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Creative Inspirations: Rick Morris, Motion Graphics Designer
Illustration by John Hersey

Rick’s Personal Project in Progress


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Creative Inspirations: Rick Morris, Motion Graphics Designer

with Rick Morris

Video: Rick’s Personal Project in Progress

(Music playing.) This is just a short ways off from being complete. It's still a work in progress. I think we all know that. Concept wise, I don't think it's been the first time it's ever been approached but it meant a lot to me. Because it breaks down the three components I think that are essential to design, even beyond design. Just life, everything that makes up what I sort of surround myself with and consume. And those three components would be the graphic, the physical, the architectural.

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Creative Inspirations: Rick Morris, Motion Graphics Designer
53m 12s Appropriate for all Jun 27, 2008

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This installment of the Creative Inspirations series takes viewers into the life and home studio of one of the entertainment industry's most sought-after motion graphics designer. Rick Morris is a classically trained illustrator who successfully transitioned into the world of motion graphics. His highly expressive works have appeared as opening titles for films such as Mi Vida Loca, television programs like "Survivor," and commercials for Toyota, Kyocera, and Michelin. He's also designed the menu titles for the DVD of "The Sopranos." This installment of Creative Inspirations shows how Rick evolves his skills and applies them to moving images, how he continually develops his creative perspectives, and how he became a popular teacher at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and Otis College of Design in Los Angeles. To learn more about Rick Morris, visit his website at nobleassassins.com.

Subjects:
Video Motion Graphics Creative Inspirations Documentaries
Author:
Rick Morris

Rick’s Personal Project in Progress

(Music playing.) This is just a short ways off from being complete. It's still a work in progress. I think we all know that. Concept wise, I don't think it's been the first time it's ever been approached but it meant a lot to me. Because it breaks down the three components I think that are essential to design, even beyond design. Just life, everything that makes up what I sort of surround myself with and consume. And those three components would be the graphic, the physical, the architectural.

I think not only do they live independently but they combine so beautifully together. But there is those moments, just like those moments where you might look out of the window and catch something flying by that just makes beautiful sense, that I'll catch a hook or a loop or something that makes me think. That inspires some sort of graphic thinking, you know, maybe just brings a visual to mind. There is always music at the beginning with me, of everything I do, some way, somehow.

Basically, I started putting some shapes together, different combinations of randomness, just to see where that would lead to. And at this point we're already kind of imagining what the physical relationship to these buildings and the potential for that might be. It's about just kind of opening up a vernacular that you can articulate and somehow find a narrative in. Those are three big words right there. I had somebody at my disposal who was a pal. He gave us a little green screen time. And once we had sort of like gone on some location scouting and whatnot, things were all starting to make sense so we kind of knew what direction to take her in.

The last component was just kind of figuring out where and how the graphic pieces were going to fit in. This was one of many tests done in After Effects just to kind of like get a sort of organic algorithm flow. This is where things were laid out in a linear fashion, a little bit more comprehensively, with a little bit more insight, just putting all the focus and attention on the actual elements themselves and it really was an exercise in transitions.

The transitions of the metamorphosis of graphical going into human, the human aspect turning into architectural because they so much share the same properties, as far as I mean, runway models when they strike poses they are so close to architectural wonders, you know, how those things were conceived and this was really a nice opportunity to go and start to like really put the graphic attention on the aspect of the architectural things vice-versa.

Now everything just kind of overlapped, crisscrossed and related to one another. The shape of the buildings once again afforded the opportunity to just get into this geometric kind of choppiness with the graphics. Finding some small slight little detail that would just kind of like be abstract in proportion in relationship to the physical thing. Openness, just opening this up to just negative space again and getting into the beauty of just the basic essential elements I surround myself with, the form, the shape and the color of things that all seem to make sense together.

Basically, diminishing, diminishing, diminishing and sort of ending where we began so we've got one continuous loop. So I've reached this point. Obviously, there is shooting to be done, there is animation to be done. Now I am going to start getting a little bit more systematic about how I find and see my way through this piece. Ultimately, it's going to be a finished piece. It's going to be a short film. To what duration running time I am certain just yet. I am going to let the music kind of dictate that and just, you know, let them move together.

And if it becomes a beautiful loop, maybe an environmental installation. If it becomes a nice narrative piece, who knows? A short I can put out into the world or enter into festivals, so that's always a nice thing to do. And if it's just a mood piece that just kind of inspires people and makes people kind of think and swing with it, I will put it up on the internet and just let it float it around and see where it goes from there. So those are my goals.

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