Sound Design and Motion Literacy (Reflecting on Readings)

What follows are my takeaways from chapter 6 of Liz Blazer’s “Animated Storytelling” and chapter 6 of Jon Krasner’s “Motion Graphic Design.”

Click here for my thoughts on chapter 5 of each book.


In Chapter 6 of Animated Storytelling, Blazer dives deep in to the importance of sound design in an animated piece. To put it simply, sound drives story. That is to say, sound is one of the most crucial elements used when aiming to effectively tell a story.

As Blazer describes, sound can complement the theme, tone, and emotional gravity of a given project, when used appropriately. By combining both diegetic sound (i.e. sound from an on-screen source) and non-diegetic sound (i.e. sound from an external/off-screen source, including soundtrack music), one can create truly effective sequences and pieces. And while sound can have tremendous results, silence can sometimes prove to be more effective. Showing restraint with sound can prove to be a great ally in storytelling, but, as Blazer describes, showing said restraint can prove to be one of the greatest challenges for anyone designing an animated piece.

In addition to Blazer’s insight on sound design, author Jon Krasner illustrates a key concept for motion graphics: motion literacy. As Krasner explains, motion literacy can be separated into two distinct areas of understanding. The first is Primary Motion, that is, the position, scale, and spatial orientation of your animated assets. The second is Secondary Motion; this refers to the perceived motion of the viewer, as dictated through the framing and camera movement of your animation.

As an aspiring animator, I find Blazer’s insight to be invaluable, and it will serve me greatly with future projects that I’ve in the works. Krasner’s chapter offers equally valuable information. Taking both readings into consideration, I’ll definitely be able to craft finer projects going forward.


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