One of the disciplines I like most in design is animation. My first job out of college was at a TV station. I designed mostly static images for the newscast, but I had the opportunity to learn 2-D animation and I loved it! Since then, I’ve had a few projects where I’ve been able to make my designs move. I was re-inspired at the latest event I attended to play around with the animation tools I have access to.
At KC DesignCore’s meetup last month, “Put the MOVES on your work”, Kyle Hamrick and Jim Hinds demonstrated how to use Adobe applications to create motion.
Hamrick is a trainer for Adobe Premiere, After Effects and Photoshop. At the event, he showed some examples of motion graphics and walked through how to make them in After Effects (AE). AE is a robust application that can be used in conjunction with other Adobe apps such as Illustrator and Premiere. Although it can create 2D animation, it is most widely used for 3D animation and special effects. I bet you’ve seen it used in feature films, such as in this example:
In all the scenes where you see Robert Downey Jr’s face inside his suit, you are seeing AE animation.
Ok, it’s obvious AE and Premiere were built to create and edit motion graphics and video. But what about the applications that are traditionally used by print designers? I was blown away several years ago when I found out Photoshop can be used not only for creating some really impressive graphics, but also for animation. It has since become one of my favorite Adobe apps to use for animating. I shouldn’t be surprised about Photoshop, but what about InDesign? It is not an ideal tool for putting graphics into motion but for print designers who don’t have access to the full Adobe package or who don’t want to take the time to learn the technical settings and timeline functions, they may choose to try it out. It comes with pre-sets and Hinds says it is similar to Edge Animate but easier. If you know the history of Flash, you probably know Flash was phased out by Adobe and it’s replacement was Edge Animate, an easier to use and more Internet-friendly app.
If you have the Adobe Creative Suite and have an interest in putting the MOVES on your work, see what you can do with the tools you have before spending the money on the higher-priced packages.