It's hard to know how much time it takes to create motion design when you don't know the entire process and the various stages involved.
Of course, this depends on the length and style of the film in question. In the following article, we'll take as our reference a 2D motion design lasting around one minute.
After reading this article, you'll have all the keys you need to understand the entire process of creating an animated film. And let's face it, motion design doesn't just happen in 3 days!
Which software to use for motion design?
Before you can start working on the various stages of production, you first need the right tools. Because no craftsman, no matter how good, can do anything without his tools. A motion designer doesn't need much equipment. A pencil, paper, a computer (and a tablet for some) and professional software.
The mix of traditional and digital tools is not surprising, because, as you'll see later, a motion designer never starts a project by working on his software first.
When we think of creating motion design, we immediately think of rhythmic animation, beautiful illustrations and great music. But to bring all these elements to life, you need material. A lot of it.
What are the production stages for motion design?
First things first: the script. Yes, as in cinema, a motion design film has to tell a story. It's not just objects or characters moving around the screen at random. That's why the first stage, writing, is the most important! It's used to define the message to be conveyed by the motion design: any character dialogues, the various texts to appear, the voice-over of a narrator... In short, an animated film must first and foremost be solid on paper! It takes about a week to write a complete motion design.
Now it's time to bring the scenario to life. The second step is to create the graphic style. Drawings, colors, characters, backgrounds... all the motion design graphics are created! This stage requires inspiration, creative experimentation and reflection. A good week is not too much to achieve a finalized graphic style.
Then, thanks to the scenario and the graphic style, the motion designer can set the scene for his motion design. But don't forget, we're not yet at the animation stage. This third stage is the storyboard. Here, the scenario is broken down into distinct scenes and visualized using the graphic style. In other words, the storyboard brings the motion design story to life. It reflects 80 % the final rendering of the animated film! Once again, it takes several days of thought to ensure that the staging is a success.
Then finally comes the fourth stage: animation. An essentially technical phase in which the storyboard scenes are fully animated. Getting back to the tools, the professional software used for motion design animation is After Effect. Don't hesitate to pull it out over dinner or in conversation with friends! This stage is quite time-consuming, and often takes a week or more to achieve a high-flying final result.
Finally, to give rhythm to all this, we come to the fifth and last stage: sound design. Another professional takes charge of this phase: the sound designer, a profession in its own right. Sound design adds depth to the elements present in the image: sound effects, ambience, voice-overs (in partnership with an actor) and music. It may not seem like it at first, but it's very important! Sound creation adds another dimension to motion design. Do you watch a film in the cinema or on TV without sound? It only takes a few days to finalize this last step!
How long does it take to create a motion design?
You don't need to be good at maths, we're about 4 weeks into the production of a single one-minute motion design in 2D graphics. Like many things, it's quick to look at, but takes a long time to make. It's a bit like cinema after all. A film of around 2h00 often takes at least 6 months to shoot!
You don't realize how much work is involved when you're not in the field in question, and that's only natural. So I hope this article has enlightened and enlivened you while you read it!
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