Making Entrepreneur More Animated

Social media has become crowded with videos, GIFs, webms, and all kinds of other moving pixels trying to steal your attention. Our books department wanted to expand their static posts into more animated ones.


It’s All Greek To Me

Before working at Entrepreneur, I had no experience with animation and/or motion graphics. In order to learn more about the process behind animating, I took a course on After Effects. Going through the course’s projects got me to a place where I felt comfortable incorporating animation into my design repertoire.

Our books department was ecstatic when I told them that we’d be able to start incorporating animations into many aspects of their marketing and promotional efforts which in turn they could sell to their authors.

Started From The Bottom

Before biting off more than I can chew, I was very transparent with the books team that incorporating animation would require a slightly modified process in terms of going from a sketch to finalized deliverable.

My main goal was to keep animations simple (at first due to my lack of knowledge and ability) to minimize production time since I also had to work on tasks for the other departments at Entrepreneur.

Each animation project would start with quick rough sketches that would only be seen by myself; each sketch would be a state or keyframe in the animation. After I was happy with the sketches, I would then create a higher fidelity version of the animation in Keynote.

In Keynote I could focus on layout and basic movement utilizing the “Magic Move” transition which sped up this stage of production exponentially. From Keynote, I would export the rough animation as a video file and get it reviewed. When the rough animation got approved, I would then go into After Effects to fine-tune the composition, adjusting timing and adding more complex movements.

What About Email!

When it came to creating animations in our email newsletters, we used GIFs (however you pronounce them). We exclusively use the GIF file format for emails because it’s widely supported and nearly everyone and their mother uses it for animated imagery within emails. The process to create them is virtually identical besides the last step which involves importing the video file into Photoshop so that it can be exported as an optimized GIF file. Easy peasy.

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