Motion Graphics Foundation (12 weeks)
Get your career in motion
Join this exciting short course, not only for software training, but also to get ready for life in the motion design industry.
The course has been created and is taught by working and passionate industry professionals who have distilled their combined 30 years of experience into a foundation course that will meet the basic requirements of any motion design studio.
The market for skilled motion designers has never been bigger, and London is host to the world’s largest motion graphics community. Industries as diverse as broadcast, games, web, advertising and UX/UI all use some form of motion design to communicate with their audiences. With this course, you will be well-equipped to start your motion graphics careers, and have a strong showreel to get you a foot in the door.
Motion design is a rapidly-evolving discipline that combines animation and design principles to create compelling moving image content. This course introduces students to the theory and practice of creating motion graphics, using the two ubiquitous software packages; Adobe After Effects and Maxon Cinema 4D. With real-world briefs and daily assignments, you’ll get up to speed with the standard software and techniques used by motion designers across a range of industries. In addition to these techniques, the tutors will expand upon the theoretical aspects of motion design, the history of the form, as well as the pragmatic aspects of working in the industry, whether full time or freelance.
- This is an immersive deep-dive into motion design, where you are encouraged to live and breathe motion graphics.
- You will learn fundamental animation techniques that allow designers to translate their artwork into compelling animated pieces.
- You’ll receive regular, real-time personalised feedback from industry professionals that will level up your skills in weeks rather than months.
- Weekly assignments and open feedback sessions will allow you to learn to respond to briefs, adapt to critique and hit deadlines, and improve your existing animated pieces.
- This course is designed to level up your entire creative process - from generating ideas to delivering pixel-perfect videos.
- It’s not all about software, however – you'll learn soft skills, such as time management, task sharing and naming your layers which are demanded by employers.
- Curious, motivated students will make the most out of classroom-based learning. The tutors can impart their experiences from working in the industry. You’ll also have access to plenty of resources, inspiration and assets. All of which you wouldn’t get from an online video tutorial.
- The convivial classroom environment provides students the opportunity to assist and inspire one another. And who knows? You might just find the creative partner you need to start a project or business!
- You will work towards a showreel consisting of up to 10 finished pieces, which will demonstrate a thorough understanding of animation and design principles, as well as an ability to communicate and translate ideas into appealing motion design.
- On completion of the course, you will achieve an Escape Studios Certificate of Achievement.
Introduction to Motion Graphics
From Fischinger and Bass to Patrick Clair and Universal Everything - we show the colourful history of motion graphics from experimental animation through to moving design communication, with plenty of beautiful, inspiring examples from around the world and several industries.
- Motion history, theory and implementation
- Fundamental After Effects workflow
- Name animation
- Colour theory
- Basic shape animation
- Letter animation
- 3D layers and cameras
- Alpha and Luma Mattes
- 12 principles of animation
- Introduction to expressions
- Introduction to animation principles
- Animation styles
Week 2 – The production process
From brief, initial response, ideation, reference library building, mood boards, style frames, pitch docs, storyboards, animatics, playblasts and R&D, all the way to producing, rendering and presenting their own motion design pieces.
- Storyboarding for motion
- Text animation
- Kinetic typography
Week 3 - Organic animation
Learn to make work that looks less computer-made and more handmade as we explore a variety of techniques to give animations more character and vibe.
- After Effects – cel animation styles, cut-out style, hand-drawn line art animation, liquid effects
- Keying/ rotoscoping
Week 4 - Cel animation
Learn how to film or draw reference to create an animation which combines computer made graphics and hand drawn, frame by frame elements.
- Onion skin animation using Photoshop
- Cel Animation in After Effects
Week 5 - MoGraph 101
A mix of different techniques most mographers will be required to be familiar with.
- After Effects camera tracking
- Introduction to compositing techniques
- Isometric animation
- Exploring expressions
Week 6 - Character animation in AE
Learn how to design and animate characters using the DUIK plugin in After Effects.
- Design and animate characters
- Introduction to the DUIK plugin in After Effects
Week 7 - Introduction to Cinema 4D and animation in Cinema 4D
- Core skills – software usage, animation timing, shot composition, generating appeal in motion design
Week 8 - CG basics
Core skills focus on material building, modelling, as well as initial response and ideation to brief.
- Lighting 101
- Materials 101
- Modelling 101
- Modelling 102
Week 9 - The motion graphics system in Cinema 4D
Learn how to duplicate objects with cloners, arrange objects with effectors, control the effectors with fields, and how to control animation with fields.
Week 10 - Redshift week
Learn how Redshift differs from Cinema 4D's native renderer, how to convert scenes into Redshift scenes, how to set up materials.
- Lighting 102
- Materials 102
- Redshift Render Settings
Week 11 - Compositing and image finishing
Learn how to polish shots in After Effects, using native tools to colour correct, enhance and beautify shots. Learn how to take rendered mattes and passes from C4D into After Effects for multi-layer compositing, looking at how to isolate objects and materials using the AOV outputs from Redshift, including the Cryptomatte tools in Redshift and After Effects 2020.
- Compositing theory and technique
- Exporting Animation from Cinema 4D to After Effects
- Compositing Cinema 4D render passes in After Effects
- Compositing 3D into footage
- Exporting 3D on alpha from 3D
Week 12 - Feedback & finesse
Invaluable 3rd party feedback from industry professionals and support to create the foundations of your showreel.
- After Effects
After Effects is the world’s most commonly-used software in animation and compositing. It is the jack-of-all-trades software that allows us to breathe life into vector illustrations, animate characters, employ VFX techniques such as set extension, particle effects, rotoscoping and keying, as well as combining passes from 3D software with all of the above, performing colour correction and image finishing. Our technical tuition starts and ends in After Effects. You will be confident in how to navigate the software, have produced several pieces of work, and learned how to perform crucial final adjustments on work before delivery.
- Cinema 4D
Cinema 4D is the most-used 3D animation software in the motion design industry. You will quickly learn how to translate the theories of animation, composition and design into appealing 3D scenes. You will also learn filmmaking techniques from cinematography within 3D, such as lighting, camera operation and mise-en-scene – vital to producing beautiful and arresting animation.
You will become familiar with Redshift, Maxon’s groundbreaking render plugin. Redshift is the fastest and best-integrated GPU renderer available to Cinema 4D users, and the ability to create realistic-looking renders under tight deadlines has never been more in demand. You will learn how to render 3D scenes using Redshift differs from native Cinema 4D, and how to build beautifully-lit, realistically textured animations that render quickly.
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Illustrator
We welcome and encourage applications from students with a variety of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives.
To study this short course, you must:
- Be over 18
- Have a good understanding of written and spoken English
- Feel comfortable using a computer
To apply, or if you have any questions about your application or our entry requirements, you can:
- Call our Admissions Advisors on +44 (0)203 441 1303
- Email us at email@example.com
- Reach us on LiveChat on Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Following your application, you will need to agree to our terms and conditions before your place on the course can be secured.
A showreel and soft skills – This course is tailored to provide you with an arsenal of industry-standard knowledge and techniques that are in-demand in studios across the world. We aim to take beginners - ideally with experience as a designer or illustrator - to the level where they could work for a motion design studio. You will leave us with a bevy of good motion design pieces under your arm and we will demonstrate how to combine these clips into a compelling showreel. You'll also learn soft skills, such as time management, task sharing and naming your layers, which are demanded by employers.
Endless opportunities across various industries – Motion designers can work in a variety of industries, from broadcast to creative agencies, as well as for animation studios or tech start-ups. These days, motion design is a desirable asset for any in-house creative department. In the film industry, you can work on film titles, UI design, graphics sequences or even VFX. In broadcast, visual effects, compositing and on-screen titles are all made using After Effects, particularly in smaller studios. With Cinema4D and After Effects both having the ability to export to web-based formats, app developers are always looking for motion designers to add stylish animation to their platforms.
Follow in the footsteps of our successful alumni – Our alumni have gone on to work for VFX studios like Industrial Light & Magic or creative agencies like Savage & Civil.
London, the biggest market for motion designers in Europe – London is without doubt one of the biggest cities for motion design work. With studios such as ManVsMachine, WeAreSeventeen and Future Deluxe all based in London, it is an excellent place from which to launch your career. Even our online students will benefit from having their work critiqued by industry professionals aware of the standards and expectations of London's design studios.
We offer a range of payment plan options for all courses, including up to five instalments following the initial deposit. Depending on the length of the course, we ask that the initial deposit be paid when registering for the course, and the final payment prior to the end date of the course.
Following the deposit, your chosen payment plan will break down your remaining instalments equally. Please speak to a member of our Admissions team on +44 (0)203 441 1303 or firstname.lastname@example.org to determine the dates of those payments.
Contact our Finance team to discuss your options on +44 (0)203 441 1303 or email@example.com.
Funding for international students
We recommend you visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs website. The Council doesn’t provide funding directly, but it will give you all the information you need about studying and living in the UK, including visas and funding.
We do our best to find funding solutions for overseas students. For example:
- If you’re from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh or Burma, you may be able to get funding from the Charles Wallace Trust, to help towards your living costs and educational development in the UK. Find out more at wallace-trusts.org.uk.
Get in touch
We can help with any problems or questions you have with course fees and funding. Speak to one of our Applicant Advisors via phone or email today! Call us on +44 (0)203 441 1303 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet our tutors
Adam has over 15 years experience working in the motion graphics industry, creating work for clients such as Paramount, HSBC, BT, Sony, Sky, Universal, Conde Nast, Warner Brothers, VISA and ITV. Adam loves to create motion and works across all mediums from graphics for presentations, to events, to DVD menus and adverts.
He started working in DVD menu design, winning BVA awards for best menu design in 2009 and 2010 for Son of Rambow and Monty Python: Almost the Truth, before working his way up to Head of Design and overseeing a team of designers.
Adam started teaching Motion Graphics at Escape Studios in 2018 in addition to freelancing.
Ed is a freelance CG Generalist and Motion Designer working in broadcast and entertainment visuals. Over the past decade he has made the switch from being a 2D Character Animator to a diehard 3D Generalist, learning Cinema 4D deliberately to get motion design work: it eventually paid off, and now Ed works with a diverse list of clients around the world, on productions large and small.
- Concept/background art for The Lehman Trilogy
- Rigging puppets for the Take That 2019 Tour
- Tech direction and render wrangling with Beeple for Louis Vuitton shop window displays
Industry partners and advisors influence everything we do, from the curriculum we teach and how it's delivered to our webinars and events.
We work alongside an impressive list of VFX, Games and Animation studios including Industrial Light & Magic, Framestore, Blue Zoo, MPC, Jellyfish Pictures, PlayStation London Studio and Creative Assembly and many more across all our courses at Escape Studios.
With exclusive professional feedback, intensive software training and much more, our industry-led courses give you up-to-the-minute, inspirational knowledge and experience, tailored to the work you’re passionate about. Our Escape Studios alumni (Escapees) can be found working at a variety of studios including Pixar, MPC, Industrial Light & Magic, DNEG, Rockstar Games and Electric Theatre Collective.
Find out more about our industry partners.
Why Escape Studios?
Learn industry-relevant techniques from the experts, in a studio-like environment.
- Studio-experienced tutors. Our tutors have worked at studios including DNEG, Walt Disney Animation, EA, Rebellion and Framestore and their credits include Captain America, Black Mirror and Bond: Spectre. They speak at international conferences, like B’Ars (Spain) and VIEW Conference (Italy), write for industry-recognised blog Befores&Afters, and are authorised trainers for software like UnrealEngine, Autodesk or Houdini.
- Industry-standard facilities. Our central London campus is surrounded by world-leading studios and fully equipped with high-end hardware and the latest software.
- Industry partners. Our studio partners, including DNEG, Framestore and PlayStation London Studio, help design and develop our courses to make sure that what we teach is relevant to the current industry practices. You’ll also have access to events and webinars ran by our Student Experience team with industry speakers.