Motion Graphics ShortFilm

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    Nikhil Munjampalli

Nikhil Munjampalli

Ph.: +64 220 659 782

Email:[email protected]




This is about a short film  based on technological interface —a networked platform or latest technology integrated  application  that draws info from one’s surroundings allowing for highly integrated social networking(example-Facebook), in everyday life. This film follow one individual’s daily routine utilizing the technology, drawing upon current trends in social internet. Does the constant influx of information help or hurt his chances of human connection? And does the technology pose unseen risks?

My research is important process because it's impossible to achieve certain kind of effects in real life as they are expensive, I want to show impossible things happening in real life with the help of software.

This kind of short film will be a thrilling experience to work on and to achieve the determined effects in very short span of time will be most challenging job for me, but I want to explore the possibilities of providing solution for all the obstacles I face during this process.

Inspiration of my project all started with a small idea.
So I wrote three concepts (Stories) and finally fixed to one which was contained humour in it.

Through this research I got to explore, experiment, and gain lot of knowledge where I thought it was out of my capability, This research helped me to push myself from comfort zone and made me discover my own capabilities which I thought I could never achieve on my own.

In this journey of my research and development I had go through different challenges and tasks, I was able to answer to all my challenges and task by researching information, watching various references , talking to my seniors and tutors about issues I faced during this journey.

After having a clear knowledge of what I am doing I got into Pre-production stage.


This is where Pre-Production stage starts….





Mood board

Look and feel of Frame

Test Shots





I wanted to start with good story board but I was never good at traditional drawing and had no in interest in doing it too. But I had a clear concept of story line and camera angles fixed in my mind.

So to overcome this problem I figured out a way that is I started to draw digitally using Wacom to explain my ideas.

Initially it was very hard for me to handle Wacom controls later with good practise of tracing sketches and outlines of drawings I got good grip on Wacom within two to three days.

Later I started to put my ideas in form of story board with in very less time I managed to complete all my storyboard.



After this phase I moved to make an animatic with series of storyboard sequences. I was quiet satisfied with animatic, as I got all my camera angles perfect that explained my story line. Finally I got good appreciation and encouragement from my tutors which boosted up my confidence level and motivated me a lot to go ahead and start my Post-production process.

I am really thankful for my tutors.


Mood board And Look and Feel of Frame

I started researching on various references for my mood board hologram effect and also for HUD which is heads up display. I read few research reports regarding   visual effects and also watched many visual effects related movies to observe how they are conveying their story through camera angles.

With the help of good references and design theory, I critically started to observe colour elements, designing principles look of the frame and also camera angles, from this observation I got to know that there are many films or short films which was based on sci-fi backdrop had same style or similar look. From this point onwards I made sure that this short film of mine must adapt a different style not as routine sci-fi style.


Then I started researching more about motion graphics. Went through some basic and advance tutorials about motion graphics from Digital tutorials.

After few failures from my motion graphic designs, I learnt that motion graphics is not as easy as we see on screen, I also got to know that it is not important how motion graphics appears on screen whether if it is complex style or simple style, above all motion graphic content or style should convey the story line to audience so that audience are curious and kept engaged while they are watching a film.

After going through many motion graphic style I came up with one kind of motion graphic style called as ‘Overlays’ and ‘Draw overs’, which according to me I felt that this style would be perfect to my story line as it appeared like doodle art on screen.

I was aware of the fact that my short film was based on futuristic style, but I choose this style to make it a different aspect from audience point of view that sci-fi film can also be shown with a tinch of traditional drawing which would really be simple and conveying my story line. This style works better if we draw frame by frame, as each and every frame varies from one and other frame the drawing style will appears like a wiggle effect with different shapes in different frame.

Simultaneously I was just conducting rough test shot on hologram and disappearing effect. In which I was successful.



Then I moved to my next step in my Pre-Production Process which was casting for my short film

After finishing test on hologram and motion graphic style, I started searching for locations. I went all the way to Ponsonby, Symonds Street and Auckland CBD. Then I fixed to two locations. One for Main Lead Jogging Scenes and other for girl’s scenes which are in Auckland CBD.

Later I was worried about actress as I need minimum 5 actress that too for small roles. As Mauricio (my classmate) suggested me to post online for actress in starnow.com and Facebook. I did one poster and published online. I received 7 applications through starnow.com and 4 through Facebook in a very less time. As I was late according to my timetable I have to hurry up the casting process and start shooting, I started meeting all members who applied for my post whenever there are free. After proper planning it was really very hard for me to handle many people for my shooting I spoke to more than 15 Actress but finally only 6 Actress agreed to act in my film according to my schedule other Actress dropped due to different available timing.

For the lead role in film it wasn’t much tough for me because I had one of my classmate who was really interested to act in film.



As I don’t have any experience in shooting, direction, I went to Mauricio shooting to observe what precautions to be taken before going to shoot and learnt few techniques.

Then I prepared schedule for green screen shooting and outdoor shooting.

I managed to set a decent time-table for my schedule.

Where I had list of things how shooting goes smoothly without any interruptions.

My planning was good but nature planning was unpredictable.

First day shooting got cancelled due to rain,

So I had to make quick change in schedule and completed all the green screen shots with main lead and other actress which went quite good.

On the same day I was able to complete all the outdoor scenes of actress.

And on next weekend I completed rest of the shooting with main lead.

Shooting process went smoothly because one of the experienced cinematographer helped me for shooting.


Post-Production Stage Begins



Tracking and Match moving

Removal of Track Markers

Applying Motion Graphic Style

Implementing Test Shots


Colour Correction





After finishing all shoots I got all my raw footages ready to edit. Within two to three cuts I completed my editing.


In this stage I finished all the keying process using nuke.

Was quite happy with the result.

In Nuke I used ‘Ultimate’ node for keying,

While keying I had few issues with main lead hair as his hair was very curly this became the toughest task for me so in order to overcome this problem I masked his ear and subtracted it.

I also used remove grain pre-set to avoid flickering on his hair and other scenes.

Tracking and Match moving

This stage was easy in whole Post-Production process because I used track markers which helped me to track all the required frames without any issues.


Removal of Track Markers

This was the toughest part in my Post-Production Period.

As I made a small mistake in pre-production process by using big track markers and by placing them in wrong place, where it really took long and hectic hours while clearing this track markers from video. I failed many times to clean them properly because I was getting lot of flickering after completely removing track markers, I had to do it again and again to get it right I almost spent more than one week to get clean output without any flickering issues.


Removing track markers in long shot

As I have was running out of time, I used different method to remove few track points.

·        Step one : Applied  tracking got the perfect values of position

·        Duplicated the layer and masked around the track marker

·        Copied all the position values to the mask path

·        I added selective colour pre-set

·        In colour option selected greens  and made all the below adjustment to 100%

·        In colour option selected cyans and repeated the same step as above except yellow, whose value was -39%

·        Then added hue and saturation preset selected green colour in colour range then adjusted the values of green saturation green lightness to -100%

·        As the marker was placed on black dress this process gave me good result in mixing the track marker with dress instead of removing it.

Method -02

To clean up Track markers

·        I took one frame to Photoshop and cleaned all track markers using clone stamp tool.

·        Then imported clean plate to after effects and duplicated the layer three times to add for three different actress,

·        Later I tracked all three track markers and copied those position values to clean plate and masked it to the size of track marker.

·        Adjusted the feather of mask to merge well according to the scene

·        This gave me very good result in very less time but this method will not be applicable for all scenes.



·        As method two did not give me good result for one scene

·        I used nuke software to clean it.

·        This is the same regular process where I tracked and used roto and clone to clean it.


Applying Motion Graphic Style

This is most interesting and toughest part of the process

I wanted to approach with unique style for my motion graphics which will be different from rest of the short film makers, after a long research I was attracted to the style called overlays and draw over style which give the tinch of traditional drawing effect in digital medium.

To achieve this style I had to draw frame by frame in after-effects with brush tool.

While using brush tool I had to change the duration option from constant to single frame in Paint tab.

For each and every elements I took reference images from internet for example bottle image, heart, some basic designs.

Motion Graphics for girls Shot It was toughest job because in this process I had to convey my whole story line so it has to appear interesting, appealing good and funny.

To get good output I had to research online and I conducted small survey among my friends and others like what are the information they expect from girls when they want to date.

Among them majority of them replied that they expect name and phone number and status, and few replied age.

Then I started working on motion graphics showing their name age, status, to make it funny I used hearts with some secondary animation. And to make it more interesting I designed rating and difficulty level.


Introduction shot for Main lead

I want to highlight this intro shot so I took quiet long time to achieve this look tried different style and different designs, and finally ended up with neat output with the suggestion from my tutors and friends.


Charging Icon

According to my story I need to show that his energy levels charge up when he looks at group of girls to get this effect I just traced main leads standing pose and added few lines and animated them from bottom to top.

Facebook Design

It was time to make something interesting so I followed they present trend as today’s generation are fb addicts I used that idea in my concept to attract audience. So this made my scene pop-up and interesting.

Motion Graphics To Show Empty Street

I was quite confused how to show that street was empty?

I looked back at references and created the same old style of grid with scanning effect, but I was not satisfied with it because I always wanted to make my short film different so I simply made quick choice of using beam pre-set in after effects to make 5 lines in perspective on scene to make it look empty.



Few effects and shots are as follows

·        Fast forward scene- used time lapse effect and enabled frame blending option to make it smooth.

·        Simple fast forward and backward button  with some secondary animations

·        Scanning through eyes.






Implementing Test Shots

As I was working on hologram effect in test shots it became easy for me, in post-production process as I previously worked on them followed few tutorials and applied different techniques, and ended up with good hologram effect.


It was not hard task for me as I need to composite all the motion graphics comps into real footages, I just change the blending mode to add to get neon kind of effect.

Colour Correction

I used colour balance, curves, gamma/pedestal/gain, and photo filter.


Conclusion :

I am quite happy with the outcome and style of what I have achieved.

Through this process of learning I had to learn so many things and also discovered my true capabilities within myself.

I faced obstacles I managed to handle them with good solution and guidance from tutors.

I learnt how to plan and organise e my project which will always be helpful for me in future to achieve anything with in deadline.

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Project stills

Infographic / Explain Animation