Personalized Birthday Videos

So I Tried Basic Animation

Yeah, you heard me. I tried animating. Send help.

In humble pursuits of my Happy Birthday project, I knew it would come to this. I really did. But nothing could prepare me for the amount of work it took to just do a real little bit.

Last time we spoke, I had made my beautiful balloon letters. I wanted to make the balloon letters inflate, float, and pop as the music continues. I didn’t realize what a mess this would create.

Layers on Layers

I tried first to animate each word. My main reason for doing this was that editing is done in layers. Layers are exactly what they sound like: each object lays on top of the other. More layers tends to get a little messier as it’s harder to manage and Premiere can get a little angry at you. So I created the words in Photoshop to only have four layers at a time (happy, birthday, to, you).

Once I finished, I tried to make them float like balloons. But since the entire word moved together, it looked really clunky. Definitely not like how a balloon moves. And that was the moment I knew I needed to animate each letter one-by-one. So I quickly went from a manageable amount of layers, to a not-so-manageable amount.

Each of these letters I made pop up to look like they were inflated. I did this by starting a letter at 0 size, increasing the size over a few frames. I made a cartoony pop by making it get a little too big and then dropping down the size to where I wanted it.

To make the letters float: I randomly changed the vertical height and also added a little rotation.

All in all, it turned out like this:

I’m pretty happy with it – as someone with very minimal experience editing, I’m realizing that it is possible to learn how to edit.

But it’s not entirely smooth sailing – I’m struggling a bit with how to make the balloons pop. I’m probably going to have to rethink the motion. Maybe instead they’ll deflate or something, I don’t know.

Personalizing Each Name

I want each of these videos to have a person’s name. But seeing as how much work it is to animate each balloon letter, that’s just not feasible. I’m trying to come up with a cute way to have each person’s name show up without giving me editing hell. Some considerations right now are: writing the person’s name in clouds (there’ll be a sky in the background of the balloons), an airplane banner, a name in fireworks, etc.

I have no idea where to go with that, but it’s probably the next step after making a sky background. As usual, to be continued.

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2 thoughts on “So I Tried Basic Animation”

    1. Thanks for stopping by! It was a tricky process, but I’m continually reminded that you can learn ANYTHING on the internet! With a little bit of patience, we are all capable of so much more than we think! πŸ™‚


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