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Learn Motion Graphics

A Comprehensive Guide to Start Learning Motion Graphics

Motion graphics is the art of building animated digital assets for web applications, page layouts, film and television, or other online content. Using tools such as Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro, Motion Graphic Artists can bring life to otherwise static designs, opening up a new way to express themselves creatively. Motion graphics skills are increasingly in high demand across various industries, mainly digital advertising and web design. In this overview, you’ll learn more about what motion graphics is, what it can do, who uses it, and how to understand it to determine how to add this skill to your professional toolbox.

Motion graphics is the creative art of building animated assets for digital projects such as advertisements, webpages, mobile applications, or video content. These skills are in high demand, and learning motion graphics is a useful skill set for both professional designers and amateur creatives to acquire. If you’ve always wanted to learn motion graphics but can’t figure out how to get started, this guide is for you. Here, you’ll learn more about the various ways to learn motion graphics, free resources to take advantage of, and the types of careers that commonly use motion graphics.

What is Motion Graphics?

Motion graphics refers to the field of visual design concerned with digital animation and film editing. Here, students will learn the tools that will allow them to create animated images that can be layered onto Photoshop and Illustrator designs, giving motion to otherwise static images. Motion graphics training also serves as an entry into the world of film editing, as motion graphics classes will teach students how to use the tools that are used in the film and television industry to create special effects and post-production edits. Motion graphics tools create animated web assets, digital logos, responsive and interactive infographics, and other animated visual content.

Motion graphic artists use Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Cinema 4D to build animated designs and assets. Using these tools, motion design artists can produce vibrant animations that fully utilize the digital canvas. Motion design also relates closely to video editing, so motion graphics training will cover how creatives use digital tools to both cut and mix film clips. Additionally, the training covers how to edit those clips using tools to correct colors, use green screens, and replace cell phone displays. These skills will allow creatives to take static designs and enhance them with dynamic motion animations that give life to their visions.

Read more about what motion graphics is and why you should learn it.

What Can You Do with Motion Graphics?

With motion graphics training, students will learn how to build dazzling graphic animations that add life to their creative projects. Using After Effects and Premiere Pro will give students the training to start working with complex, animated graphic designs, ranging from digital animations to animated logos and infographics. Using these tools will allow students to create elaborate animations that will take their graphic design projects to the next level. By learning how to render animations in Cinema 4D, creatives will be able to develop the skills necessary for entering into an in-demand career field.

Motion graphics is closely related to film editing, and learning these tools is ideal for anyone hoping to work in the digital side of the film and television industry. Special Effects Artists and Film Editors use motion graphics animation skills, particularly those working on effects-heavy content. Whether you hope to be part of a professional design team that brings fantastic scenarios and characters to life or just want to enhance your creative projects by adding animated assets and elements, learning motion graphics skills will help you achieve those goals. In addition, learning motion graphics skills will help students expand their creative toolkits and begin working on even more exciting projects.

Careers that Use Motion Graphics

Motion graphics skills are in-demand skills across many different industries. Learning tools like After Effects and Premiere Pro will help students find careers in various industries working on diverse projects and designs. Some of the jobs that make direct use of motion graphics skills include:

Motion Graphic Designers: Motion Graphic Designers use visual effects and animation skills to create artwork in digital applications, film, television, video games, live-action video, and other creative projects. Using tools like After Effects and Premiere Pro, Motion Graphic Designers will work with teams of creatives to build elaborate art projects and be in constant contact with clients and colleagues to plan, build, and realize these artistic endeavors. Motion Graphic Designers work in almost every industry where an electronic screen is involved, meaning that learning motion graphics design skills will open many new career doors for aspiring creatives.

2D Animators: 2D animators develop, storyboard, and animate 2D assets for mobile devices, games, televisions and film, and advertisements. While they may find employment at firms or specific studios, most 2D animators are self-employed. They will work with Art Directors, other animators, editors, and storyboard artists to help bring a team’s creative vision to life. Some 2D animators primarily work with design tools like Illustrator and Photoshop, and some will do a great deal of analog work by painting or drawing. Learning motion graphics skills will allow them to work on computer-animated projects, rapidly becoming the norm in almost all industries.

3D Animators: Like 2D Animators, 3D animators work to develop digital animated assets for a wide array of creative projects. However, since they are working with 3D models and animations, more emphasis is placed on building immersive and realistic designs. 3D Animators will often work to ensure that animated effects look true to life by ensuring that these animations have movements and weights that feel like they are present to audiences. In addition, 3D animation work isn’t confined to the screen space, meaning that 3D Animators can work on diverse projects such as VR experiences, amusement park rides, and other live entertainment venues.

Why Learn Motion Graphics?

Learning motion graphics skills is a great way to improve your creative work and open the door to high-paying job opportunities in diverse industries. Digital animation skills are utilized by Web Designers looking to build animated assets for web pages, Social Media Marketers, Digital Advertisers hoping to create more eye-catching ad campaigns, and Graphic Artists and Illustrators who work in the film, television, and video game industries. Even Film Editors, 2D animators, and Brand Managers stand to benefit from learning how to use tools like Premiere Pro and After Effects.

Motion graphics training is also useful for creatives who want to break into creative industries such as online content creation. As the medium expands and the marketplace gets increasingly crowded, learning motion graphics skills to enhance your digital content is a good way to set yourself apart from other creators. If you’ve spent time online, you know the difference between a professional quality video and a video produced by someone without the proper training to make it look as good as it can look. Learning motion design skills will help you ensure that your content looks professional-quality, even if you are the only person building it.

Read more about why you should learn motion graphics.

How to Learn Motion Graphics

Students who are looking to learn motion graphics have many options. Courses are available both in-person and online, and students can take the classes online in both live and asynchronous formats. Noble can help students find and compare motion graphics training courses in their area regardless of how they want to learn motion graphics.

The most immersive training options for students are live training sessions, which can be in-person or online. These courses let students interface directly with live instructors who can provide them with assistance and feedback on their work. Live training options are varied, with some brief introductions to specific topics or tools, while others are multi-part career-focused training seminars that can take weeks or even months to complete. Interested students should consult Noble’s Classes Near Me tool to compare their options for in-person and online live motion design classes.

A downside to live training courses is that they tend to be fixed in terms of their schedules. For students looking for more flexibility, on-demand and asynchronous motion graphics courses give students greater control over the pace and style of their learning. On-demand courses also allow students to pick up and put down their training whenever needed. The drawback is that without a live instructor to provide feedback and answer questions, it is much easier for students to become lost. Please consult Noble's website to learn more about the on-demand motion graphic classes available to you.

For students who are simply looking to experiment with motion graphics tools without enrolling in a formal course, Noble offers an array of free resources to help students. Free tutorials and video resources are available on the Video Editing & Motion Graphics playlist on Noble’s official YouTube page. In addition, Noble’s Motion Design Learn page compiles a wide variety of articles, seminars, and resources to help students navigate their way through the early stages of their motion graphics training. These seminars will teach students the basic skills required to become comfortable using tools like After Effects and Premiere Pro.

Read the complete guide on how to learn motion graphics.

Free Introductory Motion Graphics Course Online 

If you aren’t ready to dive into an entire motion graphics course, you may wish to consider taking advantage of some of the free online tutorials and resources available to you. These courses won’t replace professional skills training for students who want to build a career out of their motion graphics skills. Still, they are great places to become familiar with the basics and comfortable with the applications before enrolling in a paid training program.

Noble provides students with a variety of different free resources to help ease students into a motion graphics education. On the Video Editing & Motion Graphics playlist of their official YouTube page, Noble provides students with free introductory seminars that provide a basic overview of the tools and techniques associated with motion graphics. On their main website, Noble’s free seminar page provides students with frequently updating video tutorials that serve as beginner-friendly courses, such as Getting Started in Motion Graphics, Intro to After Effects, and Intro to Premiere Pro. These seminars give students a taste of the kinds of training that they will receive when they enroll in a live online motion graphics course through Noble.

Since they are the tools most commonly used by Motion Graphic Artists, students may also wish to take advantage of some of the free tutorials Adobe provides for Premiere Pro and After Effects. These brief tutorials give students a basic walkthrough of the features and functions of these tools. They are ideal for students looking to familiarize themselves with how to navigate the application interface. Free tutorials are available through other service providers, such as Udemy and Coursera.

Read about more free motion graphics videos and online tutorials.

Level of Difficulty, Prerequisites, & Cost 

Motion graphics training is among the more challenging creative design skills to learn because the processes are varied and intricate. For example, Premiere Pro and After Effects are more complex design programs than programs like Photoshop and Illustrator. While the skills are accessible, the initial learning curve can be high, and completing elaborate projects can be challenging. However, once a student is comfortable with motion graphics design programs, they will find themselves able to work on all kinds of creative projects.

There are no formal prerequisite skills to learn before beginning motion graphics training. Still, the tools are more hardware intensive than some graphic design programs, meaning prospective students should check to ensure they can run the appropriate programs. In addition, while not strictly required, knowledge of Illustrator and Photoshop will significantly ease the learning process of a few elements of motion graphics design. Students interested in building things like digital logos, animated infographics, or web animations may wish to consider looking into the graphic design training courses offered through Noble.

The direct cost of learning motion graphics is the cost of the digital design applications, most commonly After Effects and Premiere Pro. Both of these applications are available through an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Adobe does offer users a brief free trial period with both programs. After that expires, users must pay a monthly subscription fee to access the programs. Each program costs about $21 a month to license, though an Adobe After Effects subscription comes with access to Cinema 4D. All applications in the Adobe Creative Cloud can be licensed as a package for a monthly fee of about $55.

Read about how difficult it is to learn motion graphics.

How Does Learning Motion Graphics Compare to Other Fields?

Motion graphics training is most commonly linked to video editing training, as these skills use many of the same tools and techniques. Like many graphic design skills, motion graphics and video editing tools are complementary but distinct. Learning each skill may assist you in understanding the other, but each skill focuses on a different element of creative design.

Motion graphics emphasize adding motion to layouts and designs by layering different designs on top of one another. This lets them create animated elements for otherwise static designs, such as titles, logos, and animated digital assets. Primarily using tools like After Effects, Motion Graphics Designers will be able to add evocative digital effects and animations to their layouts.

Video editing focuses on taking existing video files and piecing them together to create finished video projects. Like motion graphics, video editing has users working with different files to blend them into a single finished product. The main difference is that video editing focuses on more than just animated movement and deals with more complex issues such as sound mixing, continuity, and film cutting.

To learn more about video editing, consult the video editing page on Noble’s Learn Hub.

How to Decide the Best Way to Learn Motion Graphics

Given the number of options available, students may be interested in knowing the differences between various motion graphics training programs to find the best option. The answer will come down to what students hope to learn and how much they want to use their motion graphics training professionally. Students who wish to become familiar with applications like After Effects will need less training than those who want to start a career as Motion Graphics Artists.

For students who only want to familiarize themselves with a new program and start experimenting with motion graphics design, a free intro seminar like those available on Noble’s free seminar page will allow students to get a feel for how to use these programs in a low-stakes environment. These courses will help students become comfortable with how to build basic animations and how to start layering layouts to create animated elements and assets.

Students with some design training who want to expand their skills without diving headlong into a new career field may wish to consider a skills training bootcamp, like Noble’s After Effects Bootcamp. In classes like these, students will learn the intermediate and advanced skills required to use tools like After Effects in the course of their regular workday, giving them a new tool that they can use to enhance their creative projects. However, this training will be narrow and focus only on the tool in question, making the course ideal for students who hope to enhance their existing skills rather than build an entirely new creative career.

Career-focused training programs, like Noble’s Motion Graphics Certificate program, are ideal for students who want to build toward a new creative career. These courses are designed for novice designers who want to turn their passion into a career. To do this, students will receive hands-on motion graphics design experience by working on the kinds of projects that they will work on professionally and focused career training through one-on-one mentorship and professional development seminars. These courses are for you if you want to learn skills to enter an in-demand career field like motion graphics.

Learn Motion Graphics with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Students looking to learn motion design skills should consider the hands-on training options available through Noble Desktop. Noble offers courses for experienced and novice designers covering specific skills like After Effects alongside more career-focused bootcamps like their Motion Graphics Certificate program. Available both in-person at Noble’s Manhattan campus and online, these courses are taught by experienced instructors who are there to help provide students with feedback and assistance on their designs. Even online, class sizes are small, ensuring that students won’t have to fight for their instructors' attention. Plus, all these courses offer a free retake option for students, letting them take the course again within one year. This gives students the chance to go back over skills they had difficulty with, attend missed lessons, or get more hands-on experience with motion graphics tools.

For students who have some design experience or who just want to learn a new tool to add to their creative toolkit, Noble offers several skills bootcamps designed to teach students how to use Adobe After Effects and Cinema 4D. These courses are designed to introduce novice users to the basic functions of these essential design tools. Students will learn how to build simple animated images and layer them onto Photoshop and Illustrator designs. Then, students seeking more training can take Noble’s After Effects Advanced course to learn how to composite video footage, animate shape and text layers, and learn practical chroma key skills. These courses don’t require knowledge of Illustrator and Photoshop, but some proficiency is very helpful. Students interested in receiving this background training should look at the graphic design courses offered through Noble.

Students seeking a more career-focused training course may wish to consider Noble’s Motion Graphics Certificate program. In this course, students will learn how to use Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Cinema 4D to create motion graphic designs and edit video clips. Students will get hands-on experience working on the kinds of creative projects they will work on when they enter the workforce. A part of their training will be a professionalization seminar designed to teach them how to get involved in the motion graphics and video editing industry. In addition, students will receive one-on-one career mentorship from Noble’s career professionals and dedicate substantial time to building a practical demo reel that students can bring onto the job market.

Students interested in learning more about these courses or looking into their other training opportunities should consider Noble's motion graphics design courses.

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