Create Mood Boards for Motion Design

Create Mood Boards for Motion Design


Hello everyone, this is Evan Abrams, and in this video, we’re going to
be creating a mood board. And a mood board is kinda
collection of inspiration that generally starts most design projects and motion design is no exception. While it may seem that great videos spring fully formed out of the creator’s mind, it’s usually from a pretty
exhaustive pre-production process and that process typically begins with the nebulous and ethereal mood board. Now, if this were the
1980s, we would probably put up a cork board and cut
some things out of magazines and start pinning them
up with sticky notes and connecting them with red string, it would really start to look like a conspiracy theory
starting to take shape. However, it’s 2019 and we can do better. So in this video, we’ll be making use of a collaborative quiet of tools brought to us by this
video’s sponsor, Milanote. (upbeat music) Now before we begin, what is a mood board, what am I talking about? Well, early in the production process in the pre-pre-production,
maybe you only have a creative brief, there’s
no images associated with the project yet,
you want to put together a mood board to kind of decide
on your visual direction. Now there may already be
some creative thoughts going into it, bunch
of things in word form, it’s useful to take those ideas and to turn them into images so that other members of the team, or just yourself if it’s
only you working on it, you really just wanna
put out all the images that make sense with this project. You don’t need to come up
with everything all at once, you can gradually work your way there, and a mood board will help you do that. A mood board could be very literal so in the case of working with a brand, you probably throw their logo on there, various associated
colors, fonts and imagery, basically a pile of things
that has to be in the project, but it can be very abstract as well. It could just be a collection of things that you want to evoke a
feeling in the audience, or a bunch of images that you
wanna draw inspiration from. The purpose of the mood board is really just to get you started, to figure out: “where are
we going with this thing?” A lot of projects can seem very daunting and nebulous and who knows what’s going on and what am I gonna do? Well, you can thwart a lot of those things by going through the
pre-production process and near the beginning
you find the mood board which can give you that visual
direction that you want, by tapping into the various
resources around you. Now this is all pretty abstract, which makes sense ’cause mood boards are fairly abstract things. So let’s crack something open
and actually look at one. Alright so, like we said in the intro, in this video, we’re gonna
be making some mood boards, talking about mood boards, and we’re gonna be using
Milanote to make it happen. Milanote is a wonderful web app created by some Australian agency folks, so you know they know mood boards. If you like what you see,
if you wanna follow along and do as I do, then
you should use the link in the description to get organized, stay creative, and start using Milanote. I use Milanote for mood boards, and other parts of pre-production, let’s just crack open the interface here, you can see, I do a bit
of my tutorial planning, whenever I have ideas I
try to throw them down into a board here and connect things with arrows and organize
them into sub-boards, boards within boards, just to
organize a lot of my thoughts, but today, let’s focus on mood boards. The mood board is a
collage of images of fonts, of colors, of objects that
are meant to evoke a style, so by referencing the mood board, you should be able to figure out where you’re goin’ with this
project visually speaking. Now I mentioned that mood
boards can be literal or abstract and anywhere
on the spectrum between. Here’s a very literal example. Let’s say we’re going
a piece for Alfa Romeo, who we’re gonna make a
television spot for them or some kind of campaign,
we might select images like these for our mood board to convey, yes we will have sweeping
vistas of Italian countryside, we will have red cars,
we are gonna be using the brand’s kind of
tagline as our watch words, the mechanics of emotion, without heart we would be mere machines. So these are kind of
things about Alfa Romeo, and when we look at this mood board, we can see things that
might literally appear in the final product, but we could also take a way more abstract approach, so, let’s say hypothetically, I was creating a motion design project around
the beautiful game of chess, I play a fair amount of chess ’cause I’m a bit of a nerd
and a cliche I suppose, not to say that people
who play chess are nerds, but you know I’m one of each
so what’re you gonna do? Whenever I approach a project, no matter what it is, whether it’s for me, or for somebody else, I try to touch on all the steps of pre-production, that’s brief, mod board,
script, AV script, all the way through to animatics and then we start production. By taking care of a lot
of these little steps, a project becomes way less nebulous. So here we’ve decided on some goals, the purpose of the video,
the technical deliverables, you’d wanna know the audience, you’d wanna know the
timelines for delivery. It’s important, even on personal projects to give yourself deadlines
so you’re not just sitting’ on stuff for a long time. So this example, I’ve given myself a little bit of directive, a little bit of the angle I wanna take
on the game of chess and how I wanna represent
it in motion design. We’re talking’ about
an elegant, simplicity, intricate interaction of elements game of perfect information that allows for unpredictable outcomes, so this is kind of the big
blue sky, top level thinking that might translate into a mood board, something like this, a little interplay of positive and negative
space and impossible geometry, using a lot of black
and white, high contrast with pops of color, and we
organize it all on a mood board. So this is much more abstract, a lot of these elements probably won’t appear this way in the final piece, but all of this should help evoke what the final product is gonna look like. Now there are some
literal elements in here such as fonts and colors,
these are specific choices, but a lot of the imagery,
a lot of the video, we’re not gonna literally be doing exactly what you see here. These are meant to inspire and guide the final style of the piece. Now when you’re assembling your mood board no matter what method you use, you wanna pay attention to how large and where you’re putting
things in this mood board. Generally the larger and
more central something is, the more important it
is to the overall style. It takes up more space
so it has more weight. So we would say looking
at this mood board, the central video here is probably the most influential on what we’re seeing. Usually that might be an
image that you start with or just some little
piece or maybe a sound, maybe it’s music that
really starts you off so whatever it is, you wanna start with that, and build around it. That’s also worth dropping things down that remind you of what is the direction we’re even going in, throw on some text, throw on some words that are important to the brand, to the project,
to the style in general. But the mood board is
also part of a process and when we look here at this end, when we look at this mood board, we see, you know there’s a lot of high
contrast, but it’s very dark, we’re seeing a lot of
kind of gloomy imagery. The goal of the project
was to make something seem more dynamic and fun and accessible, we’ve kind of Dark Knighted
it here a little bit, we’ve taken a fun thing and possibly made it terrifying for audiences. But one of the things
I love about Milanote is the way it can really
hep you iterate stuff. So for example, this here, this little bright ray of sunshine,
I think is worth keeping, and I think these colors
are also worth keeping. So what I’m gonna do
is I’m gonna copy those and we’re gonna make a new board, and I’ll walk you through how to do it. So to make a new board in Milanote, you just drag it out,
drag this board icon out, drop it down, and give it a name. So we might name this, bright version. And Milanote attempts to create an icon based on the words that you put down, which I find very charming. And we can start piling things in here. So, in the bright
version, I’ve already got some unsorted things that I can start, drop it in there, start
dropping these things, these wonderful, much brighter, much more colorful
approaches to this stuff and, so now I’ve got a bunch of cards, they’re still unsorted but
I’m just gonna go ahead and I’m gonna paste in the stuff from that original piece,
the original pieces that I liked from the first one. And I’m gonna start adding
to it from these new sources. So here’s a little image
I picked up from B hand, I really like the way this hand looks with these little creases here. I’m gonna go exactly that far, I might simplify it, maybe
somewhere between these two is where I wanna be, I found
this to be very evocative, I love the bold color choices, I love how different they
are, just by smoking, but you know I think that’s
a pretty good looking hand, this is a similar shape of
hand that I really enjoy, this representation of a chess board I think is pretty nice,
that came off of Dribble. Here’s another one from
Dribble that is a little bit, you know a little bit more “gradiated”. So you could start to bring things out, and you might think well, some of these don’t really fit, maybe they need to be smaller and off to the side
’cause that’s kind of secondary. This is also gonna be
smaller, it can go over here. The big thing, the big thing
that stands out to me is this piece here, ’cause I think
that’s the most important, you know this bunch
can go just over there, anyway I’m just resizing and reallocating these things around, and
now I think we need to add some more things in here, so we might have another video, one thing
I love about Milanote is you can just drop videos in, you can clip them from around the internet and drop them in, this
here is a wonderful piece from Gunner, it’s a great montage and you could even play video
here in your Milanote board. And you can just watch it through and see the motion, get
inspired by what you’re seeing’, it’s really important with the mood board to be able to assess all of
these inspirational pieces almost at once that it just hits you with some kind of a feeling. It can all get kind of
ethereal and abstract but the purpose is to help
guide you towards a real thing that you’re making, so
this is a good start, let’s add some more things. I think these colors
are a little bit dower, I don’t think they’re a great spot, so let me just call those out, and let’s add some new ones. I looked into some colors
over here in Adobe Color CC, so see I liked this
yellow, so I’m gonna just double click on that,
copy it, go back here, and something fun that I love in Milanote is that I can drag out a new note, I can hit hashtag, and
then paste a HEX value, and then that just turns into a little paint chip of that value. So I really like that,
these three kind of work out as a color combination, I think those are a nice triad of
colors, very primary things I think if we’re trying to
appeal to younger audiences, that’s probably a move we wanna make. We should probably drop a font on here, some kind of font, sometimes I have a look around Font Squirrel, and
if you find any images you like around the web, and you have your Milanote Chrome extension, you can just grab any picture you see by just clicking save
here, and then choosing the board you wanna send it to, and then save it, and then
when you go back to the board, it just shows up, and
you can drag that out, you can make it a little
bit larger if you like. It also supports transparent backgrounds, so I might kinda, just put
that here in the middle, ’cause it is kinda the title of the piece. And drag things around it, there we go, now we’re gettin’ it goin’,
things are looking’ up. Now we’re gettin’ more organized. I think another video would be great, so if we’re watching
something on video we enjoy, like this Cartoon Network
piece by Giant Ant, terrific series, wonderful
piece, amazing studio, I really love the bold colors in here, I love a lot of the
angles and the characters and how they make use of a very limited bold color palette so I would go up here to my Milanote clipper and then
we’ll save that video, boom. And drop that in, so now we’ve got another little piece of
inspiration into the puzzle. This could probably use a few more images, we might hit up Behance and scan around and find something that
has colors or shapes or textures that we like,
something that invokes the style we wanna try to get to. Might his up Dribble, Dribble has a lot of great things on it. A lot of these things can be
hard to search through though ’cause they’re not really organized by any specific stylistic keywords. But once you find what you’re after, you can always just save it
using your Milanote clipper here and just like that, so I think this’ll, actually replace that,
’cause it’s nice and bright, and now, this is starting to
take a little bit more shape. It can take a little while to round up all the things you want to flesh out where you want the style to go, however, spending the time
early on in the process is gonna save you a lot of
question marks later on. Sometimes you already know the style you wanna use for a piece, however, when it comes to commercial
work and client work, you often have to pitch styles, so this is where organizing and making your mood board beautiful, so you can pitch the idea and
the concept to somebody else, really helps, it’s not enough
that just you understand the direction you’re gonna take, sometimes you need other people
to understand it too, and that’s another one of the
functions of a mood board. I’ll also say that what we’re doing isn’t meant to be lifting
other peoples’ styles, we’re meant to be observing the landscape, figuring out what’s best for the project and then applying bits that
we like from here from there, and then adding on and elevating, bringing ourself to the table. After the mood board, we’ll generally go into some style frames where
we’ll see some concept art, we’ll build on this, this
is really only meant to be a bunch of inspirational pieces to direct us to create
our own original pieces from the synthesis, so if
you find yourself stuck or struggling with the
style of your next piece, I definitely recommend going
back to the mood board, or just making one in general if you skip to that step of the process. Alright, that’s it, thank
you so much for watching, hopefully you’ve learned
a lot about mood boards and how to make them and to be able to use them on your next project, hopefully they start
off a little bit better. If you’d like to make use of Milanote to make your mood boards
and many other things, please use the link in the description, check out the free
trial and if you upgrade to the full package, then you’ll be able just to fill your Milanote
with so many things, many many things, if
you’ve enjoyed learning about motion graphics, motion
design and production process then subscribe to this channel. And we’ll see you around
for the next tutorial, and you’ll get to see what
we make from this mood board. The plan is to actually follow through and make something off of this thing. If you have questions
about this kind of thing, mood boards, pre-production,
motion design in general, please, hit me up on here in the comments, or get at me on Twitter
I’m @ecabrams on there, thanks again for watching
and have a great day.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Thank you very much for sharing Evan! I am folowing your channel for a long time, I am not writting each time a comment, but I am saying it now: you remain one of the most professional and profound Ae and motion graphic specialist! Keep it up, and again thank you much for sharing! ❤

  2. I didn't even know mood boards were a thing. I've just been using tables in google docs. This is actually pretty eye opening stuff. Definitely going to check out Milanote. Thanks Evan!

  3. THANK YOU!!! I’m so unorganized! I find myself always wanting to skip to editing… but this’ll definitely help me focus on what I need to do.

  4. Thanks for sharing!, It´s a really good tool for improve the workflow. Also looks very professional in the meetings with clients or the work team.

  5. This is super cool. Thanks for sharing your process. Curious, what mic/amp do you use? Is that a Shure mic? If you have a link to your setup somewhere, I'd love to check it out.

  6. Hey Evan! What motion graphics/animation books would you recommend? Thanks for all your helpful tutorial man 🙂

  7. great video man not enough people talk about the actual design process its good to see more and more people finally talking about it. I always find this is the hardest part of animation process when you staring at a blank screen.

  8. I really love this. I find this really helpful during my creative process. But whenever I am looking for inspiration outside of images I run into limitations. You seem not to have any issue with this at all. How do you go about finding animations or videos like you did in the tutorial?

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