My first "Motion Graphic" work in HitFilm

MatthiasClaflin Posts: 674 Just Starting Out

I was contracted by a local law firm to create an animated intro for them to attach to videos they make. They are making pretty consistent content these days on FB and wanted to spice things up a bit. So I created this from their logo (an .ai file) using Affinity Photo (for the small bits of drawing) and Hitfilm for the animation.

I would love any constructive criticism.


  • Palacono
    Palacono Posts: 3,425 Enthusiast

    So this guy is a Bouncer, right?  He stands around outside nightclubs telling you that you can't come in because you're wearing trainers and if you want to argue about it, he's the boss, so he'll charge you like a bull and give you an injury? Yeah, I think you nailed it!

  • CleverTagline
    CleverTagline Posts: 3,337 Ambassador

    Design/naming interpretation issues aside (those aren't in your control, anyway), I think this is pretty good for a first attempt. Here are my thoughts:

    • Be careful about moving/doing too many things at once. You currently have the bull entering the circle at the same time the circle is moving to the left of the frame. The eye is naturally drawn left as the circle moves, but doing the reveal of the bull at the same time still introduces some visual clutter to the motion. Either leave the circle in the center as the bull is revealed, or do it after the circle is on the left, but not both at the same time.
    • The text reveals are pretty clean, but most of the K in "Novak" appears static for a frame before it begins to move.
    • The bull's "snort" is almost lost among all the other action. By the time it happens, the primary logo content is visible, and our focus is probably near "The Injury Boss," so that subtle bit of animation on the bull may not be seen by some. If that's an important part of how you're presenting this logo, then I suggest doing the "snort" earlier. If you hold the circle center-frame while the bull appears, the snort can happen then, while our focus is already on it, and then move the circle, etc.
    • Most of the element moves feel linear, and linear action is rarely interesting. Try playing with the various smooth and Manual Bezier keyframe interpolation options to add some ease to the starts and stops of these moves.
    • Consider tweaking the timing of when things reveal, and also how long those reveals take to execute. Right now everything feels like it's almost on a metronome, with a consistent delay and length from piece to piece. The only exception is "The Injury Boss," which feels like it's delayed a bit more than the rest. As with linear motion, even timing is also rarely interesting. Think about the ebb and flow of all of these pieces. Even though you're just moving graphic elements around, you're still telling a story through their motion and timing. Watch other motion graphic examples to see how people sculpt the feeling of a piece by varying timing. So instead of (simple example) move-move-move-move, you break it up like move---movemove-----mooooovveeee----move. Varying the length and timing of item transitions adds contrast, and gives the whole piece more character.
  • MatthiasClaflin
    MatthiasClaflin Posts: 674 Just Starting Out

    So I guess I want to take a minute to shed some light on why I made the decisions that I made.

    First, I hate the way the bull enters the circle and the circle moves to the left all at once, however two things led to me doing it this way. 1) It felt a little awkward when I had it timed differently and the client thought that 6 seconds was already too long (which is what this is currently at). They really wanted something in the realm of 3-4 seconds. Which is when I decided to compress the motion of the bull entering the circle with the movement of the circle. I figured it would get lost, but at least it would save some time. (Not that this is an excuse, just an explanation of my choice here.)

    That said, I totally missed the K in Novak that you mention. I tried using a solid white layer instead of a mask to hide the word "Novak" my reason for this was because then I wouldn't have to key frame a mask as I moved the layer. This is just a sloppy job on my part of actually covering the full "Novak" before it enters. A little embarrassing that I missed that, but that's why I posted it here.

    The bull snort was actually an afterthought that the Client mentioned. As I don't claim to be an animator (nor do I have any interest in being an animator), I would typically just move the elements I'm given around in the frame. This is mostly because I'm too lazy to put in the effort to learn animation (my primary focus is typically live action direction and cinematography). So when I was asked to make the bull snort, I figured I should at least "try" to make it work. That said, what I came up with was kind of crude. When it came to adding it to the animation, I didn't want to draw too much attention to it because I'm a bit ashamed of it... So... Not a good reason, but a reason for why it comes at the end and is a bit overshadowed by the rest of the motion. Is there anything I could do to spice it up? Of course I should move it so it is more obvious, but is there anything I could do to add flare to the animation that may make me feel more confident in it?

    As for the linear movement and timing, this comes entirely because of the subject matter. I recognize that not everyone would take that approach but I intentionally used linear movement and consistent timing (for the most part) because this is for a law firm and I thought it felt more "clean and clinical" which is what I wanted. The man behind the logo is a very technically minded person. Not the charismatic lawyer you see on TV. He is calm and calculated and I wanted the logo to resemble his personality in that way. Maybe not the most interesting decision, but it was intentional for sure.

    I really appreciate the feedback and go back to test some of these ideas! Thanks!

    As for all that, this is my first attempt in HitFilm to recreate similar effects I've done in After Effects and was crazy happy about the workflow and overall software performance, so that's a plus. Definitely feel much more confident in my decision to switch from Adobe to Vegas/HitFilm after this project.

  • CleverTagline
    CleverTagline Posts: 3,337 Ambassador

    Re: the bull/circle timing, maybe there's still room to tweak the timing without adding time overall. Instead of having the vertical line grow, then opening the circle, then adding the bull, maybe skip the vertical line bit and just have the circle expand horizontally from nothing as the first part. Then bring in the bull while it's still there, then move everything to the left. You'd essentially be stealing time from that line growth and moving it to the bull's entrance.

    As crude as the bull's snort is, it works well for the most part. The only hiccup with the animation as it currently stands is that the nose shape moves, but not the nostril itself, but I didn't even catch that until I was looking specifically at the snort just now. As far as punching it up goes, add some movement to the rest of the head, like tilting it up and down slightly. Animation that's too isolated to a small part of a character's body can sometimes feel off. With a real bull, that snort would affect its entire body. Obviously you can't go too big with it in this context, but it could still use something extra to get the rest of the character involved in the moment.

    I can understand your thinking re: going with linear motion and even timing. Even if you don't change the timing, though, I still feel that there's room for even a little ease to the starts/stops of the moving pieces. I don't think that would detract from the overall feeling you're going for. In fact, I think some ease would emphasize the "calm and calculated" feeling well. It doesn't have to be excessively flowy the way that some mograph pieces feel.

    Glad to hear that you're enjoying the world of HitFilm!

  • TPV_Productions
    TPV_Productions Posts: 31 Just Starting Out

    I think its pretty darn good, my constructive criticism or more advice is to take what everyone will say with a grain of salt. Only take the constructive comments that make the most since to you, too your next project. Also, its important to not over analyze your work. I pretty much dislike everything I do within moments of delivery.