Mo-Graph Mentor

{Student Work} Victor Silva : Visual Essay

This project was completed in our first online course, Introduction to Design & Animation. The project brief is titled : Visual Essay. The challenge was for students to communicate an idea of a story within the constraints of a 30-45 second video. Victor Silva chose to illustrate a beautiful poem from the book of Colossians.

We asked him to provide a write-up for the project. Below are his words.


He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Colossians 1:15-17


This was the last assignment for the first class of MoGraph Mentor. It was an attempt to illustrate a beautiful poem found in the book of Colossians. The idea was to create a very simple, but epic motion piece (or at least try to do it). I wanted to use the contrast between a very deep and dense poem and very simple graphics to create an appealing piece. I think the simplicity could drag the attention to the meaning of the poem.



I had a bunch of references that were chosen with different things in mind. Some had the right amount of visual complexity while others had the feelings I wanted to pass and there are even other ones that had some elements useful for the narrative. Some of them (Designed by AppleBig Deal and The Editor) represent the majority of my visual inspiration. My fear was that to end up doing more of the same and don’t inovate at all. The Forces of Grace pass the same feeling that I wanted to pass and has a similar voice-over that I was imagining for my project.



Screen shot 2014-07-17 at 10.45.54 AM

Designing the storyboard was one of the toughest parts of the poject. I wanted every single frame to have a meaning on its own and represent what the poem said, but not in a straight and dull way. The script was intensely studied and a deep meaning was found on each phrase, only then I was able to finish the boards.

Then it was the animatic phase. I needed an intense voice-over to deliver the message effectively, since it was the center of this piece. The music was also chosen in the phase and the variation in it provided me with the right emotions I wanted to evoke. Altough it was hard to find a perfect match for what I wanted, I think this one gives the emotion it’s supposed to.

This first pass was what I had in my mind in the beginning of the project and although I think it was the right direction, it was not there yet. An interesting fact is that I felt the need to animate the beginning of the video so I could feel the art direction, it was not possible for me with static images in this case due to the simplicity of the piece.

Screen shot 2014-07-17 at 10.47.38 AMScreen shot 2014-07-17 at 10.47.55 AM

 The next step was texturing. It added a lot of visual interest, but not enough.

Here is the final art direction with almost everything in its place. But I wasn’t fully satisfied with every element in it. So I made other changes before the final (which you can see in the beginning of the post).


Connect with Victor : Vimeo | Twitter


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Tags: Motion Graphics, Motion Design, Online School for Motion Graphics, Motion Graphics Courses