MW-Comm Blog

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Module Seven

Animated Storytelling Chapter Summary

The following is a summary of chapter nine of Liz Blazer’s book, Animated Storytelling:

Show and Tell

Package Your Project

To package your project so it can be seen, you need to create the following:

  • Title logo and still. Design a legible logo for your project and grab a complimentary still from your film that exemplifies your story.
  • Write two or three sentences that describe your film. Make sure it grabs the eye because it will likely be used on websites or other publications.
  • Director bio. Write a bio beginning with how you want to be known (e.g., animator) and support it with accomplishments.
  • Story of the film. Write and memorize the story of your film. Be sure to include why you wanted to make the film and why the story needed to be told.

Creating Your Network

  • Join online communities (e.g., Vimeo groups, Behance, AWN)
  • Participate and be professional (blog, share, connect)
  • Don’t be shy at industry events—be yourself.

Share Your Project

Regardless of to whom you send your project, be professional and follow submission guidelines. Be sure to proofread your submissions.


Blazer, L. (2015). Show and tell. Animated storytelling: Simple steps for creating animation & motion graphics (1st ed., pp. 141-146) Peachpit Press.

Research to Inform

  1. Monsters Inc (2001) intro. I love the combination of 2D animation and the use of 3D space and the text…it’s just beautifully done.


  1. A cool break down of After Effects text presets.


  1. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) intro. I like the film Noir satire vibe of this intro sequence. The animation, text effects, and transitions are great.


  1. I wanted to explore Kinetic Typography for this week but ran out of time. This is a nice tutorial for simple revolving text that I’m planning on experimenting with in the future.

Create: Exploring After Effects’ 3D Capabilities

 Coming into this final module, I knew only one thing for certain: I wanted to create a 3D version of my MW logo, which I could add to my brand assets and portfolio. The goal, of course, is to showcase what I’ve learned the past couple of months, so I wanted to create everything I could from scratch (e.g., backgrounds and graphics).

 I decided to create two new logo animations, a general intro, a 3D intro, and a credit sequence. I compiled the small sequences into the video below.

The blue transition wash effect was created in After Effects by applying ‘Fractal Noise’ to a shape layer and creating a couple of keyframes adjusting the brightness levels.

The vibrating/pulsing logo animation was created using ‘Wiggle Transform’ and changing the position and scale. Next, ‘Time Displacement’ is added to create the vibrating effect using a horizontal gradient layer as the source. Next, I took a duplicated logo layer and again applied ‘Time Displacement’ using a vertical gradient layer as the source. Finally, the ‘Venetian Blinds’ transition effect is applied to both logo layers to reveal and hide the logo.

I enjoyed 3D text effects, so I wanted to explore After Effects 3D capabilities. I created the 3D intro clip and my 3D logo using the Cinema 4D renderer. It is still relatively limited compared to a 3D animation application like 3ds Max, which I used in the past while studying digital design. As you can see in my work for this module, After Effects does allow for some animated text and basic shapes.

The background for my 3D intro animation and logo was created in Photoshop. The background for my credit animation was created using the ‘CC HexTile’ effect.

I decided to take the 3D logo from the compilation above and refine it a little to create a more polished 3D logo animation to use in my branding and website.

Goodbye Animation

Reflecting on the past couple of months, I’m surprised how much I’ve learned in a short period. I was able to shake off the rust on my After Effects and Premiere Pro abilities and learned new techniques, which I hope to use in my future work. The simple goodbye message is a 3D version of my Marky Witt logo, and the background was created using Illustrator—maybe not the most flattering look for me—I guess orange is not my color.