Animated Storytelling Simple Steps For Creating Animation and Motion Graphics

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2015-11-19
  • Publisher: Peachpit Pr
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Animation is a limitless medium for telling stories. Artists can create worlds, defy gravity, flip from factual to fantasy, and transport audiences to places they never imagined. The challenge is having the discipline to reel it in and be intentional about your storytelling choices. This book shows you how.

In Animated Storytelling, you’ll learn how to create memorable stories using animation and motion graphics by following 10 simple guidelines that take you through the stages of concept development, pre-production, storyboarding, and design. Award-winning animator Liz Blazer uses clear examples and easy-to-follow exercises to provide you with the instruction, encouragement, and tools you need to get your designs moving.

Whether your goal is to create exciting shorts for film festivals, effective messaging for broadcast or online, or simply to gain a deeper understanding of the medium, Animated Storytelling simplifies the process of creating clear and engaging stories for animation and motion graphics so you can get started easily.

In Animated Storytelling, you’ll learn how to:

  • Write a creative brief for your project
  • Find and communicate your story’s big idea
  • Create a tight story using linear and nonlinear story structures
  • Use color to clarify and enrich your story
  • Define the rules for your animated world, and commit to them
  • Ease into the challenging task of animation
  • Make the work you want to be hired to do
  • Share your work with the world!

Author Biography

Liz Blazer is a filmmaker, art director, visual artist, designer, animator, and educator. She has worked as a development artist for Disney, as a special effects designer for MTV, and as an art director for the Palestinian/Israeli Sesame Street. Her animated documentary Backseat Bingo traveled to 180 film festivals in 15 countries and won many awards, including awards from the HBO Comedy Arts Festival, Animation Magazine and the International Documentary Association. As an educator, Blazer emphasizes storytelling and pitching as she guides her students to bring their art to life through animation.

Table of Contents

1. Pre-Production is the most important step in creating an animated piece.

I. Concept development

II. Pre-visualization

III. Storyboarding


2. Pitch until you know the story beats.

I. Storytelling 101

II. Story structure

III. Pitching


3. Be playful with the medium.

I. How limitless is animation?

II. The animated transition

III. Styles of motion graphics

IV. Using analog and digital sources


4. Use color wisely to support your storytelling.

I. Limiting color palettes

II. Color scripts

III. High contrast and complementary colors

IV. Surprise colors

V. Color systems


5. Concept development and animation style should be integrated.


II. Logos and broadcast graphics

III. Title sequences for TV and film


6. Vary scale and directional movement from shot to shot within a piece.

I. Scale changes to reveal or conceal visual information

II. Changes in directional movement from shot to shot

III. Using flat and deep space


7. Use contrast to support clear figure/ground relationships when you have something important to say.

I. Contrast and movement

II. Figure/ground relationships in motion


8. Let sound drive your animation.

I. Seeing what you hear

II. Choosing music, VO, effects.

III. Letting sound drive your movement


9. Design the rules of the world you are building, then set your art free to live there.

I. World building

II. Design for motion


10. Be a student of motion graphics.

I. Study your history

II. Choose your influencers

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