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 Categories : Animation Illustration Motion Design Process


Here is the final video that I created as part of a driving safety awareness campaign to stop people to using their mobile phones whilst driving.

The brief on this video was…..

To create a 45 – 60 second video that would drive the message home of the dangers of using mobiles while driving

Make the message shocking and raw

Connect with the viewer

Use simple characters and designs

Tell a short story

First Steps

So my first steps, as with every video is to get an idea locked down in my mind, this often happens whilst running to clear my mind or waking up at 3am and starting frantically taking down notes before my awesome idea becomes just another forgotten about dream.

Once I start thinking about what needs to be done I will create a list of words to get some creativity flowing. Words that are relevant to the general concept of the video and ends up being like a mind map.

This list of words is useful to get out both good and bad ideas out of my head and onto paper.

My next step is to create a script. For the length of video 45 – 60 seconds I knew I needed no more than 100 words to keep it a nice pace and to align with the tone I had in mind.

The final script ended up being 89 words and the video running for 50 seconds in total.

Simple Storyboard

This first storyboard is nothing more than some rough written notes to go alongside my script. This helps me think about the assets and scenes that I need to create. From this point forward I will continually think of different ideas until it is finished. They can come at the most inconvenient times so I have derived multiple ways of taking these notes down so as not to forget them. This ends up with countless emails to myself, pieces of paper stuffed in my pockets and many nights of terrible sleep patterns.

In to ye old sketchbook

I start out with doing pages of fast and dirty pencil sketches (the more the better). This is to start generating ideas and concepts quickly rather than trying to win any artistic prizes.

Sample page of sketches

Scene Concepting

I now look at my storyboard notes on my script and I make 4 thumbnail variations of each scene in my sketchbook. These are not beautiful but another way to weed out all of my bad ideas and be able to choose which one looks the best and end up with the best possible frame for each shot. If I do 4 and still don’t have a shot I like the look of I will do 4 more until I find one I am happy with.

Rough thumbnail sketches

Sketch Storyboarding

Now I have a good idea of how I want each scene to look I will make a more refined sketch of each one. I can still easily go back and change things at this point to get it looking its best.

Sketch storyboards

Time to Get Colourful

I wanted a palette with slightly washed out  purple, green, orange and yellows so I set out to create a few. Here is the palette I ended up with….

The primary colours used in the animation would be purple, green and yellow with the orange being used for some of the frame by frame effects I would add at the end.

Digital Assets & Scene Creation

Now I know exactly how I want each scene to look it is time to move into a digital program. For this project the design and animation was done inside MOHO 12 but this will vary from project to project depending on each projects needs (and which needs character animation and which doesn’t…. Hint: MOHO rocks for character animation).

These are the final frames for the video….

Digital style frames ready for animation

Animatic Time

Once all of the frames are complete and the magic voice over fairies have finished there work it is time to select some backing music and then make an animatic. The animatic allows me to see if the timing of everything is working well and think more about the animations and transitions. This is a great time ot edit the voice over to allow enoigh time between each scene for smooth transitions.

Turn it off animatic


Now it is time for some keyframe loving. As stated above, this video was animated in MOHO 12 (formerly Anime Studio) as it is awesome for anything character related with the feel I was going for.

MOHO 12 logo

After Effects Compositing

Now all of the animation has magically sprung to life over countless hours, coffees and late nights it’s time to head back into the trusty old After Effects to add some love to the final render.

The love for this video will come with some lighting effects to set a bit of mood and then adding some sound effects to finish things off.

One last time, here is the final product…

Turn It Off Final Animation!

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 Posted on : March 26, 2017

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