This kinetic-typography music video for i'm reading a book is appropriately humorous and assertive, treating the subject with ironic gravity. The animation combines 2D and 3D elements to create a more tangible aesthetic.‚Äč

I’m Reading A Book


Since this project focuses primarily on type, I had to pay special attention to my typeface choice. I needed typefaces that were bold and rough, suggesting intensity and action, as well as typefaces that were classic, suggesting written literature in its traditional form. The two style had to coincide to prevent one typeface from clashing with another.

I originally chose Decrepit BRK (by Brian Kent) for the most intense typeface, but switched to Royal Rumble (by Jayde Garrow) for its cleaner, more applicable appearance.

I chose Centaur as the more traditional typeface, as the classic typeface is common in books. Centaur also has a subtly aggressive appearance when placed with bolder typefaces, making it a great choice.

I also chose Old English Text MT as a parodically typical blackletter typeface to emphasize one particular phrase: “Captain Hook”. I was careful to choose a typeface that was obviously enough satirical in order to create a scene that drives its message home.

Lastly, I chose Berylium for the middle ground. It generally compares to Centaur, though with an unusually angular form. This typeface served as transition from Centaur scenes to Royal Rumble scenes, when the vocals to the song became too intense for Centaur but not intense enough for Royal Rumble.

The color scheme reflects the aesthetics of books: browns and tans. I added red for aggression and accent. These colors plus texture and post processing give the animation a “book-like” feeling.


The most important part of this project, besides the type treatment, was creating the 3D models. I wanted to implement the 3D scenes into the 2D animation seamlessly, so I made good use of the ramp shader to control my colors. I kept everything within the color palette; if not for the texture added in post-production, one could color pick anything from any scene and find the resulting color on the color palette.

Additionally, I used an orthographic camera to remove all depth. Thus, each 3D scene appears as vectors within a 2D space; it leads to ambiguity over whether the scene is 2D or 3D.

The book scene, where the books fall off the shelf, was likely my favorite scene to create. ‚ÄčAnimating the books falling in succession and watching them through the orthographic camera proved to be fun. I personally admire how the model turned out, especially with the color palette.

The most common question I receive for the animation is how I did the page-turning scene at the end. For this, I created a few pages beforehand, which I proceeded to loop in a random order. These pages are on separate layers from each other and the book itself. To transition them, I simply used the CC Page Turn plugin. I switched the controls to Classic UI and set another page as the back, reversing the page to keep the text reading the correct direction. For the last part, where the pages flip very fast, I simply looped a precomp and added motion blur.

The animation’s post-production mostly consisted of finding the right textures and treatment for the otherwise finished video. A simple 3D light in After Effects created a vignette to set the mood. The texture was just a stationary overlay that only changed between scenes, providing a subtle change between different lines of the lyrics. This texture was applied as a non-diegetic overlay instead of part of the moving objects; it’s as if the viewer is watching these animations of books within a book, as opposed to seeing physical books.