Design Essentials for the Motion Media Artist

Design Essentials on Amazon
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Design Essentials for the Motion Media Artist – who is this book for?

This book was written for people I meet at trade shows and seminars who say “I’ve learned the software but my designs still look terrible. What am I doing wrong?”

This book is also for you if you’re a student or are new to motion graphic design. While teaching design students I found it frustrating recommending ten books to each student to cover the basic design principles for the foundation year of their degree course in Graphic Design. The university library never had enough books. The students couldn’t afford to buy the books they needed. Ironically, they only really needed one chapter from each to provide what they needed to get started. If only all that information could be provided in one book!

What will it teach me?

The book is designed as a one-stop, getting-started guide for anyone new to motion graphic design who wants to get the basic principles under their belt so they can get started quickly, making better design decisions as they work through the chapters.

After reading this book you’ll feel comfortable with the basic concepts and principles of design, animation and editing. There’s a chapter on drawing that teaches you the importance of “learning to see” through fun drawing exercises. Among other things, you’ll learn how to choose color combinations that work and how to create convincing and compelling movement in your animations. It will also help you choose fonts that work and improve composition with balance and elegance.

Inspiration

At the end of each chapter, a well-respected creative professional will talk about how their work incorporates some of the principles taught in the book. This helps you see the importance of these principles and to understand how they eventually become second nature to artists and designers.

Record Sleeve designs for Buzzcocks by Malcolm Garret

Learn from some of the top people in their respective industries. The book includes “Inspiration” sections written by graphic designer and creative director Malcolm Garrett and musician Joan Armatrading amongst others. The Foreword to the book is written by commercial director and photographer, Rob Chiu (AKA The Ronin).

The Ronin

Where will it take me?

“Design Essentials” confidently points you in the right direction on the road to becoming a better designer and animator. The book presents the principles of design in an engaging and inspiring way. Each principle is explained in plain English with illustration, and photography where necessary. As well as mastering the fundamental concepts and principles of motion graphic design, with my creative approach to teaching, you’ll learn how to manipulate and bend the rules to create something unique that will also achieve your communication goals.

Once you’ve finished reading this book you should have the confidence to implement what you’ve learned to your motion graphics projects. There’s also an extensive Recommended Reading List on this website that will help you decide where to go next so you can increase your knowledge of these basic principles even further. There’s also a page featuring links to all the external resources mentioned within the pages of my book.


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Life as a Motion Graphic Designer

In my life as a motion graphic designer I’ve learned a few important lessons. In this interview with John Dickinson from Motionworks, I share my experiences in my career as an artist, author and motion graphic designer.

I really enjoyed this interview. John is excellent at getting the best from his interviewees. I just felt like we were having a chat. I hope that my ramblings help to inspire anyone thinking of following a career in motion graphic design.

 

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Photoshop: Removing dust from video frames

I was very pleased to be invited by John Dickinson to create a Prosentials video tip for Motionworks. This tip is for Photoshop CS6 and demonstrates how to removing dust from video frames. I’d love to hear what you think of my first Prosentials tip so please add comments.

John Dickinson is a motion graphic designer who I admire greatly. His work as Senior Broadcast Designer at Foxtel in Australia is impressive enough but on top of that full-time role, he aslo manages to run one of the most inspiring and useful resource sites for other motion graphic designers. It’s called Motionworks. Here you can find all sorts of tips, tricks, tutorials, presets and templates designed by John and his contemporaries.

 

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Textonomy Presets for Sapphire Edge

My brand new Textonomy Presets for Sapphire Edge are now available from the Genarts FX Central Website.

OK, sometimes you need text, but no-one says it has to be boring. These ten effect presets, designed for text will have your viewers sitting up and taking notice.

Camoflash A Camouflage-style of pattern is applied to text to give it texture. The Jitter Frames value adjusts the sped of the flashing animation of the texture.

Disintegrator Added to text this will have the effect of giving it a slight disintegrated quality. Great for adding a bit of damage to your motion graphics.

Damage Limitation Scratches, stains, dust and shake are added to text to give it a more organic appearance. Perfect for those “”Seven”" inspired film titles.

Steeley Glare Adds a textured steel effect to layers. Specifically designed for use on text to add an interesting textured fill.

Searchlight This grainy effect plunges your text into semi-darkness and highlights it by adding a searchlight to it. Vignette Centre property is keyframed in the preview movie to make the light move over the text.

Textatic A groovy, tiling pattern that looks great applied to geometric text. In the preview movie animation is added by keyframing the Inside Rotation property.

Trippy Hippy Tiled instances of your text move together in a fluid way to create a groovy movement reminiscent of 60′s dancing. In the preview movie the Zoom property has been keyframes to create additional movement.

Mittageisen Designed to add a metallic look to outlined text.

Interference Animated scan lines and a dodgy reception effect make your text look slightly damaged. Less than perfect and much more interesting as a result.

Metal Postcard A great preset for adding a metallic sheen to your text layers. Who’d have thought you could use a half-tone effect for that!

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