Learning from Photography
What Motion Graphic Artists
can learn from photography

As motion graphics gets closer to photo-realism, learning how cameras and lenses capture the world is crucial in understanding how to manipulate light, focus and composition in animated scenes.

Beyond the mobile phone lens

Focusing attention is key for today’s ultra-distracted world. The lens that we look through can help do that.

The photographs below are an observation of these things in the world around my home shooting with a Sony A7 mirrorless camera digital RAW with an assortment of lenses.

Andrew Kramer the founder of After Effects tutorials and Hollywood special effects artist said that the best way to become a better motion graphics designer is to learn how camera lenses work.  In 2008 I was immediately drawn to his work.  The tutorials he demonstrated with a campy tong-in-cheek sense of humor were masterfully created demonstrating After Effects techniques for cinematic effects.  The quality of the work he creates was heads above other tutorial creators of the time.

The lens that we view the world from creates our reality. 

Motion graphics have the benefit of communication over a period of time.  Each visual scene has one focal point.  A series of crafted focal points build an overall composition that can communicate faster and more thoroughly than a still image or written report.

Observation of light, composition and focus are key to visual storytelling.  I love to explore in the mountains of my native Montana as well as abroad.  I bring my cameras with me to glimpse at different perspectives, different ways to view a subject, learn the nuances of directing attention to a subject.  Paying attention to how a frame makes me feel.  These focal and composition lessons benefit my motion graphics work.  Learning how a 50mml lens looks compared to an 85mml helps in setting up virtual cameras in rigging After Effects scenes.

Composition, directional light, depth of field all add focus and depth to a scene making it look more cinematic and communicate more effectively.

I like to work toward more cinematic treatments of scenes that communicate subject matter keeping in mind the lessons learned from experimenting taking thousands of photographs. 

A few good ones hopefully.

Never stop exploring & experimenting.

Follow @bryanschaeffer on Instagram  for weekly photos and digital art.
To order prints or canvas please contact Bryan Schaeffer
Learning from Photography
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Learning from Photography

What Motion Graphic Artists can learn from photography
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Published:

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