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As an editor which motion gfx package is ideal

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Jon Fidler
As an editor which motion gfx package is ideal
on Feb 15, 2011 at 9:51:09 am

Hi

I posted this in the AE forum too, which has been very helpful but everyone in here has helped me a lot on numerous occasions so im putting it in here too.

I know this sort of question has been asked before but not in regards to the newer versions of the software.

Is in regards of what software package to properly learn, motion or AE

Ive just started out as a FCP editor and have done a few promo pieces (NHS, National trust) and corporates where I jut added basic text captions etc. I edited and graded these but I did not do any of the motion graphics for any of this. I just passed them back to the clients and they passed them onto whoever dealt with that side of things. I do know they used motion though.

I also know how to use of the 2D motion graphic capabilities, filters and composite tools in FCP too, so this isnt an area which is totally alien to me.

To be honest id much rather continue my career in editing/grading im not particularly interested in the area, but I realise that I do need a certain depth of skill and understanding of motion graphics to progress in the industry. I really want to know this from an editors perspective just so I dont go off track as well.

With that in mind what do you think the best course of action would be?

Thanks


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Jon Fidler
Re: As an editor which motion gfx package is ideal
on Feb 15, 2011 at 11:31:57 am

What im trying to get at is.

Ive got some experience with avid too as I work as a digitiser at a post facility. Is motion/after effects like final cut/avid where the software does more or less the same and as long as you understand editing/design principles youre pretty much ok?


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Mark Suszko
Re: As an editor which motion gfx package is ideal
on Feb 15, 2011 at 3:05:49 pm

I like to think of the compositor programs as just photoshop that happens to have layers that can move. If you are really good at photoshop, most things in Motion or AE will come pretty naturally to you. Particulalrly if you already understand keyframing concepts.

However, nowhere I've looked in AE or Motion is a drop-down menu that says: "make brilliant design." These are still only tools, and thus only as powerful as the talent that wields them. If you don;t feel confident using these yet, perhaps it would be helpful to take formal or informal design principles training. That could be as low-tech as just readign more web articles or books on principles of design... or it could mean going to night school.


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Jon Fidler
Re: As an editor which motion gfx package is ideal
on Feb 15, 2011 at 11:20:33 pm

Thanks guys


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Walter Soyka
Re: As an editor which motion gfx package is ideal
on Feb 15, 2011 at 8:09:41 pm

[Jon Fidler] "Is motion/after effects like final cut/avid where the software does more or less the same and as long as you understand editing/design principles youre pretty much ok?"

Editing and motion design certainly have portable underlying skills -- but Motion/After Effects is like Final Cut/Avid where the software has a very specific philosophy built into the toolset.

Trying to run one like the other leads to frustration. When on an Avid, you must think like Avid. When on FCP, you must think like FCP. They have different approaches to media management and the mechanics of editing, and when learning both packages, you have to separate the editorial skills from the operational skills.

It's the same with Motion and After Effects. In my opinion, Motion prioritizes speed over flexibility. You may be able to put a nice animation together very quickly in Motion, but tweaking it to be precisely what you want requires a lot more effort. With After Effects, you may have to put a lot more initial effort in to get the same animation, but tweaks thereafter will be much easier.

In my experience, Motion is frequently used for meat-and-potatoes effects including transitions, titles, lower thirds, etc. due to its integration with FCP, while After Effects sees much more use in higher-end motion graphics.

Of course, I'm speaking in very broad generalities. They are both fine tools with different strengths and weaknesses, and they are both broadly used. Just like Avid/FCP, you have to separate motion design skills from operational skills in order to use both packages effectively.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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adam taylor
Re: As an editor which motion gfx package is ideal
on Feb 15, 2011 at 3:47:08 pm

I would suggest whichever application you feel most comfortable with would be the best one for you to learn.

I prefer AE, but thats my personal choice. I found Motion less adaptable to my needs and as i already had experience with AE, couldn't find enough reasons to persevere. I was/am too busy learning Color and C4d.

I agree with Mark - learn the principles of good design, the applications are merely tools to help realise those designs.

As for learning the apps, you have a massive amount of free tutorial material for AE on the internet. If i were you, i'd visit the tutorials on the Cow, and also check out Videocopilot.net, as they both give an excellent grounding in using AE.

good luck

Adam

Adam Taylor
Video Editor/Audio Mixer/ Compositor/Motion GFX/Barista
Character Options Ltd
Oldham, UK

http://www.sculptedbliss.co.uk


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grinner hester
Re: As an editor which motion gfx package is ideal
on Feb 15, 2011 at 5:31:41 pm

Flavor preferences vary. That said, I still work in an Avid/AE world most of the time. Many who have FCS skip AE because they have Motion. By in large, your Motion vs AE choice will still revolve arounf your NLE selection for a while.
I'm glad you realize it's needed as an editor today. I sat with a freelancer not long ago who was asked to make a graphic of just an arrow and it stumped him. He doesn't even know the amount of work he's lost.



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Mark Suszko
Re: As an editor which motion gfx package is ideal
on Feb 15, 2011 at 5:49:03 pm

True dat, Grinner.

There are a relatively few high-flying guys on the very high end who have the luxury to concentrate on just cutting, or just grading, or just audio, or just compositing. But down here in the flatlands, "average" editors are more and more expected to be all-aspect players with enough ability in all the various parts of post to get the job done, wel enough at least to satisfy the client.

As a generalist, I like that; I like wearing many hats and being in control of every aspect of a job. Would I farm out a particulalrly hard part to someone more skilled in that particular discipline, in a tough situation? Yes, you do what it takes to get it done for the client. But I like it when a job stretches my skills just a bit, forcing me to learn something new. It's not fun when you're on a tight deadline and with the client watching you, of course... but I like learning new stuff and being able to apply it to the jobs that follow.


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Nigel Beaumont
Re: As an editor which motion gfx package is ideal
on Feb 23, 2011 at 1:30:27 pm

Loved your comment about the arrow - made me ask myself "do I know how to do that?" Had to go straight to my edit computer and check....

Nigel Beaumont

Mac Pro Quad 3.0Ghz 10GB FCS 3 OSX 10.6.6, Aja IO, some black cables, shiny firewire drives

"Ofcourse it'll be finished in time for tx"


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Scott Sheriff
Re: As an editor which motion gfx package is ideal
on Feb 15, 2011 at 8:20:26 pm

The line between Editor and Graphic Artist has been severely blurred by the tools we have at our disposal, and general expectations.

There are always going to be awesome graphic artists and/or illustrators out there that have a unique style or skill that may be needed for a specific job.
But, for day to day stuff most editors need, DIY is the way to go, and has been for quite a while. Even back in the linear days when it was all done with camera cards, Chyron, ADO, and a 3 M/E switcher, DIY was the thing 99% of the time.
I like Grinners example of the guy that couldn't draw something as simple as an arrow. I don't want to be that guy. Something like that would take me less than 5 minutes. To stop down and wait for a graphic artist is a deal breaker for something like that.
The other day in the FCP forum a guy was looking for a 64 point garbage matte plugin for FCP. That would be a piece of cake in Motion, which he already owned. He had no idea. I don't want to be that guy either.
I use Motion, because that is what I have. Occasionally I also use Blender if I need 3D text moves or extruded text. Between those two programs I can do everything I need without waiting (or paying) someone else.
If you get into doing MoGraphs get a good tablet for your system if you don't have one yet.

Scott Sheriff
Director
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com

I have a system, it has stuff in it, and stuff hooked to it. I have a camera, it can record stuff. I read the manuals, and know how to use this stuff and lots of other stuff too.
You should be suitably impressed...


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Jon Fidler
Re: As an editor which motion gfx package is ideal
on Feb 15, 2011 at 11:38:32 pm

Thanks guys for all the advice, ive just ordered this book

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Design-Essentials-Motion-Media-Artist/dp/024081181X...

so ill have a good read through it over the next week


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Stephen Smith
Re: As an editor which motion gfx package is ideal
on Feb 16, 2011 at 11:16:25 pm

I think you will be very happy with AE and/or Motion. I use both and the UI is very similar. So if you learn one you will find jumping into the other is not a nightmare. You already own Motion so you might as well play around in it and see what you think. Best of luck.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials


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