Visual Motion: Mrs Eaves
In my head, I imagined something soft, light and with a solid progressional crescendo. Instruments to highlight would definitely involve piano keys and light “ding” sounds.
I went to Bromeliad Music Library and found some 1-minute songs that really appealed to me:
I selected Lights for the climactic progressions and the softness at the end.
Overall my animation is divided into four main parts:
- Introduction (0–20 seconds): Allusion to Sarah Eaves, common terms and the “forgotten” aspect of her character
- Progressional buildup (20–30 seconds): Shift to renewed terms: familiar, friendly, elegant etc.
- Dramatic climax (30–50 seconds): theme of revival and reincarnation through type: font analysis. Introduction to ligatures as a form of additional connection
- Reveal + ending (50–60 seconds): Mrs Eaves font reveal, tagline, credits
Script: My script is pretty scatterbrained in my mind, so what I tried to do what put down the terms and adjectives I wanted to convey in my animation, and structured my sentences around that. That way, I wouldn’t have too much too read in the video, and can focus more on the motion
A lady known as: mistress, housekeeper, wife, woman, forgotten
Centuries later, typefaces asked for something elegant, familiar, stylized
for headers and modified for short body text
A reincarnation based on Baskerville
that pairs letters together
Mrs Eaves reveal
_____(insert ending tagline here. A type love story maybe?)
I then created some basic thumbnails to map out both composition and timing.
Beginning Concept: Initially I had a demo beginning that was very “staircase” based.
Overall, I felt that it was a tad boring. While it was effective, I think I could have a stronger start to something that was going to ramp up in energy later on. After some pondering, I decided to create a composition implementing more of the “drop” sounds in the audio to raindrops or tea-spills.
I put all my thumbnails together into a basic compilation on iMovie to help me figure out the timing, storyline, pacing and compositions.
Feedback from Yoshi:
- Script feels too separated between parts 1 and 2, how to make the bridge between woman and type more cohesive?
- Use less styles, it can be distracting
- Decrease font size for the header/body text section
- For part 3, the violins are a good hint of what transitions to use. Think about easy-in, swoop, and fast-paced transitions
- Use the green color more
Feedback from Vicki:
- Brighten up the colors a bit, use more of the green rather than the muted grey-pink.
- Plan out the compositions, have “Mrs Eaves” sit higher
- Prefers “labeled as:” over “a lady known as:” since it rolls off the tongue better
- Regarding the script comment Yoshi mentioned, think about the leading headers for each section: labeled, inspired, reincarnated, etc.
After this, I switched up my color palette a little and also rewrote my script to make it more cohesive. I removed the major personification of “typefaces demanded” in the second section.
Themes: love and reincarnation, but don’t make it all about John Baskerville.
BEGINNING: Colors are muted, more white and green background usage
- Focuses on the history, regards the person of Sarah Eaves rather than the font
- Animation should ideally be simple, with blurred “splashes” of blown up characters. This section is the slowest part of the entire animation
- Usage of ease-in, opacity, bleed and blur transitions and effects
SECOND PART: Colors have less green background, more white and pink
- Focuses on the reincarnation aspect, the qualities Mrs Eaves generates (the transitional blur between person and font)
- Animation is still slightly simple, but more complex for the qualities of emphasis (elegant, familiar, stylized, etc.) More movement will transition well into the third, climactic seen
- Usage of jump-cuts, typewriter effects, and quick-transitions; less opacity blurs and obvious ease-ins
THIRD PART: Colors have the most pink here! Highest energy!
- Focuses on the type analysis, regards the typeface Mrs Eaves and not the person
- Animation should be fastest and most complex! Rely on the line graphics from the previous section to transition into the rest of the parts
- Usage of trim paths, fast ease-ins, masks, swoops, fast lines, etc.
ENDING: Colors transition between the high energy pink to the calm white, slow down the music and heart rate.
- Animation should be clean and simple. Have a couple jump cuts, but make sure everything is on just one or two lines. There’s not a lot of time left
- Usage of opacity, typewriter effects, ease-ins
12/5/21: Starting After Effects
Using my iMovie mockup, I began properly animating via After Affects with a combination of Figma, After Effects fonts and Adobe Illustrator. I also created a basic grid for compositional purposes.
In general, my sections will be portioned in four pre-comps relating to each designated section.
Scene 1: Introduction
I desperately yearned for this watercolor-like bleed to appear from the blown-up characters. After watching a couple YouTube tutorials, a combination of blur-maps, masking, and Camera Lens blur effects produced the bleeds I wanted.
Because there were minimal words for this section, I had to think about the way I should show them:
“The Purpose of Quotes”: A conversation with a Senior
___: What do you want the words mistress and housekeeper and stuff to convey? They’re already in bold italics instead of the Mrs Eaves Roman font.
Me: I think when it’s mistress, it’s just a label. But when you do mistress, it’s still something that’s up for interpretation. Like, “oh she’s a mistress,” it’s got the impact but it doesn’t feel very believable
Me: But when you make the quotes hand gesture, suddenly it’s *air quotes* “mistress” (derogatory)
___: Ah basically “mistress” vs mistress v mistress vs “mistress” vs “mistress”
Me: Yeah yeah. That mockery and degradation, but also the necessity for a serious title
___: Okay, so if you put them in quotes then it’s also as if it’s really being called by others. Like other people are directly saying it
Me: Ahhh right right
Feedback from Andrew:
- The blur is really good, but having it be revealed with the text at the same time lowers the “oomph” factor it creates. To get the full effect, maybe try staggering the reveal of the text so people read it first, and then have the character blur
- Fix the colon issue, there’s an extra space between “others” and “:”
Scene 2: The Transition
One of the more easygoing sections, a lot of it was mostly me thinking about how to convey the adjectives and match it to the music. I also had to be smart about my compositions, as the ending portion of this section needed to seamlessly carry over into the third part of this project.
Scene 3: The Analysis
I ended up creating the meat of this scene last. This scene is the most technically difficult to execute, since I have a lot of elements in my head that I need to produce seamlessly and with strong enough transitions that it correlates with the intensity of the music.
I struggled to think of something that would be both visually stimulating, high energy, and appropriate for a font analysis, but after talking to Caroline we concluded something involving a “swoosh”-like line/ribbon that continuously moves throughout the screen could be appropriate. It would work well with the connecting aspects of the ligatures, and having multiple lines derived from the “modified for body text” portion of Scene 2 would allow a proper transition into the font analysis.
I started with one of my main transitions: the kinetic line. I hoped that something with perspective with give it some more energy and movement, and correlate well with the fluidity of the ligature portion of my animation.
This line then cuts to the ligature analysis, where it follows the curvatures and connections of the ligatures.
The reliance of a single line as a transitional anchor:
Feedback from Vicki:
- The stroke, combined with the size of the ligatures is much too loud. See how you can make it softer through opacity or size
- Shift the “cky” ligature to match the x-height of your text
Scene 4: The Font Reveal
The way I see animations, I usually come up with the beginning and end after hearing the music, and fill in the middle sections later on. From the initial stages, I wanted the large reveal of the font name, the heart gimmick, and the ligature pop-ups to “overload” the screen before the simplicity of the final scene.
Someone commented that they didn’t notice the “ct” ligature turning into a heart that well, so I put a fill layer on the inside. To also push the indication of a heart, my ending tagline became “from lover to letter.”
- Modified the ending transition and end credits
- Shifted the “it” ligature composition upwards
- Shifted the “familiar” composition upwards
- Modified the trim paths for the moving lines to make it smoother
- Edited the blur bleed portion for the beginning ampersand
- Color correction — it’s a little washed out once it exports :((
I really love animation, so this was the project I was most looking forward to! Someone said that I took this project in a slight differently direction than my peers, and I definitely feel that I put a lot of thought into the concept progression, storyline and transitions. At the same time, there was still more that could have been done, so I may make those edits in my free time.
When planning animations, a lot of the ideas remain stewed in my head for a very long time, so I have a hard time explaining them to people until I actually put it down on paper (or in this case, software) and execute it. In addition to the many After Effects skills and shortcuts I learned from this project, I think that my animation workflow and process improved as well.
Overall, the C-mini pushed me outside of my comfort zone for many prompts, and while I doubted myself a lot more, I think I grew in breath and depth. Many micro-analyses and considerations throughout this class has trained my eye for the visual aesthetics, and I’ll be continuously trying to better myself in these projects in the future.