Manuel Sanchez-Palacios

Protect our Wildlife


Manuel Sanchez-Palacios


Piece Critique

Protect Our Wildlife Piece Critique

When initiating this project, I had a general idea for how I wanted my motion graphic to look. Though it was surprising for me to actually be able to execute the idea almost exactly how I had pictured it in my head. The original foundation for my piece was to create something contemporary and representative of the way I feel about oil pipelines and offshore drilling. Initially, I thought my idea would be too complicated to complete as a motion graphic, though once the project was underway it was manageable.

The first storyboard I posted to the class website shows how I wanted my piece to show the effects of inevitable habitat destruction from the drilling of oil and pipeline building. I drew a lot of inspiration from the second frame of my first storyboard for the background of my final graphic. I thought it was quite striking to see a pipeline being run through such a rugged and beautiful landscape, it was quite disheartening to see. I used a pixel filter to add a cartoonish effect to the scene so I could get better contrast with the straight lines of the pipeline and rough rocky edges of the mountains. I liked the simplification of color tones when adding this effect because I thought it gave the image a ore innocent looking aesthetic, even with the emerging pipeline from the background. The images following this one copied the same effect to evoke a similar aesthetic, though some didn’t quite match the impact the second frame did.

The second step in developing my motion graphic involved creating a second mood board and a storyboard for my final project. I was very attracted to the graphics that national parks used to advertise features of their parks. The typography and simplicity of the images gave a nostalgic tone to the image. I aimed to replicate this style by drawing my own images in my revised storyboard to give a similar nostalgia.

The revised storyboard was helpful in segmenting and planning the final motion graphic. Completing the first typography assignment helped me gain a lot of confidence in using After Effects, which then translated to me going more in depth with my storyboard after getting more familiar with the program. The first frame of my revised storyboard shows how I wanted to draw some mountains and green plains similar to the second frame of my first storyboard. After the first frame, the second frame shows a river flowing down from the base of the mountains. Though for my final graphic, I wanted to put a little more effort into making sure the drawings looked cleaner. I did this by redrawing the mountains and adding some more depth with sharper lines and different size brushes within Photoshop. The most difficult part of this entire project was only being able to use a track pad on my laptop to do all the drawings. After this I cut the background into three pieces; sky, mountains, and valley. This was so I could edit each of these layers individually in After Effects. I did all the colors for my motion graphic in After Effects so I could animate each asset transforming from black and white into color using the sketch-recording tool while using the “write on,” setting. Next I wanted to add background movement so the top of my motion graphic frame wouldn’t just be the still mountain, so I planned on adding some birds flying across the frame. At first I only knew how to move objects across the frame, but I wanted to be able to make it look like the birds were flapping their wings. After watching several tutorial videos, I figured out that I needed to just split the bird body and wing into two layers and use key-frames along the y-axis to make it seem like the bird was flapping its wings. I copied this method for another five birds and it turned out very nicely.

After completing the bird motions I decided to draw all the other assets first in Photoshop so I would be able to compile everything in After Effects later. I redrew the oil pumps next, then the refinery, and lastly the pipeline, which I later chopped into segments. Afterwards I added everything into new layers within After Effects and changed the opacities so that I could control when they faded into frame. For the oil pumps I had to chop them into three parts and animate two with the parent layer being the base. This was so I could control the movement of the top of the pump and the cable movement within the base. Instead of redoing all of this for the other pumps I decided to just copy the layers and move the base to create three other pumps to save time. I adjusted the key-frames differently for each pump though so they were not moving all at the same time. This whole process was very time consuming since I had to manipulate multiple layers at the same time. In order to get the river to flow through the landscape the way I envisioned it in my storyboard, I used the same method that I used for coloring the landscape except with a smaller brush size. This wasn’t too difficult but the whole process was quite time consuming since I had to draw dozens of lines in order to add the flowing water type effect I wanted.

The final outro scene I worked on throughout the period of the course from the moment we turned in the typography assignment. This was a great foundation for learning how to move and animate the way objects moved such as the type, fish, and bird that come into frame. I was able to apply all these tactics later on into the actual substance of my project. Overall I am very satisfied with the way my final motion graphic turned out. When I first enrolled in this class I only had previous experience with Photoshop. I am glad that with this class I was able to expand my knowledge in using After Effects and Premier all together to achieve to style of motion graphic I was striving for. If I were to change a couple things though I would have definitely preferred drawing all the images on some kind of stylus operated touch screen. This would’ve helped add more detail to the animations so they wouldn’t have looked so mechanically done.


I was having fun with some titles and sound and made this video with my housemates. We were just jamming and I put the recorded sound over the video later.


I ran into some rendering issues with After Effects, plus I felt like I was going in circles with the tools, so the short amount of time I had to work on my project forced me to draw my frames in Photoshop. The most I could do is get a general idea for how I wanted to my motion graphic to go. I still want to keep the drawing type aesthetic in my motion graphic, but I would obviously put more time into the animation and use more After Effect tools to make the transitions smoother. So far I’m not super proud of how my frames look, but at least I know where I’m going with what I want to show

The first frame shows a lush landscape with mountains in the background, there is a grassy field with some mellow guitar music playing in the background, most likely something I’ll write up and record. I want to put in some sort of wind effect to get the grass moving. In-between the second and first frame a little stream is going to snake through the landscape. Though after some nature-esc motion graphics (i.e. birds flying by or fish jumping out of the water), some oil pump jacks appear out of nowhere and start pumping. The fourth frame will show a pipeline stretch across the landscape right over the little creek. Unfortunately in the 5th frame we begin to see a progression for how oil seeps slowly at first out of the pipeline and into the stream. Suddenly a decent  amount of oil begins to spew out and the motion graphic follows the stream of oil. In the last two frames we see the oil reach the ocean scarring the landscape along the way and killing off birds and fish that live in their little niches along the creek.

I think I have a good general idea for how I would like for my motion graphic to play out, though I need to watch a lot of youtube lessons so that I can actually execute this. I would just really like to show my consideration for the future of the few wild spaces we have left within the US, and that we need not to destroy landscapes with the construction of oil fields and pipelines, as there are many alternatives. I think with this motion graphic I’ll be able to convey this. I just need to get better with After Effects and clear up some memory space on my laptop so I can render and export more scenes into premier.

Final Storyboard for motion graphic

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These two frames are out of order ^

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I want to create something that shows the direct effects of oil drilling and transportation on the environment. It’s all really ugly and I hate it, so I want to make something that shows the real effects of drilling and climate change.


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Mood Board on Pinterest 1/19/17