Animation in Digital Arts & Design
Full Sail’s Digital Arts & Design program teaches motion graphics, a form of animated design that’s used in a wide variety of industries.
Full Sail’s Digital Arts & Design degree teaches students how to create visual messaging and digital art for established brands. One of the program’s core skills is a type of animation that students may not have considered: motion graphics. Learning to create motion graphics can give students a valuable skill that will help their designs stand out.
Motion Graphics: Where Design Meets Animation
Motion graphics are animated text and design elements. They combine graphic design principles with animation technology to create animated title sequences for movies, interactive advertising, dynamic educational materials, viral GIFs, and much more. Successful motion graphics engage an audience to help them quickly understand the information being presented.
“The goal [in the Digital Arts & Design program] is to teach how to communicate and express really interesting or complex concepts and stories through creative, illustrative animation,” says Eric Rosenfeld, Full Sail’s Digital Arts & Design Program Director.
Communication & Illustration with Motion Graphics
Whereas other animation techniques focus on using 3D tools to create the most realistic animated characters, worlds, and assets possible, the motion graphics concepts taught in the Digital Arts & Design program focus on developing and producing illustrative assets.
“Our goals are communication and illustration as opposed to realism,” Eric explains. “We spend half our time learning how to design, and then we learn how to animate those designs. So being a good designer is a big part of also being an animator in the motion graphics world. You need to be able to produce and animate assets.”
Learning Motion Graphics in the Digital Arts & Design Program
Students in the Digital Arts & Design program learn core design foundations before moving onto motion graphics. Their initial motion graphics classes teach 2D animation skills using software like Adobe After Effects.
“After Effects is the bread and butter, or the Swiss Army knife, of the motion graphics world. It's been around for a long time. It does almost everything and it’s used all over the place,” Eric says.
Digital Arts & Design students then augment their new 2D animation skills with 3D animation courses and additional video classes.
“In [the 3D animation classes], they're using Cinema 4D [software]. And then after that, they also take some video production classes. So they combine video skills, 2D animation, and 3D animation with their designs to then create a unique motion graphics project in the last block of classes,” Eric continues.
Since motion graphics is heavily intertwined with branding, many Digital Arts & Design students use their final project to demonstrate their understanding of that relationship.
“A lot of our students will extend a brand; they will take a popular company and then extend them into a new market or communicate something new about a product. It'll involve illustrating the product or 3D modeling the product depending on the style they're looking for. It might involve shooting some video to use as a backdrop, or producing background images. And then it's all about the storytelling of that brand experience,” says Eric.
Motion Graphics after Graduation
Motion graphics is a flexible form of animation that’s used in a variety of industries. Working with motion graphics on a professional level might mean creating digital explainers for an agency, producing instructional training videos for a business, building animations for commercials, designing animated GIFs and memes for social media campaigns, and more. Motion graphics can be a good fit for designers and animators who enjoy creating assets from start to finish.
“The motion graphics world is a great way to combine creativity and technology because [as] a motion graphic designer, they could be responsible for coming up with a concept and taking it all the way through to completion. They have to both be creative and have the ability to produce what they're creating or thinking of... It’s kind of fun to be able to be in charge of the entire process, which is a little bit different than other forms of animation. Whether it be the editing, the style, or the content, we get to have a hand in all of that,” Eric says.