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KEYS TO MOTION GRAPHICS

Now that there’s an understanding of the challenges in creating animation for devices, let’s develop a motion graphics title sequence to investigate the keys to motion graphic design for devices. The following title sequence is from a cartoon project called “The Prague Years.” The cartoon is about a couple of twentysomething characters named Godpy and Podie that move to Prague in the early ’90s to enjoy the expatriate experience in the recently freed communist city. The title sequence needs to quickly imply the foreign setting, define the style of the cartoon, and attempt to impart the idea of Prague’s rapidly changing society—all in 10 to 15 seconds and at a miniscule file size so that it doesn’t impede the download of the rest of the cartoon.

Making Motion Graphics that Work

Because the cartoon is aimed at handhelds, and currently only Pocket PCs, the movie size is set at 230×250. Although the available display size on Pocket PCs is 240×260 (full display size is 320×240), it’s prudent to develop movies at a slightly smaller size. This is because scrollbars may appear in the browser and take up about 10 pixels vertically and horizontally if the Flash movie is set to 240×260. Although it’s possible to set the margins to 0 in the HTML document to solve this problem, this doesn’t always seem to work. The pragmatic solution is to develop at a slightly smaller file size.


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