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The Solar System: an animated journey

A personal project to practice animation and visualization

September 15, 2015

[This is a guest post Javier Miranda Nieto*, about his interactive project “The solar System: An animated journey“]



Practice makes perfect. For those who do not have the possibility to study graphic design this is the best way to learn and improve. Practice, practice and keep practicing. Create your own projects and try to give them a special touch.

As a fan of astronomy, I wanted to do something for people to learn, have fun and also be interested to know a little more about it.

In this project, I really wanted my animations to loop, to be infinite, eternal, as the universe. Soft and subtle details. Play with the viewer, have fun reading as much information as animations or the small little astronaut jumping and having fun.

Information is basically the same in many of the animations, but my intention was to give each of the 8 planets and the sun, a little originality and uniqueness. In addition, each planet has its particularity. That was the highlight that I had to make on the design and then in the animation.

After several tests, my style has become increasingly simplistic. On that side, the design did not represent major challenges because everything would be very easy to make. Circles, squares, simple and dotted lines. As well also colors that distinguish each planet.

The design process took no more than a couple of days, it is a personal project, so I had to do it in my spare time. The same with regard to animation, which took a week but this stage is always more fun to make.

(image: Javier Miranda Nieto)

All my work I like to present it on Behance, as it is (for me) the best network that one can manage to publish in an original way. Behance allowed, until a couple of months ago, to add custom backgrounds and put above all content you wanted. But this changed recently and now the platform only allows you add a little pattern as background of 100×100 px. Perhaps the biggest challenge was to do this and keep the whole unified. A transparent gif weighs much more than a gif with backgroud. The amount of required animations would make everything too heavy, so I decided to create a small pattern of background with stars and put that same on every animation.

(image: Javier Miranda Nieto)

I think all of us involved in this sort of thing are always learning. Although I am still in early stages of learning, both as a designer and animator, this small project has brought me great satisfaction because I have been seen and commented by many people. It’s a small accomplishment and great pride. This has opened the possibility of further expanding it, to make more animations of other curiosities of the universe. At the end of the day, it’s what I enjoy most, a mixture of all my passions. Design, animation and the cosmos.

Another challenge was to create these little galaxies with a little loop animation
Partial screen capture of the interactive infographic The solar System: An animated journey
(image: Javier Miranda Nieto)









*Javier Miranda Nieto was born in Cordoba, Argentina and is an animator and graphic designer. He also loves photography, having worked several years with it. His days are a mix of drawing, design, illustration, animation, learning new tools to improve his work and long walks taking photos of sunsets while listening to music. You can see more of his works and connect with him on Behance, Tumblr, Instagram giphy, dribbble and Twitter.

Written by Tiago Veloso

Tiago Veloso is the founder and editor of Visualoop and Visualoop Brasil . He is Portuguese, currently based in Bonito, Brazil.