Search Our Blog
Showing 119 results
Is Blender Hard?
Blender 3D is a powerful and versatile software for 3D modeling, animation, and rendering. (Oh and did you know that is is free??) However, it has a reputation for being challenging for beginners to learn due to its steep learning curve and complex interface. In this article, we will explore the difficulty of learning Blender 3D and what resources are available to help people get started.
Design & Animate Your Own Logo From Scratch
Wanting to design and animate your very own logo, but not sure where to start? In this tutorial, Matthew Corrales guides you through the process of finding an idea, refining the design in Adobe Illustrator and animating in After Effects.
Titanfall New Frontiers
The bridge between motion design and gaming is becoming increasingly more apparent with artists using real time game engines like Unreal Engine 5 to create stunning 3D content. In this article Michael Maher interviews film maker Caleb Chamberlain on how he created a passion project trailer for the smash hit video game: Titanfall New Frontiers and how Unreal Engine, Blender, Adobe After Effects and some visual effects magic using the Red Giant suite got the job done.
Building the Ultimate After Effects Computer
How do you make After Effects run fast? We teamed up with Puget Systems and Adobe to develop the fastest computer for After Effects.
AI: An Artist’s Friend or Foe? Discussion with Dan Jeffries, CIO of Stability.ai (Stable Diffusion)
Joey sits down with Daniel Jeffries, CIO of Stability AI, to discuss the real-world use cases of artificial intelligence in art and motion design.
2022 Year in Review
What even is motion design anymore? Joey Korenman is joined by EJ Hassenfratz, Kyle Hamrick, Ryan Summers, and an all-star lineup of studio owners & industry experts for their hottest takes on this year’s burning questions.
The School of Motion Alumni Holiday Card 2022
Over 70 School of Motion Current and Former Students Collaborated on the Annual Animated Alumni Holiday Card Video!
12 Days of MoGraph Giveaways 2022
It’s the reason for the season – School of Motion’s 12 Days of MoGraph giveaway! What’s on the prize list this year? It’s motion graphics galore, from generous gift cards to popular courses to year-long software subscriptions.
What are the Differences between the Jobs of an Animator and a Motion Designer?
What are the differences between the jobs of an animator and a motion designer? The main difference is the type of projects they work on, the specific skills and techniques they use, and the career path and job outlook for each profession. Both careers involve creating moving images and graphics, but the specific tasks and responsibilities can vary.
How to Create Viral VFX
In this tutorial, we will recreate one of Peter Quinn's amazing VFX social media videos. We'll go through the entire process from filming, compositing and to final looping magic. Buckle up cause it's gonna be a ride 😎
3D Character Design in Adobe Illustrator
Turn your 2D art into 3D! Learn how easy it is to turn 2D vector art into 3D character designs in Illustrator! Learn how to map 2D textures onto your 3D models in Illustrator and discover how to export your 3D character to other 3D applications like Adobe Stager, Blender or Cinema 4D! 3D is a super important skill to learn and Illustrator makes it easy for any 2D artist to enter the world of 3D.
Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2022 Deals for Motion Designers
Get out your wishlist. We've gathered our favorite Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals for motion graphics artists!
Fire, Smoke, Crowds and Explosions
From humble beginnings to award winning video games, ActionVFX has found it's place in the VFX world with Fusion, Nuke and After Effects Artists using their asset libraries.
Getting Started with Pyro Fire Simulation | Cinema 4D 2023.1 Update
Cinema 4D 2023.1 introduces Pyro, the new fire simulation system that allows you to create fire and smoke simulations easily in C4D! That’s right, the new C4D particle based simulation system now has the ability to generate fire simulations and you can finally unleash your inner pyromaniac -natively- inside of C4D. In this video, EJ walks you through how to use Pyro, how to render with Redshift and how to create more stylized smoke and fire along with his thoughts on Pyro.
How To Use Track Mattes in After Effects
The 2023 update to After Effects made track mattes friendlier to use and much more versatile, so if ever there was a time to learn how to use track mattes in After Effects, that time is now. Track mattes are a super-powerful feature that may not be widely understood by a lot of After Effects users, but at least for you, that changes *today.* Don’t know the difference between a mask and a matte? Never had to worry about an alpha channel or luminance values? That’s ok; we’ve got you. Join us on a matte-tastic journey through what a matte is, why you should use it, and all the creative ways you can take advantage of this cool tool in your own work.
Design Hacks for Video Editors: Composing a Title Card
In this video, you'll learn a simple process to design compelling titles that don't rely on presets or templates. Building on the things you learned in the first 2 videos in this series, you'll learn how to use grid layouts in After Effects, how to use stabilization, roto, and keying to clean up footage, and how to lay out type using the Rule of Thirds. This video is jam-packed, so buckle up.
Design Hacks for Video Editors: Typography Tips
Choosing fonts and laying out type can be daunting for video editors who don't have a design background. The good news is: With a few simple rules, you can create type layouts that are beautiful, clear, and that make you look like you know exactly what you're doing.
Design Hacks for Video Editors: Choosing Colors
Learn to choose colors that work well together in with design tip for video editors. Value structure is a concept that can help anyone learn to control their colors in a mathematical way, making it much easier to create designs that pop and lead the viewer's eye precisely.
Behind the Scenes of "Everything Everywhere All at Once"
Behind the Scenes of “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” How six artists worked from home to create hundreds of impressive visual effects for a crazy sci-fi adventure.
New Features in After Effects 2023!
After Effects 2023 just dropped, and there's a slew of new features. Some are long-awaited quality of life improvements, and some are major-league-holy-crap game changers! Let's explore both.
Designing once for Multiple Screen Sizes in After Effects
Download our FREE After Effects template and learn how to design once, then deliver in multiple aspect ratios in After Effect. These tips will save you from having to redesign your artwork for various screens, saving you an insane amount of time.
Cinema 4D 2023's New Cloth System is AMAZING!
The new cloth system in Cinema 4D 2023 is a massive improvement over the old one. It's faster, more powerful, and part of a unified simulation framework that will be utilized more and more in the future. In this tutorial, EJ Hassenfratz shows you some of the powerful features in the new cloth system.
10 Hacky After Effects Tricks to Improve your Renders
10 After Effects tricks from industry pros to help you make your renders better when you're short on time and inspiration. These are battle-tested effects stacks and hacks that will come in handy on almost any project.
How to Get Adobe to Buy you for $20 Billion, in 3 Easy Steps!
Adobe recently acquired Figma for $20 billion. Why did they pay so much, and what does this mean for motion designers? Let's explore the significance of the Figma deal, and talk about how it affects you.
Big News About our Course Prices
Over the years, we've always strived to be the premium option for learning to do animation, design, 3D, or visual effects. We've also tried very hard to make education accessible to more people in more places. These two goals are difficult to balance, and we feel that we could be doing a better job. So we're doing something about it.
Free Tools to Start Up Your Freelance Art Business
Standing up your own business is a challenge, but there are a ton of affordable (even free) tools that can make your life so much easier. Freelance designer and art director Sherene Strausberg is here to show you a few tricks to get started.
Keeping Time Through History
How would you approach a project that needs to show the illustrious history of one of the world's premier timepiece manufacturers? This is the kind of video that makes—or breaks—your brand, so no pressure. Fortunately for Italian-based Taxfreefilm, their brilliant idea arrived just in time.
Harnessing the Power of AI Art
AI art programs such as Midjourney and Dall-E sure are impressive, but how do they really work? What do you need to know to get the most out of them, and how can they be used by artists, animators, and designers? We brought in John LePore to find out.
Take Your Project Quotes from $4k to $20k and Beyond
Are you stuck grinding on low-level projects? Do you want to attract bigger clients and larger contracts? How exactly can you go from a $4k quote to a $20k quote? Shea Lord is here to show you the path.
Perception Designs the End Titles for Lightyear
How do you design a title sequence that conjures the spirit of a movie while still existing outside of it? Perception took this challenge while working on the new Disney Pixar movie "Lightyear."
How to Art Direct Concepts and Timing
Climint Canal of Clim Studio believes personal projects are where you can explore new concepts, perfect your skills, and experiment with difficult techniques. In this video, he shares an exploration of how to art direct concepts and timing in order to enhance your overall animation.
A Quick Guide to Extruding in Cinema 4D
Get up and running with some of Cinema4D's Extrude tools, turning 2D vectors into 3D render-ready artwork.
Cinema 4D Shortcut Keys
Sometimes the only thing you need to maximize your workflow is an understanding of shortcut keys, so we've made the ultimate guide just for you. Stretch those fingers, because it's time to dive into the most important hot keys for Cinema 4D.
Pushing Past Your Limits with Nocky Dinh
What happens when you reach the limit of your skillset? Do you accept that this is the peak of your career, or do you push yourself beyond your limits and climb to even greater heights?
3D Shading Tricks in After Effects
Fraser Davidson and Cub Studio developed Super Jonny 150k as an action-packed, 16-bit world chock full of character animation, effects, and nostalgia. In this teaser clip, learn a few 3D shading tricks to enhance your After Effects projects.
Your First Day in ZBrush
Getting started in ZBrush can be intimidating, but it is a powerful tool for designing and polishing 3D models. We're going to familiarize you with the interface, learn the key tools of the trade, and show you how to complete your first project.
Eclectic, Colorful, and Heartfelt
Working closely with the team at Microsoft Design, VFX Studio Tendril conceptualized, designed, and executed a complete refresh of over 1800 smileys, people, animals, objects and symbols. We asked Cofounder and Creative Director Alexander “Xande” Torres, Creative Director Leo Mateus and Lead Modeler Flavio Diniz to tell us about the challenges and rewards of this complex project.
Listen as We Direct a REAL Voiceover Session
If you want to hear what a real VO session sounds like, then you've come to the right place! In this podcast you'll get to be a fly on the wall for a VO session lead by Jake and Joey. Along the way Joey is going to be dropping some golden nuggets of VO directing advice to help you direct VO like a pro the next time you need to.
Blender vs Cinema 4D
If you want to learn a 3D program for design and animation, there are many strong competitors on the market. But if you had to choose, which offers the best experience and the most versatility? We're comparing Cinema 4D to Blender to see which program will work best for you.
Discover Your Creative Style Through Freewriting
What happens when you grab a pen and paper and let your creativity take the wheel? Sofie Lee discusses how free-writing a poem led to her amazing animation, Dream.
No Ordinary Ghost
Something’s Awry Productions is a family-run animation studio known for creating whimsical, intelligently funny, 3D-animated content from a “slightly awry perspective.” We talked with Kris Theorin, the studio’s lead animation director, about their most recent release, a 3D-animated short film called “Grump in the Night.”
Short Film Collaboration using Frame.io
A behind-the-scenes look at how our Creative Director Kyle Hamrick created motion graphics elements for an exciting collaborative film project with Valentina Vee, Ryan Connolly & Jon Brandon Cruz. The team made use of Frame.io for Creative Cloud and the Camera to Cloud feature to create this short film trailer from 4 different locations on a very short deadline.
Legwork or Legend? The Career of Aaron Ray
What does it take to build a legendary career? A LOT of legwork. Director/Illustrator Aaron Ray talks about his work and journey through motion design, and shares his fresh perspective on the industry.
Welcome to the Dawn of AI Art
We are witnessing the dawn of computer-generated artwork, but how good is it really? Can Midjourney, Dall-E, and others really affect the industry? Well let's dive in and see what we can create!
Making of “Star Wars: Knights of Ren”
What happens when two talented artists turn their passion into a viral fan-fiction video? You get Knights of Ren, a love letter to Star Wars that showcases what's possible with Cinema 4D and Redshift.
Unreal Engine Used in Places You Don't Expect
Unreal Engine 5 is amazing for far more than just creating video games. From Hollywood to Twitch, look at the incredible versatility of this real-time render engine.
Mixing After Effects and Cinema 4D
What happens if you take an unpolished render from Cinema 4D and bring it into After Effects? Turns out, you can create some stunning, stylized compositions using common tools. Jordan Bergren has the tips you need to take your work in a new direction.
Creating the Titles for “The Mysterious Benedict Society”
Creating a title sequence is no easy task. How did Penny Nederlander and Shine combined 2D and 3D to get just the right look for Disney's "The Mysterious Benedict Society?" You'll have to read to find out.
Animating the Unreal with Chromosphere
How can a passion project turn into a game changer? Will your pursuit of new skills and talent lead to brand recognition? We talked with Kevin and Theresa from Chromoshphere about Yuki-7 and Unreal Engine.
School of Motion Teams Up with MoGraph Mentor
School of Motion just acquired MoGraph Mentor! What does this mean for you, for the future, and for our amazing community?
10 NFT Artists You’ve Never Heard Of
Digital artists are gaining international renown in the NFT space, but there are so many new faces to learn. How can you decide which artists you want to support? We asked Emonee LaRussa to share her top ten artists on the NFT scene.
The Best Places to Find 3D Models
Looking for the best sites to find free and paid 3D models? We did the legwork for you.
Simple 3D Character Design Using Cinema 4D
Looking to design simple 3D characters in Cinema 4D? Today, we’re going to focus on creating a stylized character in Cinema 4D, and talking about the tools and techniques you can use to enhance the originality of your character!
Visualizing the Evolution of Microsoft’s Fluent UI
Learn how Wes Cockx and Nando Costa visualized Microsoft's new Fluent User Interface.
NFTs and the Future of Motion with Justin Cone
What do NFTs really mean for the future of our industry? We have Buck's Justin Cone here to discuss what's coming next.
How to Set Up Your Cinema 4D Projects Like a Pro
Want a sneak peek at an amazing Holdframe Workshop? Echoic X Ident is a jam-packed animation made by Nidia Dias for Echoic Audio. The 11-second ident is bursting with particle sims, graphic compositions, and bold colors, and is a brilliant display of Nidia’s voice and vision.
Intro to Redshift Renderer
Join Jesus Suarez as he introduces you to Redshift for Cinema 4D. He'll walk you through essential concepts like how to use node materials, lights and cameras techniques, and covering important render settings that help create beautiful renders.
Behind the Scenes of the Whoopsery Bakery
Take a behind-the-scenes look at Psyop's latest two-minute film, “The Whoopsery.” What can ZBrush do for your next project?
Animating for a Good Cause with Nicolaj Larsson
Doing personal projects is a great way to experiment and flex your creative muscles. Personal projects can also be part of a strategy of beefing up your portfolio or reel, especially if you're just starting out in the industry. Our guest today is Nicolaj Larsson, the founder and creative director of the Copenhagen based studio ccccccc.tv.
A Motion Designer's Guide to NAB 2022
NAB, the largest media trade show in the world, is back after three years. Whether this is your first time or your fifteenth, we've got an insider guide to make sure your trip is unforgettable.
15 Must Know Shortcut Keys in Cinema 4D
If you want to step up your 3D animation and design game, you need to learn keyboard shortcuts in Cinema 4D. Knowing your hotkeys speeds up your workflow and allows you to focus on the creative aspect of the program rather than hunting through mentions to find a certain function. In this tutorial, we’re going to take you from beginner to keyboard king.
School of Motion Has a New CEO
Running a company requires you to have vision, drive, and just a hint of madness. It also means finding and hiring incredibly talented people.
Which Render Engine is Right for You with Chad Ashley
Do you need a third-party renderer? Tune is as we talk with Chad Ashley from Greyscale Gorilla about all of the third-party rendering options out there!
Top 5 Tools to Identify a Font
Need help identifying a font? We have the 5 best tools for tackling typography right here.
Use Procreate to Animate a GIF in 5 Minutes
Want to add motion to your social media feed? Learn how to create an animated sticker in Procreate in under 5 minutes.
The Cycle of Self Doubt
Andy Needham discusses his short film ‘Peace & Turmoil,’ and how feelings self doubt shouldn't stop a person from expressing themselves creatively.
How Much Do Designers Get Paid with Carole Neal
How much money can you make in the creative world? No matter what career you’re aiming for, it can be hard to find a direct answer. So how can you find out the real dollar value of your work? That’s why we reached out to Carole Neal, the Marketing Director at Aquent.
A Guide to Free Brushes in Procreate
Procreate is a very powerful illustration app which can be loaded up with tons of free brushes to give you more options. Here is a guide to finding and using free brushes in Procreate.
3D Design with Spline
Learn how to design, animate, and export with the free browser-based design app Spline!
Behind the Scenes of Dune
What is like working on a mega-blockbuster like Dune? Check out this behind-the-scenes interview with Paul Lambert and Patrick Heinen.
Were We Wrong About Studios? Giant Ant's Jay Grandin Responds
What is the artist / studio relationship really like in 2022? Were we wrong in our end-of-the-year podcast? Jay Grandin from Giant Ant is back to respond.
The Ultimate Guide to Adobe Creative Cloud Apps
Adobe Creative Cloud comes with a collection of amazing programs for designers and animators, but what are they all for? We've put together an alphabetical guide for the apps in Creative Cloud.
Create Eye-Popping Visuals in Photoshop with Boris FX Optics
If you've ever struggled with make your images stand out , we explore the creative possibilities with the amazing Boris FX Optics – a VFX-grade Photoshop plugin that will change the way you work in Photoshop.
Mail Delivery and Murder
What happens when you mix a talented team of 3D artists, Cinema 4D and Unity, and Emmy-winner Tony Hale? You get the new animated film "Carrier!"
How to Stand Out in Your Job Search
Having trouble standing out from the pack when applying for work? We talked with Frank Suarez about how you can standout as a candidate for any position.
Digital Art Career Pathways and Salaries
There are so many career paths available to digital artists, but do you know them all? What software do you need to know to be a web designer or game developer? How much does it pay? We explore the different options and offer our takes in this guide to pathways and salaries.
What's the Difference Between Procreate, Photoshop, and Illustrator
Photoshop, Illustrator, and Procreate are 3 of the most widely used design apps on earth. Find out when to use each one, and the strengths & weaknesses of each app.
Unique Jobs that Need Motion Design
Having trouble finding work? Perhaps your focus is too limited. There are a ton of gigs out there for designers and animators, and we're going to show you the unique opportunities you might have missed.
10 Tools to Help You Design a Color Palette
Learn about color palettes, how to make color palettes, and tools to help you generate color palettes.
How to Animate a Social Media Post in 5 Minutes
Easily animate your designs for social media using After Effects.
Alone in a Digital World
Take a behind the scenes look at Taehoon Park's latest award-winning film “0110”—which was made with Cinema 4D, After Effects, Redshift, Marvelous Designer and ZBrush.
10 Websites with Great Animation
With tools like Webflow and Lottie, creating animation for websites is easier than ever. Check out these 10 killer websites that showcase great uses of animation.
Dreaming of Apple - A Director's Journey
What is it like leading a live commercial event for the biggest name in tech? We spoke with Shane Griffin who directed the Apple M1 Max launch event.
How to Resize Images in Photoshop
Learn 6 ways to resize an image in Photoshop and when you might use each method.
The Best Typefaces in Adobe Fonts 2022
With over 20,000 fonts to choose, Adobe Fonts is a gluttony of selection. Here's our guide to our favorite typefaces for 2022.
How to Prep Photoshop Files for After Effects
Photoshop is a great place for designing content to animate in After Effects - but knowing how to prep your files and think like an animator is crucial for success!
Behind the Scenes of Black Widow
Digital Domain has worked on Marvel films in the past—“Avengers Endgame” and “Thor Ragnarok”—but handling the visual effects behind the cataclysmic ending of “Black Widow” was an enormous undertaking. Check out this behind the scenes interview with the creative team.
How to Use Adobe Fonts
With over 20,000 fonts available, Adobe Fonts is an incredible resource. Here is how to use Adobe Fonts, available with your Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.
How Personal Should a Personal Project Be?
Many artists don’t take time to develop their personal projects. They worry they can’t find an audience, or that there just isn’t enough time in the day. Today, we want to encourage you to find your passion. What is the story you’ve always wanted to tell, but just never found the time to start?
How To Import Photoshop Layers into After Effects
One of the best features of Adobe’s Creative Cloud is the ability to import layers and elements between programs. In this tutorial, we'll show you how to import layers from Photoshop into After Effects so you're ready to animate your designs.
Yes, You Are a Designer
Are you intimidated by design? It's a foundational element of our industry, and one of the most important pieces in creating strong, evocative art. We sat down with Greg Gunn from Three Legged Legs to discuss his journey into Motion Design, and how you can find your rhythm as a designer.
The Ultimate Guide to Cutting Out Images in Photoshop
There are many tools you can use to cut out images in Photoshop. We've compiled the ultimate guide for quick selections, detailed masks, and Sensei-powered tricks to take your Photoshop game to the next level.
The Year in MoGraph - 2021
It has been an incredible year for designers and animators, but what's coming next? Joey, EJ, and Ryan sit down for a marathon podcast covering everything and anything in the industry from the past year.
The Alumni Holiday Card 2021
Another year, another incredible holiday card from the School of Motion alumni! Check out this collaborative video featuring 50 artists from all around the world.
A Look Ahead to 2022 — Industry Trends Report
We surveyed over two thousand artists, designers, and animators from around the world to find out where our industry is headed. What software is most used, what should you be learning, and what kinds of work can you expect to find in 2022?
Solving the Producer Problem with RevThink
The motion graphics industry is in a talent crunch, and the problem seems to be a lack of talented producers. We sat down with RevThink, veteran industry consultants and advisors, to show you how you can solve your own in-house issues and thrive as an artist.
Living In The Future with Jim Geduldick
How can you future-proof yourself as an artist? What is the future of motion graphics? How can you train your third eye and ensure a successful career? Jim Geduldick, director of Dimension Studio, is here to share his insights and experience.
How 3D Artists Can Use Procreate
Are you a 3D artist looking to take your work on the go? Jump into Procreate with EJ Hassenfratz to paint and polish your 3D objects from anywhere. We'll show you how to prepare your custom asset for export, create a node-based texture, and get started with 3D in Procreate.
Title Design Tips - After Effects Tips for Video Editors
Video editors need these simple design tips to create better edits and stronger title sequences. Kyle Hamrick is here with the final part of our series on After Effects Tips for Video Editors.