Let's plant some trees!

tree animation

Spurred on by some eye-opening documentaries like: Chasing Ice, Chasing Coral, and A Plastic Ocean (all of which I cannot recommend highly enough) I've been looking at ways I can change my daily habits to help reduce the impact I have on the world.

The freelance checklist

I've been doing quite a bit of reading recently, first up was: Thinking, fast and slow; a wonderful insight into how people think, and how humans make decisions in everyday life. The second was: The checklist manifesto - a fascinating read about the power of the humble checklist in the world of aviation, medicine, and construction.

Making a motion design video for your business

According to the Internet Advertising Bureau UK, Video was the fastest growing format in 2016, Up 56% on a like-for-like basis since 2015. With statistics like that it’s not hard to see why companies are turning to motion design and animation to get their stories heard.

Creating Chronos - a futuristic interface kit for After Effects

I’ve always loved sci-fi, it’s my favourite genre by far. The world building, the rules, the foresight, just the wonderful creativity involved in creating something out of this world is what fascinates me the most.

As a motion designer, I've always wanted to have a go at creating a futuristic project in After Effects, creating my own little sci-fi world, a project that could have been pulled from the pages of William Gibson or Phillip K. Dick.

Glitch effect presets for After Effects

Fragment is the latest project I've made for Loop - a set of 15 glitchy transitions and presets for After Effects.

Had a lot of fun making the promo for this one too:

Skylights Pro - Vintage filters for After Effects

Following on from the ever popular Instagram style Skylights filters I made a while back, I decided to make a pro version - 30 brand new filters, plus an additional 15 noise and grain overlays to give your footage that extra vintage feel.

Microphone setup for voice over work

Following on from my post about starting voice over work as part of my motion design projects I thought I'd do a quick run down of the setup I use:

voiceover work mircophone setup

Before I started I did quite a bit of research into the different microphones available and the best setup for recording high quality audio. Here's what I went with:

Nomadhouse - freelancing from Budapest

After trying out freelancing from Berlin and Lisbon, I was searching for a new place to explore and freelance from. Then a couple of months ago, in one of those strange serendipitous moments life throws up every now and then: I discovered NomadHouse.

The concept was simple: 10 days in a Budapest, co-living, working and exploring a new place with 16 other freelancers/entrepreneurs/remote workers.

Handicons icon pack

Throughout a lot of my motion design work I find myself needing different hand icons; perhaps a hand pointing to something, or swiping on a phone screen.

That's why I've made Handicons! A set of 30 different hand icons, take a look at the preview:

A set of 30 hand icons

The set is available to buy from Gumroad - as a special treat use the code thomas10 for 10% off!

Voiceover work

If you take a look at a couple of my most recent motion design projects, you may notice the voice is actually the same:

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Quick freelancing update

Following on from my freelance adventure in Berlin I decided to check out Lisbon back at the beginning of May, again taking a week and working from out there while exploring the city.

I decided to repeat what I’d done in Berlin and get an Airbnb, at the very least this could be somewhere to work from, a home office away from home if you will.

Freelancing from Berlin

As a freelancer I’m always saying to people I can theoretically work from anywhere; all I need is a decent internet connection and I’m sorted.

Up until now I’d never properly tried it though, so I decided to book a trip to Berlin and give it a try. A bit of an experiment to see if it’s actually possible.

Here’s some of the good stuff:

Berlin has some excellent co-working spaces

Finishing a freelance job early

My freelance work often takes two forms: either I'm working for my own clients, or I'm working for an agency; helping out with a particular project.

The latter has thrown up an interesting question, one which I'm still not sure the answer to: what happens if I finish the job earlier than planned?

Let's say a company has booked me for 10 days to help their in-house team with a project, I get to work, run through all the tasks, and hey presto! All done in 6 days.

More motion design for The Guardian

Over the past couple of weeks I've been down in London working freelance on some more motion design projects at The Guardian.

This time I worked on a couple of different projects, the first of which was a video detailing what the Ebola virus is, how it's transferred, and what it does to you:

The second video was all about the new Guardian design; it details the various stages of The Guardian's online presence since it launched in 1999.

Motion design at The Guardian

Over the past couple of weeks I swapped Manchester for a freelance motion design contract at The Guardian in London.

I had a great time working there, as you can imagine the projects are pretty varied. In the first week I worked on this from the 99 seconds series:

When I joined the animation had already been started by Alex; the resident motion designer, and another freelancer. A great collaborative effort all round!

New website for the InnerVision film

Phew! It's been a busy couple of weeks for me, I've been down in London on a freelance motion graphics project (more on that later), but before I left I managed to work on a great project: creating the website for the Inner Vision film.

website design for inner vision film

Keep vectors sharp in After Effects

Over the past few weeks I've been working on a new motion graphics promotional video for my own website (something similar to my old motion graphics promo).

In this new promo I've used plenty of shape layers, halfway through animating I ran into a slight problem though: I'd finished animating a section of the video and found I needed to scale it up for the final version. When scaling it up I found it became really blurred like so:

A new website design

Well it's more of a design refresh than anything else! If you haven't visited the site for a while you may notice some slight design changes here and there, I thought I'd write a quick post to run through the changes.

Let's start with the portfolio design - there's only a few small changes here, primarily in the width of the overall portfolio. The project tiles will now extend further across the page to make better use of larger screen sizes and help showcase my design and development work.

Freelance Tip #2 - Office Space

Following on from freelance tip #1 - here's the second tip I thought I'd share:

Consider getting some office space

When I first started freelancing I did what most freelancers do: I worked from home. It was great at first, no more commuting! I could jump into work straight away and once the day was over I didn't need to travel anywhere to get home.

Freelance Tip #1 - Side Projects

I've been freelancing full-time for a couple of years now (I freelanced part-time while at Uni so I've actually been doing it for quite a while!) and in that time there's been a fair few ups and downs. As a result I've decided to put together a couple of blog posts on freelancing, nothing major just a few tips that I've found useful while working freelance.