Motion Graphics is essentially the theory and practice of graphic design as applied to time-based media. As such, the same rules that apply to graphic design - color sense, typography, size relationships, the grid, etc. - also apply to motion graphics. However, we must now also consider the added dimension of time.  In this class we shall be reviewing and relearning the former, while immersing ourselves in the nuance of the latter.



The overall goal of this class is introduce the skills necessary to create eye-catching title sequences, on-air graphics and broadcast-quality graphics packages used in film, television, web, and other video outlets. That said, producing digital media requires tremendous technical knowledge to use the software applications, and the computer and audio/video technology necessary to execute even fairly simple designs. There are numerous complicated technical standards and formats that determine what is acceptable and usable in professional settings. It is easy for projects to be rendered useless by the incorrect execution of even the best design. In this class we will learn applications, standards and techniques necessary to produce professional quality work. 

The volume and detail of the technical information necessary to produce high-quality digital media can easily eclipse the fundamental and essential design skills needed to deliver successful projects. Technical knowledge must be put in the service of smart ideas that exhibit an astute visual sense to be effective. Projects need to draw on a broad cultural literacy, a deep understanding of clients, their needs and the basic principles that have determined successful graphic design throughout its history. We will learn how to differentiate between sophisticated design and plain, uninspired graphics. We will study great designers' work and learn the principles that have made them great. We will apply these ideas to a number of projects that will be executed as part of this class.


The video below is a compilation of past work done by my Art 325 students. IT should give you a good idea of what is expected of you:



This course is organized around two objectives. Students need to learn the technical skills necessary to produce professional motion graphics. And, they need to be able to execute sophisticated designs that effectively address a clients needs. We will achieve these objectives by learning the most commonly used software package used in the industry, Adobe After Effects. We use AfterEffects to execute various design exercises throughout the semester. During the semester you will execute two projects of your own design: one each for the midterm and final. In each class we will look at students' work. We will all critique the exercises presented. 

In addition to developing a successively deeper understanding of the visual and technical skills necessary for motion graphic designers, students will learn two of the most basic of skills expected of design professionals: how to simultaneously think creatively and listen to what is required of them, and how to take direction. A large portion of the grade for this class will depend on how well students listen to assignments and how well they incorporate class critique and recommendations into their revisions. 

Roughly half of the class and lab time will be devoted to the many technical components of Adobe AfterEffects, PhotoShop, and Illustrator, best practices in the use these tools, what standards are relevant, and the numerous technical requirements of the finished product. Aside from some project ideas and a few general guidelines, the concept and execution of the midterm and final projects will largely be up to you.



The student's grade for this class will depend primarily on three factors: how well the Mid-Term and Final assignments are designed and executed, how well the projects incorporate critique and recommendations into their revisions, and how well they demonstrate the student's technical skill. Assignments must be turned in on time or not at all. File and project naming are important, so is structured backup. I will provide and discuss standards for this and failure to conform to these could mean a project or assignment is considered undelivered. Computer crashes, unreadable CD/DVD or other technical malfunction are not valid excuses for undelivered work. Work will be expected to be delivered according to specification. 

Students are required to double check their work and verify their assumptions. We will be using Adobe Creative Suite 6. The Art Department, like a large majority of designs studios, is Macintosh based. If a student works at home on a Microsoft platform, it is their responsibility to be compatible. If 3rd party tools (usually free-ware) are required to maintain compatibility, it is up to the student to download and use them. If technical assistance is required, it it the student's responsibility to contact me in time for on time completion of the assignment. Prompt attendance is important. Late assignments will not be reviewed. Unless given free time to do so, students may not work on personal projects, instant messages, or check e-mail during class instruction or work periods.

 Required materials: 

- minimum 8GB Flash Drive