This week I learned that my timeline skills have translated nicely.
After creating a storyboard for Wayhaught (Waverly Earp and Nicole Haught)’s first kiss I got started in After Effects working with the jpegs from my storyboard on a timeline.
My previous editing experience includes a lot of video editing where I was both editing and in charge of a production process. I’ve seen where things can hiccup a project like this, and so a lot of my thinking going in was about how to curb those potential pitfalls.
I spent my time in class animating my storyboard.
My original storyboard was 85 frames. I think when I was laying it out I was thinking largely of how a flipbook animation worked and used my canvases to explore how things would work in a low-fidelity environment.
It gave me a good idea of some of the effects that I was going for, but I also knew that my font choice was still off.
There were parts of this I did like, but that couldn’t be fully realized, but this process did give me a lot of information about how the intended effects would appear.
Laying these 85 pieces out also made it easier to start the first draft since I essentially had all the timeline markers. I did need to make multiple adjustments along the way though for timing.
I was able to get my animatic complete before my desk crit. While I intended the in-depth storyboard to give me an accurate picture of the animation it didn’t feel quite right.
I knew that Waverly’s dialogue needed to be in a more romantic typeface, and while I knew that a handwritten one would be overwhelming, I wasn’t quite sure which one I wanted to go with. I decided to lay out my text in After Effects with Waverly’s dialogue in Canto and Nicole’s in Gill Sans.
This is better, but I am still not sure it’s the right typeface. One of the things I like about Canto is the Brush weight which has some uniquely tactile fills that I think evoke the idea of a love letter.
Ahmed also took a look at my mood board and suggested I try the colors from the Wynonna Earp comics. I pulled over a dozen colors and began assembling a style guide for myself in Illustrator. This became important later in the week when I wanted to start playing with color changes.
He also suggested I think about ways to indicate a mood shift around the time the music kicks in during my audio clip.
I had some experience keyframing and laying things out on a timeline so I was able to get all the pieces laid out relatively quickly. Then I continued to animate it and play with timings and compositions until I got something that I really liked.
One of my biggest triumphs this week was finding the button that turned on the grid. When I was trying to manipulate different size fonts in the same composition I found myself wondering if they were aligned properly and this helped:
I spent most of this week tweaking timings, color, and the font I was using for Nicole’s lines.
I still have not decided what typeface I’ll use for Nicole, but since she only has five lines and components it wasn’t a priority. Instead, I decided that I would focus on more technical aspects and return to the typeface with some fresh eyes.
After stepping away for a few days I revisited my color palette and decided to switch out the gray for a purple. While I liked the gray it seemed too flat and didn’t convey the emotion I wanted. The dark purple at least felt like there was something deeper going on.
I also changed the first two compositions to have one of the sand tones. I am not sure how I feel about it in terms of contrast yet, but I am going to give it a day or so and see how I feel.
I also changed Nicole’s typeface to Justus Pro Light. This seemed to be different enough from Canto while still having some romantic character to it.
Overall, I am liking the direction of this so far. I think there is a lot more I can play with and I want to keep experimenting.
I did share an early draft with a few friends both familiar and unfamiliar with the source material and they seem to be getting the feeling that I want out of this.
Takeaways This Week:
- I laid out all my text in a single composition, but I discovered that if I cut the layers and create new compositions I can then import those to my main timeline and work on subtle animations in environments with fewer layers.
- Masks would be a helpful tool here but I have yet to figure out how to work them properly. I did watch several videos about kinetic type masks to get an idea of different effects.
- Grids are still your friends even on video canvases.
Changes I Wish to Make
- I added tracking animation to “I scare you” but I was hoping to anchor it the left alignment and let you be the only word that animates. It’s possible that when I break it down into smaller compositions I can really get into the weeds and make that change.
- The “far” in the third composition isn’t working for me. I am hoping if I keep looking into masks and checking out more tutorials I will find a better solution.
- I also thought a little bit about how I could better convey Waverly’s anxiety as she approaches the moment where she says “is sitting right in front of you.” I think it may be worth including some micro-animations to make the letters look like they’re nervous. I have yet to decide if this is something I should do on a letter, word, or line level though, and I would like to experiment with that going into next week.