Tigermoth is a place that welcomes a variety of caffeinated beverages, witty humor and awesome interns who want to dig into the joys and rigors of agency life. Our interns give the office a boost of energy, not to mention great support to keep projects moving. Along the way, they learn a lot about the industry and about why we love what we do. We’re happy to be able to feature their voices here on the Tigermoth blog. This week, Katie takes us behind the scenes of her fantastic animation work.


Bringing our tiger moth to life through animation

ANIMATION TAKES FOREVER! My quick, 30 second to one-minute animation may take days, weeks, even months to create. But the time is always well worth it.

When initially starting, I was taught storyboarding should be your first action. You develop thumbnails to lay out a rough visual of where your design will take the audience. This step to some is extremely important, because it sets up a structure for you to follow, making it easier for the art to fall through each one of the steps without missing anything in between. I get that! But for short term quips of animation, I think this step is only occasionally necessary.

As an artist and graphic designer, image is technically my life! Once an image has become set in my mind it doesn’t leave until months or years later, meaning I just go for it, rather than sketching it out! When Lyda and I began bouncing ideas off one another, four images flashed to mind. With the tiger moth icon as the centerpiece, I’d configure four ways to animate the development, movement, showcasing, then the finale of the tiger moth, as if going through a lifespan.

Making the tiger moth “dance”

In the first, which I titled “Flutter,” starts with the black skeleton of the tiger moth with its signature pink-red-orange background. Then the cream undercolor behind the wings fades in. Next, the tiger moth’s wings move up and down, along with its antennae, doing a little dance. Afterward the moth sits for a bit, and the process begins again. (It is very important to me for an animation to be a seamless cycle, unless there’s a real reason otherwise.)



Letting the tiger moth fly

The next one I called “Cycle.” This started with the same developing process that “Flutter” had. But in this version, the moth flies out of the frame and then back through the frame in a straight line, fluttering a bit at the end, while the cream background fades, to make it a complete cycle.



Loving the tiger moth to pieces

Third, called “Pieces,” shows the moth as its black skeleton fills from body to wings, to eyes, then to antennae, filling in with the cream background, then the last action adding a little flutter to the end.



The curious tiger moth

In the last execution, named “Moth on the Wall,” I drew the tiger moth walking along the page as if it were sniffing around as insects do, then into the screen and enlarging to the center, making it the centerpiece once again!



Much like the animated tiger moth trying different paths to ultimately find its way, I am finding my own as a designer. With the help of Lyda, Andrea, Shelley and the rest of the Tigermoth Creative team, I’m developing the skills to grow, develop and make the connections I’ll need to prosper in an ever-evolving world.

Katie Hutchinson is a Graphic Design Intern at Tigermoth Creative. A Raleigh native, Katie is a designer, illustrator, collage artist and animator. Her dream is to start a freelance design business and make music on the side.