Creating a number counter in After Effects just got a lot easier

The first version of the Numero script was designed to take a lot of the legwork out of creating a sliding number counter in After Effects: you could select the number of columns you needed, hit go, and the script would take care of all the boring duplication and layout tasks needed to create the counter.

The benefits of having a freelance contract in place

* Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer and this post is not legal advice. This post is advisory, please do your homework and consult an actual lawyer before making legal decisions. *

I’ve made a new addition to the Freelance checklist, an item which should have been on the list from the start really:

Have both parties signed the contract?

Comparing your work to others

On the last day of my week long takeover of the Motion Hatch podcast Instagram account, I had an idea to post my latest motion design reel alongside the first ever reel/promo I did… all the way back from 2010!

For those of you that weren’t following here they are:

My 2018 motion design reel:

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Guest appearance on the motion hatch podcast

A couple of weeks ago, Hayley Akins from the motion hatch podcast got in touch to see if I’d be a guest on the show and I just had to jump at the opportunity.

For those of you who haven’t heard it before, the motion hatch podcast is a great resource for freelance motion designers, although, I'd recommend everyone giving it a listen - regardless of your profession.

Animating paragraph text in After Effects

Throughout my motion design work I’ve animated a fair few paragraphs for explainer and social media videos - much like the example you see here for trivago:

motion design for trivago

Although simple on the surface, the technique to produce the effect has a tendency to be quite fiddly and laborious, here’s the usual process:

Creating a sliding number counter in After Effects

*UPDATE: The script has now been updated to make it easier than ever to create a sliding number counter in After Effects*

My latest project for Loop is a brand new script for creating odometers or sliding number counters in After Effects like the one below:

odometer sliding counter after effects

Motion Design Reel

Yep, it's that time again! I've managed to put together a brand new motion design showreel for 2018, featuring projects from the past year and beyond.

Take a look:

I really enjoyed putting this reel together, it really made me stop and take a minute to appreciate the variety of projects I've worked on over the past couple of years!

Freelance Motion Design Update

2017 was a great year, I've been lucky enough to work on some wonderful projects with some ace clients and agencies, if 2018 is as good then I'll be a happy motion designer!

As it was a busy one, I've only now had the chance to update my portfolio with some of the motion design projects I worked on last year, due to the nature of the game I unfortunately can't share everything I work on. Who knows, maybe in the future I'll be able to list those projects too!

Making a motion design video for your business

According to the Internet Advertising Bureau UK, Video was the fastest growing format in 2016, Up 56% on a like-for-like basis since 2015. With statistics like that it’s not hard to see why companies are turning to motion design and animation to get their stories heard.

Creating Chronos - a futuristic interface kit for After Effects

I’ve always loved sci-fi, it’s my favourite genre by far. The world building, the rules, the foresight, just the wonderful creativity involved in creating something out of this world is what fascinates me the most.

As a motion designer, I've always wanted to have a go at creating a futuristic project in After Effects, creating my own little sci-fi world, a project that could have been pulled from the pages of William Gibson or Phillip K. Dick.

Glitch effect presets for After Effects

Fragment is the latest project I've made for Loop - a set of 15 glitchy transitions and presets for After Effects.

Had a lot of fun making the promo for this one too:

Skylights Pro - Vintage filters for After Effects

Following on from the ever popular Instagram style Skylights filters I made a while back, I decided to make a pro version - 30 brand new filters, plus an additional 15 noise and grain overlays to give your footage that extra vintage feel.

Handicons icon pack

Throughout a lot of my motion design work I find myself needing different hand icons; perhaps a hand pointing to something, or swiping on a phone screen.

That's why I've made Handicons! A set of 30 different hand icons, take a look at the preview:

A set of 30 hand icons

The set is available to buy from Gumroad - as a special treat use the code thomas10 for 10% off!

More motion design for The Guardian

Over the past couple of weeks I've been down in London working freelance on some more motion design projects at The Guardian.

This time I worked on a couple of different projects, the first of which was a video detailing what the Ebola virus is, how it's transferred, and what it does to you:

The second video was all about the new Guardian design; it details the various stages of The Guardian's online presence since it launched in 1999.

Motion design at The Guardian

Over the past couple of weeks I swapped Manchester for a freelance motion design contract at The Guardian in London.

I had a great time working there, as you can imagine the projects are pretty varied. In the first week I worked on this from the 99 seconds series:

When I joined the animation had already been started by Alex; the resident motion designer, and another freelancer. A great collaborative effort all round!

Keep vectors sharp in After Effects

Over the past few weeks I've been working on a new motion graphics promotional video for my own website (something similar to my old motion graphics promo).

In this new promo I've used plenty of shape layers, halfway through animating I ran into a slight problem though: I'd finished animating a section of the video and found I needed to scale it up for the final version. When scaling it up I found it became really blurred like so:

Creating a 3D blueprint in Cinema 4D

Ever since Adobe added Cinema 4D to After Effects I've been trying to use it more and more in my motion graphics work. Every now and then I'll discover something cool & I just can't help experimenting with it!

The most recent thing I've found is the "Cel Render" effect (Edit render settings > Effects > Cel Renderer). Enabling this function allows you to render the edges and outlines of an object as you'll see in the example renders below.

A motion graphics business card

I had a random idea the other day while I was looking at my current business card design - why not create a business card with a bit of a difference? Something which showcases the motion graphics work I do, something which could act as a little introduction to what I do and the services I offer.

So I decided to create a motion graphics business card! A very short gif that introduces me, the website design and motion graphics services I offer, and tops it off with a call to get in touch:

A motion graphics design gif!

After creating a few different motion design gif experiments, I decided to incorporate one into my site to help advertise what I do.

This is the result:
motion graphics design gif

Another motion graphics gif experiment

Following on from my previous motion graphics gif project I decided to create a new experiment, this time with shape layers!

trim paths after effects

trim paths swirling lines gif

Infinite floor not working in After Effects & Cinema 4D Lite

I recently upgraded to the Adobe Creative Cloud & one feature I was really looking forward to trying out was the Cinema 4D Lite package within After Effects. I've experimented with Cinema 4D before, mainly just creating a couple of random objects here and there, but only ever with the trial version.

Skylights Deluxe - 25 After Effects Filter Presets

Introducing Skylights Deluxe! A set of 25 new filter presets for After Effects.

Following on from the original Skylights filters I created, I've decided to put together a deluxe version that includes 25 brand new presets as well as 30 high resolution texture files.

Skylights Deluxe

Animating a still photograph in After Effects

I was looking through some of the pictures on my phone from last summer and decided to have a go at creating a short animation from a still photograph. Here's the result:

Here's the original photograph:

speckled wood butterfly for animation

Skylights: 15 Instagram style filters for After Effects

instagram style filters in after effects

I wanted to create an Instagram style filter using the standard tools within After Effects to help liven up some old footage I was working with. After creating a few different styles I ended up creating Skylights! A set of 15 presets that you can use to help liven up a bit of old footage or give your videos a slight colour boost.

Motion graphics project: gifs

I've been working on a motion graphics project recently that involved creating an animated gif version of a client logo in After Effects.

Before taking on the project, I decided to experiment slightly and put some trial animations together to help get a feel for the gif making process:

circle loop

elipse rotation

After Effects motion tracking experiment

Another short motion graphics test, this time experimenting with motion tracking in After Effects to "parent" some visuals to the movement of my eye:

I'm pretty pleased with the results, using motion tracking like this can be a great way to annotate live action footage rather than having a static title displaying information.