Develop: Design & Animation

04/07/2018 - 16:20

Recently I’ve been working on expanding my imaging skill set to include rich media and a deeper dive into art fundamentals, coupled with the principal elements of design.

My study in color theory motivated me to create these Pacific North West inspired color palettes. Crafted with the working professional in mind, they are also free (for non-commercial use).  Add a splash of PNW flair to your next assignment or project!

In fact, if you have a LinkedIn profile, I’ve also created these complementary Background/Cover photos.  Try them in conjunction with the “Dockside”, or “Bleached Timber” pallets to create accents in your blog for a cohesive look on both your site and LinkedIn.

[Right click to download | Please do not alter]

In part, my desire to study color-theory and other design fundamentals was to encourage audience engagement.

I’ve repeatedly come across the staggering statistic that Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined, current trends in marketing and social media,  rich media posts are the growth market segment.

As a result, this jumpstarted my research into designing and creating frame-animation, GIFs, Plotagraphs, cinegraphs, traditional 2-d and 3D animation techniques. Some methods mentioned are not shown in this article, you can view those additional examples of my work here.

Below is one of my first frame animations. At the end of every year, I create an updated version of my SeaTown logo. Last year, I thought it would be fun to create a looping animated version of it.

As a record-enthusiast, I wanted to make my logo appear as if it was really spinning on a turntable.   Record players are wonky wobbly charming little pieces of equipment. It took a few tries to get the “personality” right.

From experience, I’ve quickly learned that rich media posts are a fun way to engage your audience and increase conversions. Often, they can also help your brand or message to go viral.

I also created the following animation to let you know: If you live in Washington, you may have broken the law recently. ???? Specifically, RCW-70.54.050, you SICK-O!


As a working creative, it can be a challenge balancing time between the studio and being out in the field on assignment.

Initially, it caused a lot of pain points and stopgaps in my workflow, which became frustrating over time.

This constant challenge has led me to endlessly searching for versatile on-the-go solutions.  ‪It never ceases to amaze me how much of my assignment can be completed on my mobile phone.

Recently, I became aware of the app “Photoshop Mix”, which is free as part of the CreativeCloud suite by Adobe.

Even on a small phone screen, it is both intuitive and easy to use; making it great for creative projects on the fly!

I’ve also been working on expanding my familiarity within the CreativeCloud suite of applications to include After Effects and more recently Character Animator.

After Effects is a notoriously difficult app to manage, and I will admit to becoming very frustrated with both the controls and it’s rendering process.

Start to finish, even the smallest projects are time-consuming, difficult, and cumbersome. With that said, the results are downright impressive and can be a lot of fun. It’s tempting to see just how far I can push my skill set when dabbling with things like 3D rendering, and virtual cameras.


Having a laptop repeatedly crash in the middle of a large render is a good way to curb that temptation. lol.

In addition to the rendering, I’ve been learning about other features within the application to create video effects such as Time Warping. Last summer, I captured footage of a hummingbird, and while it was nice, it didn’t really capture how magical it felt.

Utilizing the Time-Warp feature and other targeted adjustments, I was able to create this tiny reality blending clip that was a lot of fun.

It’s a good feeling to know that the visuals I want to create are within my reach, but it’s also another challenge to realize the sheer amount of computing/processing power that it takes to create even the shortest clip.

This is my newest workflow challenge and one I am looking to quickly resolve.

Within After Effects there used to be a feature called “Character Animator”, recently it has become its own standalone application that allows it’s user to create live or recorded animation using MoCap (Motion-Capture).

Using your PC’s built-in camera, the application allows you animate in real time. The clip I shared is a recorded “screen test”. Character Animator also features a live-streaming option that seems like a compelling and a fun way to connect with an audience.

I may try this at a future point as it seems a bit more out of the ordinary than your standard webcam based broadcast.

What are your favorite types of creative mobile solutions or rich media? Sound off in the comments below!

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