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Illustrators Reveal Technique Tips On How To Make Striking Animated GIFs
By Yoon Sann Wong, 13 Jul 2017
Image via Shutterstock
With GIFs growing increasing popular, it’s no wonder more designers are jumping on this animation bandwagon to develop the fun motion graphics using Illustrator, Photoshop, or After Effects.
Making an animated visual is one thing, creating an eye-catching GIF that is fun, charming, sad, or humorous, is another. To help you with the latter, six illustrators have shared useful techniques via Digital Arts Online.
The advice comes paired with specific examples from each illustrator’s portfolio to offer a more in-depth explanation.
Preview a snippet of their GIF tips below and click here to access all the guidance.
Fausto Montanari (Italy) and Nikolay Ivanov (Bulgaria)
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Image via fm.illustrations
“The basic elements of an eye-catching GIF are easy language and a dynamic motion that fits to the mood of the concept and the message.”
“For example, a good GIF can sometimes be really playful and full of dynamism, or it could have a really slow and smooth movement that describes the feeling behind the moving images.”
“If you want to make a GIF that tells a story, you need to know exactly what you will have to animate when you make the illustration. You need to think of your GIF as of a little movie with a plot.”
“Make a storyboard so you can follow the story easier – or so the animator you work with can see clearly what is happening in the story.”
Rafael Varona (Germany)
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Image via rafa_varona
“It all starts with an idea. In this case, I woke up this one morning and I wanted to animate a moose running through nature. But instead of a moving background, I wanted to have the whole looped GIF to be from a stationary perspective. So some sort of a machine had to be created, that would ‘fake’ the natural world around that moose.”
“While parts of the background were animated with simple motion tweens in After Effects, others were created with good old frame-by-frame drawing.”
“To make your animation look as realistic as possible, pick the best example from nature that you can find – in this case the famous Muybridge Horse – and copy its motion.”
“I always try to add more details in each new frame as possible, which should be pleasing to the viewer as they discover new things within each loop.”
Nancy Liang (Australia)
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Image via under_over_themoon
“It always starts with sketches and planning. I do a draft using quickly drawn thumbnails and jot down notes for animation – I need to know what it roughly looks like and I need to list what needs to be animated and how it will be done.”
“Once that is organized I will start the rendering process. This involves the drawing and cutting of illustration elements that are then scanned and arranged in Photoshop…Once I’m happy with my static image I then move onto the animation process.”
“My animation is heavily controlled. For me, organization is the absolutely key to success – everything must be named accordingly and it is especially important to categorize the animated elements from the still ones.”
“The main challenge is attention to detail, especially while animating. My process is quite labor intensive – it involves moving elements frame-by-frame – so when one frame goes off, the whole thing is off as well. If a client disagrees with a certain movement it sometimes means re-making the whole motion from scratch.”
“To minimize this likelihood, I have to be as specific as possible with myself and client in the planning stage – making sure we both are on the same page. Oh and managing version control, that’s helpful.”
Discover more tips by other illustrators here.
[via Digital Arts Online, images via various sources]
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