New Project: Advertisement or PSA

For our next project, we will create an advertisement or public service announcement. You will have the choice or creating a print piece OR a video piece.

Public Service Announcements

psaPublic service announcements are advertisements that serve the public interest.  The objective of a public service announcement is to educate and create awareness of significant social issues in an effort to change the public’s attitudes and behaviors and stimulate positive social change.

Common Subjects for PSAs include:

  • Drinking and driving
  • Bullying
  • The environment
  • Racism and discrimination
  • Disease and/or medical conditions
  • Foreign aid (e.g. Hunger)
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Abuse and violence
  • Education
  • Public safety (e.g. seat belts)
  • World ________ Day
  • Respect and tolerance

Here are some examples of PSAs created by past SOTA students:

Commercial Advertisements

Commercial advertisements, on the other hand, aim to sell a product or service.

Here are a few ads created by past SOTA students:


Image Credit: Mabel, Class of 2017

Project Requirements (pick one)

Print Option Project requirements:

  • TWO final images coordinate as part of a unified series
  • Original high quality photography or illustration
  • Integration of text/slogan in professional typography
  • Appropriate subject matter
  • Follows the principles of design (balance, contrast, repetition, etc)
  • Clear focal point
  • Each image should be 8×10 inches and 300 DPI

Video Option Project requirements:

  • 30-60 seconds long
  • created in Adobe Premiere
  • Good lighting, clear audio, and dynamic shots
  • Voice-Over Narration
  • Visual Montage of Powerful / Emotional Moments
  • Signature Music
  • may work alone or with ONE partner

Today we will:

  • Introduce the new project options: Print OR Video Commercial Advertisement OR Public Service Announcement
  • Publish a project proposal to our blog with the following:
    • Print option:
      • Sketches of potential layouts (include any words you plan to include in your final piece)
      • The answers to the following questions:
        • What is the subject of your PSA or advertisement?
        • Who is your target audience?
        • What imagery will you include? How will you shoot these photos?
        • What text will you include?
        • What techniques will you utilize to make your advertisement or PSA appeal to your target audience?
        • What style or branding techniques will you utilize to unify your two advertisements or PSAs?
    • Video option:
      • Script of the commercial/public service announcement
      • Still photos of key moments
      • The answers to the following questions:
        • What is the subject of your PSA or commercial?
        • Who is your target audience?
        • What imagery will you include? How will you shoot this video?
        • What text will you include?
        • What techniques will you utilize to make your advertisement or PSA appeal to your target audience?

RIT Field Trip: New Media Careers

Today’s essential question: How do art and technology combine into real world careers?


If you enjoyed yesterday’s field trip, you may want to considering majoring in New Media.
New Media majors design experiences, from the latest app to games to virtual reality.
It is one of the highest-paying fields, with average salaries starting near $70,000/year. (Translation: $35/hr)

Here’s more info on the two majors we explored yesterday:

If you are interested in applying to either major, please speak with Ms. Lawson to develop a plan.

If you have not yet finished your word animation and accompanying artist statement, please do so today.
You’ll notice from the New Media Design link that you’ve just completed a college project. Congratulations.

after_effects_logo  After Effects

If you enjoyed the name animation workshop, we do have an older version of After Effects on these computers. Feel free to open it up and see how much you remember.

Unity_Technologies_logo.svg Unity

If you enjoyed the 3D modeling workshop and have a laptop or desktop computer at home, Unity is available as a free download.

You can also download yesterday’s starter files.

Animation Wall of Fame

Here are some animations created by your classmates that are either finished or close to being finished.

What are some things that are working well?

What suggestions do you have to improve the animation?





Today we will:

  • Continue working on our animations
  • Upload our progress to YouTube
  • Create a new blog post with the following:
    • the link to our YouTube animation
    • a few sentences describing what you still need to work on, and anything you would like help with

Typographic Animation Day 3: Randoms


The following people need to turn in their permission slips for the RIT Field Trip:

  • Omarion
  • CJ (also need med form for nurse)
  • Dax
  • Aquan
  • Seth (also need med form for nurse)


If anyone thinks it would be easier to create a hand drawn animation of their word, talk to Ms. Lawson and she can show you how to use Flip-a-Clip on an iPad. It will take significantly longer since you have to draw every frame (so you would need to draw 60 pictures for a 5-second animation.)

Blog Post Reminder

Please remember to post your progress to  your blog every day. Once you start animating, you should post YouTube links of the actual animation. In the meantime, use the snipping tool to take a screen shot of your progress.

Typographic Animation Day 2: Converting Text to Vector Outlines in Illustrator

Today’s essential question: How can use Adobe Illustrator to create the graphics I will later animate in Flash?

Part 1: How to Convert Text to Vector Outlines in Adobe Illustrator

  1. Select the type tool. type_tool
  2. Change the size and typeface from the drop down menu at the top of the screen. Choose a large size (72-200pt) so you will be able to see your word.
  3. Type some text.
  4. Select the selection tool. selection_tool
  5. Type -> Create Outlines
  6. Object -> Ungroup
    This will separate the letters.
  7. You can now move, scale and rotate individual letters with the selection tool.
  8. You can also select and move individual points on a letter with the direct selection tool. direct_selection_tool
    e1 e2
  9. You can delete points by clicking and holding on the pen tool to bring up the Delete Anchor Point tool, and using it to delete any points that you do not want.
  10. You can also use the shape tools such as the rectangle tool rectangle_tool.PNG to draw parts of the letters back in as separate shapes, like in the example below:
  11. Make sure you save your file as an Ai and PNG and post your progress to your blog.

Why might you want to convert each letter (or even part of a letter) into separate graphics before bringing them into Flash?

The videos below were created with letters that were first separated into pieces before being animated:

Part 2: How to Import Vector Graphics into Flash

  1. Make a new Flash file
  2. File -> Import -> Import to Library
  3. Select “Convert to Flash Layers”
  4. Go to the library and drag each graphic onto its own layer in your timeline.

Today we will:

  • create our word graphics in Illustrator
  • save our file as both a Ai and PNG
  • import our graphics into Flash
  • make a new blog post with images of our progress
  • back all our files up to our animation folders in our Google Drives

New Project: Typographic Animation

Today’s essential question: How can I depict the meaning of a word using only the letters in the word and definition?

Today we will introduce our typographic word animation project and create storyboards for potential animations. We will sketch each of the major keyframes, write a written description of the action, and identify which Flash tutorials and tools we will use to create each action (ex. scale, rotation, transparency, motion path). If you are not sure which tool to use, ask a classmate or Ms. Lawson for help! You must post a photo of your storyboard and a one paragraph description of your planned animation in order to receive credit.

Typographic Animation Project Requirements

  • Created in Adobe Flash
  • Uses only the letters in the word (and potentially the definition of the word)
  • Illustrates the meaning of the word
  • Follows the Principles of Animation
  • Sound adds to the meaning of the piece
  • 5 seconds long

Typographic Animation Examples

Examples of typographic animations created by previous SOTA Students:

Random internet examples of typographic bumper animations:

Animation Project Planning Blog Post Requirements:

Here is an example of what I am looking for in a storyboard:

Here are some examples of typographic animation project proposals created by previous SOTA students:

Today we will:

  • Introduce the typographic word animation project
  • Sketch storyboards for potential animations
  • Create a new blog post with the following:
    • A photo of our storyboard. Your storyboard must include:
      • sketch each of the major keyframe
      • a written description of the action
      • a list of which Flash tutorials and tools you will use for each part of the animation (ex. scale, rotation, transparency, motion path)
    • A few sentences describing your planned animation



Animation Tutorials Day 3: Motion Path

Today’s essential question: How can I make an object follow a custom motion path?


The bouncing ball tutorial taught us how animate an object that moves from one point to another.
Sometimes you may want an object to follow a more elaborate path of motion, such as a race car following a track, or a butterfly fluttering around a screen. In these cases, you would draw a line called a custom motion path for your object to follow.

How to Create a Custom Motion Path in Flash CS5

Part 1: Setting Up the File & Layers
  1. Create a new Flash Document in Actionscript 2.0
  2. Save the butterfly PNG below. (Or download an image of your choice with a transparent background.)
  3. Import the picture of the butterfly.
    File ->Import-> Import to Library->small__blue_butterfly.png
  4. Go to the timeline at the bottom of the screen.
    Double-click “Layer 1” and rename it “butterfly.”
  5. Click on the Libraries panel.
    Select “small__blue_butterfly.png” and drag it onto the stage.
  6. Right click (or control + click) on the butterfly image -> convert to symbol -> convert to movie clip.
    Name the movie clip “butterfly.”
Part 2: Creating the Motion Path
  1. Create another new layer on the Timeline, select the Pencil tool 1 in the Tools panel,
    and select a stroke color from the Property inspector on the right.
  2. Draw a path on the stage with the Pencil tool.
  3. Switch to the Selection tool 3 and double-click the path you just created.
  4. Choose Edit→Cut to remove the path from the stage temporarily.
  5. Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac) Frame 1 of the layer that contains your symbol and choose Create Motion Tween from the contextual menu that appears.
    A new tween span is created for your triangle symbol.
  6. Choose Edit→Paste in Place to paste the path you created earlier.
    Flash automatically converts the path to a motion path, and your symbol snaps to the path.
  7. Press Enter or Return to play your movie. The symbol follows the path you created.

Today we will:

  • Complete Motion Path tutorial, upload both the flash and swf files to the animation folders in our school Google Drive accounts, and make sure we have shared the folder with Ms. Lawson
  • Upload Motion Path animations to YouTube
  • Create a new blog post with the following:
    • completed Motion Path Animation
    • a few sentences on our blog summarizing any challenges you faced today, how you worked through those challenges, and how you currently feel about computer animation.
    • any other missing or incomplete assignments