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What's a good workflow for motion graphics?

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Santita Dwi PutriWhat's a good workflow for motion graphics?
by on Apr 11, 2014 at 7:03:24 pm

Hey everyone,

I'm very new to animation, and currently self-training in several Adobe programs.

A lot of my projects are motion graphics mixed with video to visualize an audio presentation (think BuzzFeed motion graphics). So far, I've solely been using Premiere to do everything because it's very simple to line up & playback the audio as I organize the shots & graphics.

However, I think it goes without saying that my work would've been better done in AE. But I'm confused as to what the best workflow is for this.

Should I edit the audio and video (if it includes video) in Premiere and then Dynamic Link to AE to add motion graphics? Or should I use the Import Project to AE?

Or, should I stick with AE entirely and line up my audio & video files within AE?

Thank you so much for all of your help!


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Neil MogerRe: What's a good workflow for motion graphics?
by on Apr 13, 2014 at 8:33:17 pm

Hey Santita,

For me that would depend on the project; if its basically a video edit with some motion graphics, then Premiere with Dynamic Link to AE is perfect - I find managing and editing assets in AE really painful... if its mainly AE comps then you could assemble and export directly in AE...

I guess it depends to what extent your storyboard is fixed - and to what extent you need some editing flexibility...


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Stephen SmithRe: What's a good workflow for motion graphics?
by on Apr 14, 2014 at 3:14:32 pm

This is what I do. Premiere is much better for editing your project and trying out different takes and adjusting the overall pacing of the video. For example, I cut this spot in premiere and then imported (dynamic link) the edited footage into AE and then did my rotoscoping, graphics, etc. to make the completed spot:



Watching the side by side of the spot will give you an idea what I'm talking about. Everything on the left side was put together in Premiere. Everything on the right side was then sent to AE and DaVinci Resolve to create the completed look.



Hope this helps and best of luck.

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


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Santita Dwi PutriRe: What's a good workflow for motion graphics?
by on Apr 14, 2014 at 3:32:17 pm

This is such a great example of a workflow, and definitely helped me to understand the practical use for Dynamic Link better. Thank you so much for this.

I am looking to better my workflow which involves mostly 2D animated graphics lined on top of an audio file. Playback in Premiere seems so much simpler in Premiere, however, animation is better in AE.


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Rob KennedyRe: What's a good workflow for motion graphics?
by on Aug 10, 2016 at 5:41:12 pm

Thanks Stephen. Love a simple answer that gets straight to the point.


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Stephen SmithRe: What's a good workflow for motion graphics?
by on Aug 10, 2016 at 6:29:22 pm

Thanks Rob, you made my day.

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


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Santita Dwi PutriRe: What's a good workflow for motion graphics?
by on Apr 14, 2014 at 3:29:55 pm

"Editing assets is really painful in AE..."

This is exactly what I'm struggling with at the moment.

The work that I'm doing involves no video, mostly animated 2D graphics lined up along an audio presentation. I find that it takes more effort to playback the audio to line up the graphics in AE than in Premiere.

Perhaps the next question becomes: If I am solely working in AE, and working with 2D graphics and an audio file, what would be the best workflow so it's more efficient?

Now I'm wondering whether I'm doing this playback correctly...


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Neil MogerRe: What's a good workflow for motion graphics?
by on Apr 14, 2014 at 3:55:06 pm

AE is carrying out far more calculations per frame than Premiere - so its a less responsive experience - I would never cut audio in AE;

There are ways of making AE more efficient (in terms of RAM, memory etc) but at the end of the day your never going to get a Premiere like experience in AE.

Using the audio waveforms in AE, as well as markers, can also make things easier - you dont really need to hear the track if you can see the waveform...

In the end it is quite a personal choice - but with anything longer than 30 seconds - id personally usually end up using Premiere>AE link.


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Santita Dwi PutriRe: What's a good workflow for motion graphics?
by on Apr 14, 2014 at 5:14:10 pm

Markers. That's perfect!

I had just toggled back and forth between Premiere and AE, and found that it's best to line up the audio & main videos on Premiere, and continue adding graphic animations on AE. The fact that the markers transfers from Premiere to AE is really helpful as well.

Thank you all for all of your help & insights!


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Michael SzalapskiRe: What's a good workflow for motion graphics?
by on Apr 15, 2014 at 4:27:11 pm

Play just the audio in AE with the . key on your number pad.
Then place markers with the * key on the number pad. (If a layer is selected, it makes layer markers, if no layer is selected, it makes composition markers.)

That's the easiest way to do it.

Well, that or editing a black solid in Premiere and cutting it on the beat then importing that Premiere project (not Dynamic Linking to it) into After Effects.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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