I have always loved motion graphics. The way that you can create everything to help tell a story with just using shapes, textures, and text is awe-inspiring to me. I’ve used Adobe After Effects for almost 15 years and have felt pretty comfortable in it, but I’ll come across a video that makes me question, “how the hell did they do that?” That’s when you find yourself six deep in the rabbit hole of YouTube and Vimeo tutorials trying to break it all down.

After countless times of repeating that process and learning specific techniques, I finally decided to enroll in the School of Motion. Their approach to education is breaking it all down to the basics and building it up the right way. Instead of learning bits and pieces that you use for specific looks you’re trying to create, you’re learning “why should things move the way they do,” and how to set up each element to give it the flexibility needed to create the look you want.

Here are a few of the motion graphics lessons I worked on for creating natural organic/robotic movement:

This exercise was in creating an organic movement that bounces and swings. The text and fabric from the shirt and tie move and bend to give a natural feel. This could be used in commercials, promo web content or explainer graphics. 

Write on text is nothing new but utilizing multiple layers in series to create a colorful and unique feel is a great way to “Awesome” it up. 

This exercise shows a great example of what’s called “parenting”. Having multiple layers attached to each other move in unison but keep their own independent properties. Plus… robots are cool.

What about them Keyframes tho???

In motion graphics and animation, a keyframe is how you start to create any form of animation. Think of it as setting your point-A to then move to point-B. 

In this small example project, I have hundreds of keyframes in just a fifteen-second piece. It can get a little tedious for sure.

One of the most valuable things that I learned from this class was how to properly read and adjust keyframes in the graph editor. This is what helps create that natural swinging and bouncing movement. Like in the tie animation. 

Adding up to 14 hours of additional work a week with an already busy schedule, the class workload was definitely a lot, but it was well worth it. Our entire creative team is constantly pushing forward with learning new tools to help tell a story more effectively, and I’m already looking forward to my next class, animation boot camp! 

Now, if you’ll excuse me…I’m going to have to put on another pot of coffee to get through.