Beneath The Surface


I created this motion graphic based on oil spills in the ocean, which also promotes the charity Matter Of Trust's Clean Wave program; where you can donate human hair or dog fur clippings, which will then be stuffed into recycled tights that will then be used to soak up the oil on the surface of the ocean. I felt that this method was an innovative and interesting way to clean up oil spills, as well as being more environmentally friendly than the alternative common method of placing a floating barrier around the oil and setting it on fire, which actually causes even more pollution.

My overall aim was to raise awareness about the damage that oil spills have on marine life, whilst showing viewers a simple and easy way that they can help, giving them hope that the problem can be fixed if people make the effort. I submitted this motion graphic to design competition Creative Conscience, which awards environmentally & socially sustainable design, for which my video was shortlisted.

Creative Conscience
Stills Stills


This was my first storyboard for my motion graphic. Initially, I had the idea to have more of a focus on sea creatures and the negative effects oil spills have on them. However, I felt that it would be more beneficial to focus more on the call for action to show that there is hope, rather than just list all of the bad outcomes from oil spills, which could just leave viewers feeling helpless. Furthermore, I felt that it was important to include enough information about how oil is spilt into the ocean and how much it happens without us even realising it.

I stuck to my original style however, as from the beginning of this project I had a vision about using inks with water to create stunning, eye-catching visuals that would draw viewers in.


I had several digital workshops throughout the course of this project which included tutorials on how to use After Effects for the animation process, as well as Cinema 4D for 3-Dimentional work, and finally Premiere Pro for editing footage.

In After Effects I learnt about how to produce different movements within animation, such as 'swing' and 'bounce', as well as how to sync kinetic typography with sound. All of these skills were very useful to know during my animation process, which include a lot of these elements.


In a Cinema 4D workshop I was taught how to create text transitions as well as font effects, which was really fun and different. However, I didn't apply this to my process, as I wanted the text within the motion graphic to be simple so as not to draw attention away from the animations and watercolour/ink effects.


In my first After Effects workshop I learnt how to get an object to follow a path, which was a really essential tool to have for my motion graphic.



This was my set-up to get the footage of ink falling into water. First, I filled a vase with luke-warm water (hot or cold water resulted in condensation on the vase which blurred the scene), which I placed on top of my light-box to illuminate the ink drops, whilst keeping the rest of the room pitch-black to avoid having reflections on the vase. I then set my camera up at the right level of the vase to film the first impact of the ink hitting the water.

I used Premiere Pro to edit the footage in terms of lighting and colour, and then imported the best footage into After Effects to focus on working them into the animation.