7 Motion Graphic Tutorials for Beginners

Still learning the ropes in motion graphics? Check out these video tutorials to sharpen your skills and eventually enhance those boring videos. Adobe has all the best software for design and motion graphics (Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, InDesign, etc.). Use it to your advantage and add some much needed special effects to your videos, be it a short documentary, science fiction production, music video, or even a business presentation.

Motion graphics is quite overwhelming for beginners, and requires long hours of work and dedication to achieve a presentable final product. As long as it’s not a one-week project and you have to learn everything on the fly, don’t rush and make sure to master the basics.

These motion graphics tutorials will help you learn to add some basic effects and designs like curves, grids, composition, motion, color animation, and more to your work. Also, we included pre-animated motion graphic objects and animated looping icons you can use in your next project.

Also check these essential motion graphic tips and After Effects templates ideal for beginners and veteran designers/animators alike.

VFX

Visual effects (VFX for short) are mostly used in movies. Science fiction, horror, and action films highly depend on VFX to portray a scene or advance the plot which can’t be portrayed in reality (i.e. alien invasions, medieval battle sequences, natural disaster scenes, actors getting shot in the head or being dismembered, etc.). This nine-part tutorial includes (1) an intro to special effects & motion graphics; (2) filming for After Effects; (3) changing color, animating, blurs and lens flares; (4) chroma keying; (5) motion tracking and time remapping; (6) 3D expressions; (7) motion graphics; (8) puppet tool; and (9) moving pictures. Watch these tutorials if you are planning to use some nice VFX in your videos.

Tools to use: Premiere Pro, Photoshop, After Effects, Audition

Forms, Grids, Composition, Color & Motion

Forms, Grids, Composition, Color & MotionThis tutorial collection from illustrator and designer Diego Pena, which is available on Crehana.com for $15, offers various tutorials on composition and design, animation, branding, and personal advice. Although the tutorials place emphasis on branding, they are still very useful, providing clear and step-by-step instructions on how to create a number of animations.

Start-up entrepreneurs and companies can benefit from this tutorial as Pena provides detailed information on branding (i.e. how to properly brand products and services, how branding affects competition, and how branding helps you create your own business identity) and how motion graphics can impact branding strategy.

Tools to use: Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects

Neon Swirl Animation

This assortment of swirling blue and violent neon lights will add a futuristic effect to your videos. Add these neon effects to your sci-fi project and fill each frame with neon to make your video glow with perfection.

Tool to use: After Effects

Motion Graphics Mini Course

This collection of free tutorials was uploaded by Marc Vilarnau, who is an instructor for motion graphics and advanced after effects at an IED school in Barcelona, Spain. He places emphasis on the 12 principles of animation and adds examples on how to animate curves (as well as deformation and splashes), using kinetic type animation, and practice with shape layers and text to create a lower third. Although the course is still incomplete, Vilarnau regularly adds content as a new course is introduced.

Tools used: After Effects

Infographics Animation

Infographics are great in business and student project presentations and have been very popular the past few years. They replace the usual charts and graphs with images and present the same information in a much lesser amount of time compared to traditional presentations. In this sample project, student Wenyu Ouyang applied motion graphics in his thesis project entitled Max’s Story: Teenagers with Type 1 Diabetes. Ouyang used simple yet engaging icons, characters, and diagram designs, showing comparisons in the grid design and final solutions preset. The presentation also included the causes, effects, and the number of people being diagnosed in the United States everyday.

Tools used: After Effects, InDesign, Illustrator

Animated Looping Icons

Animated Looping Icons

This collection of animated looping icons by motionweeknight gives you over a hundred cute icons you can use in your motion graphic projects for the next few months. This collection includes 175 male, female, business, music, entertainment, and Internet-themed animated looping icons and only costs $22. Colors can be easily changed by one master color control, and each icon has a frame rate of 23.976 fps and a duration of 60 seconds. You can also quickly change colors thoughout the project.

Pre-animated Motion Graphic Objects

Pre-animated Motion Graphic Objects

This is also another collection by motionweeknight for your motion graphic needs. Entitled the Dynamic Kinetic Opener and already in its fifth volume, this collection includes over 90 new and original content, 20 customizable photo/video placeholders and three customizable logo reveals which accommodates three logo shapes. This purchase also contains five beginner and advanced user tutorials, and a special tutorial for combining multiple Dynamic Kinetic Opener projects. Colors are easily changed by one master color control, 23.976 fps frame rate is full HD (1920×1080) capable, and durations are quick (teaser template is 59 seconds, promo template is seconds, logo reveals are five seconds each, etc.).