Storytelling in Motion Design: with Ampersands | Renée Stevens | Skillshare

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Storytelling in Motion Design: with Ampersands

teacher avatar Renée Stevens, motion and interactive designer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (43m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. the beginning: telling stories

    • 3. the project: Opposing Ampersands

    • 4. don't go shopping without a list

    • 5. creating your ampersand

    • 6. the conflict: motion in After Effects

    • 7. customizing your pace and flow

    • 8. type and image

    • 9. the end: adding sound and final touches

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About This Class


If you have ever put a logo or type into motion, then you know the hardest part is deciding how and where to make things move with purpose. In this class we will look at how you can use your knowledge on storytelling to influence your motion and design. To do this we will be working on a project using two opposing words and animating an ampersand (&) to reveal the narrative and conflict of your story.

We will be using markers and paper, Illustrator (optional), and After Effects. You will be able to apply the techniques learned in this class on your next motion project to improve your process and to engage your audience in your work. If you love design, ampersands, things that move, or telling stories, this class is for you.

Meet Your Teacher

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Renée Stevens

motion and interactive designer


Ren?e Stevens is an award-winning motion and interactive graphic designer, photographer, multimedia producer and educator. Stevens' main passion is great visual storytelling and creating an experience for the user. She splits her time between designing, being an entrepreneur, and teaching the future generation of designers. She has been teaching and running a freelance business in Motion and Interaction design since 2009. She is an Assistant Professor of Design at Syracuse University in Upstate New York. She was selected as a 2017 Educator to watch by GDUSA.

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1. Introduction: interactive design, and I'm gonna be teaching you about storytelling. Emotion is, what better way to do that as humans, we're hardwired to be storytellers have been telling stories our entire lives, and you could probably think of your favorite one. Having a story or a narrative with underlying themes with opposition in your piece is going to make it memorable. It's going to have your audience automatically be engaged with what you're producing, and it's going to make a piece that not only moves has purpose, it gives you the why behind the motion, it actually makes it so much easier for you is the motion designer, and it makes it a better experience for your audience. 2. the beginning: telling stories: Let's assume you've been asked to put something into motion, right? And in this case, I'm gonna say a logo. And the next step is trying to figure out what do you dio So there's couple options that people usually gravitate towards, right? You have the traditional just fade in and you see that a lot. And you know that works, you know, something wasn't there. And now it iss and it, you know, it appeared and it was gradual, so yeah, yes, it it has a function. But what function is at half what it actually add to our experience. Then there's the other one. We see where and has his blur. And, you know, photographers love this. You know anything where you're taking something in and out of focus, You know, it's a very metaphorical right, So you can kind of see the narrative in there a little bit, but it doesn't always answer the question. And then there is the traditional scale, right? Like, started really small and have it come in really large or the opposite of that which is start really large and bring it smaller. Have it like fly by the camera and these are the ones that you know people think of usually first, when they think of, I'm going to make it move. And my hope is that through this class that you'll see that there are more options and that instead of just picking something that you're actually thinking about, what is it going to add to the story? And that's called the narrative, And it's almost like giving you the answers right? And so instead of just saying, I'm just gonna make this fade in and if I asked someone like Okay, why is it fading in? You should have a reason. And the reason is it makes sense for the story. That's what would happen in sequence. It would make sense because we know something about how this character reacts. We know that they are, you know, they have a goal in the This is how they're going to accomplish it, right? So instead of just making these guesses, you're actually using your storyline that you've created in your mind to help you figure out the motion. I'm presuming that all of you have at least seen some type of story structure. We have been telling stories our entire lives. It's part of our culture. It's part of our society, so it only makes sense to apply it to design. So we started off with beginning right. This is kind of where everything gets introduced. Everything's new. You want to grab our attention. But you don't want to, like, confuse us completely, right? It's the introduction. The middle is usually where you kind of have this, like upwards, right? You kind of trying to grab our attention, keep us going, and then bring us to this point of no return, right, and that's where your conflict is. There's a some inciting incident that happens that's going to spiral us down through to the end, even if you're only looking at 10 seconds of motion. You really want to think about where the beginning, the middle and the end happened, and the most important part of that is identifying where the conflict or the struggle is going to be introduced. I have a few pieces of inspiration here for you. In this example, we don't necessarily have a lot of motion happening, but what we do have is a story, and I show this example specifically because I think it shows story in a restraining way, right? Like you could go over the top and you could have all these effects applied and you couldn't do all these things. But do you need them, right? Can the message still hold with just a simple motion of a drop shadow? And what that drop shadow signifies is the passing of time and that connects to America's Diner is always open. And that's the message. That's the story. That's the take away. And that's all we need to know. This next piece I want to show you is actually put out by Apple, who is known for good design. But the reason I want to show you this as inspiration is one that I find it inspiring in my own work and when sometimes when I feel like I'm overworking an idea, I kind of come back to this and I watch it. It takes something so simple, which is just a circle, and it gives it a personality and it gives it a character, and it makes it communicate a message to us. I think that's what makes this so exciting 3. the project: Opposing Ampersands: think about the three little pigs, right? You have three pigs building houses. While they may be innovative, it's not really a story until the wolf shows up. That's your conflict. So we're gonna be looking at a simple ampersand and two opposing words. And those two opposing words are going to be your two characters. The one thing they have in common is this ampersand. So we're gonna figure out a way to make your ampersand move. That tells a narrative, has a story, has a conflict, has a beginning, middle and end, and the end. It's going to be a more successful motion piece as result. The idea and the concept kind of came from inspiration that I've seen through some different design pieces. But this is one of them. It's a coffee and cigarettes. It's a movie poster. What I love about this is that it's designing with restraint, right? You could do a lot of crazy things here, and you could make it, you know, really over the top. But they didn't and yet it's still successful or even maybe possibly more successful because it's designed with such restraint. Another piece that obviously you couldn't not talk about just because of its prominence is this is by Herbal Ball in from 1966 and it's this the beautiful ampersand. And this idea of type image relationship right in the type of the ampersand becomes an image. And it's just like this flawless thought out concept, right? And we have the oh, and then we have the ampersand, which represents, you know, the mom, the mother and the womb. And then the word child inside that wound is just They're just perfect, right? And it's just thought out balance. And there's a narrative there, right? And that's really important. All right, so to get started with your project, we're gonna break it down to three steps. The 1st 1 is to choose to opposing words. This could be any word you want. I honestly think you can find inspiration anywhere. I actually find a lot of inspiration for this, just, you know, reading Children's books. There's a lot of opposite books out there. It could be any two words, as long as they're opposites. So the first ones, of course, came to mind hot and cold for me, fast and slow could be really fun in motion pepper insult and you could just see where they could go from there, right? So just kind of brainstorm thinking about what kind of opposing words you might want to start with, since it's kind of hard to start with a blank page. I just wanted to give you a couple of ways that I like to bring storm. So there's this book called Ah, the Do it Yourself lobotomy. I have read this book. I don't even know how many years ago, and I still use some of the techniques from it today, and one of them is called 100 mile per hour thinking. And it's just like what it sounds you know really quickly. You just think about as many ideas as you can so you can set a timer, and I would say, like 30 seconds is probably enough for this project, but even 60 seconds would allow you to really explore some possibilities, and what you want to do is just want to write down every word that comes to mind. You know, if you want to kind of give yourself a theme, that might be good, just kind of narrow your focus. But honestly, just putting downwards. So what I did Waas just wrote down a couple here and I'm just going to use three as an example. The idea here is just idea on paper, no judgment whatsoever. Then after you're done with that, you're going to do it's called 100 and 80 degree thinking, right? So you're thinking opposites, right? And so whatever the opposite is, you're gonna create the word right next to it. So the opposite of create I thought maybe would be destroyed. The opposite of water would be nice, and the opposite of small could be large and instantly. You have some opposites that you could work with and thinking about where you could really build a story around these opposite works. Step two is that you're going to just look at a bunch of ampersand sounds, Raph, I know, but I would honestly just go and look at a bunch of different typefaces and look at all the different ampersand. I honestly loved looking at packaging and labels and even like some hand lettering samples just because Amber sands of this beautiful character that you can really push and kind of play around with and really like transform. But yet we still understand it as an amber. This ampersand is a little bit of a stretch. In terms of understanding, it is an ampersand. But what I do like about it is does have a narrative. So obviously we just have these hints of an arrow. And then we have these two initials. You can kind of tell that there's Ah couple involved here. Good narrative, maybe a little bit too far, pushing the ampersand shape. I really I I include this one just to kind of open your mind, thinking about obviously the positive and negative shapes, right? Just you know, what we see in the negative in the reverse of a shape is just as powerful as you know the foreground. So just thinking about what's happening there and how that could also impact your design. When I look at this, I see the Berries and I see the leaves, but that's it. So what's the actual story here? There's not. And my suggestion to you would be, if you are using now downs as your two opposite words, is to really try to push beyond the literal representation of them because you're not gonna find that narrative as you would with something a little bit less literal. Another example of that would be here, which I think uses more shapes, and it's a little bit more illustrative. But yet you can still kind of see the weaving of the narrative as a possibility just because it's not so literal as the one that we saw prior to that, you know, here I could see the beginning. Um ah, huge transformation, Big split happening in the middle of this. So maybe that the way that the motion comes in the top is completely different in the way it comes in on the bottom. And that's the conflict. You could use a really simple ampersand and just give little hints of representing something. And I just love this one because it's not going so far to become illustrative. But yet it's telling us a little bit more than just Here's an ampersand, right? We know that there's a duck and there is a limit of a story there, but it's not giving us everything right. Really be looking for Amber stands that say what you're trying to say. Thinking about those two words is your characters. And, you know, with all these gaps in this ampersand, it really just allows for some really strong division. If you can't find the ampersand that you're looking for, you can draw your own, you can sketch it or you could use a combination of different ampersand and kind of make it your own. And that's what I'm gonna do. I'm just gonna take my sketch and bring it to life in Illustrator before I start animating . 4. don't go shopping without a list: This is the part of my process where I think don't go shopping without a list. And for those of you who know what I'm talking about, hopefully it's when you go to the grocery store, right, and you see all these wonderful things and you buy. You have ah, cart full of food and you get home and you realize you don't actually have anything to make a meal. And that's something that happens all the time to me in after effects. Everything looks like exciting and like what? Like I'm gonna try this. So I'm gonna try this because, you know, that's kind of fun. A problem with that is it doesn't fit your story taking even just a few minutes to plan out what's going to happen in your story structure. On paper, it's going to force you to kind of think through the whole process before you even start. And for me, I actually like to work backwards. Sometimes I like to figure out how it's gonna end before I figure out how it's gonna begin . And so that's where story boarding becomes essential for me and my process, because I really need to know where I'm headed to figure out how I'm getting there. Okay, so here's my story. In the beginning, we're going to start off slow. We're just going to show the very first little curve here. It's gonna be your introduction. And then as soon as the conflict comes in, we're gonna hit this point where it's gonna be a pivot. The motion is going to change, right? We're gonna have a pivot point. We gotta switch direction. We're gonna also change speed. And then I just want to kind of go fast, almost like a roller coaster ride going down, revealing the bottom part of this ampersand and then kind of doing this little loop to bring it through the end. And I really want that to be a fluid thing, almost like a drop off. And then I would like the words beginning and end to come in. Now that's gonna be a whole process in itself, thinking how that was gonna be revealed based off of what we just we just talked about. So I think beginning is gonna come in just like the beginning part. It's gonna be a little bit more fluids going to kind of connect to that and in the end is gonna be a little bit more abrupt. And I think it's gonna be a little harsher on and quicker than the word beginning. Yeah, and if you spend the time doing it just in quick marker sketches, you could save so much time when you go into after effects. The idea here is when you sit down at your computer, you should be able to open issue able to sit down at your computer. You should be able to sit down in a computer and know exactly what you're about to do because you've planned it out so well in your story. There's obviously room for Hey, you know, new idea came in or whatever. Absolutely. But you better off starting off with a plan versus just hoping something magically comes together in the end. And this, actually this extra step is really going to ensure that you do have a story structure and that you do have this narrative and you're thinking about the conflict point. Don't go shopping without a list 5. creating your ampersand: So what I like to do first is get everything on the page. The worst thing to me, the designer is having a blank page. So the first thing I do is just put stuff on there and ah, here. I want to have all my assets. So what I did is I scanned in my sketch off my ampersand, and then I put the words that I'm gonna be working with. But I also like to surround myself a little bit with some inspiration. So what I did is if you zoom out, I can't like Phil around my art boards with stuff that I'm working on. So here I put some ampersand that I really like their design. I kind of like the simplicity of this. So it's just kind of my reminder, you know, keep things simple. You know, this is really elegant, but I love just the simplicity of this, which is kind of something I'm aiming for and just kind of giving me different shapes to look at while I'm finalizing this. And then over here, I just put some other images, some that I have shown you from before. Um, and really here is just a spot where I want toe kind of look at how things interactive one another. So I included this image here because it's not just about the ampersand, right? The final lock up is gonna have to have this text with it. So now becomes this type image relationship. And I really just thought it was nice how this was incorporating the ampersand into that text. Now, obviously, that's not gonna work so well, because I have some challenging here with beginning and end. Beginning has a lot more letters than end. Um, but here's just some inspiration. Um, I'm some lack ups and just kind of reminding myself to keep it simple, not to overwork it and really focusing on this story and then stylization, you know, kind of thinking about I really like how this sort of surrounded at the end, and it's like a monoline. Just kind has that nice look. So this is the sketch that I was working on. I really like the shape here, but I might simplify it a little bit now that I'm on a digital space. And so it's personal preference completely. But I love just working illustrator and my suggestion for you is well, you're working on something that's going into after effects is to really be smart in terms of your layering right off the bat. So I'm just gonna make everything onto its own layer because it's going to be so much easier as I transition. So I'm gonna lock down my layer here because I don't want to choose that and really quickly . I'm just gonna go through and I'm going to trace this with the pen tool. You can use the pen tool. There's nothing you can draw now. I'm no one's perfect, right? So there's no way. I mean, I could go in that kids from the time and I could clean that up really quickly. Um, but I purposely want to show you my process. Right? So here I obviously know this has imperfections. So my one of my favorite tools, um, it's under the shape or tool, and it's called the Smooth Tool, and I can really, simply just kind of come in and smooth some of these lines here, especially some of these harsher ones. And then, of course, you want to customize. So if there's any spot, that's just not working for you. Um, you know, really playing with that. And then if there's something that you, you know, maybe you didn't like about your sketch, Obviously this is the time to change it. And that's why I like to have that inspiration around me. So I can really kind of play with it and look at it here. Something I want to do here is I want to customize this. I really like that rounded edge. Someone's gonna come in and around my caps off, and I'm also going to ran off my corners here. And then that might change things a little bit. So I just want to make sure that I like how everything is looking. Would you get to a place where you kind of happy with it? I would suggest starting to add that type in and seeing how you're actually going to have this locked up. So on my layers here I have beginning and end. And I was gonna put these on their own layer real quick. And I really want to have beginning on its own layer and end on its own layer just for simplicity in after effects. Now, I was gonna paste into place. Okay, So I think, you know, just kind of playing around with this something to think about is obviously balance and relationships. So these remember are two different characters, and this ampersand is what they have in common for this story. So for me, I kind of wants more balance, and I feel like ended a little bit stronger, so I'm just gonna make it a little bit bigger, kind of play with that. And then beginning is really super long, which is gonna make it a little challenging to be balanced us. That's gonna be something I'm gonna have to play around with. So I have one option here, and I'm just gonna, um, happy by holding down shift an option. My Mac. And I'm just gonna try something else. So this this works, But I think I really want make sure people understand the and it's it's separating these two beginning and and And so we wanna have that. - So think of the in the end. I think I really like this one better. It just has a better lock up to it. So I think I'm gonna move forward with this one 6. the conflict: motion in After Effects: All right. So we are ready to go into after effects and start to give some life to our project here. So, uh, in after effects, I'm just gonna go ahead and import my file from illustrator. And if you're If you decided not to work in Illustrator, then you would just go ahead and start a new composition. But because I started in Illustrator, I'm going to go in and make sure that you're important. Import kind is composition. And I'm gonna keep the document size the same just because I worked already on a document size, um, which I will show you here. And you just want to make sure that your composition settings are going to be working together. So I'm working out in 1920 by 10 80 IES my frame, and that's a standard high definition size. And so that's kind of what I like to keep working at, um, and just making sure it's consistent between my illustrator file and my aftereffects file. That way, everything is consistent, and I don't have to worry about scaling things or anything like that as I transition between these two programs. So that's what I'm looking for and I'm in hit, okay? And then automatically Because I chose composition. I could just double click on here and I'll see all my layers from illustrator. So this is my preferred workflow Because I love illustrator. I've used it for so many years before even used after effects and so prefer me. That's how I like to work. So the first thing is, I don't see my text or anything. And the reason why is the composition that was created by default has a background color of black And I was designing with a background color of white. So I want to make sure that I choose white, uh, and hit OK, and you can obviously choose whatever color you want. And now I can see my text. I right now have all of these is illustrator files, and what I like to do is whenever I have something where I know I want to go in and edit, it is I'm gonna actually take it from just an illustrator file to create a shape from vector layer. So what I do is I take a vector layer from Illustrator and I converted to a shape in after effects and it is going to turn off the shape, but it makes a duplicate copy. As you may or may not know, having a shape layer in illustrator allows you a lot of options because you get this action here, which is the ad dropped down and you get all these different things that you can do pretty easily because it's a shape layer. Versus if I were just working within my illustrator layer. I don't have that. So by converting it to a shape layer, I have a lot more options here. I love the trim pass operator and its ability to work within the shape layers. However, if you are working with text, you're not gonna have that option here unless you do convert it to a shape layer. As I mentioned before, I liked work backwards, so I like to know exactly what I'm trying to accomplish before I even started an illustrator. So I knew that I wanted to have this ampersand as a solid stroke so that I could use this trim past operator. So it's really thinking smart about your whole idea in story, but also knowing where you're headed so you can prepare yourself to make this part in after effects as efficient as possible. So because of that, I'm just going to actually animate backwards. So I would actually like it about I don't know, about some about 78 seconds in, Um, here. I would like to have it end. So what I'm gonna do is choose my end and that end. I want 100%. Then I'm gonna come back to zero, and I'm gonna make this zero and let's see if that worked for me. Perfect. And that's exactly what I want to see. I have my own ampersand drawing on, but what is not exciting about this is it's very simple, plain, and it's consistent, right? So there is nothing exciting happening other than the fact that it's being traced on. There's no narrative right. We have motion but doesn't really have a purpose. And so that's where we're going to go in and start customizing now. A couple of things. If that was going the wrong way, and I didn't like the way it was ordered, you can go under your path options and you can switch it. So if I wanted it to be written on the other way. I could quickly just click on that little button, and it would animate the opposite direction for me. But it did a great job the first time. So I'm gonna keep it like that. I like simple. So I want only see what I need. So I'm just gonna clean this up here. I don't want my ampersand layer in there anymore. And, um, I'm not looking at my beginning and end right now, so I'll just hide those. And I'm really just gonna focus on my ampersand here. And I'm just gonna hit you. Ah, on my keyboard. And when I do that, it's going on. Lee, bring up what? I have key frames so far, and I really like that because it just simplifies everything. I can see what I need to work on. Okay? 7. customizing your pace and flow: So what I want to do now is I want to go in and customized. I want to take control of the speed in the time my favorite way to customize this, which is using the graph editor. I will personally tell you that I resisted using the graph editor for years because it was complex and I didn't take the time to figure out how to use it. But honestly, if you're in after effects and you're taking this class and you're interested if you don't know the graph editor, I would say definitely spend the time learning the graph editor because just as important as it is to use the pen tool to draw the graph editor is as important in after effects to know how to control your motion and speed. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna sucked on my key frames. I'm gonna open up the graph editor and I can see all my four key frames here. So the way I like to get started, if I know I'm gonna take control, is I like to select them all and then apply the easiest property, which you can also find down here in Europe panel. So now that I have these, I'm gonna zoom in here. Love it. Now that I have these busy a handles, I have a lot more control for speed. And what I'm looking for here is any place that has a steeper change here is going to show me that it's faster. So any place that's flat is going to be slow. So right here, this is just gonna be slow. And any place that has more of, ah, angle or steepness to it, it's gonna be faster. So the steeper you see, the faster the flatter, the slower. And once you kind of figure that out, the graph editor is actually quite easy because it's actually a visual representation off speed. And that, to me, is ah, power tool that people don't use enough. And that's really where you can add this personality that we need to add for our story. So I have to remember what it is that I'm trying to do. So instead of just playing around with this, I have to come in with purpose. So I know right here is my conflict point. So I kind of want to have this kind of, ah, calmer feeling here going into where I get my conflict students, my conflict hits. I really want more dramatic change. So having this easing property actually is working pretty nicely for me at this point. It kind of gradually comes into that. But I also have to think about gravity, right, So there's a curve, and as it curves up and then comes down, it is going to pick up speed a little bit. So instead of keeping that flat plane using it into that key frame, I'm gonna pull this handle down just a little bit to see what happens when it picks up some speed. And to me, that makes a little more sense, like we're going a loop de loop, and, uh, it makes a little more sense to have it pick up a little bit of a speed going into that conflict point and I again this a lot of this becomes personal preference. But it also takes the guesswork away with it when you are adding it to your narrative. So now that I hit my conflict point, this is where I want speed to increase the best way you can increase speed between this motion is by changing how much space you have between your key frames. So if I want this to pick up speed, then I would need to bring these key frames closer together. If I want the first part to take more time, I would need to have more space in between these key Frings. So let's watch that it takes its time and then it's gonna pick up speed. Not as much speed, obviously as we want yet, But we're gonna go in and customize that. Let's look at what we got. All right, so we have some nice hesitations. We have some nice variation. I think overall, it's a little bit too slow. So what I love about the graph editor One of my favorite things. One of my favorite tools about the graph editor is this thing down here called Show transform box when multiple keys air selected and that's selected on. So what happens if I select all of my key frames? I actually get a transformed box just like I would in illustrator, and if I want to shorten up how long this takes right now, it's about four seconds. 19 frames. If I want to decrease the amount of time it takes to speed this up. I can just click on this and it keeps the, uh, maybe I want to make it exactly four seconds. It keeps the relationship between all of these key frames the same. It's just short ends. How much how wide it is, which means how long it's going to take for those actions to take place. So that's one of my favorite tools about the graph editor. Sometimes I go in the graph editor just to change that. Um, it's just a really nice technique to do that. So let's see what that looks like. Okay, Cool. The only place I'm not really loving it is right here. I feel like this is the end, like we're going to this really big, exciting part. So I think it should be faster. And maybe what we could do is use our transform options and move these down a little bit, really. Take the make the beginning. Take longer. See you again. Yeah. Okay, so it's a little bit faster. There's a little catch happening, so we'll just take some adjusting of that. Have gone to this to the point where I'm happy with it, and I think it's time to keep pushing forward 8. type and image: we're going to add in our motion for text as well. And then I'm going to start off with beginning. And what I want to do is create a track, man. So the way track mats work is that you need to have a new shape layer. And I'm just going to make a rectangle the same wits a little bit wider, a little bit taller than the word itself. And I'm just gonna put it above it for now. And I have to make sure that there is a Phil but no stroke, okay? And you want to make sure you see the word track matte here. And if you don't down at the bottom of your frame here, you just want to make sure you expand. Ah, what your viewing options are. And there is my track. Matte. I was one. Make sure that that is a visible Ah, And the way this has to work is that the shape has to be directly above the word and just to make it simple, I'm gonna put in beginning Matt. And now I know that that's what that ISS and I'm gonna go in, and I'm just going to do a quick hit pee on my keyboard to pull my position. And I'm just going to do a quick position, key frame change. So this is where I'm gonna have it start. And by the time it's over is the end of the beginning. So right when that hits right there. And so I'm gonna hit a position K frame here and at my key frame back at the beginning, move forward to my other key frame and then here I really only need to move in the one direction. I don't need to use X and y. And so because I like to go and customize everything with the graph editor, it actually makes it a lot easier if I right, click on position. And I separate my dimensions. Because if I look at this, I don't I only need to move in the Y position, right? I only want to move down. I don't have to move anywhere in the X, so it doesn't really makes sense to have the X even there. Um and then I'm just simplifying my life a little bit, so I'm gonna go in and on the why. I just want to make sure goes over and covers over the whole word beginning, all right? And it doesn't look like anything right now because the track matte is not enabled. But if I go to the beginning layer and under the track matte, I'm gonna click on it. And I want to choose Alfa Matt beginning that. And as soon as I do that, you'll see that the box goes away, that the black box goes what you can see through it. Um, what happens is it's a mat. So wherever the box is, it's going to reveal whatever is on the layer below it that I told was the track matte for So as I go as I play it forward, we the word beginning becomes revealed at the same time as our ampersand is coming in. And so I'm timing those together purposefully, and I can even go in and take control of the graph editor now that I have my coordinates and I can go into the graph editor and if I Eazy e's owes, I can, you know, just do that if I wanted. But I could also look at the shape that I have for my ampersand and you can kind of see that I have it kind of going straight up a little bit down on, then back up. So if I really wanted to have this really strong connection between the two, I could and so I would just take this up and decide how fast I wanted that back down and back up. So maybe just playing with that I don't The beginning to be too dramatic. I just wanted to have a nice connection to the story. So let's move on to the end and for the end word here, I'm gonna do the exact same thing I did the last time. So I'm going to go ahead and make a new shape layer, and I'm going to the exact same thing. But this time I want the box to start below because that's where the ampersand motion is going to send me. I'd like to have the flow of the motion influence the way that other things are revealed. Kind of has a stronger connection to one another, and so I'm gonna put the box below it and have it revealed up as a result. So when the exact same thing shape layer, and then I'm just going to go in and open my position. I'm going to separate my dimensions by right clicking on position, and I don't need my accent is gonna look at my wife and what I have to do is move forward in time to figure out where I want that revealed. So as it comes up here, I feel like that motion right there is what I want to trigger this reveal. So I'm gonna hit a key frame here and then, of course, can't see it cause I have my box there. But as the, uh, animation ends, we want the position to go and cover it. So now that I can see that, I'll see that I have to speed that up. So now I'm gonna actually make this attract Matt, go to my end layer and turn on shape layer one, which I should probably rename. Come here and I'm going to choose Alfa, Matt and men. And then I go in and customized to make it just have that extra personal touch that feels a little bit more realistic. So for me here, I feel like we really wanted to speed up con amore was slam. The best part about this is there's no wrong answer, right? You're the storyteller. You get to decide the story and how it actually looks. But I'm feeling like this is working enough to kind of keep going. Ah, here. - So I feel like they're just should be a little more uncertainty in the beginning. Ah, there's this this little pause right here and I just kind of feel like I should play with that more so I'm just kind of bringing in an extra key frame to tighten up. That relationship like that should be here. So what I love again and by this graph editor is that I can just go in and customer. All right, so let's see what we got. All right. So I think it's enough to show you kind of my concept in the way I would work this project and kind of thinking through how I work in after effects, getting through everything, getting everything on their key framing at all, and then going in and really taking control of my timing with a graph editor. So I hope that part is really clear to kind of seeing a little bit about how I would approach this problem and how you can really use your graph editor to add the personalities to your characters that you would expect to have in a story and really implementing that with everything you do in after. 9. the end: adding sound and final touches: the last thing I wanted to do was just add a little bit of sound effects, just really to push the idea of story I personally love sounds snap online, but that requires a subscription. So if you use a lot of sound effects in your pieces, you know, you might want to look into that. Or you could look for some free sound effects that you could add. I thought Here is appropriate to have a little bit of, ah, roller coaster feel like amusement park kind of thing, thinking about how I was inspired by the motion that goes into this piece and then I just wanted to layer it. So sometimes I just you know, going with one sound I think is nice is sexually from affair that I found, Um, but then using some other sounds just kind of layer it, adding some texture on. So what I did is I found this one sound, and I really wanted to just push it right when we have that transition happening right in that conflict comes in. So this is just like a deeper sound that I thought would help add a little bit more conflict in there and just a little bit more texture to our sound design. So I have three different sounds here. Um, I have this 1st 1 which is kind of just getting us started in the beginning, kind of setting the tone. And then we have the fair kind of going through out, and then I wanted to make sure that it got a little bit louder as we went to this next section. So it is timing that appropriately and then just adding this one extra sound for some texture just to really bring it home. So here's what the final piece looks like. I hope you I look forward to seeing all your wonderful work whether you use this piece for yourself for fun, or you are able to apply this idea to another project that you do. I would love to see anything that you create in the Projects Page. And I really look forward to seeing that if you run into any issues or you have any questions along the way, please feel free to send those. Please feel free to post those at any time, and I'll try to get back to as soon as I can for that feel free to post questions, comments, anything else that you found inspiration and, ah, if nothing else, your favorite ampersand so that I could see those as you're working along. You did it. You told the story in motion. And I hope that you see the value in adding that extra layer in your process to get you to the final piece, which my hope would be, make everything stronger and will make your motion pieces be something that people remember for months to come.