I have done a lot of work with different vector graphics in the last few months, from icons and stickers to photorealistic watches and even a gig poster. For this project, it was time to make something actually move. My main objective was to make a funny little cartoon that I designed in Adobe Illustrator and to make it move in Adobe After Effects. To do that I needed to rethink the typical way that I design my illustrations and how I organize my layers. Only top level layers would move independently in After Effects so I really had to plan out what I wanted to do.

Below are my index cards that I used to make my story board. My final project changed quite a bit as I came to realize how over ambitious I was and how many different elements I wanted to include. Being somewhat crunched for time during this project I had to settle for a simpler story but I still enjoyed my final product.

Here is my rough animation that I made after creating my assets. Overall I had most of the big things figured out but I was still in need of much more detail. Adding the laser beam and the tractor beam really added a lot to this as well as having some garbage actually fall out of the can. My biggest feedback was that the can needed to be affected by something so I decided to add the aura around it as it went back into its original position to show the effect that the beam had.

This is by no means a Disney cartoon that will inspire children but I think for a first stab at animation ever, I did a decent job. The alien’s movements don’t appear unnatural (and it’s an alien so who is to say any movement of his is unnatural anyways?) and I think the elements I made in Adobe Illustrator really moved over well into After Effects into a workable animation.