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The Furrow's COVID-19 Collaboration

By Ryan Plummer
After EffectsIllustrator

Be mentored by top-tier motion designers and dig into their COVID19 collaboration project files.

When the quarantine started, The Furrow wanted to share healthy ways to live and raise awareness about the challenges COVID-19 presented for many people. But they also wanted to share information that went a step further than the repetitive artwork already out there, such as “wash your hands”.
So The Furrow gathered information from resources such as the CDC and the World Health Organization and formed short statements that were either based on general guidance or facts.
The Furrow didn’t want to just make a quick project and be done with it. They wanted to lay on all the polish and care professionals could give. This collaborative project attracted top artists in the field, and quickly had the need for a visual identity. With a strong plan and clear creative direction, the project delivered something truly special.
With nearly 40 artists adding their own flair, manipulating the shapes, and applying the fairly broad color palette, this project is a dream. The effort was herculean and the message is strong.
The messaging in this article is not medical advice from School of Motion or any contributor to this content. Please consult a medical professional for advice.

Digging In and Learning

Community, giving back, and collaboration are so very important to us here at School of Motion. We've been working closely with The Furrow to bring a series of videos highlighting some of our favorite pieces and what went into creating such wonderful animation.
Every part of this project is amazing; nothing fell below perfect execution in both design and animation. It was hard to decide just what to share. That's why we decided on three Project Breakdowns.
Each breakdown demonstrates the unique way in which the artist approached animation, whether it was setting up the project well upfront to avoid headaches, relying heavily on expressions, or using multiple programs to achieve the right effect.
If you’re looking for how to become a better animator, this series is definitely going to help. Imagine if you could pull a seat up next to professional motion designers and learn how they work.
Frames from each piece, credits below!
Mentorship like this doesn’t get to happen very often, so open up your brain and soak it in!

Follow Along with Hands-on Learning

What’s a walkthrough without a project file so you can follow along? The Furrow was gracious enough to offer project files for these breakdowns. We highly suggest downloading and opening up these professionals' After Effects projects so you can see how these magical sausages were made.

Days 1, 2, 3 Project Files

Grab the project files for all three days for free!

Download Now

The Program Hopper - Alex Deaton

Alex went beyond just using After Effects by pulling together the use of cel animation in Adobe Animate, some effectors in Cinema 4D, and some wonderful shape layer tricks in After Effects to pull it all together.
At first, a multi-program workflow may sound intimidating. But once you see the breakdown, you'll be surprised at how simple workflow improvements can stack up to make a truly remarkable end product.
Alex covers how he blended these different mediums, building and using references for nailing animations, compositing effects and many sweet little workflow tips.

The Art of Expressions - Victor Silva

The time-lapse animation that Victor produced turned out so great, and we wanted to dive right into how Victor approached this effect. 
We’ll get to see how Victor used a combination of layer styles and expressions to rig everything together in a way that made animating more simple than you might think. You’ll find from looking at a project file like this, that in some instances, a clever rig can be all you need.

Pre-Planning and Organization is Key - Steve Savalle

Steve shows us how he used momentum and match cuts to transition scenes, how he planned for varying aspect ratios, as well as a handful of tips & workflow enhancements.
In this breakdown, we get to see how organization and pre-production can streamline the animation process and how beneficial it is when collaborating with other artists.



Sound Design

Time to Go Pro

These motion designers are where they’re at today because they’ve taken time to learn, experiment and join in the motion design community.
Our battle-tested courses are designed to replicate and accelerate that process, but they require work and coffee. If you’re stuck in your career or want to blast through learning a motion design subject, check out our course page.
We can get you up and running using expressions, teach you how to work with clients starting with pre-production all the way to final delivery and even offer training in illustrating your own work in Illustration for Motion.
From day one you’ll join other students traveling the same path, and when you’re finished you get to jump into our alumni network. We see alumni helping, sharing and growing everyday… it’s wonderful.