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#1 hamax1

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:24 AM

I have been wanting to start a thread about motion graphics in UI for a while now.

Over the past year I have been transitioning from a Motion Graphics Designer to a UI Motion Designer, although a seemingly subtle difference, it has been a cool transition.

I wanted to find out if anyone else has made the change, attempted the dive to UI, made faux UI for fun, or for work, or wants to/ doesn't want to?

I will share my initial thoughts on this transition, and expand based on interest.


For starters, EXPRESSIONS! whooooo-dawgie, have they been helpful. And the colleagues (Marpar, you know whatsup) that have helped make/improve them. I came in with a very basic knowledge of scripting, a nice hefty folder of expressions gathered from previous gigs, and a bookmark to aescripts.com. So when the expressionistic animation ramped up, I felt more intrigue than "oh fuck, no keyframes?"

Design was lost ... but only for a moment. Having concepted, storyboarded and designed previous spots ended up being incredibly useful when Design questions arose. I was most pleased with the knowledge of being able to find my way around an Illustrator document, Photoshop Smart Object Layer, and various popular file extensions (PNG, TARGA, H.264, ProRes, etc.)

The unwritten code of Animation Fellowship (experienced first at the Ottawa Animation Festival 2008) has stretched its long reaching arm all the way out into the technical realm of Motion UI and it, has, saved, the day, again. Working with other animators has been a very cool brotherly-love type experience that I could not have made it without. Anyone who has ever set a keyframe loves to meet others involved in the same fight.

#2 Aaron Scott

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 05:43 PM

I did quite a bit of UI work on an upcoming show -- it was a ton of fun, though I kind of overexerted myself at first. I wrote an entire UI Bible and figured out how every aspect of the interface would work... which was promptly thrown out because "functional UI" tends to be a far cry from "whizz-bang fancy future UI". It still turned out really well (largely because our lead designer is fantastic) and kind of got me thinking about making a generic AE UI with a desktop, windows, dialogues, and a couple apps, and release it for free (or a minimal amount). It drives me nuts how many shows and movies resort to interfaces that don't look functional in the least just because they don't want it to look like a UI that actually exists.

But then I remembered the 100 things I'd like to do more, and how I don't seem to have time to do any of these things outside of work hours :P

#3 beau+++

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:18 PM

I've spent the better part of the last 3 years doing faux UI for film (most notable being Avatar and a certain movie being released around March 23rd whose name cannot be mentioned here). Everything Aaron speaks is truth. At the end of the day the functional stuff rarely gets approved, in favor of the "whizz-bang". I also find that for some reason a lot of clients simply want DOS-like rehashes (lots of terminal windows). This isn't to say it's not fun, but if you value good, functional UI then Film ain't the place to be. Sometimes you get lucky and the team + budget work out in your favor and you can truly do something spectacular, but it's the exception not the rule unfortunately in my experience. After months of design, one big name director who will remain nameless specifically sent me the note "Don't make it usable. It doesn't need to look like it's doing anything". For obvious reasons, this can be frustrating.

I've also thought about making a generic reusable AE template for these things, but ultimately moved on to other things instead. I probably sound jaded here, so I should clarify doing UI is fun as hell... until it comes time for revisions ;)
"Don't be a drone or a robot. Don't treat this like a McJob. Be a personal chef. Be a landscaper, custom tailor, architect. Be a designer, for fuck's sake." - Binky

#4 hamax1

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 07:31 PM

"Don't make it usable. It doesn't need to look like it's doing anything"


ahhh, memorable insight beau+, haha (the whizz-bang looked freaking sweet btw!).

I got into "functional UI" from some very light (in comparison) work in faux UI. Now I work closely with UX and developers to create the Xbox dashboard.

Templating and dynamics are extremely important. Animating systematically as opposed to keyframe to keyframe (most of the time). Exporting After Effects information about the animation is the trickey part ;)

On the topic of popular technique, why the heck are "blinking" UI graphics still so popular, that never happens!? lol

#5 beau+++

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 07:51 PM

why the heck are "blinking" UI graphics still so popular, that never happens!? lol


It goes something like this:

Supervisor/AD: "In this shot we need to make sure the viewer is looking at this part of the screen so the relevant story information comes across loud and clear"
Artist: "No problem!" (lists 30-40 cool super-intricate things that meet that criteria)
Supervisor/AD: "Those all sound awesome! I forgot to mention, this shot needs to be submitted for final in about 15 minutes. Can you make it happen?"
Artist: "...grumble." (pops open Saved Animation Presets panel, Apply "Simple_Blink_22.ffx")
"Don't be a drone or a robot. Don't treat this like a McJob. Be a personal chef. Be a landscaper, custom tailor, architect. Be a designer, for fuck's sake." - Binky

#6 Sao_Bento

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 01:14 AM

I do real user interfaces that people actually use now, but I rarely get to incorporate motion into them. That's something I'm looking forward to.

As the warrior-poet Ice Cube once said "If the day does not require an AK, it is good"

 

#7 Rick-T

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 10:42 AM

I made the transition about 4 years ago... I've recently made the move from an agency to in-house (i'm at intel OTC)

I'd be interested to get an insight into your workflow. I tend to work exclusively in AE to produce little 'prototypes' of each interface element and then pass them over to an engineer who builds them and then we go through the code together and tweak the easing interpolators, delays etc to get as close to the demo as possible.

It works ok but i'd love to be able to export something usable as a starting point directly from AE...

RT

#8 hamax1

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 06:53 PM

It works ok but i'd love to be able to export something usable as a starting point directly from AE...


There are ways of doing this, I'm just not sure if I'm allowed to share exactly how we do it.

But for the most part we are building AE prototypes at first as well. We focus in on a particular "flow" or "experience" most of the time, and end with a much more technical package.

Do you work from design elements from a designer? Like .PSD or .AI files?

We are often restricted to things that can be keyframed with simple Transforms, I'm currently working on finding new ways to interpolate text between weights, without getting into Masks and effects.

#9 emzee

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 10:39 PM

Hey Max,

I am freelancing as a motion designer right now. I have been reading your posts on transitioning from motion graphics to UI design. I have recently started thinking of transitioning myself! Was doing movie trailer graphics for 12+ years and wanted to find a new challenge! UI design sounds really awesome! Sounds like something I would really enjoy! Would like to hear any helpfful advice you may have for someone (like myself) who is just getting started in transitioning into UI from motion work.

Thanks, Emzee



#10 oeuf

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 12:33 AM

emzee-

You resurrected a zombie thread (2 years old).

The only person in this thread that's relatively active on this board is Aaron Scott.

Haven't seen the other guys on here in quite some time.



#11 vozzz

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 02:56 PM

i was considering learning UI too, but then i saw this... http://videohive.net...&term=ui&page=1


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#12 nightbus

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 03:10 PM

i was considering learning UI too, but then i saw this... http://videohive.net...&term=ui&page=1

 

Those are all corny sci-fi things, though, like the stuff Ash Thorp does. I think the folks in this thread are/were talking about REAL UI/UX design. It's something I've thought a bit about getting into as well as application UI can be more quantitatively "good" or "useful" -- straight-up motion graphics sometimes can feel like not much more than flashy trifling...



#13 Aaron Scott

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 07:46 AM

Fun fact: the show I was working on at the time was H+.

 



#14 ChrisC

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 09:32 AM

Looks neat Aaron. Some rather tricky looking tracking shots in there! Nice design work too.



#15 vozzz

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 11:12 AM

Yeah, damn Aaron! that looks damn amazing!

 

can't do that stuff with templates =)


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