Type in Motion

Much of what makes animations “feel” good is based on evoking a sense of natural rhythm and timing. In the late 1800s, Eadweard Muybridge studied the movements of animals by documenting motion through photographs. In his studies, he created a stop motion effect that allowed us a glimpse into how creatures move. As still images, you can observe the physiology of the animal, and in motion, you can see it come to life. While the photos are doing the heavy lifting, imagine what this animation would look like if the timing was off.

In the horse examples, the animation is achieved simply by flashing different photos, or frames, at a set interval. The first example “feels” better to us because it looks natural, while the latter feels unnatural and choppy.

With a few very basic animation principles (changing opacity, transforming scale, adding rotation, adding movement, changing the viewport and looping) you can achieve a lot. Focusing your efforts on consistency and graphic language will help establish a tone for your animation, and modifying the timing and rhythm will help simple animations feel natural and inviting.


Activity – Fall 2019 Exhibition Poster Series

Create an animated, typographic poster for the upcoming exhibition that utilizes a looping animation.
1 - Begin by assessing the hierarchy.
2 - Include the title of the exhibition: Artist as Visionary as Innovator as Architect as Seer
3 - Consider how to meaningfully add motion to the typography

1080 × 1920  

File Format
.mp4 < 5mb;
24 frames per second (fun fact: this is the cinematic standard and is the slowest rate that looks smooth to the human eye. 24, 30 and 60 fps are the most common options. 30 is slightly smoother became common in TVs and 60 is more realistic, and used in video games and gopro cameras. To standardize our animations with all 3 classes, let’s stick to 24fps)
15 seconds; (should loop seamlessly)



Let’s look at a few examples that use simple animation principles in an effective way. What works about them?


Anemica Cinema, Marcel Duchamp (1926)
more info

Wakter Ruttman, Lichtspiel: Opus I (1921)

Popular Culture

Saul Bass, Psycho titles (1960)