In order to turn my three prototypes into a full animation, I had to animate on After Effects. It was a painstaking process that involved the use of many diamond shaped key frames, but the result wasn’t half bad.
I started by creating the introduction scene. I wanted the buildings to come up first to identify the setting. To do that, I made a hinge effect paired with the sound effect of a page turning to create the buildings flipping into the frame. By adjusting the anchor point and changing the X and Y axis on the 3D option, I simulated the buildings flipping. I added a camera in order to simulate a zoom in and in the split second the scene changes, I alter the opacity of the floor image in the second prototype still and the original top of the building because the first image became pixelated after being zoomed in on. This was the most challenging part of the process because it was difficult to coordinate the camera zooming in and the overlay of the new, sharper layer. I essentially blended two images together to create the illusion that I zoomed in on the top part of the building
Next, I animated the stick figures by first grouping them and having them “walk” up to the top of the building. Then I went to each individual character to add quirks suck as movement to their respective physical traits. I created the illusion of a pan by moving the characters from one side of the building to the other, while also moving the floor as they did. Once it reached the end, I wanted it to look like the camera was falling so I made the text waver as though it were being carried by the air. To make it clearer, I added clouds moving quickly up the screen as though the words were falling past them.
Incorporating sound was the finishing touch to create an atmosphere for my animation. I added a quirky pop soundtrack to capture the comedic aspect of the film/novel. I didn’t want to overdo the sound effects so I only added swooshes for when the buildings flipped in to create an impact, footsteps for the characters to acknowledge their presence, a shattering heart to accommodate the visual, and the whoosh of the air going past the text to emphasize falling a long way down.
Overall, while it took a lot of trial and error, and time, I am proud of my motion graphic. I think it captured the Saul Bass/infographic look I was originally going for. I learned a lot from After Effects from this process and I believe it’ll help me in the long run.