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Great Sites for Motion Design Inspiration in 2021

By Ryan Plummer

Looking for motion design inspiration? Here’s a unique list mixed with free project files, interviews, case studies, and more.

We all know a good long healthy walk in the woods is great for artistic inspiration, but that’s not why you opened this article. Plus, it’s probably cold outside, or hot depending on which side of the globe you’re inhabiting.
So, we’ve collected a list of websites that should give you great inspiration and boost your creative process.
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Be sure to bookmark these sites for yourself because they’re sure to gain more content.
Here’s what to expect from websites in this article:
  • Sites that offer a gallery of animations and imagery
  • Motion design case studies
  • Interviews of professional motion designers
  • Sites that offer After Effects project files

Here’s where you can find a gallery of great motion design projects

Looking to gather images for a moodboard? Looking for a hot new style to start learning? What better way than to run your eyeballs through curated lists of animations, illustrations, and designs sure to make you say “how?”
Here’s a list of websites motion designers can go to when they need to gather some quick inspiration from daily creations and curated artwork.
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Without question, Stash has become one of my favorite sites for curated motion design, animation, video, and visual effects inspiration. Their permanent collection is incredibly deep, with interviews and breakdowns from the industry's top designers. Their news section also keeps us up to date on the latest trends, jobs, and events in our industry. Just be aware: to fully unlock the site, you’ll need to subscribe, but you can grab a 30 Day free trial to test the waters. It's worth it, I promise.
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Another well-curated website is Inspiration Grid. Here you’ll find both still imagery and motion design inspiration from some of the very best artists out there.
Inspiration Grid’s curated content tends to be unique, which can be really refreshing in an industry where the same stuff gets shared over and over. Their section on Video & Motion Design is an excellent resource for MoGraph artists.
If you’re on Instagram you can also follow them, getting inspiration fed directly in your timeline; @inspirationgrid.
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Without a doubt, Art of the Title is the best-curated website for title design inspiration in the world.
With an amazing catalog of film and television sequences, you can find the best work from the best designers in the industry, and even get fantastic breakdowns by those same artists. You can also search by Title Sequence, such as “Game of Thrones”, or you can get a great comprehensive breakdown by searching for an artist like the legendary “Saul Bass”.
If your working on a title or credit sequence this is the place to go for inspiration.
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A lot of what you’ll find on Dribbble are design inspirations for web, print, typography, and logo design. But don’t let any of this stop you from using this site as a serious source of inspiration, because there is plenty to be had here. As a motion designer you need to have a firm foundation in graphic design, and Dribbble will give you the right inspiration for that.
You’ll find a nice little animated GIF here and there posted by some really talented motion designers. Most of what you’ll find are quick shots looping a specific movement.
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Want to see the latest techniques and designs for big Hollywood 3D effects? Then CG Society is the place for you. The vast majority of what you’ll find here are high-end 3D animations and visual effects inspirations. You can gain knowledge from the community of artists through the forums, or you can check out some specific tutorials on the ins and outs of 3D character animation and visual effects development. Overall it's a great resource to have in the tool-chest.
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This website is a must for Motion Designers and designers in general. With a wide, diverse range of inspirational examples Abduzeedo provides artist with highly curated content that includes tutorials, interviews, and professional design examples. You really can’t go wrong by bookmarking this website.

Sites with Motion Design Case Studies and Breakdowns

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Owned by Adobe (all hail Adobe), Behance is probably the largest source of curated design inspirations on the internet. It’s also incredibly diverse in its content as well. You’ll not only find some of the best inspirations from the best artists in the world, but you’ll also be able to access informative video content as well as a jobs board section. This truly can be a one-stop shop for many artists. Be sure to follow the Motion Design channel for really impressive inspirations.
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Life as a Motion Designer can be lonely sometimes. But instead of going outside, you can always meet awesome folks at mograph.net. MoGraph.net is more than just an inspirational site, it's a place for the Motion Design community to hang out. 
This site is a great place to watch reels, tutorials, and browse for job postings. There is even a section for Resources where you can get insight on the latest plugins, add-ons, scripts, and more.

Inspirational Interviews with Professional Motion Designers

Sometimes you get tired of looking through long lists of images. The art looks pretty, but are they motivating? If you’re looking for a pick-me-up, something that can open your mind to new possibilities in the Motion Design industry, take a stroll through interviews of professionals. 
There are interesting personalities all across the globe, offering unique views on how animations and art can be created. Taking a walk alongside them, diving into their mind and hearing about their process has a profound ability to inspire even the most unenthusiastic of creatives.
Here are a few websites where you can find wonderful interviews of motion designers and other artists.
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One of the very best curated websites for up-and-coming motion designers and trends, Motiongrapher should be considered one of the very best resources for your inspiration needs. There are a host of resources beyond just eye candy such as interviews, news, job postings, and even a motion design festival. Their curated motion design channel on Vimeo is pretty spectacular as well.
Remember to bookmark these sites in the future. Also, If you want curated inspiration delivered right to your inbox each week you should signup for Motion Mondays, our weekly inspirational MoGraph newsletter. It will be the highlight of your week, unless you're playing laser tag of course…
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Our platform gives us a unique opportunity to reach A-list motion designers, directors, program developers, sound designers, and much more. With that, we’ve aired over 100 podcast episodes diving deep into gaining clients, workflow habits, where the industry is going and even need-to-know legal information for freelancers

Sites that offer free and paid motion design project files

A lot of the time we see art and ask ourselves “how did they create that?”, but our curiosity stops there. But, what if when you felt inspired you were able to step into the artwork. Helping yourself to keyframe placements, how the graph editor was used, tricks, tips and even what effects were placed on layers.
Here are a few websites that offer free motion design project files for you to rummage through.
Holdframe as motion design art inspiration.png

Here you can find free and paid project files from the most popular motion design videos in circulation. Holdframe delivers wonderfully packaged project files for After Effects and many more animation programs. Some of their offerings even include walkthroughs from the artist who created the projects!
Currently, Holdframe is down for some maintenance but should be up near the beginning of 2021. You can sign up for notifications on their website.
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One of the most iconic studios to enter the motion design scene. Ordinary Folk not only creates amazing work, but they also freely give back to the community.
Ordinary Folk Play offers real projects and spare-time experiments for you to download and learn from. It’s one thing to be inspired by a high-end studio, it’s a whole other thing to live in their project files. So, make sure to dig in and see how Ordinary Folk can inspire you.

Need a little push? Maybe it’s time to Level Up!

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