Animated A-Z: Clouds

The letter C really has caused me a lot of grief this week, I’m sure Sesame Street never had this much bother. But here it is, my third animation in my alphabet series so far, ‘Clouds’.


My problem started when I originally went a bit gung-ho trying to animate a cat’s tail waving and eventually forming a C. It took me about 6 hours of animating over the week to realise I’m getting a bit too eager, and it’s time to take a couple steps back whilst I’m still only on the third letter.

I decided in the end to focus on learning one new skill, and this week’s was linking layers. I created the balloon, string and letter on three different layers, then linked them all to the balloon. Once I did that it was easy to animate the position, rotation and a few other bits and bobs to try and get a nice floating balloon. The whole thing ended up taking me only a couple hours, as I spent the first part of today carrying on with that bloody cat’s tail! I’ve still got a lot to learn, but I’m liking my progress so far and think this is another cute animation to add to my series.

As always, thanks for reading! I’m always eager to hear any feedback on my blog, some animating tips or just general chit chat, so Tweet me if you fancy on @stephhh.



Not many key frames this time!


Animated A-Z: Bee

How adorable is this? I’m too much of an eager beaver to wait until next week, so here it is, the letter Beeee of my animated alphabet, I’m buzzing with excitement to show you guys this letter!


I sneakily edited the final thing in Premier Pro so it started about half a second into the animation as I didn’t like it starting on a blank frame. I’m really pleased with this one and think it’s adorable! If I had more time I would play with the bee’s facing positions I think, but I’m trying to not get stalled on minor details like that. This took me about two hours to complete after work, I spent about half an hour drawing the tiny bee! Let me know what you think!

As always, thanks for reading! I’m always eager to hear any feedback on my blog,some animating tips or just general chit chat, so Tweet me if you fancy on @stephhh.


P.S I’m still not sure how to crack the quality issue, so if anyone knows about that, let me in on the secret. Fixed it :D


Animated A-Z: Astro

This is the first letter of my animated alphabet, and you’ve guessed it, they’re also going to be alphabetically themed, because who doesn’t love a good theme? Style wise, I think I’m going to vary across a number of different methods, as this will make sure I branch out a bit as I go along.

So first up, A for Astro!


This was a relatively quick animation to complete, it took me about an hour from start to finish, as boy that’s a lot of stars to individually move, twice. Originally I had it planned out as 2 seconds, but as I wanted it to loop nicely I decided to extend it a second to include the explode at the end and the fade-in at the beginning.

I’m really happy with the outcome, and think it’s a great kick off to the new series!

As always, thanks for reading! I’m always eager to hear any feedback on my blog, some animating tips or just general chit chat, so Tweet me if you fancy on @stephhh.



That’s a lot of position key frames!


An Animated Kick-off

Gosh, has it really been over a year since I wrote my last blog post where I started to learn the basics in motion graphics? Seems about time to get back into it, and once again, dust off the old blog to show off a new project. What’s a year hiatus between friends? (Sorry!)

Since March 2015, a number of things have changed, but if you’re interested in that, why not see what I’ve done everyday since July 7th 2015? That’s over 300 consecutive photo blog posts, so I don’t blame you if you’ve sneered away from that impossibly long link. Here’s a quick summary if you’re not in for the long haul –

He’s still here! | I did this thing | We went here | Oh, and also here | And here lots for work

Well, wasn’t that fun? More in line with the topic, I animated my first motion graphic video for my company, so that was pretty exciting! And what a lovely segway into why I’ve revised my unloved second-child blog.

I’m starting a new animation project! Something to improve my skills and get me out of my motion graphics comfort zone I seem to have cosily built for myself over the last year. I’ll be designing an animated alphabet, one letter at a time, each with it’s own little blog post explaining the thought process and perhaps what I learnt along the way. So stay turned, as the first one will be up very soon, and I’m really excited for you to see it.

Thanks for reading! I’m always eager to hear any feedback on my blog or just general chit chat, so Tweet me if you fancy on @stephhh.


Level Up: After Effects CC – Flat Animation

And now for something slightly different. ‘Level Up’ is a new series to this blog where I write about what skills I’m currently learning or improving. There’s a range of things this can include, but as you may already know, I’m a digital designer, so predominately this will revolve around graphic, video and animation work for email and web.

AE_Screen2I’ve seen the term ‘material design’ popping up more and more over the last half a year, though it’s not always glaringly obvious what it actually is. I have ‘cooed’ over many beautiful flat design animations shown as examples, but had not found much else until I discovered Google had released this comprehensive mini website explaining what it was all about. I quickly realised what it was all about was a hell of a lot more complicated than I originally expected, so I decided to take a couple steps backwards first.

Last week I was meant to attend a Adobe After Effects (AE) beginners course in Cardiff, which subsequently got moved to a different date. As I was already geared up for it, and clients were being conveniently quiet at work, I decided the delayed course shouldn’t stop me from making a start, so I began looking up tutorials.

I decided upon this video and made a prompt start. After a couple hours of tinkering and getting my head around why anyone would think graphs would ever be a good idea in a design program, I had created this! –


I was unashamedly proud how this turned out, and I was soon loving AE’s graphs and everything they stood for. Whilst I was basking in my new love of abstract animation, I realised it wasn’t much use for any email or web design work we had coming up.

I made the decision to use a combination of my newly found knowledge and cockiness to go rogue, and try my hand at creating some animations of building data graphs without the use of further tutorials.


I’m pleased at the progress I’ve made this week in AE – from zero to hero a bit more than zero. I’m quite quick at picking up programs from a couple of tutorials, but even I can see there’s so much more to uncover within Adobe After Effects, and this is only the mere beginning to what’s possible. However for now, this is all I had time for within my lunchtimes and downtime at work last week, and the rest of my free time is otherwise engaged due to my evenings and weekends being committed to moving preparations and frolicking in Wales.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you found this interesting, or at least entertaining. I’m always eager to hear any feedback on my blog or just general chit chat, so Tweet me if you fancy on @stephhh.

As a bonus, here’s something pretty I put together after getting bored of staring at graphs for so long…


It’s all Sunshine and Daffodils 

Monkeying around in CardiffFrom a foreign country, hello! This weekend I’ve travelled many miles from London to my homeland of Cardiff to visit my wonderful Mum for Mother’s Day. It’s been quite a stereotypically girly weekend full of shopping, wine, a spot of running (finally!) and mostly frequently and importantly, cake.

Prior to all the cake, this week has been full of less enjoyable illness and boxes. Nic has a bad case of a throat infection, whilst I have been continuing with stage 2 of our house move, packing up our life into easily movable bite size chunks (whilst praying that they don’t end up in even smaller chunks at the other end..).

I’ve made a lot of progress in work this week, after having an Adobe After Effects course rescheduled, I decided to have a crack at it myself. I’m just finishing off a blog post about material design which incorporates this new found skill – it should be up by tomorrow lunchtime.

It’s all feels very ‘calm before the storm’ right now in our flat. We’re still making good progress on preparation before the more, even with Nic’s newfound husky personality, so fingers crossed next weekend will continue just as smoothly. Here’s to us being happy and settled in our new home by this time next week, exciting!

Top picture: Me, monkeying around in Llandaff fields!
1. Nic’s cameras ready for their bubble wrap jackets
2. Reading and working on the train to Cardiff
3. Daffodils outside Cardiff Castles
4. Crocus’ over the path from the daffodils

IMG_3710  IMG_3719

IMG_0156  Flowers in Cardiff

Getting dragged around is the best stress reliever

IMG_3557.. It’s probably not what you think but let’s start with a weekly recap –

What a busy week it has been! It seems like things are changing so quickly right now. We (my boyfriend Nic and I) have finally found the perfect new flat, and it’s safe to say we’re over the moon. However with stage 1 of moving complete, we’re now stuck into phase 2, packing. Oh joy of joys. Does anyone have any cardboard boxes to give us or shall we continue to steal them from the back of Sainsbury’s in the hope it’s not actually theft..?

Swiftly moving on before I write an unintentional admittance of guilt. Work wise, I’ve spent a majority of the week video editing for the CEO of my company; he liked a video I made for an event and now wants to take a slightly shortened version to the states to show our larger American branch of the company. So that’s definitely good news and swimming along nicely.

Next, onto the dragging (the catchy title that brought you here, I’m sure). Saturday proved to be a surprisingly sunny day in London so we decided the best call of action was to get in the car and drive for two hours to Camber Sands, logical, I’m sure you’ll agree. Though what the wide open beach gives us is a wind chill that drives away  the basking sun dwellers and attracts us, power kiters (I might have just made that name up). Power kiting uses large kites that fill with air, causing you to be dragged on a board, the sand or into the air! It’s super fun, genuinely my favourite outdoor activity and we had an absolute blast on our first time out this year. Check out the photos!

Last of all, in bloggy news, I have a couple of web design posts lined up for this week so we’ll see where that goes. Thanks everyone for your kind words on my return, it’s much appreciated.

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