Once defining the type of intervention, the home stager will present an elaborate called concept boards, sometimes called moodboard. Motion graphics industry is continuously evolving. Digital tools and development techniques are getting more sophisticated by the day. Prior to starting work on any project, it is important to keep in perspective certain proven facts for the best outcome.
1) Discard Unwanted Aspects
Always engage in frank discussion with your client regarding the things that s/he doesn’t desire to be included in the project. This would streamline project development.
2) Manage the Keyframes on Layers with Shortcut
If the layers in your project have become more in number and you are feeling lost, you just need to press Ctrl+U (Cmnd in Mac) after selecting the layers. All keyframes which have been made on the layers would be shown in one go. There is no restriction on the number of layers you select.
3) Carry out Color Correction for Better Impact
If you want to use video footage, the images inside the footage need to be represented strongly. This calls for color correction in the initial stage. Colors in each frame must match precisely. When frames transition, there should not be fading of basic colors of the images. This would help your creativity to shine forth strongly.
4) Separately Render the Passes
In 3D renders , you can now work separately on attributes such as shadowing, coloring, and highlighting of images. Contemporary 3D software is allowing this capability. The speed of animation can also be controlled. If you want to control your shot smoothly, you should consider rendering the passes one at a time. The rendered passes can then be rebuilt using a compositor. This would save time as you would not need to render all over again.
5) Keep Saving Frequently
The motion graphics package on which you are working can crash midway. This would ruin your entire effort. To avoid such a prospect, keep saving at regular interval with Ctrl+S keyboard shortcut. You can also trigger the Auto Save feature in packages like After Effects. Navigate to Preferences>Auto Save and then set a time that you find suitable.
6) Create Depth of Field Effect
You can create depth of field effect with Z-depth render pass. This pass is an image in greyscale which indicates the 3D scene’s portions that are nearest to the camera. The pass can be combined with Adobe After Effects’ focus effect available through lens blur and other filters. The result would be a depth of field effect which would make the motion graphic more attractive but may increase the rendering time.
7) Color Code the Layers
You can color code various layers for ease of identification. Just click on the desired layer and you can spot the colored square, small in size, sitting beside the layer’s number. Click on it and you would come across a menu that has many color options. Choose the color you prefer. Layer groups that have the same color coding can also be selected.
8) Optimize Smoke Effect
The render timing of 3D characters or scenes gets prolonged due to the presence of fire and smoke. The excess of 3D transparent particles increases the time of mathematical calculation. With the help of compositor, you can pull off the creation of transparent particles in 2D in real time.
Open Photoshop and start by creating a smudge of low opacity. This smudge will act as a particle in the compositor’s system. Go about creating a large number of such transparent particles. Spinning and growing them in size would help in simulating believable smoke effect without causing render time to increase.
9) Don’t Just Rely on One Filter
If you base your effect on just a single filter, the impact may not be telling. With the use of subtle techniques, you can add an innovative and unique look to motion graphics. For example, if you want to showcase brightness, you may apply ‘Glow’ filter. Instead of this, you may use 2 layers that carry the same footage. Blur the layer on top and then make it less opaque.
10) Use a Softened Version
If the 3D renders appear to be harsher or crisper in the composition, you can reduce the intensity by half mixing the render with a toned-down version.
11) Name the Structures
It is important that each thing in the project should have a logical name. Else, when the project would grow in size, you will find it difficult to locate things. All project structures including folders should be named within After Effects. All similar things can be named with an identical prefix or suffix and then you can categorize them in different folders. Folders can be for footages, audio, renders, Illustrator effects etc.
12) Smoothen the Scenes with Vignettes
You can apply the vignette effect to each scene through blurring. Also, the affected portions can be slightly darkened. This leads to smoothening of the scene in a manner that is soft to look at. You can also go about integrating different shots in the sequence.
13) Maintain the Flow
The flow in motion graphics must be retained to ensure continuity in transition. Inserting an effect or shot abruptly can ruin the thematic flow of the project. You must use effects that would seamlessly move the scene ahead steadily.
14) Make Your Render Glow Slightly
The scenes rendered in 3D usually are sharp and looks clean cut. You can neutralize the sharpness to an extent by adding grains. However, there is another subtle way to add the glow to the shot’s brightest sections. The scene gets lit up slightly which also cause softening of the edges.
15) Annotate the Layers
You can add notes to layers. Pressing the * button after clicking on the layer would allow you to add notes to the layer. After pressing the * button, you need to click on the arrow twice which would make a menu to appear. The comments box allows you to add your description and the same would show up on the layer. URLs, frame related ideas, chapters etc. can be added which can prove to be of great help during storyboarding.
16) Use the Puppet Tool
The Puppet Tool is available in Adobe After Effects. You can apply the same on 3D characters. Finer motions such as expressions on face and gestures of hand can be animated in 3D. They can then be rendered as a sequence of tiffs by keeping the background transparent. Movements other than the aforesaid can also be added quickly with the Puppet tool. The same can be aligned with the mouse clicks which would enhance the naturalness of motion.
17) Use Storyboard
In order to keep the project coherent, a storyboard can prove to be of great help. You can visualize the complete project and checks how scenes, as well as shots, complement or blend into each other. Images can be scanned and then an animatic can be made to check out if the shot timings are working as planned.
18) Use the Vanishing Point tool
The Vanishing Point tool is available in Photoshop. It facilitates the creation of basic and simpler 3D sets from images. The sets can then be exported directly into After Effects for addition of newer elements. In order to make the vanishing point sets work perfectly, you may need to adjust the camera position slightly. However, investing some time would lead to the addition of more realism in the 3D scene.
19) Blur out the Background
You can add more punch to the blur effect by making an animated mask combine with it. This is particularly helpful while you work on video footage. The background can be blurred out with the help of mask. This puts the foreground in focus. The mask can be animated over the text. This would give a sweeping feel.
20) Break the Scene into Layers
Using layers for breaking up the scene keeps your project manageable. The layers should be chosen based on the scenes’ distance from the camera. This would help in compositing scenes without making matte related issues more complex. If all the things on the scene are kept within a single project file, the loading time can grow out of proportion. This would compromise productivity significantly. By breaking the scene up into layers, you can plan your project with ease.
21) Use the Preset Layer Function
This function is made available by Maya 3D for achieving ambient occlusion. You have to select Occlusion from the Presets menu by right-clicking the layer. With the help of luminance depth, you can insert an atmospheric perspective within a scene.
22) Convert to Polygons
In order to get the paint effects rendered in ambient occlusion, you have to initially convert them into polygons. Maintain history so that you can undo changes if needed.
23) Create Images with Higher Dynamic Range
If possible, try to have your 3D scene rendered in higher bit depth. This would allow you to work more productively with the compositor. Images created with more dynamic range (HDRI) can be brightened or darkened to a larger extent. The colors can also be modified accordingly. The HDRI would cause the file to bloat but you can afford extra disk space since they would be deleted eventually after completion of the shot.
Motion graphics can be leveraged for making things within an infographic video or explainer video more animated and infectious. They can take away the boredom or extreme sense of seriousness away from important topics which makes audiences attentively learn about the same. Making dull statistics come alive with motion graphics would help you accomplish the intent of project convincingly. Videos shared on social media would draw more likes and shares from viewers.