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What You Need to Know to Become a Motion Designer

On the design front, motion graphics design is a relatively new profession. Professionals in technology-enabled design are on the rise. And there are so many different kinds of designers out there that it’s difficult to keep track of them all! There are motion designer, graphic designers, web designers, user experience designers, and user interface designers, to name a few.

“Motion graphics is a thriving industry that isn’t going away anytime soon,” designer Paul Joseph says. “Part of this is due to the fact that the high-tech looks used in motion pictures become old very quickly, and new fresh approaches are always in demand.”

Skilled motion graphics designers are becoming increasingly important as creative filmmakers and video producers expand both their imaginations and their budgets for impressive technology and design. Your favorite shows, movies, and even websites and apps would look very different if not for these savvy, innovative artists.

But, what exactly does this job entail? And how do you get started in this creative profession? We spoke with a few experts who are currently working in the field to get answers to this question and learn more about the world of motion graphics design.

What exactly is the job of a motion graphics designer?

Motion graphics designers, also referred to as motion designers, create artwork for the web, television, and film. Movie clips, trailers, commercials, and title sequences, among other things, could be included. They use visual effects, animation, and other cinematic techniques to bring their creations to life. As the name implies, they create animated graphics.

Motion graphics designers take films, websites, commercials, and other media to new heights by animating graphics and creating vivid visual effects. With the growing popularity of video content on the internet, a motion graphics designer could end up working on almost anything, on any digital platform.

Furthermore, there may be opportunities outside of these more traditional motion graphics applications. According to Jose Andres, creator community manager at Enklu Cloud, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are the next major advancements in design technology.“I’ve become more immersed in the world of interactive technology,” Andres explains. “The tools I now have at my disposal have significantly altered my design process.” I can start laying out a concept and creating assets much faster with AR and VR tools than I could with traditional desktop software.”

Depending on the type of motion graphics you want to do, you could end up working on a big-budget Hollywood film or freelancing the opening intro for a new iPhone app.

Where can I find a job as a motion graphics designer?

Animators and multimedia designers typically work in motion picture offices, computer systems and software companies, and advertising agencies, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

1 This industry also had a very high percentage of self-employed workers (59 percent) in 2018, indicating that remote work arrangements are very possible in the field. 1

“Our studio specializes in branding and graphic services for Twitch®, YouTube®, and Facebook Gaming® broadcasters,” says Nick Avola of Visuals by Impulse. According to Avola, all of their motion designers work remotely. “We’ve discovered that it results in happier, more effective artists.” Our team is capable of managing their own time at their leisure. Distractions are reduced, allowing designers to “get ‘in the zone.'”

However, there may be drawbacks. One disadvantage of the remote-work arrangement is the loss of the convenience of collaboration. “Teamwork is often more effective when creators work face-to-face,” Avola says. “Not to notice the difficulty of time zones.”

What abilities do motion graphics designers require?

We polled motion graphics designers to find out what they thought were the most important technical and soft skills for their job these days.

modeling in three dimensions

“Calligraphy and two-dimensional art have a place,” Joseph says. “However, the majority of creating animations are now based on 3-D modeling, which will play an important role in graphics’ future.” Working with modeling software allows Joseph to understand three-dimensional points, paths connecting those points, and geometric shapes formed by those lines.

Perspective on Animation

“A good tri designer comprehends motion and timelines,” Joseph says. “Objects have the ability to move. Light sources can do the same. The camera, which is the audience’s point of view, can also move. The designer is capable of choreographing complex movements one element at a time and spinning them off in a variety of ways.”


Andres believes that organization is essential for both freelancers and team members. “Keeping a tidy file with organized assets, dependencies, layers, and so on becomes more important as your projects grow larger,” Andres says.

“Organization and multitasking are important qualities we look for in new motion designers,” Avola says. “You’ll be dealing with a lot of layers and elements at once.” Always keep your files neat and tidy, or you’ll pay the price later.”

Animation of the procedure

One of the most difficult aspects of creating motion graphics is that it can be extremely time-consuming. One way to reduce this is through procedural animation.

“In recent years, there has been an awakening of the word ‘procedural,’ and this trend is set to explode over the next decade,” Avola says. “Procedurally-generated, full animations can be created in a fraction of the time using simple and complex algorithms.” Because of automated processes, work can be easily tweaked, adapted, and revised.”

According to Avola, motion design software is increasingly using scripts, expressions, and coding to save time during the creative process. For example, procedural animation allows designers to apply predetermined physics to 3D objects—for example, if two objects collide at a set speed in an animation, the results are predictable and can be modeled appropriately.

Lighting and texturing effects

“The audience doesn’t see the model; they see shapes and images,” Joseph explains. He emphasizes the importance of surfacing in making 3D graphics look photorealistic. “Surfaces can be reflective, shiny, translucent, rough, or refractive. They can also display moving images and simulate textures. “The potential is limitless.”

Understanding the Big Picture

“A good designer is aware of how their designs will be used,” Joseph says. He emphasizes that video, multimedia, game design, and virtual reality are all growing fields. That could be a good fit for motion graphics designers. However, each application necessitates a unique approach. “Become acquainted with all of these applications and how to prepare for them.”


“Plans change, as do project scope and goals,” Avola explains, adding that skilled motion designers must be willing to change their original vision in response to client feedback. “Keep your head up and roll with the punches.”


According to Avola, timing is one of the most difficult and important skills for a motion graphics designer. “Motion design is primarily a storytelling tool, and the best stories have a natural flow and rhythm.”

A fantastically detailed and otherwise appealing graphic will be ineffective if the pacing is off or does not fit in with other elements such as sound. The most talented animators and motion designers learn to adapt their work and incorporate rhythm and pacing into their workflow.

Salary and job prospects for motion graphics designers

You’ll be glad to know that motion graphics designers are fairly well-paid for their technical expertise. In 2018, the median annual wage for multimedia artists and animators was $72,520, according to the BLS. 1 The highest-paid professionals in these fields were employed by software companies and motion picture studios. 1

The BLS also predicts a 4% increase in employment for multimedia artists and animators. Owing to increased consumption of film, video, and digital media.

How does one go about becoming a motion graphics designer?

There is no one way to get into this field. But the BLS says that employers for motion graphics designers. And animators typically prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree and a strong portfolio of work.

A degree in the field can provide you with the broad understanding and technical skills that are most important in the industry. But there are other ways to distinguish yourself. There are numerous online tutorials and resources available to assist you in expanding your skill set. Another way to stay up to date on new trends and techniques is to subscribe to top animation blogs. Getting project work experience and building your portfolio is also a great way to start working toward your dream job.


I am an experienced technical writer with a great passion for the latest technological innovations and trends. My skills are specifically based on writing articles and blogs that explore the world of web development, app development, EdTech, eCommerce, Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity and more.

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