Cengage is an educational technology company that produces textbooks and online learning materials. As a motion designer, my usual day is spent creating animations and illustrations for various subjects, ranging from neuroscience to economics to cosmetology.
Sometimes I work on an entire project by myself, and other times I get to collaborate with some amazing designers, animators, and editors. Every project is different, so it's a lot of fun to be able to create new styles for each one and find solutions for a video's unique needs.
Finding the Right Style
Style frames are a crucial part of our production pipeline. They allow us to show the team what a final frame from the video will look like before we put in hours upon hours of work animating it. We typically develop multiple styles for a project so that the team has a few options to choose from. This is one of my favorite parts of the animation process!
Below you'll find pairs of style frames, which vary in their complexity and topic.
We often work on tight deadlines, so when we have characters in our videos, we need to find ways to keep them simple and save time. Throughout these different styles, you can see how some characters are more complex than others. We also need the character designs to be accessible to all learners. This means giving them strong, clear silhouettes and making their expressions easy to read if that's part of the narrative.
Not all my work at Cengage is animation though. I often work on illustrations for interactive tools and internal promotions. When I need to make a lot of illustrations in one style, it's helpful to create rules for myself and limit complexity so that I can work quickly.