Learn the art of Visual Essays from start to finish.
From Script to Final Render
In this project-based course, you’ll take a client project all the way from the initial phone call to the final delivery. Along the way, you’ll watch your fearless instructor tackle his own project, documenting the entire process and teaching you the tricks of the trade.
Explainer Camp is a one-of-a-kind experience. It’s a deep dive into the art of making Visual Essays, and you’ll practice storytelling, storyboarding, design, animation, editing, and every other facet of the real production process.
Hone your Storytelling and Explaining skills
You’re hired! In this class you’ll be completing a :30 spot for one of three potential clients. You’ll come up with concept, do storyboards and an animatic, create style frames, animate the entire thing… you’ll even have revisions!
As with all of our session-based courses, our Teaching Assistants will be critiquing your work and helping you every step of the way so that your skills… and your portfolio… will be much stronger by the end of class.
What will you learn in Explainer Camp?
How are the best companies in the game doing Visual Essays / Explainers?
Don’t be so literal! Visual metaphors are your friend.
Editing & Storytelling
Practice pacing and storytelling through editing.
Design & Animation
This is Motion Design, so you’ll be doing plenty of Design and Animation.
How do you deal with budgets? Schedules? Revisions?
Learn to wrangle a project of this scope and duration.
Jake Bartlett is a motion designer and online instructor based in Denver Colorado. After working at a production company in Los Angeles for nearly five years he decided to quit his day job to pursue the freelancer’s life and teaching animation online. His creativity runs on coffee, lego bricks and “Weird Al” Yankovic.
Throughout his career he’s had the opportunity to work for clients like Coca-Cola, Twitter, Skype, Evernote, HGTV, NatGeo Wild and Norah Jones.
When he’s not working Jake enjoys going to parks with his family and longboarding with his Dalmatian, Pixel.
Jake's Clients Include:
Congratulations! You're booked.
This course aims to simulate the experience of being booked by a client to create an Explainer Video / Visual Essay. That means you’ll be dissecting briefs, listening to client phone calls, and staying on-brand as you concept, design, and execute your project.
Whether you choose the hot new startup, the global internet company, or the non-profit as your client, you’ll be tested just like the real thing.
Vent, Celebrate, and Create with your peers.
Going through a School of Motion course is a one-of-a-kind experience. You'll be hanging out (virtually, of course) with a group of other aspiring MoGraphers in a private Facebook Group. You'll be inspired, encouraged, and even critiqued by your fellow students and TA's.
You'll have support and a large group of new friends to commiserate with, but you'll also benefit from looking at tons of work. You'll see dozens of other takes on the same project you have, plus concepts and designs to inspire you.
Personalized, Actionable Feedback
Every student is assigned a Teaching Assistant who will follow you every step of the way and who will provide guidance, feedback, and answers to any questions you may have. You can lean on them when the going gets tough (and it will).
You’ll regularly upload work-in-progress to our Homework Locker and get precise comments and draw-overs on your work. You’ll get suggestions and notes that will push your work to the next level and give you a taste of the revision process.
Come, sit 'round the Campfire.
Each Wednesday we’ll sit ‘Round the Campfire, a video series that checks in on your session’s work and highlights some of the best work that’s been produced so far. Your instructor, Jake, will also dive a bit deeper into each topic The Campfire is a time to celebrate wins, to learn a bit more, and to get your brain even more saturated in the world of Visual Essays.
Insights and tips from MoGraph legends
As with all of our courses, we’ve put together an Explainer Camp podcast series that fills in the gaps in your knowledge and keeps you inspired. This series features interviews with Allen Laseter, Joshua Harvey, Oddfellows, ThinkMojo, Giant Ant and more!
Access hundreds of Project Files
With every student completing something unique, you’ll see a lot of amazing work that you’ll be curious about. If you see something you like (or don’t know how to pull off) you can download any students’ project files via the Homework Locker.
This is an opportunity that you won’t get in any other setting, take full advantage of it!
Meet your classmates, get comfy with the camp format, and dive right in with your first project which will get those creative juices flowing right off the bat.
What happens when a client actually has a project for you? In this week, you’ll learn about the initial phase of an Explainer project. You’ll bid, schedule, and begin to concept this project for your client. You want to get this part right.
Build a Blueprint
You generally don’t want to just hop into After Effects and start keyframing. You need to build a strong foundation for your work, so this week will see you storyboarding your idea and creating an animatic. Don’t worry, Jake will show you how it’s done.
Ketchup Week: Showing Off
This week gives you a breather to let you really finesse your concept and animatic, but the learning won’t stop. You’ll find out how to show off your finished work to get the attention of clients and employers.
Earn your Design Badge
Time to make it pretty! You’ll create Style Frames and Design Boards to show the client what the final product will look like. It’s time to bust out those Design Bootcamp skills!
Grab your Walking Stick
And now, at long last, we start animating. With a strong foundation and buy-in from the client, you’ll begin crafting the final :30 piece. Your Teaching-Assistant will be giving you notes and critique all along the way.
Ketchup Week: Convince Me
Thank goodness! Another week to catchup and focus on your project. You’ll also learn some insights and techniques to be more persuasive in your work… which is kind of the entire point of doing Explainers and Visual Essays for clients.
Keep on Truckin’
We’re entering the home stretch now… and you’ll spend this week working on your project. You’ll also learn how to navigate client comments, how to best present your work to ensure that your project goes smoothly, and how to direct VO talent.
End of the Trail
Finish strong! This last week sees you finishing up your project and learning how to apply those final touches that can bring the extra 10% to your work. You’ll also learn about sound design, simple mixing techniques, and how to bring a big project to the finish line.
You’ve got an additional 3 weeks to finish your project and to get target feedback from your Teaching Assistant. This piece should be a great one for your reel, so take advantage of the resources available to you in Explainer Camp!
And once you’ve reached the end?
At the end of Explainer Camp you are inducted into the Alumni Facebook Group where you can join the amazing, worldwide network of School of Motion students. The networking that takes place in this group is priceless, and many students have gotten freelance work from the connections they’ve made here.
What's included with the course?
Explainer Camp is jam-packed with lessons, project files and content. You won’t know what hit you.
The Explainer Camp program contains
- Over 30 hours of video instruction.
- Exercises & Project files for every lesson.
- Interviews with MoGraph legends and Explainer Experts.
- Private class podcast featuring interviews and insights
- In-depth PDFs to support your Visual Essay skills.
- Personalized critiques on your work from TA s.
- A private Facebook Group just for your Camp session.
- Weekly episodes of ‘Round the Campfire.
- 100’s of your fellow students’ Project Files to dig through.
- Extra critique time and catch-up weeks.