School of Motion creates an annual compilation of the alumni's animations for their Alumni Holiday Card. This year, being finally an alumni myself, I became a part of the challenge. The theme was

'I made it through 2020 by...'

Which in my case meant: ...buying way too many books.

This is a longer and a slowed down version of my submission. 5 seconds long. The quick, 3 second version that I submitted is further down.

There, of course, were some limitations:

• 1920px x 1080px
• 24 fps
• 3 seconds
• the colour palette below
It all begins with concepting and trying to make one decision that will become an animation. I wasn't at first sure what to even choose to described how I survived this year! It was a tough one, not to mention the 3 seconds limit on duration.
There were other things that influenced my year too. Such as:

• going through the Animation Bootcamp course in early 2020,
• making a fantastic new friend who's also a SoM alumnus and lived nearby (she moved this year, and her animation for the Holiday Card, precisely about that, starts here),
• attending London Motion Meetups on Zoom that were run by Claudio (3D generalist & Motion designer)
• finding out about She Drew That and attending that one talk by Katie Menzies,
• discovering Panimation and their Slack channel,
• improving my animation skills in After Effects,
• almost completing (didn't do all the numbers) the 36 Days of Type challenge,
• finally having more fun in Cinema 4D,
• discovering how sexy Octane renderer is (more posts of that are on my instagram),
• feeling more creative than in a long time,
• freelancing for various clients while on the furlough scheme,
building my new PC,
• being made redundant,
• visiting my family after a long time (and visiting the mountains too),
• finally this year completing the whole Inktober challenge,
• until freelancing full-time as a motion designer for an e-learning company.
But all of that mentioned above was still bits and pieces in comparison to my slightly mad spending on Amazon. There was already NO space in my two bookshelves at the beginning of 2020.
At first I built my assets in Adobe Illustrator just to feel frustrated with how on earth was I going to animate this in perspective and in 2D. The colours looked awful too when I added the book titles and the whole idea seemed like it would not be comprehensible in the time I had: three seconds.
After consulting some trusted friends and finding out that there was a deadline extension, I got back to work and reworked the concept from the ground up, and up close. And this time, I felt a bit more confident that involving Cinema 4D instead of Illustrator would work much better.
Let the chaos begin!
I was debating the use of the prebuilt bookshelf "filler" in C4D, however that look was very much not what I had in mind. Also, using cloners didn't seem to work as I wanted to (I wanted a variety in shades of the color-palette-prescribed hues as well as sizes and shapes). And so, raw new shapes it was, while multiplied with the trusted Ctrl+drag and Ctrl+C & Ctrl+V. The book titles were discarded altogether to keep the image as simple as possible.
I ran into trouble here because Cinema 4D was showing everything slower than it really translated into the actual 24fps. And after rendering it out and opening it in After Effects, it was really much faster than expected. I cut off the beginning and used the Time remapping to fit it into the required duration.
And this is, in its isolation, the 3 (and half, ummm) seconds long final submission for the SoM Alumni Holiday Card.
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