Which Course Should I Take Next?

School of Motion has courses for the beginner and the experienced motion designer alike. Before you decide which course you should take, ask yourself these questions about what you want to learn next:

  1. 2D or 3D? ie: After Effects or Cinema 4D Studio?
  2. Design, or Animation? Do you want to practice making things move, or designing boards for animation?
  3. Experience Level: Do you have a reel? Are you just getting started?

Although you can take the suggested path below, there is no recommended order after Step 3. Completing courses after Step 3 depends on your preference and what skills you'd like to hone in.

Step One - Dip Your Toes In

Path to Mograph

This ten day, 100% free course that will introduce you to School of Motion's teaching style and tell you about the motion design industry. 

Step Two - Learn the Foundations (take in your preferred order)

Photoshop + Illustrator Unleashed

This 8 week course will give you a rock solid foundation in the two most important applications for design. No Animation Experience Necessary

Design Kickstart

This is an 8 week course designed for the true beginner in mind. We will teach you traditional design principles and what you need to know to create boards for projects that are meant for motion design.

After Effects Kickstart

This 8 week course will have you animating in no time and provide you with a very sturdy foundational knowledge of After Effects. No design experience necessary

Step Three - Master the Principles (recommended order)

Illustration for Motion

In this 12 week course you will learn to create stunning illustrations for motion design. You will learn new skills through a variety of exercises that encourage you to explore new styles, while developing your own style of creating artwork. You should have a solid understanding of how to use Adobe Photoshop for creating artwork. Knowledge of Adobe Illustrator is a plus.

Prerequisites: Photoshop + Illustrator Unleashed, or equivalent experience

Animation Bootcamp

In this 12 week course you will learn about the fundamental principles behind beautiful animation, and dive into the philosophy and techniques of some of the world's best motion designers. Animation Bootcamp assumes that you understand the basic foundations of After Effects and have completed at least one :30 MoGraph Piece before.

Prerequisites: After Effects Kickstart and Photoshop + Illustrator Unleashed, or equivalent experience

Design Bootcamp

This 12 week course will have you doing professional Style Frames and Storyboards in no time. Design Bootcamp assumes that you have a working knowledge of Photoshop and Illustrator, and understand the basic principles of design.

Prerequisites: After Effects Kickstart and Photoshop + Illustrator Unleashed, or equivalent experience

Cinema 4D Basecamp  

In this 12 week course you will learn to apply design and animation foundational knowledge to 3D animation for the first time. No prior 3D knowledge is necessary.

Prerequisites: After Effects Kickstart and Photoshop + Illustrator Unleashed, or equivalent experience

Step Four - Level Up (recommended order)

Character Animation Bootcamp

This is a 12 week intensive course where you'll learn everything from the basics of a walk cycle, to animating using the pose-to-pose technique, creating strong character poses, and even adding charm and life to your character animations. This course assumes that you are comfortable in After Effects.

Prerequisites: Animation Bootcamp Strongly Recommended, or equivalent experience

Rigging Academy

This is a go-at-your-own-pace course. After making it through Rigging Academy you’ll be able to create After Effects character rigs for just about any style of artwork you can think up.

Prerequisites: Character Animation Bootcamp, or equivalent experience

Freelance Manifesto

This is a book, not a course. But once you are armed with the skills to create amazing MoGraph pieces, this information will help you branch out on your own and become a successful freelancer. 

Expression Session

Expressions are lines of code that can be used to create all kinds of automations and tools right in After Effects. Some of these can be generated by visually linking, or Pickwhipping, different properties to each other and others need to be written out like a short computer program. By the end of this course you will have all of the foundational knowledge you need to be able to write, understand, and use Expressions in After Effects to improve your workflow.

Prerequisites: Animation Bootcamp and Design Bootcamp or equivalent experience.

VFX for Motion

In VFX for Motion you will learn a broad set of Visual Effects tools and techniques using After Effects. While in this course you will learn the basics of Keying, Tracking, Rotoscoping, and Matchmoving, along with other important VFX tools available to you in After Effects. You will also learn practical knowledge for working with live-action footage, and even some tips on how to direct and work on a VFX shoot.

Prerequisites: Animation Bootcamp and Design Bootcamp or equivalent experience.

Explainer Camp

This course covers every aspect of tackling a MoGraph project by yourself. You'll learn about creating bids and project schedules, coming up with concepts, doing pre-production, animatics, design and art direction, and finally putting it all together into a polished Motion Graphics piece. At the end of this course you'll have a piece that's created entirely by you and ready for your portfolio.  

Prerequisites: Animation Bootcamp and Design Bootcamp or equivalent experience. Character Animation Bootcamp helpful but not required.

Advanced Motion Methods

This 9 week course is HARD. In this course you’ll learn how to structure animations according to geometric proportions found in nature, deal with complexity and create amazing transitions. You should be an experienced motion designer before you take this course.

Prerequisites: Animation Bootcamp and Design Bootcamp or equivalent experience. Character Animation Bootcamp helpful but not required.

Cinema 4D Ascent

This 12 week course will teach you the important fundamental 3D concepts you need to know to create beautiful renders and tackle any task a studio or client might throw at you. You'll learn Basic sculpting tools in Cinema 4Db, how to use Collision and Displace deformers, how to utilize Generator Objects like Lathe, Atom Array, and Cloth Objects to generate geometry and more!

Prerequisites: Cinema 4D Basecamp

Level Up!

This free course is both a follow-up to Path To Mograph as well as a Self Assessment for you at any point in your career. It can be taken multiple times as you grow and your goals change.

Nearly every student enrolled at School of Motion wants to either Prove what they can do, make a Pivot in their career, or Promote themselves as either a new freelancer or a new company. The only way to do that is with a Demo Reel – but you may not be ready to make a Reel. You may need to level up your skills with a single course or a set of classes focused on the next step of your career.

Lights, Camera, Render!

If you don’t know how to light a scene properly or if you can’t create a dynamic composition, direct purposeful camera moves, or tell a compelling story - the render engine you use won’t matter. Because it’s not about how good the render engine is, it’s about how good the artist is! Lights, Camera, Render will show you how to unlock the ability to create a beautiful render, every time. Teaching concepts like lighting, camera movement, and how to develop your eye to think more like a digital director of photography.

Demo Reel Dash

Whether you are looking to prove your skills, pivot to a new job title, or promote a new project – School of Motion's Creative Director, Ryan Summers, will teach you how to make and market your own brand of magic.

In this advanced 4-week course, you'll learn how to create a Demo Reel and get it into the hands of the audience that can help you take the next step in your career. By the end of this course you'll understand how to develop your own personal storyline, organize and rank your work, edit picture to sound to create a Reel aligned with your career goals, and develop a Launch Campaign built around Positioning, Branding and Marketing custom-built to your needs.