Miir Logo Morph

1 week | Personal Project
Morphing — or the process of changing one object into another over the course of an animation — is an important technique in motion design, and I created this project as a means to practice this skill.

There are several different methods of morphing, but this project focuses specifically on single frame replacement, where over the course of one frame an object disappears and is replaced by another.

Why Miir?
Miir is a company that makes “premium stainless steel vessels for coffee, beer, wine, and food” and uses portions of their revenue to fund projects around the world to increase access to clean water. I believe in their mission, and I happened to be working in their coffee shop when I conceived this project.
Motion Designer

Adobe Illustrator
Adobe After Effects

Design Before Motion

To set up this project I turned six of Miir’s products into icons in Adobe Illustrator and arranged them so that they took up roughly the same volume as the Miir logo.

Setting Up The Swap

The first step in setting up an effective single frame replacement is to give both objects a consistent direction of movement and equivalent easing. Once the objects are moving as one the replacement should be made at the peak of the object’s speed.

Whatever aspect of the object is being animated (position, rotation, scale, etc..), if the new object is swapped when the animation is happening most rapidly then the change will essentially be hidden in the time graph and the viewer won't notice it.

Once a morph is buried in the peak of a speed graph you can effectively hide it further by adding animation details like anticipation, overshoots, and overlapping actions.

Getting Sneaky With It

To more clearly illustrate what I mean by ‘hiding a morph’ I put together an example using the Slack logo update. You can see in the first gif that the replacement is obvious because the logo is moving with linear speed and therefore there is no peak-of-speed in which to hide the replacement.

In the second gif the logo is being animated on both position and rotation. Both of these parameters start slowly, change rapidly in the middle of the animation, and then slowly decelerate. By making the change at the peak of speed the morph is successfully hidden.

In the third gif anticipation and follow-through movements hide it further, as would additional speed lines or other distracting elements if I were to add those.

It’s Morphin’ Time

Let’s get back to the Miir Logo. Now that all the objects are moving as one it’s time to actually make the switch. I set up my speed graphs so that the objects are moving the fastest just before they hit the ground — so this is where the bottles will disappear and the letters will replace them.

Similar to the Slack example above, a little bit of anticipation (the bottles crouching before they jump), and follow-through, (the letters squashing when they hit the ground) make it even harder for the viewer to register the morph. The result is a swap that feels very natural.

More Work