Final Iterations

The final iterations include changes to the breathing face, titles and backgrounds.

December 9, 2015

Add water and clouds to Scene 1 (created in after effects). New background, Scene 9, created in Illustrator. Addition of fill mask and text under Scenes 4-8. Revise globe with green and blue fill (photoshop), add closing text.


December 11, 2015

Changes to Scenes 13-14, “breathing face.” Globe now appears behind face. Hoping for connection between breathing and water as integral and essential for life on earth. Added wavy-water under Scenes 4-7 (After Effects). Added city background to Scene 16 (zoom in from cloud perspective to city as background.)

Another revision of scenes 13-14, “breathing face,” now with trees and moving city background integrated in layers with Flash. Scene 17, “return of water to earth, streams and oceans,” zoom into city view, but then cut to color matte background for scene 19 -20. Final scene now ending with “drink responsibly.”

Final Video:


final stages

Now that I have a solid rough cut in place, I am going back and working through areas that need reconsideration.

  • Adding  text (especially the number ticker displaying consumption of water for manufacturing)
  • 3D graphics
  • Illustrator backgrounds
  • audio
  • refine color

December 9, 2015 Final Edits

I’ve made revisions that have improved the globe, text, illustrator backgrounds and colors. I will do a final audio recording and week a few things, but am prepared for class critique.


Animation Scenes 1-15

November 23, 2015” target=”_blank”>Water Cycle

November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving break: Finding time in the early morning hours to work out the details of the “face breathing sequence.” Black lines gave the face more personality but is inconsistent with the white and grey scale lines of my other assets (line to water, line to peaks/ice, line to gas). Working through this required a reconsideration of the color palette. Such as when and where should the colors reverse. How many colors should I use?

To change the lines to white, I duplicated my symbols in flash and changed the duplicates to white.  Unfortunately I lost a lot of personality in the face when I changed to white lines. The contrast with the background colors wasn’t strong enough and the negative space was too strong of a contrast.

I experimented with my symbols exchanging, brown and green in the negative space, which ultimately provided much more personality.

Here is the result:


water cycle version 15.11.24


animation progress

This week I’ve been developing a sequence using Premiere. This gives me more flexibility with organization and timing. Adobe makes it so easy to work between Flash, Premiere, Photoshop and After Effects.

This is where I am at this week:” target=”_blank”>

Animation exercise “Cat got your tongue?”


November 22

Continuing to build and work out details of animation. Nearing the final stages…” target=”_blank”>Water Cycle

Integrating scenes into timeline and trying different music.

First iteration:“>water cycle

Storyboards/Animatic – Water Cycle Project


The screen captures below demonstrate the direction I am taking with the visual elements. The sphere will be the focal point of the video. It is a simplified drop, a container for water, a representation of the earth, the sun and with careful planning offer seamless transitions between scenes. At one point the animation will illustrate three properties of water — liquid, solid, gas — and will use the sphere to demonstrate the molecular structure.

I am using the shape tween to transition between each outline and considering ways to demonstrate the amount of water used. For example, the body fills up 2/3 of way to demonstrate body composition. And one water bottle becomes three. 80,000 gallons to produce a car is more challenging! Also this number is questionable — finding reliable sources is challenging.

Next steps will definitely involve thinking through text animation…

The sphere will also be useful to describe the covalent bonding structure of water as in the graphic below.Covalent bonds -- H2O

Animatic:” target=”_blank”>Water Cycle Animatic

12 Principles of Animation

12 Principles of Animation is an informative video describing the 12 principles of animation. Click below to view video, followed by notes and thoughts on the video.

12 Principles of Animation as described by Frank Thomas

Notes on the 12 Principals of animation:

September 2015

Notes on the 12 Principals of animation

1. Squash and Stretch — Amount of S and S depends on objects mass. Make sure you maintain volume consistency.

2.  Anticipation — preparing to give clue about what is happening next and to make it appear realistic. Before running crouch down — exaggerate…the wind-up…helps communicate action.

3. Staging- Be in control of where people look. Make sure elements in scene are working so that you are in charge of where people are looking. Make big actions far away and expressions close-up.

4. Straight ahead (decide where the character will end up. animate that. good for actions. or Pose to Pose — animate each movement as you go.

  1.  – keys (primary) make first
  2.  – extremes farthest character will go
  3.  – breakdowns — connections good (fire water)

5. Follow through and overlapping action (drag) tip of the appendage is last to catch-up. When stops follow through then retract. drag and follow through —drag toward where it was.

6. Slow in, Slow out — Start slow and go faster then slow. Consider carefully when to sue. Can mean only drawing one in-between.

7. Arcs- most movement are in an arc. slow in slow out create arcs. step down and up in an arc…

8. Secondary Action – gesture that supports more action to add to main character.

9. Timing – personality and nature of animation. Consider drawing on 1s 2s or 3s…do you want it smooth or jittery?

10. Exaggeration — take to next level to increase amount of impact.

11. Solid Drawing – draw in 3D but toward a vanishing point. use spheres an cubes and rectangles. draw perspective lines “overlap” Avoid twinning and symmetry.

12. Appeal — characters should be pleasing, charismatic, interesting. Dynamic designs — variety of shapes every character design begins with a clear shape. Exaggerate, enlarge or shrink what defines personality.

Great site with animations by independent artists:


Progress with 2D animation

Making progress using the tools in Flash Pro.

Finding it easier to manipulate symbols using Flash editing tools — creating most of the assets in Flash.

Began using flat shapes and symbols to illustrate the water cycle. Keeping the shapes simple allows me to experiment and explore the tools.

Also explored creating three-dimensional shapes with After Effects and creating an animation that looks like water. Considering using a text mask (with the water revealed) to give concise narrative information.

Considering how to integrate motion graphics into 2D animation project. The color palette is more muted and realistic. Perhaps moving away from the bright colors of my initial designs.

Working with grayscale lines to create minimal shapes that indicate water, rain, clouds, earth and other assets. Learning to use the shape tween effectively will be essential to successfully communicating the water cycle through this approach.

Storyboards are in process — they are extremely useful for thinking through the narrative.

Data Visualization

Data visualization
Below are some videos that discuss the potential of 2D animation as a communicative medium.
Data journalist
David McCandless draws beautiful conclusions from complex datasets — thus revealing unexpected insights into our world.
David McCandless turns complex data sets (like worldwide military spending, media buzz, Facebook status updates) into beautiful, simple diagrams that tease out unseen patterns and connections. Good design, he suggests, is the best way to navigate information glut — and it may just change the way we see the world.
McCandless says that Data is the new soil. That visual media is the language of the eye. Math science, the language of the mind…

The beauty of data visualization. TED talk 2010

Aaron Koblin: Visualizing ourselves … with crowd-sourced data

Visualizing Ourselves

Visualizing ourselves: Can data make us more human?

Artist Aaron Koblin takes vast amounts of data — and at times vast numbers of people — and weaves them into stunning visualizations. From elegant lines tracing airline flights to landscapes of cell phone data, from a Johnny Cash video assembled from crowd-sourced drawings to the “Wilderness Downtown” video that customizes for the user, his works brilliantly explore how modern technology can make us more human.

Koblin says:

19C defined by novel

20C defined by cinema

21C defined by the interface

Very interesting talk by

When a very young child looks at a picture, she can identify simple elements: “cat,” “book,” “chair.” Now, computers are getting smart enough to do that too. What’s next? In a thrilling talk, computer vision expert Fei-Fei Li describes the state of the art — including the database of 15 million photos her team built to “teach” a computer to understand pictures — and the key insights yet to come.