Combining Illustrations and Animations

After Micro-Interaction comes Animation.

Being focused on User Experience Design and an interest in current and emerging technology cupeled with keen desire to create beautiful and functional interfaces general means Im constantly exploring either tech, trying out new software or reading about sociology.

This is what brought me to combine two of skills i’ve been pursuing for a while. That being Micro Interactions and Illustrations. Two kinda different skills but both seem to have over lap with animation. Since I design mainly in Sketch and then designing in motion with ProtoPie or what ever the flavour of the year is i stumbled across a small piece of software called Flow. Seeming generic name without a clear focus, at first I thought it was an other prototyping program but in fact they seemed like something more interesting. I had a hunch that this software might be able to help me out one day… so a got a licence and kinda for got about it.

In another string to my brow kinda project as mentioned above Im often either in need for an illustrator or asking for one. So I few projects ago I picked up my pencil and started seeing if I could solve my own problem. This is the great thing because of being a Designer. You can see the need, you just need to find a method to getting it out of your head. The end result of this was my Oodle Finance project.

So slowly both of these ideas were coming together, illustration and movement. So the logical next step was pick up something to help me create animated illustrations, since Micro Interaction had tough me the basics of movement x, y, scale etc etc. I’m used to designing with movement in mind.

This brought me back to me Flow, since I had last used to them they had improved a lot, they had launched a full Lottie exporter and I can see they are slowly designing a piece of software that will help me hand off certain types of graphics to developers like Animations, or more specially Lottie and Animated PNG’s. – Something that Sketch can’t really do.

Below is a screen show from Flow. Showing how I made this animation. This animation software is very similar to my other prototyping software so didn’t take me too long to pick up. Also much simpler then using After Effects in my opinion. Since this App is very new, still feels simple but I know it actively being worked on so I’m looking forward to seeing were this app is going.

Designing with Flow

So the graphic below is an animated PNG (aPNG), but I can also output this as a Lottie jSON asset for te developers, output as an animated SVG (aSVG), or even an iOS launch animation plus some others. Giving me more options when exploring ideas. This even gives the option to design an animated Lottie file, place it in ProtoPie and then test it, and then use the same asset as production asset. So let’s see where this goes on my next App project.

Since I saw someone talking about Lottie today online I thought I would share what I’ve been up to. Defiantly going off in all different prototyping directions at the moment. … and defiantly a work in progress.