Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Business of animation- Sugar Rush Sundays final animation

I have finally managed to return to my 'Sugar rush Sundays' promo, and the suggested improvements and corrections have been made!

Here is the final video:

The most important change was to ensure that all of the critical elements were kept within a screen 'action safe' area, and that all text is within the 'text safe' area. This was not too difficult to change, for most of the animated elements had been precomposed in After Effects. This meant that I needed only to resize the pre-composition, and all animations within would remain the same. For the beginning, the strawberry laces packet was dangerously close to the edge of the screen, and so I needed to position the camera further to the left. I did need to lengthen the wooden plank asset in Photoshop here, which was achieved by simply transforming the layer by stretching.

The clouds were a nice touch, suggested by my tutor, which do help to establish further that the strawberry begins high up. In a new composition, I added a solid and applied the 'fractal noise' effect. This generated a cloud-like simulation, for which I proceeded to alter settings to get the best results. Once happy with the form of the cloud, I added a mask in the classic cartoon cloud shape and feathered the edges- the fractal noise effect filled the size of the composition, and I wanted individual clouds to animate. With my individual clouds complete, I imported their compositions into my original project composition, set the screen blending modes to 'Add' (ensuring the clouds were the correct colour whilst keeping my blue background behind), and key-framed their positions to move across the screen.

A further big change was the text, perhaps the greatest area of criticism on my original version. People felt that the font that I had used did not fit with the 'Sugar rush' theme very well, and suggested that I go with something more bubbly. Having exhausted the font library in After Effects CS3 and found nothing really appropriate, I employed the use of a great website that I haven't used in years; This website offers a wide selection of free font downloads, and even lets you customise these with various effects (such as ice, chrome, glow etc.) and generate a .PNG logo to download, for free! I would highly recommend this site to anyone looking for an interesting font style.

The font that I chose looked to me as though it was written in cake icing, and seemed far more fun than my previous version. I did not use any of the website's effects, opting instead to download the font in plain white and add the bevel/emboss, outline and and drop shadow in After Effects. Following a further suggestion to help every element of the animation flow, rather than having the text fade into view as before, I decided to animate the text and logo dropping down from above, mimicking the strawberry's bungee jump! I played around with the timing here, initially having the text drop down in front of the berry, but in my opinion it did not look too good. Instead, I chose to alternate with the strawberry, followed by the title, then the strawberry, then the Food Network logo. This works a lot better, keeping to a rhythm and establishing a more satisfying timing and spacing.

Overall, I am very pleased with this final animation, which fully meets the brief given to me. The improvements that I have made were, like my Italian Month advert recently, well worth the effort taken to implement, resulting in a better animation. The final piece is fun and consistent, with strong colours, good timing, and constant appropriate use of the principles of animation.

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