When I started this animation course, I knew nothing about animation software like Adobe Aftereffects (Ae) or modern animation and had a little trouble getting up to speed. Illustrations are often imported from Photoshop, in which I need more practice. Several factors have helped me make progress.
After an assignment to illustrate and animate sounds ("Onomatopoeia"), I began to get interested in telling a story and felt a little more comfortable with the software. With more emphasis on "kinetic typography" instead of creating and animating figures, I got some traction and made a 15-second clip about motion typography on my own. It helped that I got the Ae software at home (leased), cut out some of my social life and sleep, and put my little animations on a tablet to study and show others for critiques. I have now checked out some animated TV shows to watch on the treadmill so I can get used to more of this area of study.
Once students like me could stumble through Ae, the animation instructor demonstrated and lectured on the twelve or so principles of animation with examples from the Internet. Then he showed how to use a lot of presets and buttons in Ae, but not everything, of course. Finally, he asked us to create a 4-5 part animation of three of the principles of animation and gave us a file with three sections or "compositions" to get us started. I tried to prove what I could now sort of do with the software, which did not include good design.
The point of that assignment was to prepare us to create a more complex 25-30 second animation of 5-7 compositions based on a poem of our choice, using elements and principles of design and animation. It has to include three kinds of sound: voice, music and effects. So far the only effect I use is a cymbal crescendo at the end of the first composition. After discussion with the client (the instructor), we decided on the poem "Fire and Ice" by Robert Frost.
I originally thought the poem was about the main words in the title, then decided it was really about the end of the world. I changed my focus (font, color, size, transformations) from words in the poem like "fire" and "ice" to "world will end," "perish" and "destruction." It's due Tuesday.
I've probably spent 15-20 hours on this outside of class, and late Saturday night it reached a point where I can now spend time on a typography assignment that has to be printed Monday for critique on Wednesday. Thank goodness the most recent History of Communication Design poster has been turned in and critiqued. I've been very busy this semester with class work.