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Adobe Illustrator Tips for Motion Designers

By Jake Bartlett
IllustratorAfter Effects

Learn how to quickly create artwork in Adobe Illustrator with these essential tips for motion design workflows.

Sometimes the process of creating artwork is more of a pain than it needs to be. Often your imagination can be hampered by simply not knowing what your programs can do for you!
As you may know at this point, Adobe Illustrator is absolutely an essential tool for motion designers. However, many motion artists fail to learn the fundamentals of Adobe Illustrator, leading many to either avoid the program all-together or fumble around Illustrator like Mark Sanchez on Thanksgiving.
In this tutorial I'm going to help share with you some helpful time-saving tips for building illustrations for your motion design projects. It's a tutorial full of helpful Illustrator tips and how it relates to the motion design process. Also, the tutorial is themed after a Nintendo cartridge. So...Lets-a-go!

Download the Free Project Files

Want to follow along with the tutorial above? You can download the project file for free by clicking the download link below. Inside the project you'll see an Adobe Illustrator and After Effects project file with assets.

Download the Adobe Illustrator tips project files.

Download the Project

Adobe Illustrator Tips for Motion Design Workflows

The tutorial above is going to cover a lot of different techniques and effects in Adobe Illustrator. Here's a list of some of the techniques we cover along with the timestamps:
  • Using the Blend Tool (4:40)
  • Editing a Blend (4:46)
  • Perfecting Your Paths (5:50)
  • Making Duplicates for Depth (11:56)
  • Fixing Legibility (14:47)
  • Locking Your Background (16:40)
  • Developing Non-Destructive Artwork (17:27)
  • Keeping Stroke Width Consistent (20:34)
  • Isolating Layers for Clean Edits (21:40)
  • Using Clipping Masks (25:15)
  • Using Offset Paths (27:15)
  • Creating New Color Groups (30:50)
  • Grouping Layers for More Control (31:45)
  • Shading (35:45)
  • Creating Halftones (36:55)
  • Adding Noise (43:45)
  • Importing Illustrator Work into After Effects (44:30)

Learn More About Illustrator & Photoshop

Ready to learn more about Adobe Illustrator? Well my friend, I encourage you to check out Photoshop + Illustrator Unleashed here at School of Motion. The course is the best way to get up-and-going with both of these essential design tools. The course, like this tutorial, will show you how to look at these apps from the perspective of a motion designer. Along the way you'll get your work critiqued from professional motion designers and meet network with students from around the world.
You can learn more about Photoshop + Illustrator Unleashed over on the course page.
Hopefully you found this tutorial to be helpful. I don't know about you, but I'm ready to play some old-school Nintendo now!