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The time involved for motion graphics....

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Brad Phillips
The time involved for motion graphics....
on Oct 4, 2011 at 4:15:49 pm


I've primarily been an editor for most of my career but began incorporating more and more motion graphics into my work as I began to learn After Effects. These days being somewhat burned out on editing and have always found that doing motion graphics can provide an incredible challenge while getting me out of my comfort zone.

What always blows my mind compared to editing is how much time can be involved in just a few seconds of video. Furthermore, how this widens the gap of clients/people outside of the industry from realizing how much time something can take.

Considering the time coming up with a concept/look, ram previews, drawing mask, learning how to tweek effects, etc...often doing motion graphics work seems like slogging through the mud.

Can anyone else out there doing motion graphics relate to such feelings? I'm halfway through another project and it's kickin' my ass!


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: The time involved for motion graphics....
on Oct 6, 2011 at 2:09:41 pm

Part of it depends on what you quoted on the project. That frustration may come in part from realizing you quoted too low a price for what you're giving the client.

The other part of it may be that since you're new to the process, you're not maximizing your time, and you may not know a lot of the tricks and shortcuts which come with experience.

As an Art Director of fourteen years at a broadcast station, I often spent weeks creating a new open for a special which might run for a week. I remember many times calling my wife in to see it air, only to have her miss it, since it was only ten seconds long. You just have to remember that all television is disposable - and keep getting part of your reward from the challenge of being in over your head. Of course, the money doesn't hurt, either.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media

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Stephen Smith
Re: The time involved for motion graphics....
on Oct 7, 2011 at 8:38:37 pm

I agree, Motion Graphics can take a long time and are well worth it. Part of our job is to educate our clients on the process and why it might take longer then expected.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials

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bob edwards
Re: The time involved for motion graphics....
on Oct 25, 2011 at 12:01:30 am

I agree. I've noticed that my desire to give the client my best effort (fullest extent of my skill) and exhaustive nature of the software always leaves me feeling over my head to some degree.

That said, the times that I've felt the most fatigued are when I work on projects that I know will fail without my help (bad copy, very poor product, wrong motivation to create video, etc) or are projects that are tedious and require little problem solving yet drag on forever. Due to the latter, I'm always trying to automate and script things in AE.

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Kevin Camin
Re: The time involved for motion graphics....
on Nov 7, 2011 at 5:54:29 pm

I think most people outside the industry don't know what 'motion graphics' is. I've met maybe one lay person who knows what motion graphics are and what that encompasses.

But I think your motion graphic work samples should be strong enough to elicit a 'wow' from clients, and make them intuitively understand this stuff takes a lot of time and skill to pull off.

Keep it up and keep learning. I do some editing but am not a guru. But I feel the tool kit for editing is dwarfed by the tool kit for motion design (design, animation, vfx, color grading, etc). Plus you need to deal with design's quickly evolving trends and technologies. I spend about 33% of my freelance time learning new techniques, doing tests, learning new software, etc.

It's a fantastic ride!

Best regards,

Kevin Camin

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