Jonathan Reyes – ScribbleLive http://www.scribblelive.com ScribbleLive is the leading end-to-end platform for content marketing engagement. Wed, 21 Sep 2016 21:53:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://s3.amazonaws.com/scribblelive-com-prod/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/favicon-150x150.png Jonathan Reyes – ScribbleLive http://www.scribblelive.com 32 32 Don’t Turn Your Video Into a Glorified Slideshow: 3 Rules for Animators http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2013/11/26/dont-turn-your-video-into-a-glorified-slideshow-3-rules-for-animators/ Tue, 26 Nov 2013 19:00:04 +0000 http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2013/11/26/dont-turn-your-video-into-a-glorified-slideshow-3-rules-for-animators/ Businessweek Design Conference Concept Animation from jot Reyes on Vimeo. With the trend towards cleaner, simpler, and more streamlined graphics, the importance of motion in a piece becomes much more pronounced. Before, designers could rely on visual fidelity alone to carry it through. Think of Japanese anime. The scenes are Read more...

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Businessweek Design Conference Concept Animation from jot Reyes on Vimeo. With the trend towards cleaner, simpler, and more streamlined graphics, the importance of motion in a piece becomes much more pronounced. Before, designers could rely on visual fidelity alone to carry it through. Think of Japanese anime. The scenes are beautifully drawn and rendered, but there is hardly any movement. It works because of the artwork (and all the crazy stuff happening in the plot), but when the graphics become more simple, something else has to take over.

1. Follow the Laws of Physics

If I had to give any advice to anyone on how to make motion graphics, it would be to go outside and watch how the world moves. Everything has a a flow, a rhythm, a heartbeat. Motion graphics should be a choreography of design elements and that movement is best received when it mimics the real world. Observe how objects in real life interact with each other. Take note of the acceleration and deceleration objects and animals make during their daily routine. Count the bounces your chocolate chip cookie makes when it unexpectedly falls from your grasp and crashes to the ground while trying to write a blog post (5 second rule!). Physics! Believe it or not, it’s more than a concept used to torture high school freshmen. It’s an introduction into how the world moves and works. F=MA. V=D/T. Kinematic equations. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. GRAVITY! Am I giving you PTSD yet? The blueprint for impressive motion in animation was taught to you since you were born (and shoved down your throats in High School). From your faltering first steps, you learned all too well the significance of gravity. And later in life, walking into a ridiculously spotless glass door revealed the magic of Newton’s First Law of motion (An object in motion, in this case me, tends to stay in motion unless an outside force, here the glass door, smacks you in the face making you fall over. You don’t realize how fast you’re actually walking until you’re suddenly stopped by plate glass). These principles serve as the backbone for eye pleasing motion graphics. Take a look at this clip of the Visually logo animated two different ways; one embracing natural physics based motion, including gravity, acceleration/deceleration, bounces and overshoots, and another with all that stripped away. Notice how the second version feels a bit jarring and not as pleasing.

2. Don’t be Afraid of Unnatural Selection

Not all movement is intended to be realistic and natural, but it’s important to know what is, so when you do decide to go against the grain you know why and how to do it. Cartoons tend to exaggerate motion, particularly playing with acceleration. For example, Family Guy often shortens the time it takes a character to fall or crash, exaggerating gravity. This isn’t necessarily going against natural movement, but rather exploiting your familiarity of it to elicit a response when natural movement is modified. Horror movies tend to do this with their ghosts or monsters, eliciting an emotion from their unnatural movements (uneasiness, fear, wetting your pants, etc.) Even the most alien concepts are grounded in the realities of what we know.

3. Don’t Go Crazy With the Camera

Playing with the camera in a scene is a place where I see a lot of funny business going on. A camera should be treated like any other real world object. Sure, you could do things with a virtual camera that you couldn’t with a real one. But try and limit those things to accessibility, such as placing a camera where it wouldn’t normally fit — like inside the human bloodstream — instead of unnatural movement. Use the camera like you would in real life. It could have precision movement as if on a dolly, crane, or steady cam, or could be chaotic, as if handheld, or some combination of the above. Unless you are purposefully trying to to unsettle the viewer, stick to what works. Causes.com from jot Reyes on Vimeo. Great motion animation is what separates a motion graphic from a glorified slideshow. You can easily learn the technicality of production through tutorials (believe me, if I could do it, anybody can), but what really makes motion graphics great is MOTION. When you know WHY you want something to move, it’s easy to learn HOW. Master that principle and you’ll already have a leg up.

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I Suck at Drawing: Skipping Storyboards in Motion Graphic Design http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2012/09/26/i-suck-at-drawing-skipping-the-storyboarding-process-in-animation-design/ Wed, 26 Sep 2012 17:00:52 +0000 http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2012/09/26/i-suck-at-drawing-skipping-the-storyboarding-process-in-animation-design/ Jonathan Reyes is a motion graphic designer whose work on The Economy of Coca-Cola earned him a nomination for a 2012 Emmy in the News & Documentary category. Here’s a bit about his design process: As a designer, I have always thought that there was something broken about my process. Read more...

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Jonathan Reyes is a motion graphic designer whose work on The Economy of Coca-Cola earned him a nomination for a 2012 Emmy in the News & Documentary category. Here’s a bit about his design process: As a designer, I have always thought that there was something broken about my process. That somehow, throughout all the years I’ve learned to move a mouse, I have been designing “wrong.” While I can point to many aspects of my process that could use a bit of retooling, the most egregious example in my mind has been my complete and utter disregard for the venerable storyboard. In a perfect world, whenever I’m given a long form animated infographic assignment, I would have a few days to storyboard the concept, coordinate with my art director, get some constructive back and forth with my producers, then have a week or two to execute the concept. I’d be able to take my time, live in the details, make sure every pixel and every sound hits where we envisioned it. The end result would be an exact reproduction of the visual concept forged from our collective creative minds, every beat anticipated, executed, and expected. Data and design, perfectly choreographed. Perfection. The Economy of Caterpillar Of course, I just ate chicken nuggets and ramen for dinner instead of the dry-aged filet I had storyboarded in my head, so I obviously don’t live in a perfect world. No, what usually happens is a whirlwind of emails, IMs, phones lifted then slammed into cradles, half eaten sandwiches and gulps of caffeine, all leading to a script that’s plopped on my desk with a note that simply reads “5 days.” On the outside, I’m calm and collected, taking the script from the producer while nodding my head, silently reassuring them that we’ll get it done. On the inside I’m thinking OHMYGODHOLYCRAP NO WAY THEY WANT THIS IN FIVE DAYS THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE DONT THEY KNOW WHAT RENDER TIMES ARE I SHOULDVE CALLED IN SICK TODAY I QUIT. This inner struggle continues for a good five to 10 minutes. Then, I take a deep breath, and get to work. Depending on who you are, five days to plan, design, and execute a 90-second animation can either seem like a lifetime, or a blink of an eye. Unfortunately, I find myself in the latter group. However, having done my fair share of these animations in a broadcast environment, whose very nature demands these short turnaround times, I’ve learned to adapt. I was never very strong at storyboarding. I always likened it to showing my work in algebra, or doing proofs in geometry. Sure, it’s great to see the logical progression of one’s thinking to arrive at a particular conclusion, to prove that there’s some sort of legitimacy to the outcome. But most times, the teacher just wanted to make sure you weren’t cheating, or putting down random numbers with an inordinate amount of luck. No, Mrs. Gorence, I wasn’t copying off of Evan Chalupski’s paper. I actually figured out x=4 in my head. It was a 3 step equation! The Economy of Disney But here’s the thing. There’s a reason why some students think multiple choice tests are easier (they aren’t). Sometimes, students put down those random numbers and end up with an A. Sometimes, embracing that randomness and dumb luck works out, and that’s no more true than in how I design. (Just to be clear, I do not condone cheating, or copying. Stay in school). While I believe storyboarding can play an important role in establishing the overall structure of a piece, and I truly admire those who can do it successfully, the work I’m most satisfied with usually comes when I break out of the mold I’ve laid out for myself. I’ll usually read through a script 20 or 30 times straight, picturing how the animation will play out. Each additional pass fills in more blanks, chisels down more ideas, colors in more lines. Eventually, I’ll have the whole animation playing inside my head. The Economy of Coca-Cola Why do I keep this all in my noggin instead of drawing it out? For starters, I’m an incredibly horrendous drawer. Terrible. Seriously, the only doodles I’ve ever drawn that could even remotely be mistaken for some form of art came with the assistance of a Spirograph (For those born after 1990: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirograph) But the main reason I initially keep it in my head is because, for me, I feel like it’s more fluid. Every time I recollect an idea, it’s slightly different than when I thought it up. Usually it’s better. If there’s an idea I’m really confident about, or one that I believe is finally developed, I’ll pick up a pencil and draw out a storyboard frame, or at least, I’ll try to. Unfortunately, I’m rarely able to accurately project what’s in my head onto the screen. It always falls short. Whether I mess up the basic shapes, motion trails, texturing or lighting, it never looks as good as I had envisioned it. This is why sometimes while I’m executing, I have to go in a different direction and create on the fly. The animation usually starts to create itself from there and I just go with the flow. It becomes about embracing the mistakes, the randomness, and the chaos and learning to recognize which mistakes are worth pursuing and which are, well, mistakes. Having a good art director really helps here. Or a girlfriend who’s not afraid to speak her mind. The Euro in the Crosshairs Of course, there are some caveats. We all know storyboards are meant to be approved. They are a blueprint for clients, a promise, a good faith estimate that you know what you’re doing and that you have a plan. There’s a certain amount of trust that’s required for this method and it’s not always available. But, if you’re as lucky as I am to have a team that trusts each other (or doesn’t have enough time before a piece airs to fight you), it’s one of the more rewarding ways to work.

The Economy of Coca-Cola from jot Reyes on Vimeo.

  Jonathan Reyes is a NYC-based motion graphic designer and animator. When not working his 9to5 at Bloomberg Television, he is often seen eating a hamburger with a glass of Bulleit on the rocks. Follow him on Twitter.

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