March 21, 2020

Using Motion Graphics to recreate a computer monitor

Exposition through text is a time-tested film technique that filmmakers use to tell the audience what's going on. It can be a cliche when used incorrectly. But giving the audience the necessary information at the right time can be the perfect solution.
In Ghost Searchers, my recent project, I needed such a scene. I wanted to give out this information to the audience as text on a collection of websites. It's something we all do, research on topics we want to know more about. We open up the web browser, go to google, yahoo, or bing, and type in the topic we want to look up.

I decided to create these google searches in After Effects instead of filming them. The obvious reason is cost, it is much cheaper to recreate the scene in After Effects. But there is an advantage, you have a lot more control. If you think about it, your actual mouse movement and typing action is chaotic. It's random, it's unpredictable, it's all over the place. You don't notice this when your typing because it happens so naturally. But, when you see someone else typing, especially on-screen, it can be a little distracting.

The best part about using After Effects in creating computer screen animation is that you can control the cursor and typing speed to keep the audiences' eyes exactly where you want them to be.

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