well for motion graphics, maya's overkill. something like Maxon's Cinema 4D is way better suited for this type work. If by "motion" in your subject line your talking about apple motion. stop right there. dont bother with apple motion. SERIOUSLY, dont bother. after effects is something that will definetly not be wasted learning, and actually you'll pick it up quite fast. maybe consider apple Shake. while its not a strong in the motion graphics department as AE, it is a much better compositing tool(IMHO) and having experience in Shake is something alot of employers look for. to sum it up. Motion Graphics>Cinema 4D>After effects>Shake. and if your gonna go for cinema 4d and AE, theres probaly no reason to learn shake. C4d and AE work almost seamlessly together. just throwing shake out there for ya. hope this helps
I appreciate your input about using Cinema4D and AE. I've been using AE since 3.1, and a couple years ago got into maya, specifically for some 3D work. I've always wanted to integrate the two, but I find myself avoiding maya because it's just too cumbersome to try to work with the two, and for motion graphics I've found it just too laborious to assemble everything. So, sometimes I get stuck in a place where I'd love some basic 3D, but need a bit more than what Invigorator can do well (like fly around with the camera without feeling like I'm blindfolded).
Anyway, all that to simply ask, can you expand a bit more on why Cinema is a better choice? I'm (gasp!) two versions behind now on Maya, so I get to pay RETAIL if I want to upgrade. I'm thinking of checking out greener pastures. Specifically, I'd love to use 3D for some things as simple as words or images twisted or animated in 3D space. And it's got to allow me to easily throw a finished movie into 3D space and manipulate it as a card. (Wow. I can't believe how difficult something like a 2D movie is to create in Maya 6). I'd also like easy integration of my AE camera, or vice versa.