As is the situation with many industries, the Covid-19 pandemic has profoundly affected the creative industry. In terms of animation, it certainly gave us a little time in 2020 to slow down and really have a look at what’s going on. I’m sure many animators were involved in some way in bringing Covid-19 regulations to life or maybe just animating rainbows.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that animated advertising is still thriving online, and this opens us up to a world of applications. Fortunately, there is a wealth of content online and there are no limits to style and aesthetic whether is 2D, or 3D, there’s something out there to cater for every possible taste.
When it comes to predicting trends in animated content it’s always good to visit motionographer.com to find out what the latest styles are. For any motion graphics artist, this is essential reading and it’s great to have a look at least once a week.
Something that has become quite noticeable in regard to trends over the past year or two was the popularity of animated characters with small heads and huge hands/feet. It seems like this trend will continue for a while yet as designers explore this style and experiment with proportions. A great example of this would be a short film that was released in 2018 by Animade called ‘Tend’, which tells a tale of a father and daughter living in a forest. You can check it out here:
If I was to put my money on anything dominating the animation scene this year, it would be the fact that animated content with multi-colour gradients seems to be very popular and consistently so. If I were to attribute this to anything it would be the recent development of the gradient mesh tool within Adobe Illustrator. And with the use of gradients, we will always see the application of grains on animated content to add a little texture to the work. If you want to see an example of great use of animated gradients and a mixture of 2D/3D check out this incredible Webflowanimation by Ordinary Folk:
There’s a fair chance in the wake of the pandemic, we may see a surge in content related to mental health and wellbeing. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the use of apps like Headspace was seeing a rise in usage with people practicing meditation and mindfulness. Any content that comes with the likes of those apps has beautifully animated content. This year, we will likely see a surge in content highlighting wellness and trying to recognise the symptoms that occur with anxiety and depression. A recent example of a piece of work like this would be a great campaign by Buck called ‘How’s your head?’ which you can check out here:
If you work in the motion graphics industry you’ve likely come across the School of Motion. I’ve been fortunate to complete a few of their courses over the past few years and if anyone can predict trends they always seem to know where animation is going. By hiring the latest talent to teach their courses they keep their finger on the pulse of the motion industry and it’s no surprise their students make some of the best-animated content. Last year they released their new Manifesto, which included a pretty incredible animation that you can watch here:
Finally, one style that recently I’ve been drawn to is a low frame rate mixed media approach to animation. When I refer to mixed media, I would describe it as a style that looks like an animated collage made up of cut-up shapes with a paper/textured aesthetic to it. This is considered a timeless style approach, and it can be re-mixed very easily. A low frame rate also gives a very organic hand-drawn feel to the work which if done really well can look really interesting. A recent animation that I found with this approach was this piece created for Louis Poulsen, which you can watch here:
2021 is definitely an exciting year for animation and with the end of the pandemic drawing near it’s likely we will see a surge in content. It seems like the popularity of animated video content will continue to grow and hopefully, this will allow us to explore new styles and approaches. An animated video is always a great idea to promote a new idea or business and draw attention to your brand.
If you would like to see what Whitenoise can do to bring your brand story to life through animation, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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At Whitenoise, we offer brand identity development and graphic design across all traditional and digital media, advertising for tv, press, radio, OOH, online and ambient.
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