Level Up - 2D Generalist

What’s it like?

A 2D Generalist is the epitome of a Motion Designer: a keen understanding of Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects coupled with a solid understanding of Design Fundamentals makes you valuable to studios, agencies, and brands alike. Whether you are looking for a staff or freelance position – or to start working with clients directly, 2D Generalist are in high demand for the versatility and ability to execute on a wide range of projects.

Need To Know Skills

To start your career as a 2D Generalist you’ll need to be able to do the following.

  • Animation: must have full command of Graph Editor, Timing, and Spacing – in both 2D and 3D applications, typically in After Effects and Cinema 4D
  • Design: must be able to contribute to the pitch process with styleframes based on Creative Director and Art Director’s lead, as well as create production ready assets for the rest of the team to work with.

Additional Skills

In addition to the skills above, you may want to sharpen your skills in the following areas:

  • Optimization & Organization: should understand how to evaluate a assignment and assess the best tools and techniques to approach the challenges within a given shot or sequence of shots. A Senior Motion Designer will often take an approved styleframe or animatic and work with the Art Director to define the best path to take to completion, and then completing a shot with this technique or approach as an example for the rest of the team to follow.

What Course should I take?

Start Your Journey

  • Animation Bootcamp: Combine your mastery of Timing & Spacing through the use of the Curve Editor and Shape Layers with the knowledge of WHAT you should be animating, stepping beyond fundamentals of animation and into advanced concepts like eye trace, animating for appeal, and workflow tips that have you animating smarter rather than harder.
  • Design Bootcamp: Push your use of Design Fundamentals through deliberate and demanding exercises patterned after real-world assignments built to push your Photoshop and Illustrator skills into storyboarding and styleframing.

Grow Your Skills

  • Character Animation Bootcamp: As a 2D Generalist, adding a specialty skillset allows you to take a leadership role in a portion of projects that don’t fall into the basic motion design pipeline. Character animation allows you to further refine your animation skills, building on your understanding of motion and delving into performance and breathing life into designs.
  • Rigging Academy 2.0: Coupled with an understanding of Character Animation, a 2D Generalist with a full understanding of the process of character rigging puts you into an Expert-level position whenever character animation is needed. You can inject yourself into the early stages of any project requiring character work by knowing which tools should be used based on a project’s requirements.
  • Expression Session: Why animate when you can have After Effects do it for you – mastering Expressions in After Effects opens up a world of flexibility and power that isn’t available to artists who rely on brute force solutions.
  • VFX for Motion: VFX for Motion will teach you the art and science of compositing as it applies to Motion Design. Prepare to add keying, roto, tracking, matchmoving and more to your creative toolkit.

Level Up!

To advance to the next level in your career check out the article(s) below that take you through what you’ll need to know to advance.

Not sure where to go next? Check out our free Level Up! course for more information on where you can go in your Motion Design Career.

Not Ready Yet?

If you’re looking to explore what comes before this level in your career check out these options that you can build on to reach this level: