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Advice needed on motion graphics field

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Mio TanakaAdvice needed on motion graphics field
by on Jun 28, 2011 at 1:45:34 am

I'm a 27-year-old temp TV CG designer working at a Japanese broadcasting company.
I'd like to get a YMS visa (=two year working visa) before I become 31 and work as a motion graphics designer in London, where I studied English for about two years, after working as one here in Japan.

So I'd like some information from people in the field as to what I need to do.
I'm proficient with Photoshop and Illustrator, semi-proficient at After Effects (about three years commercial experience at work for all) and I'm a novice at 3D tools and I've been practising Maya and Softimage by myself.

How's the general working environment in motion graphics/creative fields in the UK (pay, overtime, holiday etc is terrible in Japan)?

Do I need to be proficient at After Effects expressions? Or Is it okay if I can just copy and paste simple scripts from somewhere or use the same simple basic ones? I guess I want to know how much technical knowledge employers consider necessary.

What tools are mainly used for motion graphics in the UK? Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects... any other must-learn tools?

What are the main 3D tools? And how proficient do you generally need to be for motion graphics? (I don't think people have to be as good as video game modelers in this field. Depends on the project, though, of course)

I appreciate a lot of this stuff is hard to generalise about, but any information would be welcomed. I'm just trying to get a general impression of what it would be like to work in motion graphics and what I should be focusing on to get there.

Thanks in advance.


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David JohnsonRe: Advice needed on motion graphics field
by on Jul 10, 2011 at 1:56:32 am

Although I've visited the UK, I've never worked there so I can't answer the UK-specific parts of your questions, but since no one else has, I'll try to help some.

[Mio Tanaka] "Do I need to be proficient at After Effects expressions? Or Is it okay if I can just copy and paste simple scripts from somewhere or use the same simple basic ones?"

Expressions are a way to do things in AE faster than they can be done without expressions, but using expressions is only faster once a person has made the initial time investment to learn expressions thoroughly. So, it's not as though you will not be able to do the work without using expressions. Being proficient with expressions would always be helpful, but it is rarely a prerequisite and, generally, no one cares whether you write scripts, expressions, etc, yourself or use pre-made ones.

[Mio Tanaka] "What tools are mainly used for motion graphics in the UK? Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects... any other must-learn tools?"

Again, I can't answer the UK-specific part, but I think this is pretty much the same worldwide ... for motion graphics, thorough proficiency with Photoshop, Illustrator and After Effects are typically mandatory at any shop. Some shops may have other additional preferences or requirements such as Autodesk Smoke, Boris FX, etc., which also leads to your next question.

[Mio Tanaka] "What are the main 3D tools? And how proficient do you generally need to be for motion graphics? (I don't think people have to be as good as video game modelers in this field. Depends on the project, though, of course)"

MoGraph designers typically have to know at least some 3D nowadays and that always gives you an advantage, but how proficient you need to be depends a lot on the particular types of work you'll be doing and the particular shops you're targeting (some still have MoGraph designers and 3D designers as separate roles). Which tools are used also tends to vary among shops, but 3D Studio Max and Cinema 4D are common.


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Mio TanakaRe: Advice needed on motion graphics field
by on Jul 11, 2011 at 4:37:06 pm

Thank you for the comment. It's really helpful.

I've been asking around this question on the Net and I take the US and UK working environment are similar.
And C4D is pretty common (it's used in Japan but not as common as in the Western countries...).
Well, I will definitely learn it throughly since I've heard its reputation and affordableness.

Well, I think firstly I have to post my show reel and ask people for advice.


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