Coffee Shop Animation

2 weeks | Student Project
This animation was one of the first pieces of motion I ever worked on, and it represents the beginning of my ongoing journey into motion design. I had not yet discovered Motion Design School or Ben Marriott, and everything I learned throughout this process was cobbled together from YouTube videos and frantic googling of concepts I didn’t yet have a name for.

Now that my knowledge has increased I recognize that this project was my accidental introduction into frame-by-frame animation, alpha mattes, trim paths, puppet animation, and boil effects. I’ve chosen to include it in my portfolio because I believe it is a good example of my approach to tackling new and unfamiliar problems.
Motion Designer

Adobe Illustrator
Adobe After Effects

Frame By Frame

To achieve the character head turn I created 11 static poses for the head in Adobe Illustrator that I sequenced together in After Effects over roughly 1/4 of a second. At this point I wasn’t yet familiar with anticipation or follow-through movements, but I unwittingly achieved a faux 3D effect by manipulating the perspective of the hat.

Alpha Mattes & Trim Paths

For the arm that grows out of the plant pot, the coffee pouring into the cup, and the steam coming out of the coffee cup, I learned how to use ‘trim paths’ on a path in an After Effects shape layer. I then used those paths as alpha mattes on the shapes I had drawn in Illustrator to hide and reveal them over time, creating the illusions of growth, pouring liquid, and rising steam.

Puppet Pins & Mesh

The gentle sway of the leaves and the character's legs was done using puppet animation. For each object, I laid out pins at joints or anchor points and then used the option key to move them back and forth through time.

I’ve since learned that there are better ways to achieve this, and if I were to re-do this project I think I would either use Adobe Animate to set these motions up frame-by-frame, or I’d use an effect like CC Bend It. With either of these methods I’d be able to achieve a smoother result.

More Work