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After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics
Illustration by John Hersey

Organizing projects for motion graphics


From:

After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics

with Ian Robinson

Video: Organizing projects for motion graphics

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.
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  1. 3m 37s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 4s
    3. Defining motion graphics
      1m 32s
  2. 11m 11s
    1. Workflow for creating motion graphics
      5m 7s
    2. Organizing projects for motion graphics
      4m 25s
    3. Defining a motion graphics "package"
      1m 39s
  3. 12m 58s
    1. Collecting visual inspiration
      2m 14s
    2. Listening to imagine
      3m 20s
    3. Creating elements for inspiration
      7m 24s
  4. 33m 4s
    1. Essential theories of typography
      6m 34s
    2. Understanding shortcuts for setting type in AE
      7m 27s
    3. Converting type from Photoshop
      5m 51s
    4. Importing type from illustrator
      9m 44s
    5. Creating shapes from text
      3m 28s
  5. 36m 30s
    1. Understanding the role of timing in motion graphics
      8m 1s
    2. Creating and using markers
      7m 58s
    3. Creating animation with markers
      5m 16s
    4. Using audio to create animated graphics
      5m 47s
    5. Editing techniques for graphics and video
      9m 28s
  6. 49m 27s
    1. Understanding different kinds of type in After Effects
      15m 53s
    2. Using animators with type
      7m 59s
    3. Using type presets
      7m 35s
    4. Creating custom type presets
      4m 35s
    5. Animating paragraph type
      13m 25s
  7. 45m 51s
    1. Exploring the use of color in motion graphics
      10m 40s
    2. Creating and using color palettes
      13m 45s
    3. Exploring color correction tools in AE
      6m 46s
    4. Advanced correction with Color Finesse
      8m 30s
    5. Creating custom color presets
      6m 10s
  8. 59m 6s
    1. Exploring textures in motion graphics
      8m 30s
    2. Building an animated background texture
      16m 48s
    3. Creating textures for type
      10m 19s
    4. Animating seamless textures
      15m 1s
    5. Creating custom vignettes
      8m 28s
  9. 38m 25s
    1. Understanding lighting in After Effects
      12m 57s
    2. Intro to lighting techniques
      5m 17s
    3. Using material settings to enhance lighting
      7m 36s
    4. Adding polish to a light setup
      12m 35s
  10. 50m 32s
    1. Animating swoops and swooshes
      12m 37s
    2. Creating repeating light trails with the Vegas effect
      6m 28s
    3. Repeating patterns with shape layers
      8m 11s
    4. Exploring graphic transitions
      10m 37s
    5. Exploring video transitions
      5m 16s
    6. Adding dynamic elements to a video transition
      7m 23s
  11. 22m 23s
    1. Working in 3D
      8m 36s
    2. Rigging cameras for animation
      8m 45s
    3. Working with depth of field
      5m 2s
  12. 50m 54s
    1. Creating storyboards in After Effects
      10m 20s
    2. Creating an animatic
      18m 14s
    3. Polishing the animation and timing
      8m 45s
    4. Applying the final effects
      13m 35s
  13. 47m 53s
    1. Preparing a map for animation
      7m 59s
    2. Animating and styling a map
      8m 24s
    3. Designing a lower-third graphic
      8m 22s
    4. Adding animation to the lower-third graphic
      9m 10s
    5. Creating bumper animations
      13m 58s
  14. 14m 17s
    1. Defining the toolkit
      2m 2s
    2. Preparing templates
      7m 12s
    3. Creating a style guide
      5m 3s
  15. 1m 3s
    1. Next Steps
      1m 3s

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After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics
7h 57m Intermediate Feb 09, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Converting type from Photoshop and Illustrator
  • Creating shapes from text
  • Using markers in animation
  • Editing techniques for graphics
  • Using type presets
  • Animating type
  • Exploring color correction tools
  • Building animated textures
  • Creating custom vignettes
  • Understanding Lights and Material settings
  • Adding dynamic transitions
  • Rigging cameras for animation
  • Working efficiently in 3D space
Subjects:
Video Motion Graphics
Software:
After Effects
Author:
Ian Robinson

Organizing projects for motion graphics

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.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics.


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Q: How do I transition from one piece of animated type to another in After Effects?
A: There isn't an effect that can create these types of transitions. It's really a matter of animating the type and camera, using basic keyframing and positioning.
 
If you understand the basics of moving the anchor point of a type layer, animating the parameters of that layer (Scale, Rotation, Position, etc.) and then separately animating the camera around the type layers, you can achieve different types of transitions.  Check out the following videos for more information:

 
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