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3 Animation Tips

3 Animation Tips

Hayden O'Neill


The web is full of complex animation techniques, with many different ways they can be applied to reach a different outcome. Here are 3 animation tips that can bring value to your motion design projects.

Fading to/from black with a gradient wipe

As one of the most simple transition effects available, fading to and from black can have practically any use case across video and animation. But what if we could make it look just a little bit nicer? Using a gradient wipe effect, we can turn the default linear fade into something more dynamic that fits the content better. It’s a subtle difference but, when comparing the two examples, you can see how the gradient wipe allows different parts of the image to fade at different rates for some added visual appeal.


As well as simple solid colour fades, this can also be used to gradually transition between two different clips instead of having a hard cut. This technique is also known as a luma fade.

Match cuts

Match cuts is a powerful animation technique where you can transition between different scenes whilst maintaining some kind of key visual across both. There are many ways to approach this kind of animation, making it a super versatile way of preserving some continuity when cutting to a new composition or scene. In this simple example, notice how we can match the scale transition between the text composition and the ball as they both decrease in size, as well as the shape of the circle to the shape of the ball.


An excellent use case for this would be a type of animation that requires lots of content within a short amount of time, such as a showreel, where you are able to transition between many compositions or scenes in creative ways.

Syncing animation with music

Executing transitions and key animation timings to the beat of the audio track is a great way to level up the overall feel of any animation. You can also take this a step further by converting the music track into a keyframe layer which can be used to directly animate a whole range of properties. As shown in the example, the scale of the icon is controlled by the amplitude of the music when converted to keyframes.


Obviously the song choice will need to be appropriate here, with a punchy enough beat that can really connect visual parts of the animation to sounds of the audio track. And when combining this with match cuts, you can end up with a unique animation style, with the music being able to influence timing of animations as well as duration and speed depending on the tempo throughout the song.

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