If you are new to motion graphics, you might be wondering what’s the best way to get started and level up your design skills with motion. With the vast variety of motion graphics tutorials online, it’s hard to keep track of all the excellent resources. We’ve done all the hard work for you and rounded up some of the best free resources out there to learn animation skills. Here’s a selection of some of the best motion design tutorials and resources, all of which have been carefully selected to offer the best way to learn with no commitment required.
But first, what is vector animation?
Vector graphics are basically graphics designed using a vector-based animation program. These programs let you draw using vector lines on the computer screen to create a smooth animation, creating animated graphics with smooth curves, shading, and other elements.
If you want to learn how to draw lines and shapes, vector graphics are a fantastic way to start.
Vector graphics are simple to write and maintain, making them a natural fit for motion graphics. Illustrator and Flash (or a similar environment) provide the most basic support, but SVG has progressed to support pixel-perfect animated sprites with animated paths, and each new release of OpenGL makes adding to the core functionality easier.
The backbone of a good motion graphics project is a robust design system. A strong design system should have smart, customizable tools and layouts for creating, previewing, and managing assets. These tools should be approachable for those new to graphics and for those with even less design experience.
Vector-based online tools are an easy way to get started. They are widely used and relatively well-suited for beginners. Many of the most popular online vector-based motion graphics design tools offer step-by-step learning to help get you up and running.
Benefits of using vector animation for the web
Using vector graphics makes it easier to design projects that can be optimized for the web. The vast majority of graphics apps available today offer vector graphics, so the tools are already out there.
Vector graphics are simple to program and easy to create.
You can build complex motion graphics without any programming. Plus, you can use common vector-based vector editing software to get started right away. The tools out there are much more powerful and sophisticated than what you’ll find on your typical desktop.
Vector graphics are less CPU intensive and much faster to load. You’ll be able to animate faster, especially if you are working with multiple elements at the same time.
Vector graphics are portable. You can use it on all modern devices.
Vector graphics are flexible. It doesn’t matter what browser you’re working in, because all of them support vector graphics.
In the traditional motion graphics world, you’ll often see 2D versions of your animation (for example, on the screen or print) and you’ll occasionally see 3D versions of your animation. With vector animation, you don’t need to think about the exact dimensions of the animated elements that make up your motion. The tools provide an intuitive layout for storing and managing your animation. It’s all data at the end of the day.
Ways to learn motion graphics
If you are looking to learn motion graphics, you’ll want to pick up some tools that will make the process a little less confusing and a bit easier. You don’t have to worry about piecing together complicated visual effects and creating precise animating code. The tools make animation a cinch while giving you an easy way to learn the basics of motion graphics, like the basics of drawing a line, a circle, and a sphere.
SVG and Vector graphics
Most people have heard of SVG. It’s a common graphics format for web and print. This means it is incredibly easy to get started with and get an intuitive understanding of basic motion graphics concepts.
SVG is a document format. It can contain all the objects you need to make a motion graphic. You’ll need to draw lines, pixels, paths, and circles to get started. But SVG is accessible to everyone, regardless of age or experience.
SVG supports vector drawing, meaning you can layer text, images, and objects. Any object can be turned into a vector.
Once you’re finished with a motion graphic, you can save it as a SVG file.
Getting your hand moving
The key to learning to create motion graphics is to get your hand moving. It all starts with dawing the first line! As you practice, you’ll soon be able to design faster and smoother. Just make sure your lines are too small for a simple moving object. That’s an easy way to break your line and make it hard to animate.
One step at a time
You can start with small motion graphics and gradually improve. You’ll learn the basics of motion graphics first, then move on to more complicated animations.
It’s very likely that if you’re looking to start a career in motion graphics, that you’ll need a little help in the beginning.
For more advanced motion graphics, you might want to take the complete motion graphics coding course.
Motion graphics might be a perfect fit for digital marketing, social media, graphic design, and even web design and development.