Lower Third Motion Graphics for CARDA

Lower Third Graphics for the California Rescue Dog Association (CARDA)

We recently created lower third motion graphics for CARDA and their spot on Canine Corner. Founded in 1976, CARDA is a 501(c)3 non-profit, and the largest volunteer search dog organization in America.

CARDA’s mission is to train, certify, and deploy highly-qualified search dog teams to assist law enforcement and other public safety agencies in the search for lost and missing persons. CARDA search dog teams have participated in thousands of missing person searches and have saved public safety agencies millions of dollars through the use of volunteer resources.
We’ve had the pleasure of working with this great organisation for nearly a decade. It has included the projects below and many more.

Logo and Brand Evolution

Work on this brand has involved working with the existing mark, helping it evolve into something easily identifiable in modern media and social media outlets. It has also involved market research, analysis of the competition, and concept work to help the organisation grow in the future.

Pet Food Express Fundraiser Materials

CARDA participates in one big fundraising event annually in partnership with Pet Food Express. This event is crucial to the organisations funding and operations CARDA flyer design. throughout the year. We created
posters, flyers, print and digital advertising, and store displays. Their next event is scheduled for June 6 & 7, 2015 go here for more information.

Previous CARDA/Pet Food Express Fundraising Successes

Newsletter and Custom Illustrations

We’ve also designed and produced a monthly newsletter for CARDA’s internal distribution. It’s used to inform and educate CARDA members. Educational and promotional illustrations, photographs, and diagrams were created to aid articles.

Related Information

Good Design and Funding a Nonprofit

O’Connell Design is a creative studio dedicated to film and motion, game cinematics and engaging visuals. For more information on our studio and to view our portfolio go to www.oconnelldesign.com.


15 Tips for Directing Motion

Directing Motion workshop with Vincent Laforet

Here are just a few tips (of the many) from the latest MZed seminar Directing Motion with Vincent Laforet.

Directing Motion workshop with Vincent Laforet
Recreating a scene from Schindler’s List


  1. Remember there is a shared cinematic language, no one owns a camera move. If it adds to your story, use it.
  2. Establish rules of etiquette with the crew before the start of filming. For example:
    Vincent Laforet at the Directing Motion workshop.
    Vincent Laforet at the Directing Motion workshop.

    – When ready, start with the person furthest from the Director and call in order (“set”),
    – camera person says “speed”, and
    – last the Director calls “action”.

  3. Motivated vs Unmotivated Movement
    – Motivated movement is when an actor gets up and goes, the camera follows them.
    – Unmotivated movement is when the camera moves without reason. Does it add to the sorry? Usually the story and sound are what motivates the camera.
  4. Storyboard: you don’t get what you want when you don’t do the prep.
  5. Blocking: single most important thing you can do to add value to your film without adding to the cost.
  6. Coverage principal 3×3: the wide shot sets the geography, medium shot sets hero focus, and tight shot for a connection. And don’t forget to get the reverse.
  7. Start with the wide shots and move in.
  8. Usually get the best performance a few takes in. This means the actors will likely be able to give their best performance on the shots that will show their facial expressions the most.
  9. You build tension the tighter you go with the shots.
  10. Hitchcock’s Rule: the most important person in a scene is the biggest.
  11. Suggested App: Shot Designer
    – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.us.hollywoodcamerawork.shotdesigner
    – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/shot-designer/id556342711?mt=8
  12. Rules of the episotic:
    – set the geography,
    – shoot the action beats and background, and
    – use short cuts, snap zooms, and motions.
  13. Less than 2% of a blockbuster film budget is for the cameras.
  14. Elements of a proposal include information on the: story, transitions, locations, photos, scale, and closing thoughts.
  15. Firm bid: set a price, if the film company is under they keep the extra, if the film company goes over they eat the additional cost.
Directing Motion with Vincent Laforet
Same shot, 2 different rigs.

In addition to lots of great information on directing motion in film and video, Vincent took the group through a series of “hands on” film set examples. We recreated the zolly shot from Jaws, a scene from Schindler’s List, and did a short action sequence. The last two were shot in the day class, edited, and shown in the evening.

Vincent LaForet’s Directing Motion workshop can be downloaded at MZed.

O'Connell Design
O’Connell Design

O’Connell Design is a creative studio dedicated to film and motion, game cinematics, and engaging visuals. For more information on our studio and to view our portfolio go to www.oconnelldesign.com.

Smoldering Sun & Light

Sun and Light Film Test

This short clip was primarily created using Adobe After Effects’ CC Sphere, HDR Highlight Compression, Curves and a whole lot of Fractal Noise effects. In addition Adobe Illustrator and Premiere Pro were used.

Motion graphics
Screenshot 1
motion graphics
Screenshot 2
motion graphics
Screenshot 3
motion graphics
Screenshot 4
motion graphics
Screenshot 5


O'Connell Design
O’Connell Design


O’Connell Design is a creative studio dedicated to film and motion, game cinematics, and engaging visuals. For more information on our studio and to view our portfolio go to www.oconnelldesign.com.

Shattered the Movie

Motion Graphics Movie Title: Shattered

Motion Graphics Production Notes

Movie title test for Shattered. This video was produced using After Effects, Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Audition


Motion Graphics Design, Artwork, Art Direction: L.V.O’Connell
Audio: “Light Bulb Breaking” by Mike Koenig

O'Connell Design
O’Connell Design

O’Connell Design is a creative studio dedicated to film and motion, game cinematics, and engaging visuals. For more information on our studio and to view our portfolio go to www.oconnelldesign.com.

Movie Title Odoacer

Motion Graphics Movie Title:: Odoacer, End of an Empire

About the Movie Title

“After the fall of the greatest empire the world has ever seen, one man is left to put the pieces back together.” A movie title design study for an historic fiction movie based of the end of the Roman Empire.

Motion Graphics Movie Title Production Notes

This movie title test for the movie, Odoacer, was created using After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere Pro. The title’s logotype was designed, transferred into After Effects. The animation also uses 3D effects to create depth and allow light to appear on the falling fragments.


Motion Graphics Design, Artwork, Art Direction: L.V.O’Connell, www.oconnelldesign.com
Music: “War And Peace“ by Jamie Evans, CC 3.0

Typography of Good Motion Graphics

Leading for typography.

Finding the Music in the Typography of Good Motion Graphics

When describing good typography, terms like rhythm, proportion and motion are frequently used. The music of superior typography has a good measure to each line of text in a paragraph. Horizontal motion and a vertical motion even of static typography can aid in the ease of readability and ultimately the flow. This flow is the same you find in psychology or the gaming world.

“Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.” Flow, Wikipedia]

These same qualitative terms apply to motion design. With motion design, however, you have a limited time to present the text. We all have a need to read text that is put in front of us. Here are a few recommendations of how to make the best use of the typography in order to aid in the flow of reading and assimilating content.


Determine the parameters of the project. Screen resolution, device, and distribution system all play a part in the final product as well as who the project needs to speak to. Attention to the rhythm, proportion and motion of the typography are important.


Choose your font, size and color carefully. Serif fonts can be tougher to read on a smaller screen, but can be easier to read in properly leaded formatted blocks than a san serif font. Text that needs to be read quickly needs to have a higher contrast to its surroundings there is a reason why warning road signs in the US are black text on a yellow background. Its one of the best combinations for reading quickly and at a distance.

Measure Horizontal Motion of Static Typography

High contrast road sign.
High contrast road sign.

Pay attention to the measure, or the word spacing and width, of the columns. Word spacing can vary from a fixed distance in ragged right or left text, to an elastic space in justified text.

“Anything from 45 to 75 characters is widely regarded as a satisfactory length of line for a single-column page set in a serifed text face in a text size. The 66-character line (counting both letters and spaces) is widely regarded as ideal. For multiple column work, a better average is 40 to 50 characters.” [Horizontal Motion, Elements of Typographic Style Applied to the Web,
http://www.webtypography.net/Rhythm_and_Proportion/Horizontal_Motion/2.1.2/, site no longer active]

This is a useful rule of thumb but consider your audience. A dyslexic, or time-stressed executive for example, who has difficulty tracking will have trouble reading wider column.

Vertical Motion of Static Typography

Leading for typography.
Leading for typography.

The vertical space between lines of text, leading (or line-height), is used in a different way to the horizontal space but is equally important in the readability of text. Creating a rhythm and balance to the leading of paragraphs and headings allow the reader to predict a pattern and creates a comfortable flow.

When you start with these basic principles of rhythm and proportion, motion design of text and maintains greater readability across a wider audience.

A Fun example of typography in motion graphics.

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.



O'Connell Design
O’Connell Design

O’Connell Design is a creative studio dedicated to film and motion, game cinematics, and engaging visuals. For more information on our studio and to view our portfolio go to www.oconnelldesign.com.


Design Disciplines Defined

Design disciplines.

After seeing confusion about the different roles that designers take in the creation of the environments and things around us, here is a brief list of design
disciplines and their definitions.

Design disciplines.
Design disciplines.

Architecture: Architecture “is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural symbols and as works of art. Historical civilizations are often identified with their surviving architectural achievements.” [Architecture, Wikipedia]

Graphic Design: Graphic Design, frequently referred to as Visual Communication or Communication Design, is an applied art. Graphic design often refers to both the process by which the communication is created and organized, and the products which are generated from that process. The products could be digital or printed (including: logos, brochures, websites, animation, books, and magazines).

Human Computer Interaction: (HCI) Human Computer Interaction revolves around the study, planning and design of the interaction between people and computers. This field pulls together a knowledge of human physical and mental factors (anatomy, behavior, psychology, communication,…) and technical factors (device limitations, operating systems, programming languages,…).

Industrial Design: This discipline combines applied art and science to create and develop concepts and specifications based on the aesthetics, ergonomics, functionality and usability of a physical product. The goal is to optimize the function, value and appearance of a product and/or system for the benefit of both user and manufacturer

Information Architecture: (AI) Information Architecture is the art and science of organizing the structure of information and content for websites, intranet sites and software to support usability. This involves making wireframes, the blueprints of a digital design. This could also involve creating a taxonomy of how content and products on a site should be classified, or a prototype illustrating how the information should change on screen as a user progresses through a task.

Interaction Design: (IxD) Interaction Design is the practice of shaping the digital products for use with a focus on behavior. This field combines information from science, engineering and combines them to imagine how a digital product might behave.

Motion Design: Part of graphic design, motion design applies graphic design principals to a video or animated context. Â Examples include: title sequences, web animations, and branding (station identification logo).

User Experience Design: (UXD, UED) UXD refers to the holistic consideration of a user’s experience. UXD is used to explain all aspects of a person’s experience with a system from initial communication (language, graphic design, sound) to physical and simulated interaction (UI, industrial design). This can include traditional Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) design.

User Interface: Is the design of devices, machines, software and websites with a focus on making the user’s interaction with the system or device as efficient and clear as possible.

“Interface design is involved in a wide range of projects from computer systems, to cars, to commercial planes; all of these projects involve much of the same basic human interactions yet also require some unique skills and knowledge. As a result, designers tend to specialize in certain types of projects and have skills centered around their expertise, whether that be software design, user research, web design, or industrial design.” [UI design, Wikipedia]

Visual Design: Visual Design refers to design that works with any media or visual communication.

Web Design: Web Design refers to the many skills and disciplines used in the creation, production and maintenance of a website. Different areas of web design can include: graphic design, user interface design, interaction design, user experience design and search engine optimization.

O'Connell Design
O’Connell Design

O’Connell Design is a creative studio dedicated to film and motion, game cinematics, and engaging visuals. For more information on our studio and to view our portfolio go to www.oconnelldesign.com.