Contributor Spotlight: Enchanted Studios
Adobe Stock’s Motion Graphics templates are expertly-designed graphic elements, titles, transitions, and more that can be customized directly inside Premiere Pro CC. For our first Visual Trend of the year, Silence and Solitude, we commissioned a special custom template from Enchanted Studios. Here, Simon Brough, the founder and creative director of Enchanted Studios, shares his story and the process for creating a successful Motion Graphics templates.
Adobe Stock: can you tell us a bit more about Enchanted Studios and how you got started?
Simon: After studying design communications and TV graphics at college, I began my career working for local marketing and advertising companies, designing mostly for print campaigns such as press ads and letterbox campaigns. This was all before the digital revolution. In 2009, after over 13 years of gainful employment, the UK financial crisis left me out of a job, so I went freelance! Under the trading name of Enchanted Studios, I’ve been designing for print and motion graphics as a freelancer ever since.
Enchanted Studios is a motion graphics company, essentially, providing animation and video production services. I undertake most of the work myself but have a group of talented freelancers who help out when I need specific skills. The idea of “Studios” (plural) is that I can offer all aspects of print design, motion graphics, and video production under one brand. I also maintain a website called Enchanted Media, where I offer video resources (often for free!), and host a video/animation blog.
Adobe Stock: What drew you to motion graphics?
Simon: I used to create animated graphics for my father’s video production company on a Commodore Amiga back in the late 1980s. The Amiga was a fantastic home computer for animation! With a Genlock box to overlay graphics onto video, and Deluxe Paint 3, Fantavision, and Pro Video Plus, I was able to create moving titles and animated logos. It wasn’t until the early 2000s that I discovered Adobe After Effects, whilst working at an ad agency.
Our clients had gotten bigger, and so too the budgets, so we started getting involved in TV commercials. As motion graphics had been my main career goal, I specifically presented storyboard design concepts which I knew I could undertake in-house, as opposed to out-sourcing the production.
Adobe Stock: Why are motion graphics templates important for video creators?
Simon: Sometimes you’re just in a pinch, maybe a tight budget (or have a tight client!). Templates are there, on the shelf — able to save hours of production time. As well as being able to add motion graphics quickly and easily to their videos, video makers can utilize these motion techniques to influence their editing styles, and as a basis for fresh and exciting video creations. Plus, well-made motion graphics templates can be inspirational.
Adobe Stock: What makes a motion graphics template useful, and how do you go about creating one?
Simon: The usefulness of a template will come down to the thought processes at its creation, as well as its flexibility. This is where template authors have to master their skills of intuition! How much text will the customer want to type in? Will they need to change the scale of this element? What if they need to change the speed, or the duration?
I have a huge backlog of ideas and techniques borrowed from things I’ve seen in movies, on TV, from books and magazines, as well as a vast folder of internet screen grabs. The process will go from these sources of inspiration, to sticky note, to layout pad, to Illustrator and, finally, to After Effects. Applying the usability thought-processes (above) will either discount the idea or have me make the journey towards a marketable template.
Adobe Stock: In January and February, we’re exploring the theme of Silence and Solitude, and the importance of stillness and introspection. What does Silence and Solitude mean to you?
Simon: With three young children, Silence and Solitude means a great deal! I’m still unsure whether the best creative work comes from collaboration, or from the deep concentration you get when there are no distractions. Perhaps it’s a mixture. That’s the key, I think, finding the balance of time spent amongst family and friends, and affording yourself the alone time, to digest and reflect on matters of the soul.
Adobe Stock: You created a custom motion graphics templates set for the Visual Trend. Can you walk us through the creative process?
Simon: I began with the ideas of aspiration, wishful thinking and deep, creative thought. This led me to visuals of clouds and stars, a theme which both reflects our outer-reaches (physically), but also an innermost wonder. After whittling down multiple sketches and screen-grabs into a style direction it was then a case of developing these concepts into a usable project — one which people could apply their own content and ideas to.
As text-based graphics it was important to pick the right font, a suitable illustration style and the right sort of animation – based the theme – as these were elements which couldn’t be changed by the end user. Ultimately I think I’ve finalized with an elegant, thoughtful template style which has the scope to accommodate a range of creative applications, based on the theme of Silence and Solitude.