EARTHQUAKE is a communication design project about visualizing abstract information in a concrete way. 



CMU Fall 2018 Communication Design Studio, 5 weeks

Context  |  CMU MDes  Fall 2018  CD Studio  5 weeks (Sep 27th ~ Nov 1st)


Individual Project


Cinema 4D, Rhino 3D, Adobe AfterEffects, Illustrator

Tool  |  Cinema 4D, Rhino 3D, Adobe AfterEffects, Illustrator


Make the Abstract Concrete

Topic: Earthquake

Designers are often called upon to engage in speculative work that is situated in the context of unknown futures. Thus, the brainstorming of concepts and the communication of ideas frequently requires the visualization of experiences and objects that do not yet exist and are abstract. As a result, it is imperative that designers learn how to engage audiences in stories that utilize and weave together visual, aural, and temporal modes of communication as a means of effectively conveying visionary ideas.

It’s safe to assume that all of us have encountered information that was difficult to grasp science and math concepts that use lots of abstract symbols; topics that are invisible or span a great deal of time or space; objects that are too large, small, or fast to see well; ideas that involve lots of jargon, etc. Although the very nature of information can make it challenging to grasp, the form that is used to communicate the content can aid or hinder understanding. Your task is to address the challenge of making something abstract concrete by moving through the following:

Explore topics that may be difficult to grasp
to learn what makes them challenging to understand. How are the topics similar/different?

Frame your topic as something you can communicate relatively quickly
to verify that the undertaking is feasible. How can you scale it/convey it effectively in three minutes?

Brainstorm ways of translating the concept into a concrete message
to explore conventional/unconventional approaches. How might you make it easy to grasp?

Teach others about your topic
to verify that you know how it works. How might you use this process as an opportunity to test out narrative structures?

Establish a mood for your piece that aligns with your approach
to help your audience connect with the information. How will you make it resonate?

Write your script for your piece
to determine the flow of information. What steps are needed and where should they appear?

Storyboard your concept as a sequence of events
to determine how visuals can add pertinent information. Which holes are naturally filled in?

Add sounds like a layer of information
to utilize all of the affordances at your disposable. What will be heard instead of seen?

Consider your use of time
to establish effective pacing, duration, and repetition. What moves too quickly/slowly

Sketch the details of the composition (by hand, digitally, or by a lens)
to fully understand the value of point of view, lighting, etc. How will you use form effectively?

Create the key segments of the video simultaneously
to prevent yourself from getting lost in the details. How will you maintain continuity in the piece?

Test the effectiveness of your communication piece
to determine how well the video teaches the concept. How might you improve it?

For more information about the project, please refer to process documentation.

The purpose of this project was to 'make the abstract concrete'. After conducting research about an abstract concept, I framed and visualized in easy to understand and the concise way in a video format. My topic is Earthquake. I utilized Cinema 4D and AfterEffects to visualize the animation.

Please refer to my process documentation.

Copyright 2020 Jay (Jaeyeon) Huh. All rights reserved. 

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