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The School of Motion Design Courses In a Nutshell

School of Motion

If you want to create great art, it all starts with design. That's why we've invested in some killer courses just for you.

Design is one half of the name of our industry, but it's often considered secondary to learning and mastering movement. If you really want to excel in your motion career, and sharpen your own voice and vision, you must understand the fundamentals of Design.


Mastering the principles of Design provides you the superpower of being able to step back and see an entire project from a 10,000-foot view, all while you’re slinging keys and breathing life into shape and type. Our courses are built to shape you into a Design Hero, regardless of your experience; whether you’ve spent years trying to pick the perfect font, or you’re struggling for the first time to line up a color palette that sings, we’ve got a course just for you.

Today, we'll explore our lineup:

  • Photoshop and Illustrator Unleashed
  • Design Kickstart
  • Design Bootcamp
  • and Illustration for Motion

Student Showcase: Design for Motion

Wondering what it's like to take a School of Motion course? Whether you're a beginner or an experienced professional, School of Motion help you take your motion design skills and career to the next level. Join us as we take a closer look at some of our awesome alumni's amazing work in our Design courses!

Photoshop and Illustrator Unleashed

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Photoshop and Illustrator are two essential programs that every Motion Designer needs to know. Understanding these tools, and their relationship to your motion workflow, enables you to create better animation and more effective projects.

If you're rushing through these programs so you can get to "the good stuff" in After Effects, you're setting yourself up for a rough road. Proper design leads to better motion, and you can't fix an ugly project with fancy animation.

This course is about more than just the tools, though. We sneak in a ton of oft-requested fundamental knowledge as well. Unleash covers topics that are fairly difficult to learn on your own, such as working with type, how to make a styleframe, and working with client branding. It’s a great course to get confident with the two most used design tools while also gaining some familiarity with the most common elements of design.

Once you've got a solid grasp on the tools, you'll be able to appreciate how they fit into a strong design workflow. That leads you right into Design Kickstart.

Design Kickstart


Once you know your tools, you need to sharpen those fundamentals. In what might be our most jam-packed course in all of School of Motion, Design Kickstart is a lifetime of knowledge condensed into a single course. Type, color, composition—even the strangely named called Gestalt Theory. Instructor Mike Fredericks will help you understand why some of your designs just feel off. But what’s even more valuable are the exercises he’s crafted to take all the theoretical design principles and put them into practice.Design is one of those things that can only be mastered by doing. You’ll master your figure-ground relationships, and you'll be kerning type with the best of them by the time your done with Design Kickstart.Even if you don’t imagine yourself whipping up styleframes for feature film endtitles, confidence in Design fundamentals can take your animation to the next level. If you’ve ever wondered how Buck or Ordinary Folk pull off those amazing, super slick transitions, it all starts with design.

And once you've got a handle on the principles, it's time to get a little more advanced in Bootcamp.

Design Bootcamp


Once you’ve been introduced to Design and its myriad fundamental skills, it’s time to start road-testing on real world projects. The perfect companion piece to Kickstart, Design Bootcamp runs through lessons that mimic those of a working designer on all kinds of motion design gigs. Broadcast packages, title sequences, and more await you as you sharpen your type, color, and composition skills.

Design Bootcamp shows you how to put design knowledge into practice. This is an intense course, pushing your skills in a challenging social environment that mimics how things go in the real world. The best part about this course is how it tests all your skills, so you can come out confident in your ability to take work and deliver.It’s one thing to know the fundamentals, but it’s something altogether different to find your own voice as you’re tested with client assignments that follow real-world timelines and feedback sessions.

Now that you have a rounded experience in how to utilize the Design principles, it's time to create attention-grabbing art.

Illustration for Motion


We all have our favorite texture packs, fonts, and other assets that we lean on when we get to the task of designing, but what about something that truly helps you stand out from a crowd and catch a client’s attention? One of the most underrated superpowers of any motion designer is the ability to draw and illustrate your own work. That's why we developed Illustration for Motion.

In Illustration for Motion, you'll learn the foundations of modern illustration from Sarah Beth Morgan. Free yourself from stock image searches and photobashing sessions by learning how to incorporate your own style into your designs. You'll also find that it is so much more satisfying to bring your original creations to life...and the results will blow your mind.

By the end of the course, you'll be equipped to create incredible illustrated works of art that you can use in your animation projects right away.

Building a career takes time

Everyone wants to see their careers take off, but the harsh truth is there is no substitution for hard work. Mike Winkelmann spent over a decade honing his craft and building his brand before his "overnight" success. Even School of Motion took time to develop and grow.

We're not going to tell you that this is an easy road, and you'll need to be ready to put in the hours, sweat, and tears. But if you're willing to work hard, we'll be here every step of the way, along with talented instructors, dedicated teaching assistants, and a growing community of like-minded artists.

So what are you waiting for?

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