How Long Does it Take to Learn Motion Graphics?

Discover the world of motion graphics and how it can be a stepping stone to a career in the film and television industry. Learn about the tools used, the time it takes to master the skills, and how Noble Desktop can prepare you for this vibrant industry.

Key Insights

  • Motion graphics involves creating animated images using tools such as Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Cinema 4D. It is a pathway to film editing and adds dynamic animations to static designs.
  • With motion graphics training, students can learn how to build elaborate animations, including web assets, digital logos, and infographics, enhancing their creative projects.
  • Mastery of motion graphics depends on several factors including prior design experience, time availability for practice, and professional aspirations. It can take from a few days to several weeks to learn basic functionalities, and much longer to become an expert.
  • Noble Desktop offers hands-on training in motion graphics, with novice to advanced courses available. Their Motion Graphics Certificate program prepares students for a career in the industry.
  • Costs associated with learning motion graphics include subscription fees for necessary applications such as Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro, which cost roughly $21 each per month. The entire Adobe Creative Cloud package can be accessed for about $55 per month.
  • Noble Desktop offers a variety of free resources and online seminars for those interested in learning about motion graphics before committing to a full course or program.

Like many aspiring Motion Graphics Designers, you might want to learn motion graphics but worry that it will take too much time. While motion graphics skills are complicated, users can expect to become comfortable with the basic functionalities of their tools within a few days to a few weeks of training. It will take longer to become an expert in motion graphics because more elaborate animations will take much longer to create. Of course, this depends on several factors. Keep reading about how you can learn motion graphics and some resources to help speed the process along.

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.

Average Time it Takes to Learn Motion Graphics.

The time it takes to learn motion graphics skills largely depends on what a student hopes to do with those skills. Learning how to layer simple animated assets into Illustrator files to create logos with a bit of motion is a skill that students can pick up with only a few days of training in After Effects. Learning how to build realistic models of human beings and animals to be used in elaborate digital animated projects can take tens of thousands of hours of dedicated practice.

Other Factors

Aside from the question of what kind of animated designs a student wants to learn to build, some other factors impact how long it takes to learn motion graphic design. These include prior experience with design tools, the amount of time available to practice, and whether or not a student has professional aspirations.

Prior Design Experience

While novice designers will be able to learn tools like Adobe After Effects relatively easily, they are still more complex than many other design applications available. Users with experience with tools like Photoshop and Illustrator will find that their knowledge of these programs helps them learn After Effects more quickly and efficiently.

Time to Practice

Learning how to use the functions of After Effects is the easy part of learning motion graphics skills. The hard part is perfecting those skills by practicing and iterating on designs until a user is proficient with the tools. Thus, users with a great deal of time to practice with their designs will master motion graphics faster than someone who can only practice sporadically.

Professional Aspirations

As with almost all skills, anyone hoping to build a career out of their motion graphics training will find that it takes much longer to achieve those goals than students who aren’t planning to start a new career. This also compounds the issue of prior design experience because most professional designers will need to learn multiple tools and techniques to be competitive in the job market.

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.

Watch a Free Motion Graphics Online Course

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.

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.

Key Insights

  • Learning motion graphics skills will take a great deal of time for any student hoping to learn more than the basic techniques of the field.
  • Prior design experience, particularly with programs like Photoshop and Illustrator, will speed up the process in a meaningful way.
  • The real time-consuming aspect of learning motion graphics is the time spent practicing different techniques. Students without much time to practice will understandably find themselves learning slower than students who can dedicate more time to their training.
  • Students with professional aspirations will need more advanced and diverse training than those looking to learn the fundamentals of motion graphics training.
  • One way to speed up the learning process is by enrolling in a professional skills development course, such as those offered in-person and online through Noble Desktop.

How to Learn Motion Graphics

Master motion graphics with hands-on training. Motion graphics design describes the process of creating animated images, which today requires specialized software like After Effects or Cinema 4D.

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