Animated Graphics

Concept animations illustrate concepts in the simplest possible way. Begin by developing a storyboard. Select the subject matter that can best illustrate your concept. Consider all the design elements, including value, texture, color, shape, size and composition. Note camera angles and movements.

When choosing visual metaphors, use objects that are culturally neutral and relevant to your audience. A reference to architectural plan, section, and elevation views will not be effective if your target audience includes mechanical engineers and cartographers.

Focus the animation on a few key objects. Use lighting, color and camera position to focus attention. Complex backgrounds and secondary motion detract from the message delivered in the foreground.

Avoid showing people or animals. Humans and animals are extremely difficult to animate well. Their lack of realism will detract from the message you want to deliver. It is nearly impossible to show a human figure without incurring some unintended baggage related to gender, race, or culture.

Keep the resolution low. A resolution of 320 x 240 is typical. Using larger resolutions tends to generate very large files that playback slowly. Save to the AVI format with minimal compression for CD-ROMs. For the internet, use a more compressed format, such as Quicktime MOV with Sorenson compression.

Check List

  • Select subject matter that illustrates the concept best.

  • Consider all the design elements: value, texture, color, shape, size and composition.

  • Choose culturally neutral objects. Avoid showing people or animals.

  • Focus the viewer’s attention with lighting, color and camera position.

  • Use low resolution: 320 x 240. Save to AVI or MOV.

  • Save to AVI or MOV. Use AVIs for CD-ROMs, MOVs for the internet.

Fig. 14. A Concept Animation freeze frame on plot style tables.