Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
_gl

Beginning mograph class: What would you focus on?

Recommended Posts

Hey folks,

 

I am teaching a beginning mograph class at the local university in a few weeks and I thought I would throw out for your opinions on what you consider the places to begin. This is part of a graphic design program and not something dedicated to animation or film but, I want to focus more on concept and principles rather than how to use AE. They will be learning After Effects but, on their own through Lynda.com. Right now, my focus is on the 12 principles of animation and how to translate them to what they know about the principles of design. I then will focus on the ideas of timing, editing and using sound. I also will cover compression/formats.

 

Anything to add or question?

 

-gl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

This is part of a graphic design program and not something dedicated to animation or film but, I want to focus more on concept and principles rather than how to use AE. They will be learning After Effects but, on their own through Lynda.com.

 

 

Even if they're supposed to learn it on their own, I'd at least spend a class or two covering the basics of AE's interface, keyframing, comps, etc. My wife's finishing up her design degree right now and her biggest complaint is that everyone focuses on the concepts and principles, and as a result she still doesn't have a good grasp of most of the programs. She finds it extremely frustrating and limiting. Video tutorials are a really, really poor substitute for actually having someone in the classroom demonstrating things. Even if students do learn it on their own, odds are good that they'd benefit a lot from having someone who really knows the program re-demonstrate everything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How many days a week and how many hours for each class? I taught one class per semester for a couple years, but my classes were two days a week two hours per day. I found it really useful, at least in the beginning of the semester, to have a theory/principals day and a work day each week. Towards mid-terms or the end of the semester you will likely have more work days than theory days just due to students' work load, big projects, etc. Not sure if your schedule allows for it, but it worked out pretty well for me.

 

As far as places to begin: since they're learning AE and they're design students I'd start with typography. It's something they should be fairly familiar with subject matter-wise and it's easy for them to work with in Illustrator or AE. I always liked to have my students take an already existing project that they did for a previous class, preferably a poster or something similar, and treat it like a style board. That way they don't have to design anything new right off (which can take new designers quite a while) and it's their work, their ideas, their execution - just reinterpreted. Obviously this will work better for some than others, but it's just a jumping-off point.

 

R

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mr Scott: I hear you. I am thinking to balance it with a split between theory/concept and software understanding. Towards the end of the semester, there will be more work time and I will work with students individually on either area.

 

RVA8: 2 days a week, 2.5 hours/day. That is exactly what I was planning to do. First class is discussion of concepts, examples and then assignments. The second day is to talk about the software aspects of the assignments and just learning the next steps. It will also be lab time. The next week is follow up on assignments.

 

I would like to include type but, not teach typography - not the scope of the class - just how to think about type in motion and communication.

 

What about process? Do we all agree on process starting with sketches > storyboards?

 

Great feedback guys.

 

-gl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting as I am about to do the same myself. The university is looking to expand their programs and eventually build a program motion design. It's very open at this point and I think all the direction I am going to receive is a general goal or area of focus such "broadcast design". I know the students will have some software proficiency, but it's mainly a design school. I will be in charge of creating the project and syllabus outline which right now seems overwhelmingly broad and I ideally want to make it as beneficial as possible.

 

I really like the idea of having students starting out by animating a piece that they have already created as this is often the case in an entry level position or really in a production studio in general. IE, animating an already set design with flare.

 

Other thoughts on projects for them are shape and color animations to re-enforce color theory and the basics of animating in AE/C4D in terms of velocity, easing and curves.

 

Potentially breaking down a broadcast rebrand or two I have worked on in the past with a bit of the theory behind what we did as a way to introduce the elements of a show/channel package. Then having them work to develop lower thirds based off of one of 3-4 "creative briefs" that I develop. This could be done at the individual or group level or even a combo of both. (Maybe something where students develop logo and lower thirds individually then work on bumps and open/close in small groups). I really like that concept as it would be a way to introduce the most basic level of how to work together in a "studio" environment.

 

Outside of that, there is always the ideas of animating a scene to a favorite line of a poem or song. Not in the dynamic type sense but in the artistic or abstract realm. Doing general logo animations or even open projects or a set duration.

 

Any thoughts on this are appreciated and I am definitely willing to share as I develop the curriculum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you're right to focus on concept and principles. But i'd offer the students an AE introduction workshop at the beginning as well. It is much easier to follow a tutorial when you already know the interface and some basic functions.



Since good animation is all about timing, pace and storytelling, i'd start the animation principle part with some simple keyframing exercises like the good old bouncing ball. Make sure your students use different techniques such as stop motion or hand drawn flip books too (especially in the beginning, the use of non-digital techniques can help to focus on the action, not the tool). Also make sure that those simple exercises still tell a little story or express a mood (a realistic bouncing ball is rather boring to watch but what about a bouncing ball with a terrible hangover?).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...