I attended a talk at the Story House in Chester at an event called Design Yeah! which is run by Clicky Media in Chester (www.clicky.co.uk). The guest speaker for the event was Gordon Barry, a freelance motion graphics designer from the North West.
Gordon kicked this off talking about what motion graphics are. I personally already had a good grasp of motion graphics, but it was interesting to see that the concept needed some explanation to members of the public, and sometimes clients too. I feel like there needs to be some sort of well engineered 'elevator pitch' to help explain the concept; which I'm sure Gordon does have already worked out, but he had the luxury of more time with us, so he was able to take us deeper into the motion graphics rabbit hole.
Gordon started talking about the first time he got into motion design, and showed us a slide that almost all designers can relate to. It showed a list of files that all had names like:
'newest', 'newest2', 'Pre-comp 1', 'Pre-comp 2' - 'Pre-comp 10'
It's funny when you stop and think about it, but it's also something that isn't really spoken about before you start design, and usually you're just thrown in at the deep-end having to come up with a name on the fly. There's a cool book called 'Know Your Onions' by Drew De Soto that tackles naming conventions and many other things that are design related. But I digress.
Next was Gordon's showreel which can be seen here:
I really enjoyed how there was a variety of looks and feels to the work in his showreel, from flat looking illustrative vector art, to some really complex physics and movements involving dynamic shapes with a variety of textural qualities. It turns out that some of the more complex animations were created with Cinema 4D.
If you like what you see there, you can always follow him on Instagram @gwsbarry and if you really dig what he's doing, reach out to him, he's a nice bloke who's into networking, just tell him I sent you.
Gordon started to explain how great design, just seems to blend into the world around us and is taken for granted. This includes the subtle animated transitions that our phones do when we open or close an app, to the 'spinning wheel of death' when you're waiting for something to connect. All these things had to be considered and designed in order to work so seamlessly, so motion design is all around us even though we don't realise it.
Gordon certainly knows what he is talking about, and took us on a tour of the development of animation over time from shadow puppetry to Pixar and explained various techniques like cell animation, stop motion, and go motion. I had spent the summer before starting my second year at university researching animation, so it was good to see someone else's take on it that was concise enough to fit into a presentation.
Motion design is a huge subject with so many off shoots and avenues you could go down, even something as simple as using After Effects or Cinema 4D splits the subject off in so many different ways, but the main principles remain the same, it's just different approaches to tackling the same issues.
I really liked that Gordon took us through the principles of animation, showed us places that we might be able to learn more, and promoted himself and his work without being self important. He also shared the work of those who inspire him, which I thought was great so I thought I'd share them with you too.
Man Vs Machine: