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Lesson 1

1. Defining Motion Design

  • instructor

- Jorge R. Canedo

  • apprentice

- Maciej Kuciara

  • apprentice

- Rafael Mayani

The subject of motion design can sometimes be a broad one. In this lesson, Jorge will walk you through what exactly motion design means to him by covering the historical background of the medium as well as exploring some of the basic tools for creating simple animations.



1. What got you into motion design?

2. Compare the example animations and comment on which is superior and why.

3. Play around with Adobe Animate! Create and share a 5 second animation.

Student Gallery

1. What got you into motion design?

I can't remember exactly when I became interested in motion design. I'm a UI designer, and I've always wanted to learn, but never came across a class that felt approachable to me until now. There are many things I've seen over the years, but the most recent thing that inspired me was an article on motion design that linked to a piece that was created entirely in Keynote (, by Linda Dong), and I just thought that was amazing.

The mood is playful. The silly sounds bring the simple shapes to life. The bright, geometric objects all fit together and share a bold color palette, and the 8-bit style music ties it all together.

2. Compare the example animations and comment on which is superior and why.

The ball in the animation on the left has some easing making it appear more realistic and natural, while the one on the right is choppy and is less believable to me.

3. First AA project attached. :D

1. What got you into motion design?

My story with motion design might be divided into two chapters. In the beginning, I interested in graphic design and illustration, with some leaning towards 3D graphics. At that time, I wasn't even aware of the term "motion graphics". I just gradually shifted from design to animation. At last, I landed a job as a motion designer in a nearby studio. 2 years later, my girlfriend got a job in another town and I decided to move there too. Because of lack similar studios in the area, I started doing some freelance work, mostly for casino games companies. I felt down and wanted to do something different when I stumbled upon Colin Hesterly's animation for Skoda "Tour De France". That piece showed me that beautiful, hand-drawn animation with attention to detail was still a thing. It was the moment I decided to pursue the career in motion design. Director really dug into the history of Skoda, making use of their past esthetics, like posters and ads. He does a great job in this 30-second spot, explaining how Skoda and bicycles are connected. It's very well edited, got the fast pace, the feeling of celebration. In terms of visuals, in my opinion, character design makes this animation very special. With playful music and calm VO, it all fits together nicely.

2. Animation comparison

Animation on the left looks much more natural, smooth. Use of anticipation and exaggeration makes it significantly more enjoyable to watch. Motion blur of the ball in form of smear strengths the feeling of fast movement.

1. What got me into motion design?
I wanted to dive into animation since I graduated the art school a few years ago. Currently I'm working at a little film production called "We Make Them Wonder" based in Munich, Germany. I spend the main part of my working day editing commercials, composting several shots or doing some small title animations.
But over time more and more projects involving animation stood on the agenda and I finally decided, to expand my knowledge of animation.

— Choose a motion design piece you love —
Well it's hard for me to decide. Because there is no specific animation that put me in the state of mind, "I wanna be a motion designer". But if I had to pick one that really pushes me to "taking the first steps" then it's probably...
Watch Dogs 2.0 Cinematic by MK12

— What was the goal? —
Based on the game Watch Dogs, it's about a modern society in which every piece of technology is connected to each other resulting in a big operating system (ctOS) to simplify many things in life like regulating the traffic based on current situations. However, with the advantage of this technology there is also a flipside. The OS also tracks positions, behaviors and collects digital footprints that "smart devices" leave behind. So that governments, market researcher, insurance companies, ... can predict circumstances and react before they even happened. But in every society, there are some outbreakers from the system. Those hacked into the OS and gained the control to use it for their advantage.
So the goal of this piece in the first place was to visualize a brief history, the connectivity, the power and danger of using that OS. And in the end there are some guys who use it to do something for their own account.

— What are the characteristics of the design and the audio? —
The visual concept is heavily designed like interactive futuristic infographics. It uses lines, maps, grids and dots to show the connectivity of the system. A few texts are used to mark some important facts and statements. During the whole film a voice over talks about the history and usage of it. At first this piece feels like a commercial, but it‘s getting darker and creepier closer to the end, almost like an episode of Black Mirror.

— What moments of animation made it special? —
00:24 Simple text with powerful sound design makes that statement so impressive.
00:47 Big Brother splits apart into thousands of photos of severals employees of ctOS.
01:33 Every piece of information gets merged together into the surface of the earth
01:48 The style of the animation changes to a more colourful chaotic way. Breaking the convention to clarify the lost of control

— Do all elements fit together? —
Yes the tonality of this piece fits perfectly together.

2. Comparison
The left one is the way to go.
On the left one the motion, timing and pacing feels more dynamic than on the right one. It also uses smear to show the speed of the ball.
The right one feels stiff, linear, boring.

3. Adobe Animate
During last homework I just played around with Adobe Animate without any concept. Just diving in and seeing where it leads to. This is the result…

A wholistic approach to education.

- Mohammed Thiam

1. What got you into motion design?
A spark started when I learnt about Saul Bass—while studying Graphic Design in college—and how he converted his static designs into motion. I looked through his works and fell in love with them especially the title sequence for “Catch Me If You Can” movie.
Then I fell in love with the visuals from Tron: Legacy. The combination with music by Daft Punk sold it and brought it to live. So I came across the works of GMUNK when researching about Tron and loved his works too. His artistry and creative direction is really superior and consistent.
Finally, I have been inspired by Motion Designers like Andrew Vucko (Geometry), Jorge R. Canedo (Colors) and Henrique Barone (Cell Animation). Their overall mastery of spacing and timing is something of pure beauty.
One more, Cub Studio; their approach of using animation to tell stories in a documentary style form keeps me glued to my seat and part of the story.

Here is the motion design piece I would be analyzing:
End Title Sequence for Captain America: The Winter Soldier by Sarofsky Corp.

The goal of an end title sequence is to use visuals and sound to present production and cast members.
I enjoyed the color palette of Black, Off-White and Red. The overall visual pays homage to Saul Bass and Russian Constructivism, alongside it evokes the visual feel of the 1970’s conspiracy thriller movies and Jim Steranko comic book style with a modern twist.
The use of opposites like figure-ground, contrast and tension, interplay between 2D and 3D (i.e 2.5D), and recognizable silhouette aligned with simplicity, composition and typography makes this a strong piece.

2. Compare the example animations and comment on which is superior and why.
The animation on the left is far superior to the one on the right for the following reasons:
The timing and spacing of movements feel more natural.
The motion path of the ball obeys the laws of physics thus making it believable.
The reaction and response time of the “square flippers” gives the view a good sense of tensile strength, thus making the force exerted realistic.

3. Here is my animation from Adobe Animate. It was a big challenge but I will continue learning it and improving:

1. What got me into motion design?

I'm a graphic designer in the action sports industry with my education in illustration. I would say there's not one motion graphic work that got me interested in motion graphics. I've long been a fan of Akira and classic cartoons. Plus, music videos would be another big influence. If I had to name a designer it would be Saiman Chow. Here's one of his that I've selected to share:

2. Ball animation Breakdown -

The one on the left feels better. The speed of the motion feels as though it has weight. It's using smears a couple of times to help with the feeling of speed and motion. There's also easing to help the feel of motion when the ball changes direction.

3. I've used Animate to create a sneezing cloud. This was fun to work on, but I can see how you can burn hours and hours just for a couple of seconds.


I started out as a video editor with an interest in UX/UI design. I was quickly drawn towards motion design/animation as a means of conveying abstract ideas, especially in an increasingly digital/virtual world. Plus I playing around with After Effects a few times and was hooked!


The story of the piece seemed to be one that draws connections between the natural world and scientific technology developed by humans. The viewer is left with a sense that “everything is connected” and nothing is random. Also a sense of wonder and awe at the scientific, mathematical design of nature.

The design is held together by a common geometrical shape: the circle. Each scene has a very similar composition, with one element in the center of the screen, in focus, and other elements of the scene in the background, out of focus. There are many textures and small geometrical details in the background. The audio is retro and futuristic at the same time. Light, bouncy synth music, interspersed with harder hitting chords, that punctuate the scene changes. Also delicate SFX layers such as the bees buzzing, underwater sounds and the sound of the telescope moving into place. I would describe the music as “exciting,” “playful” and “epic”

The most special moments are definitely the transitions. The piece is well edited in terms of timing the transitions with music and drawing parallels between each scene, sometimes with a split-screen transition. There are also beautifully fluid character animation moments in the movement of the animals, and great use of composition. Even though each scene is centered around a centered circle, the scenes sometimes move in different directions, adding variety to a somewhat rigid structure.

I think the elements fit together very well. The cool thing about a personal project like this was that the designers were able to make up a fictitious client “National Science Programme” and design their branding/logo/intro animation to perfectly match the tone of the rest of the piece. One of the best moments of motion is 6-8 seconds in, when the line bisects the circle and the title “forms in nature” appears, setting up a structure/tone for how the entire video will go.


The first big difference I notice is timing - the left animation seems to have a clear chain of cause-and-effect for the motion. The ball always stays on top of the grey lines or in front of them. On the right, the ball will dip into the grey lines, causing it to lose the sense that the ball is rolling on or bouncing off of these lines.

Another thing I notice is how the left animation pauses when the ball is thrown up into the air, which is more realistic to how something would pause in real life. The right animation does not pause at the top of the curve, and the physics feel off because of it.

When the ball falls down, the left animation stretches the ball out, blurring so it has a more realistic fluid falling feel. The right animation still looks like a circle when it falls.

When the square levers “catapult” the ball - on the left animation, the ball bounces off the lever, moving faster right when it’s hit, and slowing down as it loses momentum. The right animation bounces the ball but it’s more of soft bounce, without the feeling of impact that the lever has.


Does anyone know where I can get the article referenced in the links? It seems to have gone missing (perhaps the owners site is under construction or being revamped?)

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