Course Spotlight: Motion Graphics
Published on Sep 30, 2014 by Amy Cassell
This month we’re spotlighting the Digital Arts & Design Bachelor’s Degree program, focusing on the courses that make up the backbone of the curriculum that students learn across its 20 months.
On the first day of Dan Walker’s Motion Graphics course (Month 11 of Full Sail’s 20-month Digital Arts & Design Bachelor’s Degree program), he tells his students that he’s aware some of them may strictly want to be print designers, but that after the next month, he bets some will end up falling in love with motion graphics.
“It’s still all about the design,” he says.
Motion graphics involves overlaying graphics on top of video to create the illusion of motion and rotation, most commonly created using the After Effects software. It’s becoming a staple of the broadcast industry, and while some students end up making motion graphics their main area of expertise, according to Dan, a grad without any motion graphics experience is just not as competitive in the marketplace anymore.
Motion Graphics is the first of three motion graphics-centered courses Digital Arts and Design students take. Advanced Motion Graphics follows immediately in Month 12, with the 3-D for Motion Design course happening in Month 15. Students are basically “sophomores” when they enter this Motion Graphics course, says Dan, and they’re expected at this point to have a proficiency in Photoshop and Illustrator, which will help them with After Effects. From here on out, courses switch more into “Production” mode, with students really diving in and creating projects.
“My class is a very basic introduction to motion graphics,” says Dan, who owns his own production company on the side and taught Full Sail’s first Digital Media course back in 1993. “We learn the fundamentals of the software, the workflow, and little by little we start to build [the students’] confidence so they can get to more advanced motion graphics.”
The course starts off with a few tutorials, but students typically dive right in to work on the two main projects they’re expected to complete over the course of the month: creating an animation of their personal logo and animating an infographic. Students also have the opportunity to help Show Production students in the Concert Media Design course with graphics and projection mapping for their final project and portfolio.
And while some may still be set on print design only, it’s still important to leave the Digital Arts & Design program a well-rounded designer.
“It’s okay at this point to still not be sure what type of designer you want to be,” Dan said to a recent group of students on the first day of his course. “But knowing motion graphics will open your job opportunities tenfold.”