CoMotion is an annual motion graphics conference organized by students at the Savannah College of Art and Design. This year’s conference, titled Conductor, explores the theme of transformation from death to rebirth. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the organizers remain dedicated to bringing together the community of motion graphics enthusiasts.
In addition, I undertook various project management duties, including compiling asset lists, delegating tasks, creating production schedules, and cultivating a secure and supportive environment in which team members could perform their best work.
- Lead Animator
- Type Animation
- Animation Direction
- Animation Toolkits
- Project management
The story of Conductor begins with a group of discarded musical instruments that are no longer functional. The conductor, a symbol of leadership and guidance, takes charge and directs the instruments to play a grand symphony. Through this act of transformation, the instruments are given new life and purpose.
Procedural plant growth
The primary challenge we encountered during the project was the need to minimize the amount of cel animation required, particularly for the growing plant elements, due to the substantial time commitment it demanded. Despite the five outstanding cel motion tests produced by my colleague, Daee Kim, we still required additional content not just for the title sequence, but also for the title card animations.
To address this issue, I devised a procedural approach to creating and animating plant shapes using After Effects’ Expressions and Shape Layers. To demonstrate the feasibility of my proposed solution, I presented my team with a proof-of-concept motion test, as well as the plant algorithm I had authored and a simplified tutorial explaining the technique.
Cel motion tests by Daee Kim
// Stem path l = effect("length")("Slider")/2; arr = [[0,0],[0,-l]]; createPath(arr,,,0) // Branch path var ctrl = thisLayer; var seed = ctrl.effect("seed")("Slider"); var stem = ctrl.effect("length")("Slider"); var sym = effect("symmetrical")("Checkbox"); var sides = 2; sym==1? sides=2:sides=1; // data var myIndex = thisProperty.propertyGroup(3).propertyIndex-2; var dir = myIndex%2 // yields 1 - left, 0 - Right var rowIndex = Math.floor(myIndex/sides)+1; // start at row 1 //User Variables var base = effect("base")("Slider"); var spacing = base + effect("spacing")("Slider")*rowIndex; var xRange = effect("xRange")("Point"); var yRange = effect("yRange")("Point"); // Begin expression seedRandom(seed,true); var fork_x =random(xRange,xRange)//rowIndex // rand x gets smaller as rows increase dir==1? fork_x*=-1:fork_x*=1; // switch direction based on index var rand_y =random(yRange,yRange); fork_y = spacing+rand_y; // execute arr = [[0,0],[0,-spacing],[fork_x,-fork_y]]; createPath(arr,,,0)
Tutorial video made
In addition to developing the plant generation rig, I also devised several other setups, including the wave and blobs showcased below, which were intended for utilization in the title sequence and title cards.
To ensure seamless collaboration with the Graphic Design team, who was accountable for the title card animations, I constructed my animation rigs with Master Properties and conducted instructional sessions on their usage. Moreover, each of my After Effects Project (AEP) files came equipped with a comprehensive Read Me document, enabling artists to consult my directions in my absence.
Yu Xin King
Lead Graphic Designer
SCAD Motion Media