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Team Think Labs | Wonderful World of Motion Graphics
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The Motion Graphics Slammer - with Cheese!

Wonderful World of Motion Graphics

In the advertising industry, Motion Graphics is an incredible driving force. Here at Seven2, our Motion Graphics and Film work has increased like crazy in the past year. We can only assume that the same is happening to studios and agencies in NYC and LA. Looking to make a move into Motion Graphics? Could be a smart move! Here are some things to help you decide…

WHAT DOES A MOTION GRAPHICS DESIGNER DO?

Try to think of Motion Graphics as a big ‘Ol Hamburger:

The Motion Graphics Slammer - with Cheese!

It is comprised of four tasty components; Design, Animation, Compositing, and Editing. Design is the foundation of all MG work. Animations are cool but without great designs you just have a mess. Animation is like the secret sauce, it adds that extra twang! *Note: Compositing is the art of taking various visual assets from different sources and layering them together in such a way that they seem like they are all part of the same scene. This is done in film all the time. The  Graphic-Design-Equivalent would be a Photomontage.

HOW MUCH DOES A MOTION GRAPHICS DESIGNER MAKE?

There is definitely a high demand for Motion Graphics in the design community. It’s rare to watch a commercial these days and not see some form of 3D-Animated text flying across your TV/Computer screen. Money is a big concern when thinking of your future (especially in this economy), but Motion Graphics Design is definitely doing as good as the next creative staff position. Check out this “Motion Graphics Design Census“. It is full of great MG info, such as: How much MG Designers make and what software MD Designers use most.

How much do Motion Graphics Designers make?

IS MOTION GRAPHICS RIGHT FOR ME?

There are pros and cons to every job out there. MG Design is no exception. Here are few things to think about:

Some pros and cons for the world of Motion Graphics

PROS:

  1. Job availability: Since there is a high demand for Motion Graphics in the Advertising Industry, there are many great jobs out there. Also, MG is a craft that dips into many other industries as well, including the film industry.
  2. Promotion: Even if you don’t want to become a Motion Graphics Designer, having a basic knowledge of video is an invaluable tool for promoting yourself and your work. The popularity of YouTube and Vimeo videos embedded on simple WordPress sites is only getting greater!
  3. Easy to Learn: Motion Graphics primarily uses Adobe After Effects. Fortunately, this is one the easiest softwares to learn… period. When it comes to After Effects I learned all that I know from online tutorials. The best of which all can be found on this site: Video Copilot. As far as animation and design principles, those are a little harder to teach yourself.

CONS:

  1. File size: As a designer, you are probably used to files that are under 100 MB. For video, it is not uncommon to work on a project that is is just under 100 GB! This can be very demanding of your machine which encourages you to find ways to increase your production workflow and organization.
  2. Rendering: When you finish a video project, you are ready to export it. It’s just like exporting a PNG from photoshop, only instead you are exporting 5,000 PNGs at once. As you can imagine, this can take a very long time. Just like Photoshop or Illustrator, adding things like Blurs or 3D effects can take a long time to process. Part of being a good Motion Graphics Designer is knowing the best ways to take advantage of your computer and to know it’s limits.
  3. Communication (This is not so much a con as it is some advice): When you are working on complex animations it is even more important that you are effectively communicating with your creative director or client. If you do not, you may be in for a tough revisions process. Imagine having to replace an image in one of your design files… Now, imagine having to do the same thing to multiple spots of  a 3-minute video. The smallest change can create a lot of work for you and the rest of your teammates.

RESOURCES:

Here is a collection of Motion Graphics Resources that help me to this day:

Thanks to everyone at SFCC for having me! I enjoyed speaking to you about Motion Graphics and I hope all this info helps you in your future endeavors!

Peace from all of us at Seven2 Interactive!