Four steps every motion graphics project should follow (before starting animation)

Evan Abrams, Motion Designer
Updated 30th April, 2020

Great motion design doesn't spring fully formed from a designer's mind, there are many steps to the pre-production process. Yet so many people jump straight into animating things, only to run into issues that could be avoided by better planning. In this video series I'll show you the critical steps to follow in pre-production to set your project up for success.


Developing a moodboard to set the visual direction

An early and critical step in the motion design process is the moodboard. To define your visual style we typically assemble a collage of images, video, colors and fonts that will define the direction of a piece.

In this video you’ll learn:

  1. Why you should use moodboards for motion graphics projects
  2. The different directions a moodboard can take
  3. A guide on how to create your own moodboard

Using style frames to convey the finished look

A style frame is meant to convey the finished look of an animation to clients or teams so that everyone knows the specific visual direction. We want to go through this step before we begin actual animation because it can be hard to change course later on.

In this video you'll learn:

  1. How to choose which frames to present
  2. How to present style frames to clients
  3. How to work with feedback and alternate directions

Creating the storyboard

The storyboard is an essential part of the motion design process. It is where we begin to really convey the visual narrative of the final piece. Choosing angles, shots, compositions and movement at this stage will show us the way forward into production.

In this video you'll learn:

  1. How to begin your storyboard
  2. Tips for improving your process and refining the storyboard
  3. Organizing and presenting a storyboard

Making the final animation

How do we go from beautiful storyboards to actual motion design or animation? In this step we'll see how each stage of the pre-production process (moodboard, style frames, storyboard) all come together to guide our final animation.

In this video you'll learn:

  1. How to transition from static storyboards to finished animation
  2. Tips for organizing your animation for an efficient production
  3. Working from broad movements to specific details
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