Why Motion Design?
Whether to educate or to attract (or both), motion design has the ability to dynamically share concepts and ideas in a quick and impressive way. It yields the power to capture your audience’s attention, evoke emotion and leave them with a lasting impression. Strong visuals can have a dramatic impact in both education and marketing, and also help increase audience engagement. Keeping your viewers interested, explaining your message clearly, and encouraging others to spread the word about your products or services is vital in todays increasingly digital marketplace.
It can be a challenge to decide the best way to convey your message or explain what you have to offer. I can help you by creating compelling content that concisely and beautifully communicates what you are all about. Together we will tell your story with a customised video that uses attractive design, storytelling, sound and animation.
Possibilities range from:
- Logo reveals and animation
- Explainer and product videos
- Videos for social media (Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, etc)
- Ad campaigns
- Digital signage
- Music videos
- Prototyping the user interface experience for mobile and desktop apps
- Teasers and promos for web marketing
- GIFs for special events
- Interactive magazines
You are not limited to these though. If your project needs creative video or motion design, I can help you find the right creative solution for your needs. Whether you need an art director, designer, animator, video editor or motion graphics artist, get in touch.
Every project is unique. Different budgets, schedules, concepts and needs all require different creative solutions.
You might need a complete project from concept to delivery (script, design and animation), or you might only need me for part of the process. You might have your script and assets in place, and just need someone to make them move beautifully. Or it could be somewhere in between.
Whatever your needs are, I bring my best at every stage. I listen carefully to your objectives and offer creative ideas to help you fulfil them.
I’m not limited by my tools and will use what works best for your project but generally I work with the Adobe Suite (After Effects, Premiere, Photoshop and Illustrator) and Cinema 4D.
If you are unfamiliar with the process of motion design, below is an example of the typical stages for a complete project. All of these stages can vary in complexity depending on your personal needs. A five-second logo reveal probably isn’t going to need as much time in the research stage as a one-minute explainer video will (and may not even need some of the other stages). I do as much as required to really capture your brand and concept.
This is an example of a longer project (1-2 minute explainer video) and will be adapted according to your specific project’s needs. Click the stages below if you want to skip ahead.
Phase One: Concept and Direction
First we will determine the overall need of the project by discussing it. For example:
- What do you do?
- What is the goal of the video?
- Who is the target audience?
- What is your deadline?
- What is your budget?
- Do you have a script?
This exploration together keeps us on the same page and will allow me to design with your unique needs in mind. It may also help reveal any overlooked aspects of the project. Ultimately it will make sure you get exactly what you need at the end of the project.
It can be useful if you have samples of the kind of style you would like. There are many motion design styles: Kinetic text, 2D, 2.5D, 3D, Infographic animation, Stop-motion, etc. Don’t worry if you are not sure at this stage; I can help you discover the right style for your needs.
I will then take this information and condense it into a creative brief which will make sure we are aligned in our goal. It will include things like the tone, the timeline, and all major aspects of the project. If anything needs changing in the creative brief, now is the time. Animation changes that stay within the agreed scope of the creative brief will avoid further costs, so it is good to be clear on what we are to trying to achieve early on.
Once you are happy and the creative brief is approved, we can move forward. We will also establish a calendar so expectations are set for everybody from the start. This will include major milestones for me to deliver at each of the stages, and also the time when feedback is due from you (so we can progress smoothly).
Communication is key. I will bring my expertise to make the process as hassle free as possible for you, and you should be prepared to offer feedback at the milestones so we don’t delay the production process (and risk increasing the cost). The calendar is also important to help you understand what is happening and when. This will give you peace of mind to focus on other things.
If you need a script and storyboard first, we will establish a calendar for these until they are completed. The complexity of the script and storyboard can considerably affect the animation time (and the cost), so it is beneficial to treat them separately from the animation when creating a calendar (as well as providing a quote).
If you are just looking for a design and animation quote, but are still working on the script yourself (or with someone else), then I would need a description of what is going to happen in at least 10 sentences.
If you already have your script ready to go, brilliant. If not, I can help you develop one. I will brainstorm based off our earlier exploration, the brief and any other knowledge I have about your brand/message. I will also take the time to research the specific topic thoroughly and capture exactly what you need to resonate with your intended audience. I will take into account the desired length of the video and symbols and imagery you would specifically like to use.
Once the script is written, you will receive a two column script document with the script on the left and the visuals (in written form) that will accompany that part of the script.
It is important to get the script exactly as you want it and so you will be able to amend as needed before moving on to the next stage. Enough time will be factored into the schedule to allow for this (based on the complexity of the project).
Once the script is ready and approved, it is time to storyboard those major moments of action. This will allow us to get an idea of how the scenes will move and transition, and give us an idea of where we are going. The storyboard will usually be sketched out by hand or use simple shapes digitally. Style hasn’t been touched yet so don’t worry about the visuals not being as sweet as you had hoped; that will come. For now let’s a get a tight narrative and flow. Everything else will be considerably more powerful by setting a solid foundation.
The storyboard will be presented with the script alongside it in a similar way to the previous stage. Here is an example of a storyboard excerpt:
Similar to the script, it is important you are happy with the narrative before we move on. This will make the rest of the process smoother.
Phase Two: Design Process
Once the script and storyboard have been approved (or you already have these yourself), we can set a calendar for the next stages. This is important for feedback so I can meet your schedule’s needs and so we don’t go over the schedule due to late feedback (which would incur more cost). I will also provide a quote for the next stages (separate from the concept and direction phase).
We will create one or more mood boards (depending on the complexity of the project) to make sure the mood of the style goes in the right direction. This will be a combination of images that help define the style of the project. It is like a collage to help you visualise the design concepts and artistic direction we are going in. It may not be exactly like the final piece (that will come in the next stage) but will give inspiration in the direction we are headed. It could include type, colours, textures or other stylistic elements that will guide the final piece.
Here is an example of two mood boards for the same piece. The top board was chosen for the final frame.
Before I animate, I will create style frames based on the approved moodboard. I will develop one or more moments of the storyboard to look like the final piece (including colour and detail). The exploration and research we did earlier really pays off as we want to make sure the style is right for your brand or message. This is our chance to make sure the visual direction of the final piece is in line with your vision.
We may explore several styles (depending on time, budget, and your desire), and develop the one of your choosing until it comes close to the final look of the video. Here are two sets of style frames for the same brief:
Here are the developed boards based on the first set:
Gathering Assets/Creating Illustrations
The script is tight! The style is looking fabulous! Now we are getting ready to make things move. But first it is important that we gather the things we need for the animation process.
If you do not yet have a voiceover (and need one), I will help you find the right talent for the piece. We will also start to acquire stock assets if needed (e.g. photography, artwork, footage, music, etc) and create our own assets where needed (e.g. illustrations). Some of these will already be ready from the earlier stages but now we will make sure to have everything we need for the complete piece.
Ideally at this stage we will decide on the music to use as well. I can help find some options for you to choose from (based on our earlier exploration). It is possible to use a rough track in the animation stage if you are not yet sure what you want, but the animation will be much tighter if we have a soundtrack to work with. Another option is to hire a sound designer to create music (and even sound effects) for your specific animation once it is complete (this will of course increase the cost of the project). If you prefer this I can also help find the right person for your project.
Once the style frames, voiceover and assets have been approved, we will be ready for the animation phase.
Phase Three: Animation / Compositing
Sometimes it will make sense to make an animatic so we can get the timing right to the audio track. Animatics can vary but generally consists of still images timed to the soundtrack (see example below). We may just take our earlier storyboards and time them out (so we can see if the timing of the voice over is right and if anything needs adjusting). Sometimes I may use more of the finished assets and even do a very rough animation (depending on schedule/budget). The timing and pacing is what we are concentrating on here.
Here is an example of an animatic for my Premium Beat boards:
Now we are ready to animate the piece so it moves in a way that captures the concept and emotion we are aiming for. It might not yet fully look like the style frames but will give you an idea of how everything looks in movement.
At this stage, if we have just been working with a rough voice over, it is important to get the final track so we can time everything perfectly to it.
Once this stage is complete you will get chance to see it and give feedback.
Once the rough animation has been approved, we will go back in and tighten everything up (including changing anything you gave feedback on at the previous stage). Now we will make the movements even more beautiful, the style even more spectacular, and shine everything up that needs shining. Colours will be refined, special effects will be included (if needed), and sound effects will be added (unless you will be hiring a sound designer at the end of the process). Now the piece should look polished, complete and ready for the world to see.
Now we reach our final milestone before delivery. You will now have chance to review the piece. Usually it is fine and ready to go because of the good communication we have had in the previous stages, but occasionally you might spot something that needs changing. This will be the last chance to make changes (within the creative brief set out earlier) so it is important to carefully review the piece (and show to anyone else who might need to approve it).
Once this stage is signed off, the project will be considered complete and any more revisions will likely incur more charges (I understand that sometimes small things may change such as a date of an event which is easy to change, and usually will be happy to make the changes within reason. This will be decided on a case-by-case basis).
Phase Four: Delivery
Once I have your approval, I will deliver the final copy according to your needs. This may be uploaded to your social media channels, or maybe you would like the master copy for future use (usually Dropbox but happy to send it in the way that works for you). You will have set out your deliverable needs earlier on in our discussion (.mov, .mp4, wmv, etc) and I will deliver them exactly as you need them. If you are not sure what you need, I will be happy to advise you.
*Note that although this is the general process, sometimes these stages get merged. Sometimes they can come earlier or later (e.g. sometimes we might not have the sound track until later stages). Sometimes it will make sense to present a mood board along with the script and storyboard. Sometimes it will come after. You may not want to have to approve at every stage and would prefer to choose certain points where you would like to review. I am flexible according to your needs so please do voice your requirements in the exploration stage. These can all be set out early in the creative brief and calendar so we are aligned.*
Just as every project is unique, so are the costs involved. This can vary according to the style and complexity of the project, the length, etc. If you already have a specific idea of what you are looking for (and have worked on similar projects before), feel free to contact me for a quote (I may get back to you with a few questions first if needed). Otherwise it is recommended we have a conversation about your project before we can give a quote. Drop me a line in the contact form at the end of this page.
Some things that affect a project rate:
- Style (2D, 2.5D, 3D, Motion Graphics, Illustration, etc)
- Complexity (number of objects to animate, movement style, characters, etc)
- Video length
- VO, music licensing and sound design costs.
- Need for other freelancers (e.g. Illustrators, or to meet a changed deadline, etc)
- Source files
- Amendments (outside of the scope of the brief)
I will always try to fit your vision within your budget if it is realistic. But if it is not feasible, I will offer you creative solutions to help you with something that may be more manageable.
Generally projects have a cost for the whole project (project rate). Occasionally I use a day rate (such as working for other studios/agencies/etc). Note that for most projects it will be more cost effective for you to have a project rate than a day rate, and will keep the final cost at the quote we agree upon at the start of the project (barring any changes outside of the project scope/schedule changes/etc).
Feel free to ask for more information about any of the above, or drop me a line to so that we can get started on your project. Fill out the form below along with a summary of what you are looking for and I will be in touch.