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Creating a style guide

From: After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics

Video: Creating a style guide

Creating a style guide can really be a job in and of itself. For larger network logos and other trademarks, you can find style guides that are often large books or three-ring binders containing every possible instance of how you can and can't use their stuff. For a show package like we just created, you want to create a simple one-page digital file designed to be delivered with the toolkit itself. Now if you're not sure what to include, think about the purpose of the style guide. The style guide's purpose is to give a visual reference for any designer that's going to be working with the toolkit.

Creating a style guide

Creating a style guide can really be a job in and of itself. For larger network logos and other trademarks, you can find style guides that are often large books or three-ring binders containing every possible instance of how you can and can't use their stuff. For a show package like we just created, you want to create a simple one-page digital file designed to be delivered with the toolkit itself. Now if you're not sure what to include, think about the purpose of the style guide. The style guide's purpose is to give a visual reference for any designer that's going to be working with the toolkit.

So you should be rendering at least still frames of your graphics. You should also include other pertinent information like fonts and colors and third-party filters and effects, and different things like that. But again, the style guide's main point is to just give you a visual reference of everything that's used within the style of the overarching toolkit. Let's get started by actually creating a visual reference for our Lower_3rd graphic. If you don't already have it open, open the Lower_3rd comp and navigate to the timeline.

Down here you'll notice we have this set up already as a template for our toolkit, but what you want to do for a style guide is give real-world examples. So let's go ahead and change the type to add a name. Let's double-click the type layer and go ahead and name Robertson. Let's do the same thing for the title. CEO in charge. I am sure that's an official title, but I think you get what I am going for.

Now for a graphic like this with a lower 3rd, it is really important to put it like I said in real-world context. So I am just going to import some video footage we can drop into the background. If we go to our Assets folder, I am sure we can find some videos and here I am just going to drop this Falls video in here, and just drag that all the way to the bottom there. It's important to show this example because you can see little things like the drop shadow that's actually helping to pop off the page.

So, let's render this frame out. Go to Composition > Save Frame As, and choose File. Make sure to change your Render Settings from Current Settings to Best, and you can output the file to the Style- Guide folder which is in Chapter 13. So let's go ahead and save that and render. Perfect! If we navigate to that Style-Guide folder, you'll notice that I did render each of the bumpers as well as the Title_Open itself.

Just like before with the storyboard, I created the style guide within InDesign, but really you can create a style guide within any application that allows you to import graphics and add type. So let me go ahead and switch over to InDesign here. As you can see, we've got a good start going. All we need to do is add the graphic into the lower 3rd here. So select the Lower 3rd box. I am going to go to File and just place our graphic. So there we go. Lower 3rd, and it's too large so I need to grab my Direct Selection tool and just right-click in the window here, and under Fitting, I will Fit Content to Frame.

Okay, let's look at some of the other things in this window and just so I can see things a little bit better, I am going to go up under View here and change the Screen mode to Preview, just so we can see this board without all the lines. You noticed I have a place for the Company Name and then a title of what this actually is. So this is the style guide for revealing the artist. Now that I am here, there is an area for Colors. So if the overarching show has a specific color palette, this is where you'd input that information.

Now below, there is an area for Fonts Used as well any 3rd Party Effects Required. Sometimes you just can't get around it. You have to use a 3rd Party Effect. So, if it's required, list it here. That way the designer knows before they ever open up the project that they may need to purchase a 3rd Party Effect to actually render out this example. Underneath each still, you can see I've got an area for the Fonts Used, the Duration of the Animation, and other distinct features. Other distinct features could be, for example, the Color of the Type or how large the Outer Glow needs to be.

You get the general idea. You want to add as much detail as possible, so when the other artist is opening up the composition, they have, again, visual representation of what everything is supposed to look like. So I am going to leave you with one more thought. If you don't have time or the budget to create a simple guide like this with visual examples, at least make sure to include a simple text or rich text document that relays the same important information. From fonts to point sizes to color values, it all can be very helpful.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics
After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics

60 video lessons · 23047 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
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  1. 3m 37s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 4s
    3. Defining motion graphics
      1m 32s
  2. 11m 11s
    1. Workflow for creating motion graphics
      5m 7s
    2. Organizing projects for motion graphics
      4m 25s
    3. Defining a motion graphics "package"
      1m 39s
  3. 12m 58s
    1. Collecting visual inspiration
      2m 14s
    2. Listening to imagine
      3m 20s
    3. Creating elements for inspiration
      7m 24s
  4. 33m 4s
    1. Essential theories of typography
      6m 34s
    2. Understanding shortcuts for setting type in AE
      7m 27s
    3. Converting type from Photoshop
      5m 51s
    4. Importing type from illustrator
      9m 44s
    5. Creating shapes from text
      3m 28s
  5. 36m 30s
    1. Understanding the role of timing in motion graphics
      8m 1s
    2. Creating and using markers
      7m 58s
    3. Creating animation with markers
      5m 16s
    4. Using audio to create animated graphics
      5m 47s
    5. Editing techniques for graphics and video
      9m 28s
  6. 49m 27s
    1. Understanding different kinds of type in After Effects
      15m 53s
    2. Using animators with type
      7m 59s
    3. Using type presets
      7m 35s
    4. Creating custom type presets
      4m 35s
    5. Animating paragraph type
      13m 25s
  7. 45m 51s
    1. Exploring the use of color in motion graphics
      10m 40s
    2. Creating and using color palettes
      13m 45s
    3. Exploring color correction tools in AE
      6m 46s
    4. Advanced correction with Color Finesse
      8m 30s
    5. Creating custom color presets
      6m 10s
  8. 59m 6s
    1. Exploring textures in motion graphics
      8m 30s
    2. Building an animated background texture
      16m 48s
    3. Creating textures for type
      10m 19s
    4. Animating seamless textures
      15m 1s
    5. Creating custom vignettes
      8m 28s
  9. 38m 25s
    1. Understanding lighting in After Effects
      12m 57s
    2. Intro to lighting techniques
      5m 17s
    3. Using material settings to enhance lighting
      7m 36s
    4. Adding polish to a light setup
      12m 35s
  10. 50m 32s
    1. Animating swoops and swooshes
      12m 37s
    2. Creating repeating light trails with the Vegas effect
      6m 28s
    3. Repeating patterns with shape layers
      8m 11s
    4. Exploring graphic transitions
      10m 37s
    5. Exploring video transitions
      5m 16s
    6. Adding dynamic elements to a video transition
      7m 23s
  11. 22m 23s
    1. Working in 3D
      8m 36s
    2. Rigging cameras for animation
      8m 45s
    3. Working with depth of field
      5m 2s
  12. 50m 54s
    1. Creating storyboards in After Effects
      10m 20s
    2. Creating an animatic
      18m 14s
    3. Polishing the animation and timing
      8m 45s
    4. Applying the final effects
      13m 35s
  13. 47m 53s
    1. Preparing a map for animation
      7m 59s
    2. Animating and styling a map
      8m 24s
    3. Designing a lower-third graphic
      8m 22s
    4. Adding animation to the lower-third graphic
      9m 10s
    5. Creating bumper animations
      13m 58s
  14. 14m 17s
    1. Defining the toolkit
      2m 2s
    2. Preparing templates
      7m 12s
    3. Creating a style guide
      5m 3s
  15. 1m 3s
    1. Next Steps
      1m 3s

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