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By Rob Garrott | Wednesday, April 04, 2012

After Effects and CINEMA 4D: Styling animation to communicate emotion

Animation has a way of connecting with a viewer that is very different than a still image. The power of a still image or illustration lies in its composition and content. Animation on the other hand, adds timing and movement into the mix, and these elements are an important tool you can use to communicate with your audience.

The speed and direction that your graphic elements move in tell your viewer information that adds to the overall content and composition of your piece. If your object moves quickly and comes to a sudden stop, then, that could be combined with a dark, intense composition to communicate a sense of drama and action. Smooth, fluid movements could work well for romance, or even a somber mood. Sharp, punchy moves are great for comedy.

This kind of subtle animation is all about control. Both After Effects and CINEMA 4D have excellent graph editors that will allow you to really express emotion through your animation. If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, check out this week’s Design in Motion tutorial titled Styling animation to communicate emotion (embedded up top), then check out my CINEMA 4D R12 Essential Training course, or After Effects Apprentice 03 by Chris and Trish Meyer. Both courses have chapters that go into detail about controlling your animation with curves.

Interested in more? • The complete Design in Motion weekly series on lynda.com • All video courses on lynda.com • All courses on After Effects and CINEMA 4D on lynda.com • Courses by Rob Garrott on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:After Effects Apprentice 12: Tracking and KeyingAfter Effects CS5.5 New FeaturesAfter Effects CS5 Essential TrainingCINEMA 4D: Rendering Motion Graphics for After Effects

By George Maestri | Friday, February 12, 2010

Meet the Content Manager for 3D, animation, and video: George Maestri

George Maestri, content manager for 3D, animation, and video for lynda.com.

Allow me to introduce myself: My name is George Maestri, and I’m the content manager for 3D, animation, and video for lynda.com. My job is to find great authors in these areas and have them produce and teach courses that our members need.

My background is in animation, and I started my animation career 20 years ago. Back then, learning animation was not an easy task. There were very few books, and only a handful of colleges in the country taught the subject. The technology was primitive, as well. Even the best computers struggled with something as simple as a pencil test, and computers that could do 3D animation cost as much as a house.

Back then, we resorted to pencil, paper, videotape, and film to learn how to animate. I was fortunate to live close to a college which had a good animation program and a giant Oxberry camera stand. While there, I made enough films to get my foot in the door and start my career. Others were not as fortunate, and many had to literally move across the country to learn the craft.

In the intervening years, a technology revolution has made animation much easier, not only in the way it is made, but also the way it is taught. Almost all animation today is created digitally, and just about any modern computer is powerful enough to create high quality animation. The only barrier these days is some talent and the willingness to learn.

This is where technology comes to the rescue again. Instead of having to move across the country to learn animation, the power of the internet allows lynda.com to bring some of the best teachers of animation to you. I’m a total animation geek, and I’m very happy to bring my laser geek focus to bear on creating great animation courses for both 3D and 2D character animation, as well as special effects, motion graphics, and anywhere else animation is used. Look forward to a lot of great new courses in the coming year, and let me know what kinds of courses you’d like to see.

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