Learning Animation: Creating The Video “10 Things Women were Once Banned from Doing”



One of the things that most Multimedia Students look forward to is learning Animation. MMS 176, also known as Animation in Multimedia, is part of the 170 series or Production Courses of UPOU. The prerequisite for this course is MMS 174 (Graphics in Multimedia) and prior to that, no other prerequisites are required. But here's a tip:
Take the 170 series in hierarchical sequence, from 171 to 176. There is a reason why the courses were designed that way, and as I have taken them, parts of the activities of the next course requires prior experience with the previous numbered course.

I recently created a video animation for my MMS 176 final project entitled 10 Things Women were Once Banned from Doing. In my previous post, I mentioned that I will write about the process and the tools that I used. So, let me lay them all down for you.


▶ THE TOOLS

Wacom Intuos Art
Adobe Illustrator – used to draw the ten vector images
Adobe After Effects – used to animate the vector images
Powtoon – where I created a video for the text with hand transitions
OBS Studio – used to capture the Powtoon video
Sony Vegas Pro – where I combined and edited them all then added the music


▶ THE PROCESS

As soon as I have chosen my topic and concept, the first thing that I did was create the vector images that I will use. One of the important things to consider in creating visually appealing images is to choose the right color palette. So, I opted to use FLAT COLORS. And another one of my goals is to avoid white backgrounds and not to include too much text, as mentioned on Ted Talks’ video “The beauty of data visualization”.


Since my theme is about women, it is best to look at organizations that promote Women Empowerment and Feminist Groups. It is noticeable that they predominantly use purple, lilac and pink. Being an advocate and supporter of such causes, they were my inspiration on choosing the colors to use. Opting for flat colors, I used the purple and pink hues for my vectors as well as my powtoon template.


One of the first things that I created was a building shaped as a combat helmet with camouflage design, which represents women in the military. But because of the limited options for flat pink, I used the palette generator, paletton.com. I used the flat pink colors as base and got the palette from there. Here’s a screenshot of the result:




Drawing the vector images alone took me a few days to complete, finishing piece by piece and adding details each time. My favorite is the first one, the University. Although "Ivy League", by definition, only consists of the eight American distinguished colleges and universities such as Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth College, Harvard, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale, I preferred to use our very own, University of the Philippines, as the inspiration for my vector.


Choosing this design was also influenced by my favorite local animation movie, Saving Sally, where the school in the movie is based on UP Diliman and several scenes are based on locations in and around the campus. So, I used a photo of Quezon Hall as a guide. I added the roof and the flag on the final vector to make it seem like it’s from the US, while not singularly drawing one of the actual Ivy League universities. And, I also did not include the oblation, for obvious reasons.






After completing all the vectors, I shifted to Adobe After Effects to add the animation on each drawing. I saved them as .mov to maintain the transparency of the background when imported to Sony Vegas Pro. And upon realizing this, I also learned how to remove the black background once the file is imported at Vegas.


To do that, just Right click Properties Media Straight (unmatted).



Although animated text can also be added at Vegas Pro, I opted to use Powtoon for my base template of the video. I love to experiment, and in one instance, I thought of using the stars as background and wondered how to make them blink. With trial and error, it’s easy to accomplish with Powtoon. Below is the screenshot. Notice the seven stars on the timeline. As one star is clicked (highlighted), it appears for only two seconds before the next sets of 4 stars appear.




But, Powtoon has limitations too. It doesn’t have the feature to download your work for free, but you can create a profile to upload and share your work. And since I don’t want to share it yet, because it’s basically empty, I used OBS Studio to have an mp4 version. Then, I combined it with the ten .mov animation and additional .png files in Vagas Pro.


Now that you have a sneak peak on how I created the animation video, you may watch it again, or watch now if you haven't seen it yet.



I find this project very exciting, fulfilling and challenging at the same time. Animation is not easy, but I hope that this guide has been helpful. I know that there may be shorter ways to create the video, and even use fewer programs. You may even use different tools altogether! I am still learning, and I admit that there are so many that I have yet to explore. But in creating animation, it is good to always try to experiment. By trying out various tools and techniques, you will eventually find your niche and may one day lead you to create your own style.


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