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Animated Storytelling: Simple Steps For Creating Animation and Motion Graphics

Book Description

Animation is a limitless medium for telling stories. Artists can create worlds, defy gravity, flip from factual to fantasy, and transport audiences to places they never imagined. The challenge is having the discipline to reel it in and be intentional about your storytelling choices. This book shows you how.

In Animated Storytelling, you’ll learn how to create memorable stories using animation and motion graphics by following 10 simple guidelines that take you through the stages of concept development, pre-production, storyboarding, and design. Award-winning animator Liz Blazer uses clear examples and easy-to-follow exercises to provide you with the instruction, encouragement, and tools you need to get your designs moving.

Whether your goal is to create exciting shorts for film festivals, effective messaging for broadcast or online, or simply to gain a deeper understanding of the medium, Animated Storytelling simplifies the process of creating clear and engaging stories for animation and motion graphics so you can get started easily.

In Animated Storytelling, you’ll learn how to:

  • Write a creative brief for your project

  • Find and communicate your story’s big idea

  • Create a tight story using linear and nonlinear story structures

  • Use color to clarify and enrich your story

  • Define the rules for your animated world, and commit to them

  • Ease into the challenging task of animation

  • Make the work you want to be hired to do

  • Share your work with the world!

  • Table of Contents

    1. Title Page
    2. Copyright Page
    3. Dedication Page
    4. Acknowledgments
    5. Art Credits
    6. Table of Contents
    7. Introduction
    8. 1. Pre-Production
      1. Start with a Creative Brief
      2. Summon the Muse
        1. The story is up there!
        2. On writing
      3. Hone Your Pitch
        1. Be influenced
        2. Experiment
        3. Impact your story with design
      4. Assignment: Create an advertisement for a place
    9. 2. Storytelling
      1. You’ve Got the Beats
      2. Three-Act Structure: Problems Solved
        1. Act 1: Setting up character and conflict
        2. Act 2: Working towards a solution
        3. Act 3: Attaining the big solve
        4. Three-act structure, example one
        5. Three-act structure, example two
      3. Begin with Inspiration
      4. Now Build a Structure
        1. Nonlinear structure sample: The Beaded Necklace
        2. Nonlinear structure sample: Book Ending
      5. Assignment: Linear and nonlinear storytelling
      6. Keep a Prolific Story Journal
      7. Story Idea...Meet Classic Plot
    10. 3. Storyboarding
      1. Thumbnailing
        1. Thumbnail revisions
      2. Storyboarding
        1. Storyboard revisions
      3. Shot Composition
      4. Framing
      5. Staging
      6. Observe Spatial Continuity
      7. Observe Temporal Continuity
      8. Observe Directional Continuity
      9. The Magic Ingredients: Time and Sound
      10. Assignment: Storyboard a simple premise
    11. 4. Color Sense
      1. Create a Color Script
      2. Supporting Colors
      3. Color Me Awesome
      4. Tip 1: Limit Your Palette
      5. Tip 2: Support (Don’t Upstage) Your Subject
      6. Tip 3: Select One Thematic and One Accent Color
      7. Tip 4: Use Saturation Mindfully
      8. Tip 5: Use Surprise Color for Punctuation
      9. Tip 6: Design for Movement
      10. Tip 7: Make Your Own Rules
      11. Assignment: Subvert a nursery rhyme, make a color script
    12. 5. Weird Science
      1. The Importance of Creating “Bad” Art
      2. Work on the Edge of Your Skill Set
      3. Make the Work You Want to Be Hired to Do
      4. Personal Projects Pay Off in Unexpected Ways
      5. Transitions, A Case Study
      6. Movement, A Case Study
      7. Assignment: Experiment with non-digital sources
    13. 6. Sound Ideas
      1. Diegetic and Non-diegetic Sound
      2. Sound Effects
        1. Music as sound effects
      3. Music
        1. Score to “theme”
        2. Consider the music of “silence”
        3. Score against
      4. Dialogue
      5. Assignment: Experiment with sound
    14. 7. Design Wonderland
      1. Your World’s Time and Place
      2. Your World’s Physical Laws
      3. Your World’s Social Laws
        1. Be inspired by nature
      4. Your World’s Visual Laws
      5. Assignment: Design and test your new world
    15. 8. Technique
      1. Consider Format
      2. Translate Your Story
      3. Hand Drawn
      4. Stop Motion
      5. 2D CGI
      6. 3D CGI
      7. Case Study: Adapt 3D to Feel Like 2D
      8. Workarounds
        1. Workaround 1: Import still images
        2. Workaround 2: Shoot live-action footage
        3. Workaround 3: Staff up
      9. Case Study: Live Action and Hand Drawn
      10. Case Study: 3D CGI
      11. Assignment: Design a title sequence
    16. 9. Animate!
      1. Start Easy, Gain Confidence
      2. Break Up the Tough Ones
      3. No Shot Left Behind
      4. Protect Ya’ Tech
      5. Be a Poser
      6. Anticipate and Follow Through
      7. Compose Directional Movement
      8. Decentralize and Mix It Up
        1. Fundamental 1: Get out of the center
        2. Fundamental 2: Mix up shot length
        3. Fundamental 3: Mix up shot timing
      9. Consider the Blur
      10. Be Flexible with Soundtrack
      11. Hit Your Sound Marks
      12. Mute Your Soundtrack
      13. Assignment: Create a short with a message
    17. 10. Show and Tell
      1. Step 1: Package Your Project
      2. Step 2: Creating Your Network
        1. Networking, online version
        2. Networking, human version
      3. Share and Repeat
    18. Index