Graphic Design / Interactive Design / Fine & Applied Arts / Parkland College

GDS 230 Motion Design
Project 3: Opening Title Sequence

Instructor: Liza Wynette


To develop conceptual thinking skills. To communicate ideas visually and verbally. To become familiar with marketing principles. To explore illustration and photography styles. To apply design principles to real-world visual communication problems as it relates to motion design.

Secondary objectives

To utilize the Adobe Creative Suite as layout and production tools.


Design an opening title sequence for a movie or TV show (use industry standard aspect ratios). Your design must show an understanding of unity, emphasis, balance, rhythm, depth and color theory.

Note: High resolution stock photos and illustrations are available from Photospin. Contact your instructor for more information.


1. Research for inspiration:  Research existing award-winning design firms that design title sequences. Be sure to review trade publications (Print, How, Communication Arts) and the art director's annuals. Scan or take screenshots of designs that you think are successful. Look specifically for creative concepts, clean typography and interesting animation. Publish your research on your personal Process Page for discussion (see example). Be sure to caption each image and cite the source.

2. Marketing Research: Research the business you will be designing the animation for. What is the history of the business? Are there any unique selling points for this business? Who is the target audience? Who is the competition? Acquire a reproduction quality logo of the business. Analyze your research and write a written statement of objectives in the form of a memo (see sample brief). Be sure to include descriptive adjectives in the "character" paragraph (see vocabulary wheel ). Email your brief as a shared Google Doc or an attached Word file to

2. Develop the storyboard:  In your sketchbook begin to conceptualize storyboards for this project (see examples). Make at least 10 sketches of all possible directions you might take this project. Draw exactly how you intend to layout key frames of your animation. Edit your concepts down to your best three ideas and redraw them using a felt tip pen. Scan and publish your storyboards on your personal Process Page for critique. Be prepared to discuss how your design fulfills the client's marketing objectives.

4. Keyframes: Based on the critique of the above, create prototype "mock-ups" in Photoshop, Illustrator or Flash which will show exactly how select key frames in your animation will look. Generate web-ready JPEGs of your keyframes and publish them on your personal Process Page for critique ( example). Download sound and/or music that might be enhance your animation. Be prepared to talk about what design principles are utilized in your design. 

5. Final critique: Based on the critique of the above, revise your design (if needed), then animate your art in Flash or After Effects. Pay special attention to the rhythms of the sounds and/or music when adjusting your timing. Publish your finished animation as a link from your personal Process Page for critique. Prepare a presentation to "sell" your design to the client during final critique. Be prepared to justify your design decisions and talk about how your solution fulfills the marketing objectives outlined in your brief.

6. Grading: Based on the critique of the above, revise your project as needed. (duplicate your files to create new versions, do not delete older versions). Review your personal Process Page and make sure you have an accurate record of your process. Upload your animation as a zip file into the cobra dropbox. Include a youtube link to your animation in the comments section. You will not receive credit for this project if any of the above elements are missing.

7. Portfolio presentation: If you are happy with the results of this project, consider including it in your portfolio. If necessary, continue to make refinements until you are 100% satisfied with the project. Be sure to save all your files for future editing.

8. Extra credit: Submit your project into the annual student show by printing an art gallery quality proof of your project and mounting it on foam board. Submit your entry into this OneDrive dropbox. Also submit the entry using the online entry form at Your project may win a cash prize and be published in a showcase of student work on Parkland's website.

Last updated: 1/28/17 ■ Webmaster: Paul Young