Here’s my process behind creating the Eye Health GIF on Instagram.
First, I research to make sure I’m sharing accurate health info. (I’m NOT a registered dietician / MD / naturopath, so I really want to make sure I have correct info.) I find that Vitamin A is key for eye health, and the healthiest vegetables that are high in Vitamin A are sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, kale, and mustard greens.
I narrow it down to just sweet potatoes, spinach, and kale for two reasons: first, they’re the closest to the oval shape of an eye. Second, because I think more people are likely to buy or try the first four veggies over mustard greens. (The point is to make this video helpful for viewers, so I want to use vegetables that are easily accessible and that most people feel comfortable with.)
Then, I sketch. And sketch and sketch and sketch. This is in my watercolor notebook or, usually, in the Notes app on my iPhone when I’m taking the train to work. (During the winter it just gets too cold & snowy to regularly commute via bike, so the subway commute becomes prime time for sketching ideas. Win win!) The gif above shows three (of many 😜) iPhone sketches for the nail GIF in the same series.
After the sketched idea takes shape, I photograph the macro shots of food. (Photographing comes before painting because it’s easier to match the watercolor shape to the photographed vegetable shape than vice versa.) I don’t own a macro lens so I love renting from Adorama. Especially if I keep the lens for under 24 hours because their dayrate is great. I highly recommend using their service; the products and customer service are amazing.
After photographing & retouching the food images, I get to work on painting the sequence of the eyes closing. This part takes a lil’ while but is super fun. When the sequence feels right, I photograph all three images and tether them into the same Capture One session as the food photos. (This makes it easier to edit the whole sequence and to keep the visuals consistent.)
Retouch, Format & Share
After retouching all the images together along with the hand-written text, I edit the GIF in Photoshop using the Timeline tool. Once the timing feels right and all the video flows smoothly – I Save for Web, export as a GIF (2000 px wide because you don’t need higher for Instagram), convert to mp4 (Instagram doesn’t allow GIF), then share on my public account.
All in all it’s a somewhat lengthy but ultimately very rewarding process. The whole point of this project is to help inform people about healthy food in a fun, easy-to-get way.
What’s your process like? Share below! ✨