Mo-Graph Mentor

{Student Work} Class 01 : Nol Honig : Frame By Frame

In Class 1 we ask students to take 3 weeks to create an animation, with the sole constraint that it must contain a ball character.

This open ended task creates a challenge for students to develop and execute an original concept, while working on their mastery of animation principles. We think the ball is the perfect place for animators to hone their craft.

Nol Honig, who is currently in Colin Hesterly’s class 1 group, took this challenge and absolutely killed it.

His original concept pitches were fresh and fun. His execution from week to week was spot on.

Quote from Nol :

“I knew I wanted this project to have a simple narrative, so I tried to think of something with maximum conflict that could be easily understood, using circles as the main characters. I eventually hit on the “Goliath Wins” narrative as a way to bring a touch of humor to the ending.

First I made a quick storyboard using a soft pencil brush with my Cintiq. I really liked the pencil-and-paper vibe it had, so that’s what pushed me into the direction of animating it by hand in Photoshop.

Next I built a simple animatic based on my storyboard. I literally cut up my storyboard PDF and animated the elements in After Effects to get a sense of flow and timing. The pauses are very important to this story, and I didn’t want to work them out in Photoshop at 12 fps.

I worked on each element separately in Photoshop, based on my animatic. The most fun part was definitely pushing the stretch of the little ball as far as I could. Once all of the base animation had been built I went back in and added the impact accents and tweaked a few lines here and there. As a finishing touch I played around with a few different colors and textures for the balls, but in the end I still preferred the simple pencil-and-paper look of the storyboard.

The final step was to composite everything in AE at 24fps. I also added a little displacement effect squiggle to the lines, a simple paper texture, and a few jittery 12 fps “dirt and noise” layers to give it that little extra something.

I had a ton of fun making this and I’m thrilled about how it turned out! Much thanks to Colin Hesterly, who was adamant that the big ball should not move at all until the very end.”

Connect with Nol : Portfolio Vimeo Twitter


Take a look at some of his process, and of course, enjoy his final animation. Great work on the sound design too.

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Color tests.
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