New Feature: Playlist Center! Pick a topic and let our playlists guide the way.

Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics
Illustration by John Hersey
Watching:

Workflow for creating motion graphics


From:

After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics

with Ian Robinson

Video: Workflow for creating motion graphics

Even though it's safe to say there is no single roadmap for creativity, there most definitely is a method to the madness when it comes to creating motion graphics. It can usually be broken down into roughly four or five phases. Now, to illustrate this point, I'm going to go ahead and navigate to a folder structure that I created in our exercise files. Now, don't worry. If you don't have access to the exercise files, just follow along. I just think these illustrate the point extraordinarily well. So if you look in your exercise files, in the chapter 1 folder, you should find a folder 01_01.
Expand all | Collapse all
  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

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
please wait ...
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

Workflow for creating motion graphics

Even though it's safe to say there is no single roadmap for creativity, there most definitely is a method to the madness when it comes to creating motion graphics. It can usually be broken down into roughly four or five phases. Now, to illustrate this point, I'm going to go ahead and navigate to a folder structure that I created in our exercise files. Now, don't worry. If you don't have access to the exercise files, just follow along. I just think these illustrate the point extraordinarily well. So if you look in your exercise files, in the chapter 1 folder, you should find a folder 01_01.

Let's start by looking at the 01_Start folder. The first phase is the initial client meeting. Now, in that meeting you want to create some notes that actually give you a direction to work with. So if we just look at our notes here, you want to obviously notate the date, the project title, and then--this is really important--the deliverables. You want to know exactly how many graphic elements you have to deliver, and you want to notate as much information about these elements as possible.

For example, I listed show open. Now, most of the time the next question should have been, do you want a 30- second open, a two-minute open? Do you want like a tease? Do you want just a quick reveal? What exactly are you looking for? But sometimes you won't be able to get those details in the initial meetings. So overall, it's just important to get your list of deliverable elements. Now, the next thing down, client-supplied elements. This is where you'd want to list any logos or music elements that the client may want you to incorporate into the project.

Next thing down, you should notate a creative direction. By all means, talk to your client and see if they can actually verbally tell you exactly what they're looking for on a creative basis. Now, I notated this using some language that I would understand, but obviously if you're not quite sure exactly what I mean by "Reference traditional art training," or "Grounded in tradition with a modern edge," don't worry about it; just use your own language when you notate your creative direction. The most important thing out of the client meeting is going to be the Timeline.

Now, the Timeline will determine the schedule for you to deliver your elements, but it's really, really important to actually put the client on a Timeline, because when we deliver our initial design concept, if they don't get approval back to us in a timely fashion, we can't really turn around the animation in a timely fashion. So make sure when you get the Timeline, yes, you'll have a Timeline of the projects you have to deliver to them, but you want to get a Timeline from them as far as when they're going to get you final yea or nay approval.

So let's go ahead and close that out there. The next phase after the meeting is the research phase. Now, in the project we'll be working on later our client wanted us to create something that reflected traditional art skills. Now, this is something I really want to encourage a lot of you to explore, creating artistic elements outside the box, meaning not within the digital world. Now, even if you don't have an artistic bone in your body, by all means talk to any artist friends you can. See if you can contract some work.

That way you'll have some other elements that can kind of help push you in a new direction. You can also use this Research Images folder to download images that you might use for inspiration. The thing I want to warn you about when you're downloading images from the web, obviously you want to be aware of copyright. So if you're downloading copyrighted images just for inspiration, make sure to save those off into a separate folder so you don't accidentally use them in your project. You'd never want to do that. Now, once you've got a clear direction as to where you're headed, it's time to actually start working.

This is when you want to start creating project files out of Illustrator or Photoshop or After Effects. During the working phase, you'll actually want to enter the next phase, which is approvals. So as you're working you want to generate still images that you can send off to the client for approval. The key is to not spend too much time going in one creative direction without finding out from the client, hey, is this the direction you're actually looking for? So the last phase I want to talk about is when you're finished with your project.

You'll want to create a folder where you can render all your deliverables, like the finish title open video, or the lower third graphic you created. Save that off into a separate place and then by all means archive your project. Archiving your projects can save you valuable time and actually help generate a little bit of money because you'll save other elements that you've created during the process for use in future projects. So to recap, the five phases that you'll be looking at when you're creating motion graphics are the initial client meeting, exploration, approval, design, and archive.

So as you can tell, I'm a big fan of the process, and it's these five phases that encompass just about any motion graphics project.

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


Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
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:

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

join now Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Notes cannot be added for locked videos.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.