Highway 5, A Horizontal Journey


Recently I've been getting into 2D illustration and animation. Learning After Effects is a game changer, as I can add a whole other time and movement dimension to otherwise flat illustrations. I've been intrigued by looping animations that tell short stories. This is a visual representation of my journey driving up the I-5 Highway when I moved from LA to the Bay Area. The drive was flat, boring, and marked by miles of never-ending desert and large gas station/fast food chain signs.


For a project like this, drawing all the components of this animation in Illustrator took much longer than animating in After Effects. The car pretty much stays in one spot in the frame, except for the bumps and lane-switching that added a bit more interest. I wanted to have the background move at the different speed than the foreground to demonstrate perspective, as you can see with how quickly the In-N-Out sign moves across the frame. Finally the sun follows the car and the clouds fade in and out, signaling the passing of time.

I really love this "horizontal journey" storytelling animation and I'm currently working on some more projects for this series. These personal projects really help me develop my own creativity as I continue to learn After Effects.

Stay tuned!