delivered the message. This transition and journey with qualities of rhythm and tension. Regardless of the actual between art and design through motion is just one aspect of what duration, an understanding of how to create interesting contrasts makes motion design appealing for both the creators and the over time is essential for strong motion design. audience. Introduction 1

Figure 0.2: STYLE FRAMES FROM A STUDENT ASSIGNMENT BY SEKANI SOLOMON, SCAD BFA. Graphic to Motion Contrast Creates Tension The relationship between motion and graphic is vital to motion An overarching theme of this book is the use of contrast to create design. Beautiful motion begins with a beautiful graphic image. tension. Tension draws a viewer into a piece. It can be expressed A still image defines space, depth, and a focal point. This single through concept, story, and image composition. Typically, when frame shows a moment in time for a motion design project. we go to the movies, watch a show, or read a novel, we hope to be It also illustrates the visual style. By starting with a single told a story that grips us in some way. We want to be transported frame, a designer can imagine and plan for animation. Effective and moved emotionally and intellectually. As designers of motion, compositions are more easily created in graphic form, which can we need to create tension in order to successfully produce this then be translated into motion. Regardless of the style of a graphic experience. Contrast is the key to delivering tension in a piece: image, a strong composition is required to generate interest in disparity in composition between positive and negative space, dark a viewer. The principle of contrast and tension as a method for and light values, large and small scale, etc. is what helps to create creating interest is shared between motion and graphic. visual interest. 2 Introduction

Figure 0.3: STYLE FRAMES FROM A STUDENT ASSIGNMENT BY PRESTON GIBSON, SCAD MFA. THIS SEQUENCE OF STYLE FRAMES REPRESENTS THE PRINCIPLE OF VARYING COMPOSITIONS. THEY ILLUSTRATE HOW A MOTION DESIGN PIECE WILL CHANGE OVER TIME. Varying Compositions of traditional advertising agencies. The entire range of pre- Motion design creates varying compositions over time. These production, production, and post-production can be found in changing compositions allow for rising and falling tension, design-driven studios. unexpected surprises, and impactful communication. In order to be effective with motion, one must first be effective with Some of the creative roles in design-driven production composition. This precept is one of the primary principles that are designers, animators, editors, art directors, writers, creative links motion and graphics. In addition, a motion designer must directors, and live-action directors. On the production side, there learn how to change composition with intention. Compositions are talent coordinators, producers, and executive producers. can change with subtle grace or with shocking abruptness. There may also be sales representatives, recruiters, or other This description is the essence of how motion transitions over types of production roles, like production assistants or runners. time. As motion slows down, it begins to become more graphic The combination of creative and production roles at a company or static. The tipping point between motion and graphic is the or studio comprises a production team. Although this text focuses exact point where change can be perceived through a viewport. primarily on the design side of motion, anyone working in design- This combination of motion and graphic media mirrors the overlap driven production can benefit by learning more about the design of studio business models that work in the motion design industry. process. Design-Driven Production Types of Projects Design-driven production is a relatively new term used to describe Design-driven production companies service a range of creative a business model that has arisen from motion design. Design- industries like advertising, entertainment, film, and digital or driven production is a hybrid of traditional film production interactive. Types of motion design projects include commercials, companies and design firms. Some also include qualities film titles, network branding, broadcast show packages, digital signage, projection mapping, video game cinematics, web Introduction 3

banners, user experience design, and interactive motion design. of events in chronological order. Another design for motion There is also an emerging market for digital platforms such deliverable is the “container” that holds style frames and design as Instagram and Facebook. Motion design projects of a less boards for presentations. In an academic setting, this document is commercial nature include expository animations, visual essays, called a process book. In a professional or commercial setting, this poetic motion, and fine art installations. document is called a pitch book or design deck. Process books and design decks are delivered to a professor or client. These “books” What is Design for Motion? contain the finished outcomes of a design for motion project, as Design for motion is the marriage of image-making and well as various degrees of process work that helped in developing storytelling. It is the first creative stage of a project in a design- the concept. driven production. Before we begin to make things move, either in camera or through animation, a certain amount of planning is Style frames, design boards, and process and pitch books required. A project needs a strong concept, a visual style, a story embody the principle of pre-visualization, or the plan for the visual or narrative, and specifications for output and delivery. style and narrative prior to production. The need to arrive at a defined style prior to motion is very important, as motion design As the project moves from the design stage into motion, can be very tedious and labor intensive. Commercial productions the creative boundaries are mapped out for the production are particularly sensitive to having a defined visual style that team. We begin this process by developing a concept through a client agrees to before creating motion. For more artistic techniques—such as free writing, word lists, mind maps, DOs & productions, it is still a great benefit to flesh out the visual style in DON’Ts lists, and mood boards, which will all be covered in-depth the graphic stages of a project. in a later chapter. As our concept emerges, we create a distinctive look and feel. After this visual pattern or aesthetic is defined, In addition to defining the primary outcomes of design we give our narrative sequence its shape. We depict every scene for motion, this book contains chapters focused on concept and key shot in a design-driven production so that both the visual development, image-making in relation to design for motion, style and the story are easily understood. This process produces and principles and techniques for visual storytelling. There are the primary outcomes, or deliverables, of design for motion. An creative briefs embedded within a few chapters for practicing outcome, or deliverable, is a finished product that is either given fundamental skills and ideas, as well as an entire chapter of to a professor in an academic setting, or delivered to a client in a creative briefs dedicated to exercises for portfolio development. professional setting. Finally, there is an array of professional perspectives throughout the book showcasing visual examples and personal insights from The Purpose of This Book industry pioneers. The purpose of this book is to teach you about these outcomes and how to make them. They are called style frames and design boards. Style frames exemplify the image-making aspects of design for motion by conveying the mood or feeling of a piece, whereas design boards represent storytelling by demonstrating a sequence 4 Introduction

Figure 1.1: DESIGN BOARD FROM A STUDENT ASSIGNMENT BY YEOJIN SHIN, SCAD BFA. 6 Design for Motion

Chapter 1: Design for Motion Beautiful Motion Begins with Beautiful Design Building on Traditions Motion design is a container for visual compositions that change As a creative discipline, motion design is relatively young. It is also over time. A graphic designer understands how to create harmony very eclectic, as it builds on the traditions of many other creative in a single image, whereas a motion designer creates harmony fields. Ultimately, motion design and specifically design-driven across a sequence of images. This sequence of images is production build upon the tradition of the atelier, or classical translated into motion by an animator or team of animators when workshop. Motion design can trace its roots back to artists a project moves into production. The designer’s job is to create like Saul Bass, who translated his poster designs into film title a unified visual style for a project. They also establish visual sequences beginning in the 1950s. Other artists like Pablo Ferro hierarchies that direct the viewers’ focus. A motion design piece and Maurice Binder also paved the way with similar work in title without a strong designer will at best have elegant movements. sequences. Experimental filmmakers like Oskar Fischinger, More than likely, it will fail to connect with viewers and fail to Len Lye, and Norman McLaren also laid the foundation for what communicate effectively. motion design would become. Kyle Cooper reinvigorated the art of title design with his work on the film “Se7en” in 1995. During Figure 1.1 is an excellent example of design for motion. the late ’80s and into the ’90s, creative industries experienced a Stylistically, every frame feels like it belongs in the design board. digital desktop revolution that allowed motion design to become The unified visual aesthetic is created by clear and consistent the discipline that it is today. The price of hardware, including design choices such as the color palette and illustrative line computers, cameras, and storage devices, continues to go down, quality. The sequential layout of frames communicates a visual while the processing power and capabilities of these devices narrative and a plan for how the story changes over time. increases. This technological revolution made the field of motion Contrast is used throughout the design board both visually and design accessible to a wide range of creative types. conceptually. There is a strong contrast between light and dark elements, positive and negative space, and emotional tones of sadness and happiness. Design for Motion 7

A Brief History Of Style Frames An Interview with John Colette, Chair of Motion Media days, it’s all screen-based. You have to think of this as before Design—Savannah College of Art & Design people had projectors in every boardroom, and before people had the Internet in any meaningful way. Those kinds of technologies My first encounter with style frames was working with desktop were incredibly new. The idea of presenting a high quality technology. At the time, around 1988–89, desktop technology physical artifact to someone in the late ’80s was a big advantage. was pretty unknown in the post-production world. Everyone It increased their sense of professionalism and allowed them to that pitched for commercials and pitched for broadcast work charge a lot for a job. They got a lot of work from being able to was working on million dollar machines. They hadn’t integrated pitch in a compelling way. any desktop technology into their workflow. They used to do photographs from designs they produced. They would have a little If you were doing a shot on a Quantel Henry (“the Effects board on a piece of foam core. It was a 7” ¥ 5” photographic print Editor that became the mainstay of the post production industry that was quite low resolution. They would try to pitch that to an across the world in the mid-nineties”),1 you would have a shot agency. buffer of about 90 seconds. So you would ingest a piece of the tape into the hard disks. You would build up assets, which took Then, they started using desktop technology and dye up frames. You had to be much more judicious about what you sublimation photo printers. They went in with physical 8” ¥ 10” worked with and how you worked with it. The design at those glossy prints, and it just enhanced their ability to pitch. At that stages was pretty fast. The cost was very high to work on things. point, there was a legacy of having a physical artifact of the style Ideas were usually pretty easily realized in those conditions. frame of what you were intending to do with the work. The culture People didn’t have crazy ideas, they were just happy to get was always to produce physical storyboards, so people would something done. Design was sort of an add-on feature. cartoon a storyboard when they were pitching a commercial. In lots of senses, that still happens for filmed imagery. But, with Around 1993, you got the ability to work with video on digitally produced imagery, you can prototype a little bit better. Of desktop computers. What that did was similar to what Photoshop course, that prototyping has become much more prevalent. These did. I started teaching Photoshop with version 2.0, and, at that 8 Professional Perspectives A Brief History Of Style Frames

time, there were probably about 100,000 people around the was an exponential increase in access and participation, but also world who were working with that tool. There are hundreds of communication. millions now. There has been this explosion of digital capability. Over 6–7 years, the later part of the ’90s, there was an opening The early post-production model saw the integration of up to these tools. It gave this wide pool of people access to digital elements into the workflow as being a functional process. tools that did the same things that the expensive high-end tools So if you have a staff compositor, it’s to do a photo-realistic did. So you had these different kinds of opportunities, different composite. Or, if you have a colorist, it is to be sure the director kinds of experimentation, and different kinds of languages of photography is happy that everything looks as it did when they being developed. You could see people starting up small design- shot it, as it goes in through Telecine (“the equipment used in the based studios and producing things that started to define the process of transferring a motion picture to videotape or converting culture. Previously, the culture had been defined by the access it into television images”).2 It’s a manufacturing pipeline largely to the means of production, which was very limited. When it’s informed by the fact that cinema itself is a manufacturing pipeline. owned by capital, it’s a million dollars to play, and it’s $700 an hour People have deadlines. It’s very expensive to have cost overruns. to experiment, you don’t get a lot of experimentation. Suddenly Film production is extremely tightly managed. you have several million people hanging out at art school, experimenting. A scanner was $3,500 in the early ’90s. In a few Once you had this desktop explosion, you had different years, that was a $90 product. When more and more people voices being heard. Ultimately, it’s exciting because if you look started accessing those tools, the creativity that was applied to at the culture we have now, the playing field is incredibly level. design was applied from so many directions and from so many People can participate in ways that they were shut out from voices. That’s when it became really prolific. There was an before. There is no excuse any more. Will it be good? We don’t interesting period in the early 2000s when RES Magazine used know. But, the opportunity is there. The scale of post-production to have a festival called RESfest, and would produce DVDs. All was really aggregated around very few opportunities, in terms of the early work coming out of Psyop and Tronic and those of the number of people that it touched, but it usually had big studios was visible from those DVDs. You could see what was budgets. Now, the budgets are much more distributed, but they going on and the experiments that people were doing. So, there support many, many more people. That is a positive for people who are studying post-production, or who want to move into the industry. Professional Perspectives A Brief History Of Style Frames 9

Other Disciplines these skills apply to motion design, and design for motion is an This book is for students and aspiring professionals who want excellent introduction to the industry. I encourage my students to to work in design-driven production. Motion design offers refine their skills with typography, as motion design often requires tremendous opportunities to those interested in creative careers. precise and elegant usage of type. Graphic designers, who are Until the early 2000s, screens to display motion design primarily interested in making their work move, can translate their skills consisted of SD (Standard Definition) televisions, movie theater directly into motion. screens, and computer monitors. Then HD (High Definition) resolution became prevalent, and motion designers could create Illustration content for SD and HD aspect ratios. Illustrators do very well in motion design. They are trained to create strong compositions across a range of visual aesthetics. Apple’s introduction of the iPhone in 2007 and the iPad They are the quintessential image-makers of the creative world. in 2010 started a whole new revolution for screen content. Since Illustrators that learn about the language of design for motion, or then, other companies have created variations of smart phones how to think sequentially, can play a very creative role in design- and tablet devices. Today, it seems screens are never further driven productions. than our pockets, and all of these screens need beautifully designed motion. Original motion content is being created solely Sequential Art for digital platforms. Additionally, the modern incarnation of As creators of comic books, graphic novels, and hand- projection mapping—the projection of digital images onto a real, 3D drawn storyboards, sequential artists already think about surface—is expanding our definition of screens by transforming images changing over time. They understand storytelling and environments and architecture into displays for motion design. As cinematic changes that make a visual narrative interesting. technology makes screens more adaptable, we can expect to use These skills are essential to design for motion and can be them in more areas of our lives. An emerging field of interactive combined with digital illustration to create style frames and motion design has already begun to take shape. design boards. Motion design needs strong designers to concept ideas, Photography create unique visual styles, and tell interesting stories. Above Image-making is rooted in frame composition. Photographers all else, motion design needs people who understand how to are trained to see and capture strong compositions through effectively communicate. Students or professionals working the lens of a camera. They understand how to frame a scene in graphic design, illustration, sequential art, photography, through a viewport. They also have a strong foundation in lighting advertising, creative writing, animation, visual effects, editing, and value, which is essential for any kind of image-making. film, and interactive design can find professional opportunities in Compositing live-action or photography with design elements is motion design. a common aesthetic direction for many motion design projects. Photographers who are interested in exploring motion will find Graphic Design many opportunities to work with their images. Graphic designers are trained to create effective visual layouts, work with typography, and communicate messages clearly. All of 10 Design for Motion

Advertising Visual Effects The advertising industry is one of the primary employers of Like animation, visual effects has similarities to motion design. design-driven production studios. Advertisers work directly with Many of the same tools and principles are applied to both clients to formulate strategies and big picture ideas for marketing disciplines. The key differences exist in how they fit in the campaigns. Advertising uses motion design for everything from production workflow. Visual effects artists bring an incredible prototyping to executing commercial projects. Design for motion attention to detail and mastery of technical skills. In the film and advertising are similar as they both serve the purpose of giving industry, they tend to work on specific shots for a project over form to creative ideas. An advertising student or professional who a long period of time. Motion designers tend to work on a lot of wishes to become more hands-on can utilize design for motion in projects, and in many different capacities. They may concept and design-driven productions. design for one project, then work as an animator or compositor on another. Like animators, visual effects artists and motion Creative Writing designers often work side-by-side in design-driven production Writing is an extremely important part of motion design. studios. Visual effects artists are very valuable in motion design Conceptual development and narrative development rely on because of their highly specialized skill sets. writing to record ideas. As a time-based media, motion design tells a narrative or story. This process requires the ability to write Editing a script or treatment. For communication purposes, it is essential Strong film editing skills are essential to motion design. Motion that a designer is able to write descriptions about his or her work. design must be arranged in a manner that takes the viewer on a Many design-driven studios employ writers to help brainstorm journey. Editors understand the rhythm of storytelling and how to projects, prepare presentations, and develop scripts for larger create dramatic tension through a viewport. All motion designers productions. can benefit from education and training in editing. Some editors add motion design to their arsenal of skills to be more versatile Animation and valuable in the workforce. Motion design is a form of animation. However, traditional animation tends to focus on character development and literary Film narrative. Motion design focuses on art direction and uses a wide Directing and cinematography are also essential to motion range of design assets. Also, traditional animation is typically design. Although motion designers may rarely direct talent, long format, whereas motion design projects are relatively short. they are always directing the movement and expression of Despite these differences, animators and motion designers work visual elements. Some motion designers are quite comfortable side-by-side in many design-driven production studios. Animators directing live-action, and they can move fluidly between live who want to work in a fast-paced environment, and on a variety of talent and digital media. Cinematographers paint with light and projects, do very well in motion design. record beautiful compositions through a camera lens. These Design for Motion 11

skills translate directly into motion design as an understanding design, change is something that is initiated by the user. Although of light and dark help a designer to direct the focal point of a there are different considerations in terms of passive and active scene. Design for motion draws heavily from the art and language change, motion design can be used to enhance the experience of of cinematic storytelling.3 Students and professionals of film interactivity. find motion design to be an accessible and alternative approach to film making. Notes Interactive Design and User Experience 1 “Quantel Henry.” En.wikipedia.org. Accessed August 22, 2014. Students and professionals of interactive design and user <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantel>. experience can also utilize motion design. Both disciplines rely on the principle of change. In motion design, change is something 2 “Telecine.” Merriam-Webster.com. Accessed August 19, 2014. witnessed by the viewer. With interactive and user experience <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/telecine>. 3 Van Sijll, Jennifer. Cinematic Storytelling: The 100 Most Powerful Film Conventions Every Filmmaker Must Know. Studio City, CA: Michael Wiese Productions, 2005. 12 Design for Motion

Figure 2.1: STYLE FRAME FROM A STUDENT ASSIGNMENT BY KALIN FIELDS, SCAD MFA. 14 Style Frames

Chapter 2: Style Frames What is a Style Frame? Figure 2.2: STYLE FRAME FROM A STUDENT ASSIGNMENT BY CHRIS FINN, SCAD BFA. A style frame is a single frame or image that depicts the look and feel of a motion design project. Style frames are the visual determination, and practice will make you a better designer. Be representation of what a motion piece will look like prior to engaged in the process, look at good design, and make a lot of any animation. They are one of the primary outcomes and style frames. Although style frames are singular moments of a deliverables of design for motion. Style frames are important motion piece, each frame can tell a story. Every frame can have a for a number of reasons. Most importantly, style frames help to life of its own, as a uniquely beautiful design. win pitches for commercial projects. A single image can be the difference between a studio or designer winning a project, or losing Visual Patterns out to another studio/designer. Because style frames help to win A style frame defines the visual pattern of a motion design jobs, the designers who create them play an extremely important project. Style includes choices such as color palette, materials role in design-driven productions. or mediums, textures, typography, and cinematic conventions. Aside from their financial importance, style frames guide a production team’s efforts. They provide a visual solution to the needs of a creative brief, thus establishing the boundaries of a project. Ideally, a style frame is both beautiful and functional. Style frames also contain conceptual ideas and glimpses of broader narratives. The art of composing style frames allows a designer to communicate a message with clarity, potency, and purpose. Style frames are the medium a designer uses to present the look of a project before the motion phase begins. Each style frame you make is a design piece. Always strive to make dynamic compositions. You may struggle to make strong style frames at first. You may even struggle for a while. Grit, Style Frames 15

Figure 2.3: STYLE FRAMES FROM A STUDENT ASSIGNMENT BY RICK KUAN, SCAD BFA. THESE STYLE FRAMES SHOW A DEFINED AND CONSISTENT VISUAL PATTERN. THE USE OF TEXTURE, CONTRAST BETWEEN DARK AND LIGHT VALUES, A LIMITED COLOR PALETTE, VARIATIONS IN OPACITY, AND THE HANDLING OF POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE SPACE ALL ESTABLISH THE VISUAL PATTERN. These choices help to form creative borders around a project. stage where a project goes from the potential of being anything to These borders specify what stylistically belongs in a motion design definitively becoming something. project and what does not, which is beneficial to the production team of animators, compositors, cinematographers, editors, and Stylistic Guides producers, as well as the client. In addition to winning projects, style frames also serve as a guide for the production team for the final look of the project. A style Young designers will often rush through this phase of a guide is extremely important for a commercial production. Style project, or skip it altogether. That is a bad idea. It is very easy to guides provide clear parameters about the specified usage of tell when a designer has not spent time on concept or style frame visual elements such as color, typography, texture, etc. They development. Concepts are not fleshed out; compositions are are especially important when working with large teams of boring; stories are uninteresting; transitions are not considered; animators, compositors, and 3D artists. Everyone on the project and the motion is weak. Conversely, when designers invest time needs to be working toward creating the established design and effort into style frames, they create beautiful projects. aesthetic. For a large-scale production, there will ideally be a style frame for every scene or setup within a project. For smaller The function of a style frame is to establish a unique visual productions, or even solo projects, style frames are just as pattern that provides a foundation for a motion design project. A important. Rather than designing while you animate, take the style emerges when this visual pattern becomes recognizable,1 time to define the aesthetic with style frames. Style frames are thus creating the feeling or sense that every element in the frame or viewport belongs together. Style frames also represent the 16 Style Frames

Figure 2.4: STYLE FRAME FROM A STUDENT ASSIGNMENT BY RAINY FU, SCAD BFA. an integral part of the process, representing the graphic side of motion design. Concept is King Style frames should be beautiful, but, more importantly, they should always express a concept. Style frames give form and shape to ideas. But weak ideas will be eye-candy at best, even if the style is beautiful. This kind of design falls into the category of form over function—an error that occurs when a designer focuses only on making something look great. The main idea or concept becomes a secondary consideration to establishing a visual aesthetic. The design may be eye-catching, but it lacks an impactful message or purpose. However, a beautiful design Figure 2.5: STYLE FRAMES FROM A STUDENT ASSIGNMENT BY DAVID CONKLIN, SCAD BFA. THESE STYLE FRAMES DEMONSTRATE A COMPELLING CONCEPT COUPLED WITH A DISTINCT ILLUSTRATIVE STYLE. THE ILLUSTRATIONS SUGGEST INTERESTING IDEAS AND NARRATIVES THAT ARE OPEN TO INTERPRETATION. Style Frames 17

coupled with a strong concept is powerful. This concept illustrates to bring a project to life with motion. Young designers can become the classical idea of form expressing function. discouraged if they cannot create motion of the same caliber as they can make style frames and design boards. But it is not Design Like a Champ realistic to expect that a single person can create in motion what a For the purpose of learning, it is suggested that you do not worry large team can create in a design-driven production company that about animating or producing the style frames and design boards is working with a budget. that you make using the exercises and assignments in this textbook. Of course, you can animate them if you wish. However, If you are interested in pursuing design for motion as a I find students will often limit themselves when making style career, then you will need to build a portfolio of your style frames frames based on what they think they can produce in motion. In and design boards. In order to create the best portfolio possible, design-driven productions, it is common for large teams to work do not limit yourself or dumb-down your design work. For school together to bring an original aesthetic to life. This means that, projects, students can reduce, or modify, the scope of their in addition to designers, a production can include live-action animations rather than diminishing their design. Chances are, you directors, cinematographers, animators, compositors, 3D artists, will be better at animating your design frames than you thought editors, and producers. All of these creative people work together you could be. More importantly, you will be able to use strong style frames and design boards in your portfolio. Figure 2.6: STYLE FRAME FROM A STUDENT ASSIGNMENT BY JACKIE KHANH DOAN, SCAD BFA. THIS STYLE FRAME IS AN EXAMPLE OF AN AESTHETIC DIRECTION THAT IS VERY INTRICATE. IN PRODUCTION, IT WOULD BE VERY TIME-CONSUMING OR TECHNICALLY CHALLENGING. HOWEVER, WITH ACCESS TO A TEAM OF EXPERIENCED ANIMATORS AND COMPOSITORS, IT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE AN INTERESTING MOTION DESIGN PIECE. 18 Style Frames

Enjoy the Process we are having fun. We should always do our best and strive for the Above all else, remember to have fun! Motion design is a serious strongest outcomes. We need to produce interesting concepts, business and requires a professional attitude, especially in beautiful style frames, surprising transitions, and successful the realm of commercial art where design-driven production design boards. However, we should not sacrifice our wellbeing to is powered by financial budgets, teams of creative artists, and achieve these outcomes. Our goal should be to feel good through producers. However, this professionalism does not mean that we every stage of a project. If we are not enjoying the process, then cannot enjoy the process. We will probably create better work if we are probably too worried about the outcome. Figure 2.7: STYLE FRAME FROM A STUDENT ASSIGNMENT BY YEOJIN SHIN, SCAD BFA. Style Frames 19

Author’s Reflection about art and design. It is important to remember that style frames are fun to make. Often, they are the most open and I have always felt excited about the freedom, exploration, and creative part of a project. Style frames offer the designer discovery of making art. There is a magic sense of adventure opportunities to be creative and expressive. Once a project moves and the ability to open doors into worlds of the imagination. into production, the amount of freedom and flexibility decreases Image-making is a common practice of artists and designers more and more as it moves toward completion. Style frames prior to becoming motion designers. Often from very young offer an opportunity to dream big and push the boundaries of ages, motion designers have expressed creative interests your creativity. through drawing and painting. Those of us who enter creative professions have managed to preserve and develop our curiosity A Moment in Time “Design boards are among the first steps in the motion Style frames are containers for moments of time within a scene or design process and what I have spent most of my career project. A style frame should feel like a still that was pulled from creating. When I design a board, I’m doing more than a finished motion design piece. That level of refinement creates designing frames—I’m figuring out the best way to tell the design certainty that is needed to sell a concept and keep the a story or communicate an idea. I am visualizing the production team on task. Style frames are also the starting point spot and using the boards and a written treatment as a of a narrative, and, in practical terms, the bridge to design boards. tool to share and sell my idea. Essentially, the boards A sequence of individual style frames laid out in a linear fashion is visually articulate the concept and story so that the client, a design board. Design boards utilize the “language of cinematic animation team, and creative director are on the same storytelling” to pre-visualize an entire motion design piece prior to page before beginning the production process. Each production.2 Our concepts must be strong and meet the needs of frame in a design board needs to represent a moment in the client, and our designs must also be beautiful. Even then, we time in the piece, but together the frames need to tell a will not always win competitive pitches. However, strong design story. To me, it’s important that the story is grounded in a always makes a good impression. Regardless if we win or lose, smart concept because that is what will ground the work we should not be satisfied until we have created a unique and and make it memorable.”—Lindsay Daniels, Designer/ beautiful style that expresses a strong concept. Director 20 Style Frames

Figure 2.8: STYLE FRAME FROM A STUDENT ASSIGNMENT BY KELIANG SHAN, SCAD MA. THIS STYLE FRAME REPRESENTS THE IDEA OF A SINGLE MOMENT OF TIME PULLED FROM A MOTION DESIGN PIECE. VISUAL ELEMENTS SUCH AS COMPOSITION, COLOR, DEPTH, CAMERA POSITION, AND LOW-POLYGON 3D GEOMETRY BRING THIS FRAME TO LIFE. Notes 2 Van Sijll, Jennifer. Cinematic Storytelling: The 100 Most Powerful Film Conventions Every Filmmaker Must Know. Studio City, CA: Michael Wiese 1 Paglierani, Steven. Finding Personal Truth Book 1: Solving the Mind Body Mystery. Productions, 2005. New York: The Emergence Alliance Inc, 2010. Style Frames 21

Figure 3.1: DESIGN BOARD FROM A STUDENT ASSIGNMENT BY NICK LYONS, SCAD MFA. THIS DESIGN BOARD IS A GREAT EXAMPLE OF CLEARLY ILLUSTRATING A VISUAL STYLE, THE CINEMATIC POSITIONS AND MOVEMENTS OF A CAMERA, AND THE NARRATIVE PLAN FROM THE BEGINNING UNTIL THE END OF THE PIECE. 22 Design Boards

Chapter 3: Design Boards “Motion design is all about focus and flow. So much of distance from the focal point, camera movement, and overall our work, and the development of our work, is based composition throughout the piece. Every frame shows a key around design boards. When you are working with clients, moment in a scene that communicates a significant quality or they are going to pour over those boards and pick them turning point in a project’s storyline. The difference between a apart. It’s part of the process. Ultimately, you want to design board and hand-drawn storyboard is the depiction of the engage an audience and draw people in. When people visual aesthetic or style. Each frame in a design board is a fully- look at a moving image, they don’t see the whole thing. realized style frame. As previously stated, style frames should They don’t see the whole frame. They are always looking feel like stills pulled from a completed motion design project. In at something within that. If you can chart where your a design board, the aesthetic is firmly established, the narrative audience’s eye is moving through your images, where is clearly illustrated, and how scenes transition should at least be they are going to leave one image and pick up with suggested if not fully boarded out. The design board represents another image, and really make the journey interesting clear answers to the questions posed in the creative brief—the and engaging, and understand the pace and rhythm, then summary of the questions or problems posed by the needs of you will be able to do a piece of work that really engages a project. It is the result of a journey that begins with design people.”—Patrick Clair, Designer/Director mystery and needs to finish with design certainty. In this way, the design board is the language of design for motion. They are the What is a Design Board? designer’s medium to communicate the concept, story, and visual A design board contains a sequence of style frames that tell a style of a motion design project. Like style frames, design boards narrative or a story. In many ways, they resemble hand-drawn are one of the primary deliverables of design for motion. storyboards. Each frame represents the viewport or the camera eye. Design boards typically read from left to right and from top The Importance of Style Frames and Design Boards to bottom. They contain the visual narrative for a motion design The importance of style frames and design boards in the world of project as well as the direction of cinematic changes. These commercial art cannot be stressed enough. Clients award projects changes include information such as camera angles, camera based on the strength of a concept and its visual presentation. Design Boards 23

When a client awards a project, they are essentially buying that it is vital that the client signs off on the design aesthetic prior to style, story, and/or concept. Style frames and design boards are making anything move. The last thing an artist or studio wants the method of pitching concepts and visual solutions to creative to do is to spend weeks building assets, compositing elements, briefs. As the primary deliverables of design for motion, style and creating motion only to be told by a client that they want frames and design boards are the first impression a client sees a different look and feel. Now, if the client is willing to pay for of a motion design piece. Additionally, clients will typically want these changes and push the deadline for delivery of the project, to see and approve of a project’s design style prior to investing then there is something to negotiate. However, even under the money in a production. The bigger the budget, and more high best circumstances for the artist or studio, it is difficult to switch profile the project, the fiercer the competition will be for the aesthetics halfway through a project. Style frames and design client’s business. boards offer the opportunity to be sure that the client and studio are on the same page regarding the visual feel of the project Promise to the Client before production gets under way. Be cautious of starting a Style frames and design boards are like a promise, or a visual commercial production before a client signs off on the visual style. contract, that a studio makes with a client. There is an expectation that the final outcome of a motion design piece will look like the Using Design Boards style frames and design boards that the client signed off on. Of Style frames and design boards win jobs. They are the visual tool course, client approved changes and adjustments may be made of pitching, planning, and guiding productions. Design boards along the way. However, there should not be a major disconnect allow a studio or artist to give a client a glimpse of what a motion between the aesthetic established in a set of style frames and project could become. In a competitive pitch, a client will view the final motion piece, unless it is requested and approved by a variety of design boards from different artists or studios. the client. Also, a studio needs to be able to deliver in motion For example: a client needs to produce a motion project and what they present to a client in the design phase of a production. approaches three different studios to pitch for the job. First, the So it is important to be confident that your design aesthetic is three studios receive the same creative brief from the client. appropriate for the production. In other words, the design needs to Each motion design studio has a creative director that leads their be attainable within the budget. Of course, the studio must also be pitch, and has an initial kick-off meeting or conference call with capable of producing the job. That being said, we should not dumb the client to go over the creative brief. Creative directors will down our ideas or the strength of our design. A creative director then kick-off the project with their own team of designers. The and producer will go a long way in helping to rein in ideas and creative directors are responsible for guiding and refining the make sure style frames and design boards work for a project. overall direction of their own studio’s pitch. They make sure that designers effectively answer the needs of the creative brief. They Insurance Policy also prepare a pitch document to present to the client. Another important role of style frames and design boards is they serve as an insurance policy for an artist or a studio. Because Now imagine that each studio creates three different design-driven productions can be very time consuming and costly, design boards to pitch. In total, that makes nine different design boards pitching for the same project. If the creative directors and 24 Design Boards

Figure 3.2: DESIGN BOARD FROM A STUDENT ASSIGNMENT BY PETER CLARK, SCAD BFA. designers do their jobs well, any of these nine design boards can design board that best meets the needs of the client is awarded win the job. Of course, there could be more or less studios and the project. design boards in any given pitch. Next, the creative lead presents the design boards to the client. The client then evaluates the Winning motion design projects can be very competitive. A design boards and presentations from each studio. Finally, the fun slang term used by industry designers to describe the process of creating and pitching design boards is “board battle.” Although Design Boards 25

this term is a playful description, with some projects there may a short time. Even with refined art and design skills, the ability to be hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars at stake. The think like a director, and the gift to tell stories, a motion designer pressure can be pretty intense to quickly produce high-quality also needs to be able to stay cool under pressure. These are skills design boards with a strong concept and interesting narrative in that take time and effort to develop. Figure 3.3: DESIGN BOARD FROM A STUDENT ASSIGNMENT BY DAVID CONKLIN, SCAD BFA. 26 Design Boards

Guiding Productions understanding between a client and the motion design studio. Like style frames, another vital function of design boards is to plan They establish the parameters for the visual style and narrative. and guide productions. Design-driven productions are a fusion between traditional design studios and film production companies. For the studio, the design board keeps all members of the This means that some of the needs and structures of both studio creative and production team on the same page. The design board models will overlap. The design board is a representation of is a map that defines key moments in a motion piece, as well as this overlap, combining image-making and storytelling. Motion being a design style guide. A team can include any combination design projects can be very expensive and time consuming. It of designers, 2D animators, 3D animators, compositors, editors, is imperative to have a clear and logical production process. directors, producers, art directors or creative directors. There Design boards serve to establish an agreement and common are a lot of moving parts in every production, and ideally they all need to move in a unified manner. The design board helps to Author’s Reflection the concept and narrative. However, you do not want to have so many frames that it either confuses the viewer, or overly I often advise my students to think about their design boards as constricts your production. The style frames that are included a journey from one beautiful composition to another. Each style in a design board need to represent key moments in a motion frame in a design board is a key moment in the journey. Many piece. You want to leave some room for growth, change, or of the same principles that apply to style frames are applicable simply for the viewer’s imagination to fill in what happens to design boards. Contrast and tension are key principles to between frames. Ultimately, if every style frame in your creating interesting design boards. A variety of camera angles design board is strong, then both the viewer and the production and camera distances will make the overall design board team can fill in what happens as you travel from one beautiful dynamic. The arrangement of style frames is pivotal to how the composition to another. There is no set number for how story unfolds and captivates the viewer’s attention. The visual many frames to include in a design board. Create as many or as rhythm and flow of a design board has the same compositional few frames as you need to deliver the best possible presentation needs as a single style frame. and to win the job. Students often ask how many style frames are needed in a design board. You need enough frames to clearly communicate Design Boards 27

ensure that each member of the team is clear about what needs Unified Visual Aesthetic to get done. Throughout a design-driven production, all members The same visual pattern that unifies the look and feel of a of the team can refer back to the design board for reference and style frame needs to translate across an entire design board. consistency. Every frame in the design board needs to feel like it belongs— Figure 3.4: DESIGN BOARD FROM A STUDENT ASSIGNMENT BY ERIC DIES, SCAD MFA. 28 Design Boards

conceptually, visually, and sequentially—in order to create a certainty to the audience. Design for motion can be described as a cohesive piece. This pattern requires design consistency in combination of image-making and storytelling. areas such as color, texture, typography, material, and cinematic qualities. Be sure that every frame in your design board Storytelling looks like it is part of the overall aesthetic. This unification is Design boards contain the visual narrative of a project. The term accomplished by defining a distinct visual pattern that repeats design board is derived from storyboarding. Storyboarding is in every style frame in the design board. Visual principles such a practice that originated in cinematic productions as a way to as color and texture contribute to defining a visual pattern. plan the action of the story, characters, and camera movement. Assets such as photography, illustration, typography, or 3D In some ways, design boards resemble sequential art or comic also add to the design style. A style frame that does not adhere books. A story is told through visual frames. Change is understood to the defined visual pattern in a design board will feel out of to happen as we move from frame to frame. However, design place. This inconsistency can disrupt a viewer’s connection to boards are not nearly as long as comic books or graphic novels. the piece and fail to communicate. One of the first questions They are condensed narratives, usually not more than a single asked during a class critique of design boards is, “Does every page of frames. The various types of frames or shots in a design frame feel like it belongs in the design board?” For beginners, board also draw upon the tradition of cinema. A more detailed it is common to be unaware when a frame feels out of place. exploration of visual storytelling will be covered in the cinematic However, the ability to recognize a visual aesthetic is vital for conventions section of this book. a designer of motion because it will make it easier to create a distinct visual pattern and maintain a consistent style across an Finishing Touches entire design board. As we prepare to present and deliver a design board, we should apply any finishing touches. Now is the time In addition to a consistent visual style, design boards need to pay attention to details and refine our work. We should to contain recognizable patterns in terms of concept and story. trim anything extraneous that does not enhance the overall Ultimately, a design board is a visual and narrative representation concept. Do all the style frames feel like they belong in the of an idea. Each style frame in a design board should express the design board? Does the design board need a final pass of color underlying concept of the piece and tell a story. If the sequence of correction or color grading? A few simple adjustments to color, events is not clear in the design board, then it will fail to deliver Design Boards 29

Figure 3.5: DESIGN BOARD FROM A STUDENT ASSIGNMENT BY JOE BALL, SCAD BFA. depth of field, or lighting effects can add a cinematic quality As the complete realization of the visual plan for a motion piece, to your work. design boards need to communicate clarity and certainty. An unpolished presentation can detract from the project and come off Designers invest a tremendous amount of time and as amateurish. Be sure that your style frames and design boards creative energy into making design boards. They are the tangible are laid out in a clean and professional manner by using a process outcomes of design for motion. Design boards represent concepts, book or a pitch book. stories, and visual styles in a concise and accessible manner. 30 Design Boards

Professional Perspectives Erin Sarofsky Erin Sarofsky is a multi-talented artist and designer who runs it. I enjoy doing work that you get a captive audience for, like film her own studio, Sarofsky, located in Chicago. Erin studied at the titles. I think it’s really important that your work really satisfies Rochester Institute of Technology, earning her Bachelor’s degree what you want to do in the world. in Graphic Design, as well as a Master’s degree in Computer Graphics. Her studies introduced her to motion design in the What do you like most about motion design? early 2000s when she started working with Adobe After Effects. I personally love coming up with concepts and the early phases of She began her career working as a designer at Digital Kitchen in execution, when we translate that concept into motion. After that, Chicago. After producing award-winning work there, Erin moved I like seeing what the animators and other artists bring to it. It’s to be a Creative Director at Superfad in New York City. In 2009, always rewarding to see where a job starts, and then watch how she decided to return to Chicago and start her own company. Erin it evolves. If you’re a strong creative director, you can lead the leads a design-driven production company that produces original process in a way so that comments are addressed and the work content for entertainment, broadcast, branding, and advertising. gets elevated. Her work has been featured in industry publications including Shoot, Stash, Boards Magazine, Motionographer, Forget the Film; I also love what we do because it is a pretty quick process. Watch the Titles, Art of the Titles, and ProMaxBDA. Her work has We are rarely on a job for more than a few months…and then, it’s received multiple nominations for prestigious awards such as the on to something new. Type Directors Club, the SXSW Film Design Awards and a Primetime Emmy nomination.1 How do you come up with ideas? I do a lot of writing. I mind map in a journal to see where thoughts An Interview with Erin Sarofsky lead to other thoughts. It always starts with words on paper. I also create style frames that are completely disposable. A lot of people What drew you toward motion design? treat style frames like they are precious commodities. But for me, I like the linear nature of motion design. It’s as close to I can create a full design board and then decide not to show it. It storytelling as you can get when it comes to design. I also like can be something that I spent a lot of time on, but it doesn’t matter that people can’t touch it, can’t do anything to it. They just watch if it is not working. I put everything down and start over. Once you Professional Perspectives Erin Sarofsky 31

Figure 3.6: Shameless title sequence. Created by Sarofsky for John Wells Productions and Showtime. Director: Erin Sarofsky. Co-Director: Lindsay Daniels. 32 Professional Perspectives Erin Sarofsky

Figure 3.7: Girl Rising title sequence. Created by Sarofsky for Richard Robbins. Director: Erin Sarofsky. Professional Perspectives Erin Sarofsky 33

have done hundreds of design boards and won maybe 10 percent color grading and made images feel like there was a natural light of those pitches, you begin to realize how disposable it all is. source. It was very subtle and simple stuff, but it helped me to stand apart. Where do you find inspiration and reference? I pull more toward history, architecture and photography. Do you have any suggestions for young designers? I do believe everything is derivative. There is nothing you can To do great work, it is not about getting the big paycheck right say that is completely unique or original now, especially in away. It’s about putting yourself in a place where you are going to the days of Pinterest. We have accessibility to everything, grow, learn, and absorb. After you spend a few years there, then immediately: on your phone, in your hand, any second. So now, you can go chase the paycheck. But to start on a career that is it is about how appropriate the reference is for what you are doing really going to be fulfilling, you need to find the right studio for and how you evolve it to become own-able, even in this land of you and somehow get your foot in the door. That’s going to mean everything being unoriginal. a little bit of sacrifice at first, but in the long run, it will get you where you need to be. Do you have any specific methods or tools? I approach every job very differently. Sometimes I want to get How do you see the role of designers in design-driven out the crayons and paper; sometimes I might want to do some productions? ink; sometimes I will scan it; sometimes I just want to look for the The role of a designer has to be present throughout everything we right images and treat them. Every job is its own thing. I am most do. Front end with concept development and design boards and happy when what I am doing is most appropriate for the project back end with production and delivery. I can always tell when a at hand. designer has had a hand in a piece and when one has not. Because of my photography background, a lot of my I think there are two different kinds of designers. You need early work had a filmic look. Even my graphic design and to have someone with the eye, but also someone who is realistic. typography looked like it was photographed. I used vignettes and There is the optimistic designer, who is always pushing to make 34 Professional Perspectives Erin Sarofsky


Design for Motion Fundamentals and Techniques of Motion Design

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