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I am a budding motion designer. Where should I start?

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Ray Lux
I am a budding motion designer. Where should I start?
on Jul 16, 2013 at 8:38:40 pm

Hello! This is my first time posting on creative cow! I am a student going to SCAD for motion design. I have been doing after effects tutorials but I thought I would ask what the professionals think would be the best way to go about learning current day motion design.

If anyone cares to look, my work so far is viewable at
I have an adequate understanding of keyframes, and I have dabbled with expressions.

I suppose my question would be what type of tutorials should I focus on if I plan to be a free lance graphic / motion designer?

Thank you for taking your time to read this.
(If I am posting in the wrong forum I apologize)


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John Cuevas
Re: I am a budding motion designer. Where should I start?
on Jul 17, 2013 at 12:09:09 pm

For design & learning the toolset, I think Andrew Kramer does a really good job at VideoCoPilot

Johnny Cuevas, Editor

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.

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Jeff Kay
Re: I am a budding motion designer. Where should I start?
on Jul 17, 2013 at 4:38:49 pm

The most important thing is to be aware of how best you, as an individual, learn. Do you learn better from traditional environments? Books or tutorials? Person to person interaction? Trial and error?

For moden motion design specifically, I'd seek out others in the same line of work in your area. Talk with them, have a business lunch, or see if you can take a look at the work they are actually doing.

For AE in general there are several large skillsets that I have (more or less) developed which have served me well.
Existing techniques: What people are currently using. This gives you a good foundation and ability to do the most common things. More importantly existing techniques have been fleshed out and can vastly improve your efficiency

Overall project workflow: Knowing exactly how your part fits in with the overall project is lifesaving. Including learning the other softwares that surround AE and how AE interacts with those.

Reverse engineering: Seeing how others have performed something and then working backwards can lead to learning amazing new things as well as developing variations on that work. Its also very good to be able to reverse engineer your own works for efficiency as well as pushing the limits of what you can do.

Creativity: Its hard to teach creativity and the creativity we use is often very different than what most people think. Our final product is certainly intended to be seen, but the individual steps and methods we use in AE (or other softwares) are designed to not be seen. Our creativity lies in how we get from concept to final product (the layers/keyframes/expressions/effects/etc that we use). The audience is not aware of what we do, but that doesn't reduce the importance of our creativity.

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