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After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics with Ian Robinson covers some of the core principles used to create motion graphics, breaking them down into smaller groups of applied techniques in After Effects. The course explores everything from gathering inspiration to integrating traditional typography, transitional elements, animated textures, color, and more into motion graphics. Instructions for building a toolkit with templates and a style guide for future projects are also included. Exercise files accompany the course.
Really, this video should be called Intervention. It's time to clean up your act. We've all seen those shows. People have a house, and it's cluttered with all kinds of stuff: junk, trash, whatever. Unfortunately, you and I know that many of us are prone to do this with our projects, random files and folders strewn all over the Desktop or on internal drives, external drives-- you get the idea. When it comes to creating motion graphics, organization is key. If you listen to the last video in my Intro chapter, the definition of motion graphics requires a very large skill set, so more often than not, in order to knock a project out of the park, you'll need more than one person working on the project. So, that's it.
You should know if you're expecting to be able to have another artist or designer pick up your project, you better have your stuff organized. If not, just be ready for the chaos. Now, I've gone ahead and made an example folder structure in the exercise files. So, let's check out that structure right now. So if you navigate to the chapter 1 folder in your exercise files, the 01_02 folder contains our Project-Template folder. Now, typically when I'm working on a project I would rename this folder whatever the name of the project.
Then within that folder I like to divide things up according to the phase I'm working in the project. Sometimes people find this a little annoying and they make a single-level folder structure. It's really personal preference. But this is the way I like to work. So if we look in our Start folder here, you notice I have four folders. The Meetings folder is designed for you to save any notes from any meetings, whether it's schedules, or creative notes, what have you. Client Sources, this is where you can save logos or audio files that the client is expecting you to incorporate into your project.
The Research Images folder is a great place to download any random images that you may have checked out online that you want to use as inspiration in your projects. Just make sure if you're downloading images from online that you don't accidentally use them in your project, because most of them are probably copyright protected. Now, this bottom folder, Storyboards, we'll definitely show you how to create a storyboard later in the video, but this is where you would actually save those storyboards. Now, the Working folder is where all the meat and potatoes of the work gets done.
We have our AE-Projects folder. This is obviously where we save our After Effects projects. Now, if those projects contain any video, I like to actually save the video files into a separate folder. So if you're working with, let's say, Premiere and After Effects, you could save your Premiere capture scratch in this folder. Now, I also like to just save things according to the type of file. Obviously, you could just save a folder for still images and not make the distinction between Photoshop and Illustrator, but I like to have a Photoshop file and an Illustrator file.
Now, last but not least, this Approval Renders folder. This is a great way to actually render out images or video files that you want to send off to the client for approval. A lot of times once I've sent those files to the client, if it's approved, I go back and color-code those files using the Finder, just so I know whether or not it was approved. Now, the last section of our Project-Template is the Archive section. Most designers unfortunately overlook this step. But I love the Archive step, because this is where I can actually save all of the full-res rendered files that we're creating.
Go ahead and save them to the Deliverables folder. Now, when you're finished, delete everything out of your project that you don't need, and go ahead and collect the project into the Projects folder. Now, if you're not sure how to do that, don't worry; we're definitely covering that in this title. But I wanted to show you projects, once you're finished, you should save them in the Archive folder. Now, as I said before, you should definitely feel free to customize this folder structure for your own workflow. Honestly, I'm just hoping something in this video rubs off and encourages all of you to develop your own sense of order and structure in your projects, so the next time some poor freelancer or other designer picks up your project, they won't be begging for explanations.
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