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Thread: What knowlege and skills do yo need for a career in motion graphics?

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    What knowlege and skills do yo need for a career in motion graphics?

    The title is the question. It's my impression that "motion graphics" may be a very broad term. Enlighten me please. I'm particularly interested in what the course of study should be for an aspiring motion graphics artist.

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    You're going to have to be a little more specific I think.. Motion graphics as in animations for graphic design or Motion graphics movie/game production?

    Last edited by worxe; July 13th, 2008 at 12:19 PM.
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    Or even tracking? comping? character animating? etc...?

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    .. This is going to be a headfull..

    I'll take a stab in the dark; I'd be happy to explain what I know (and that isn't much, feel free to correct me on anything), but I'm a little perplexed as to why you're asking such a question when you already seem to be heavily investing your time into an animation school already.

    Regardless, lets define 'Motion Graphics' in a nutshell first, 'The moving image', animation, a sequence of frames, video - but not Film specifically (though portions of it are sometimes used), however its hard to separate 'Motion Graphics' and 'Film' now that today's technology is giving film a much broader reach in creativity, which is now merging into Motion Graphics as a result of it, so we'll treat both of them the 'same' for now (Not including video-games just yet either).

    Going by the above, you already have a multitude of professions involved in creating that kind of media from what I can think of that directly influence the VISUAL design of the project (feel free to add more in case I might've missed any down the track - the links are wiki entries) ;

    -Producer (self-explanatory, the head honcho etc)
    -Cinematographers
    -Art Directors
    -Concept Artists
    -Storyboard Artists
    -Rotoscopers
    -Matte Painters (click on the top left 'english version', and note the .gif below on the original link), wiki
    -3D Modellers
    -Texture Artists
    -Riggers
    -Animators (2d/3d)
    -Compositors
    -Technical Directors
    \____VisualFX Supervisor
    \____Character Animation Supervisor
    \____Lighting TD
    \____Compositing TD

    All of these roles will come into play at one stage or another during the process of making a Movie/Film/Animation among a few others, and concerning Movies alone, are very specific in what you will be doing, ie: if you're rotoscoping, you're rotoscoping, not compositing or touching anything else (most of the time anyway, some films have more leasure than others). Certain movies also employ more specified roles where a certain aspect of the movie has to be precise though I don't know the proper names, but I can imagine Dreamworks having a specialist technical supervisor for all the fur effects in Kung Fu Panda for example.

    In Videogames, a fair few of the roles in movie production are shared, such as 3d modellers and concept artists, but are usually applied in different ways and come with their own set of creative and technical restrictions and allowances depending on the project you're working on. If you're an aspiring 'Motion Graphics' artist then I suggest you look closely as what line of work you most enjoy doing, and try to find a position that applies best to your set of interests and (WIP)/skills. After that, look into the industry because that is where you will be spending a fair amount of your 'employed life', its best to get all the information you can garner straight from the industry and the people working within it (internships come to mind and assistant-orientated jobs come to mind).

    Beyond that I seriously have no idea where specifically to go with this now since you have yet to clarify what you're after within motion graphics, so I'll save any other words for later, hope this helps some regardless.

    Last edited by worxe; July 15th, 2008 at 10:51 AM.
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    Animation classes of any kind (2d, 3d, CGI) would help in the broad understanding of moving images. Buy a program like Adobe After Effects, start taking some online tutorials (i suggest videocopilot.net) and you will have a good start.

    Blender is a free 3D program that you could use to start learning CGI.

    Graphic design is always a huge help when it comes to things like animated titles, logos, credits. Designing for motion is a bit different than designing for print or stills, though.

    A lot of places looking to hire motion graphic artists are also looking for them to be versed in an editing program or two (Final Cut Pro, Avid, Premiere) as well as Adobe Photoshop and illustrator.

    Studying film couldn't hurt either. Especially as the line between live action and animation is constantly being blurred.

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    Hi Maxine I was surfing the forums here trying to find an answer for a question of mine and I found yours here, Now this question you ask has a very broad spectrum and is hard to answer in few words.

    I see more and more nowadays that the gap between mograph and vfx is narrowing, you see Motion Graphics deals with effects that grab the viewer and stand out and make them say Whoa! with the intent to get their attention. And VFX is where the effects are there but you can't tell if it was real or visual effects, that is when you know you did a job well, you see? And indeed I have been told and know personally that Motion Graphics is definitely a good start if you want to break into the Entertainment Industry.

    Here, if you want to know more check out these webs:
    http://www.mograph.net/board/index.php?act=home
    http://www.videocopilot.net/
    http://forums.creativecow.net/
    http://blogs.creativecow.net/node/273
    http://motionographer.com/
    http://www.tronicstudio.com/
    Stash DVD Magazine

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    Thanks, Tom. We run a career college that is very successfully teaching animation, illustration for comics and graphic novels, and concept art for animation and video games. These are 3 and 4 year diploma programs.
    We try to provide a broad based general education that will give students a skill base they can use to adapt to the job market, so, naturally, when the term "motion graphics" is presented I want to know if there are courses we can offer that will enable students to find jobs in this market if , for example, animation takes a down turn (right now there are more jobs for our animation graduates than we can fill, but when you've been around long enough you know how things can change).


    I started this thread because I really felt confused about exactly what was meant by a career in "motion graphics,' and I'm getting the feeling from the responses here that it may be a catch-all.

    I was trying to really define what a motion-graphics artist does, what combination of skills and knowledge he/she needs for a successful career.

    Animation - and especially effects animation- certainly seems to be part of the package.

    What about graphic design?

    Is anybody up to listing the courses you'd like to see in a program designed to prepare people for a career in motion graphics?

    Last edited by Maxine Schacker; September 24th, 2008 at 07:11 AM.
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