The difference between Motion Art and GIFs

I’m guessing that not everyone knows what “Motion Art” is and how it differs from a GIF or .mp4 file. Well, actually, Motion Art is very different from any other type of animated file because only certain parts of the image will be animated. With a GIF, usually, the whole image will be moving. So that’s the main difference. And I have become quite lazy over the last year or so calling the motion art that I create “GIFs” when they’re really not GIFs. While it doesn’t really matter that much to someone looking at the image, technically, the process to create motion art is very different to that of a GIF, or at least it used to be until all manner of apps and software for the phone and PC started popping up all over the place.

I don’t think it really takes much know-how to create motion art, but it certainly does take creativity because you have to be able to “see” what the image will look like when it’s animated which may not sound complicated but it can be. I’ve scrapped dozens of motion art files in the time that I’ve been making them because they didn’t fit my “vision” of what I wanted the image to look like. Another critical factor is whether or not the image needs animation added to it to improve it. Out of the thousands of images, I’ve seen in the last year or so, only a tiny portion of them have been animated, and that’s because some images just look better the way they are while others would definitely look better with animation added.

Here’s one I did yesterday of Luke Skywalker from a scene in The Empire Strikes Back, one of my favourites:

LUKESKYWALKERMOTIONART01 (923px, 25fps).gif

I’ve had people ask me to animate images for them, and I’ve always advised that I need to see the image first before I will create any motion art with it. Some images are just better left untouched. I don’t know if everyone understands this concept, but it’s one I apply every time before committing myself and my time to creating motion art.

“I’m here to rescue you!” – Luke Skywalker Animation

I really like this Luke Skywalker quote from Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope and got a cool idea from an article I read in an old Star Wars Insider magazine. I used that original concept and came up with the following edit and animation. I realised after masking the image of Luke Skywalker into my GIF that for some reason, copying from a PDF may have distorted the image so I had to mask it again and “touch up” the image some more before I could use it. Then I created the first GIF and didn’t like the colour because I had used a transparent background layer originally. So I then had to create a new layer with a white background and then created the final animation that I was happy with. I also made an edit because, why not?

Here’s the animation

IMHERETORESCUEYOUGIF

And the edit

IAMHERETORESCUEYOUEDIT01.png

Luke Skywalker Heir to the Jedi Cover Art Animation

I’ve been home for the last couple of days, so I’ve had some time to sit down and actually make some quality edits. On Pinterest, I seem to be growing a lot more steadily than expected with both followers and views on my content. So I am quite happy about that. I’ve also noticed that my video content seems to be getting more interest than GIFs do (GIFs are trendy on Tumblr and Imgur but not as prevalent on Pinterest in my experience) so I’ve been creating .mp4 files instead of GIFs for my posts there. One of the posters I animated has had about 54 thousand views (which is a lot for me), so I plan to keep making these as people seem to enjoy them 🙂

Here’s another edit I did use colour grading in Photoshop and then animating it. The original art is by Larry Rostant. Isn’t this art magnificent? There are three versions of this image too, all of them with Luke in a different pose (so I can animate those at a later date):

Heir to the Jedi Cover Art Animation

So the above image is not the same as the edit I did below where I made a lot of colour grading changes, and I intensified the light source from behind Luke as you can see here:

Heir to the Jedi Luke Skywalker Photoshop Edit

Star Wars is Poetry Edit and Dark Side Rey Animation

I’ve been feeling especially creative lately and I am riding this wave for as long as it lasts because it’s good for me. I feel at my best when I am creating something or writing something. It helps that there has been a ton of new Star Wars content including almost every artist on planet earth creating Dark Side Rey art!

I decided to edit this beautiful art by Jake Bartok because it’s kick ass! I also created another edit for Star Wars Is Poetry as well:

JAKEBARTOKDARKSIDEREYGIF.gif

LUKETROS01.png

PiXimperfect Tutorial – Luke Skywalker Edit – A New Hope

I wanted to apply this colour grading tutorial to a stunning image of Luke Skywalker in A New Hope, but I wanted the image to be of just Luke. So I edited out C3-P0 and the annoying branding which was pretty easy to do and voila! Luke was ready for adjustments.

Here is the before image:

18AUTH-Promo-Cards-Resubmit-07-09-18_Page_03.jpg

And here is the after image:

LUKESKYWALKERNEWHOPEEDIT01.png

Website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=he6HCZz5bZ8

Time: 20 minutes

Level: Intermediate

Comment: There is so much you can learn from playing with colours, adjustment layers and adding shadows and highlights to an image. Unmesh takes you through a colour grading tutorial on an image which you can see above looks pretty washed out and dull to begin with but just comes to life after the editing has been done. I hoped to achieve the same effect with the image I edited of Luke, and I think it came out OK. I even created edits with masking on the eyes to bring out Luke’s pretty blue eyes a little more.

Rating: 10/10

Now the image is ready for social media posts or just about anywhere really.

Star Wars is Poetry – A New Hope The Life of Luke Skywalker

 

ANHLukeHC (1200px, 15fps).gif
Cover Art by Hugh Fleming, Animation by me

 

The Life of Luke Skywalker (Star Wars: A New Hope) Hardcover – September 1, 2009

Luke sensed there was something missing in his life, as if part of him were somehow incomplete. The Empire had destroyed nearly all the records of the Jedi Order, including any information about Anakin Skywalker, leaving Luke with many questions about his place in the universe.
Can I avoid my father’s mistakes? Are all the other Jedi Knights truly gone?
How can I be a good Jedi when I know so little about them?
Despite Leia’s apparent lack of interest, Luke believed it was important for him
to find out more about the life of Anakin Skywalker. How can I know myself if I never really knew my father?
He had no idea whether gaining such knowledge would make him feel wiser or
more fulfilled. All he knew was that he still felt alone and out of place, just as
he’d felt when he was a little boy, growing up on a desolate moisture farm in the
desert wastes of Tatooine…
This book is actually amazing. Did you know that there was a Dreadnought freighter called “A New Hope?” – Nope, neither did I and this is where Luke and Leia find themselves after the events of Return of the Jedi. If you’re like me, you love discovering these little gems of information and beautiful story-telling. I am quickly becoming a fan of Ryder Windham’s writing. He seems to capture Luke Skywalker so well in these books. I imagine what Luke would be like without having seen the films and I can see an apparent picture of who Luke was and who he wanted to become, and everyone can relate to this, I know I can. This is one of my favourite Star Wars books to read this week.
As Leia gazed into space, she said, “It seems everywhere we go, we find more of
Vader’s victims, more evidence of his horrific service to the Empire.”
She shook her head. “Why would I even want to think about that monster?”
“Because our father wasn’t just Darth Vader,” Luke said.
“He was also Anakin Skywalker, a Jedi. I’ve tried to tell you what happened on the Death Star at Endor, how he saved me from the Emperor and—”
“Saved you?” Leia said. “Luke, as I recall, Vader delivered you to the Emperor.”
She sighed. “I know you believe that Anakin Skywalker returned in the end, and
if that’s how you prefer to remember him, as the Jedi hero who destroyed the
Emperor, that’s your decision. But you can’t expect me to do the same, because
my father, Bail Organa, the man who raised me, he died on Alderaan.”
Luke and Leia may have been twins but it was very apparent that they did not share the same feelings towards their (dead) father, Anakin Skywalker. To Leia, he was Darth Vader, the man behind the destruction of her home planet and the death of her family. But to Luke, he was the father that knew him for who he truly was, he was the bridge across the divide that separated him from the farm boy he was on Tatooine and the man he was becoming – a galactic hero and a masterful Jedi.

Have some gorgeous Luke Skywalker to start (or end) your day!

To celebrate my recent news, I made a few edits, nothing huge, I just found some beautiful black and white images of Luke Skywalker and edited them a teeny bit.

Enjoy my friends

All image credit to Topps Trading Cards on Google

LIKEMYFATHERBEFOREMESTARWARS.png

LUKEBLACKANDWHITE01.png