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The old phrase goes “Jack of all trades, master of none.” It does sound a little negative, but the truth is, in the world of design and content production, being a master of one thing doesn’t get you as far as being a jack of many things.
Clients, especially smaller ones, look for turnkey solutions for their marketing and promotion. They want one person who can nail their banner ads and print materials, as well as edit video and create stunning motion graphics. This may seem a bit daunting if you don’t have loads of experience with all of these disciplines.
Let’s take the example of the graphic designer. You know Photoshop and Illustrator. You understand composition and layout. But motion… not your expertise. You feel like diving into Premiere Pro or After Effects will just end in head scratching and heartache. And frankly, you have enough on your plate already.
Good news. Adding video creation to your arsenal isn’t as hard as it sounds. Armed with a very basic knowledge and access to a few programs, along with some great creative templates, you’ll be a master of video, or at least a “jack” in no time.
The first thing you’ll need is access to Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite, which you likely already have if you use Photoshop and Illustrator on a regular basis. Included in Adobe’s $49 a month subscription plan are Premiere Pro for video editing and After Effects for motion graphics and animation. Software…check.
Next you need the knowledge. But, you don’t need to know everything. You just need to understand the basics. And the basics are not that hard to learn. There are endless options on the internet for learning these tools. Lynda.com is an online education platform with hundreds of tutorials for Adobe’s Creative Suite. A basic membership runs $25 a month and will give you more than enough information to get you started.
There are also hours and hours of free tutorials available with a quick search on YouTube. Just search “After Effects For Beginners” or something similar.
Once you have the software, and a little bit of knowledge, you are ready for action. Here’s the easy part. Instead of building complex projects from the ground up, you can use a library of templates to build your projects from.
A marketplace like Motion Array, has thousands of creative assets from stock music, motion graphics, and stock video, to After Effects templates and Premiere Pro templates. The templates are extremely useful assets here.
A template is a project file where a lot of the heavy lifting is taken care of. An After Effects template may be full of animated graphics, lower thirds, titles, and the like. It may be designed to be used for a wedding video, a corporate presentation, or a product video. All you have to do is change out photos, video, and text, and hit render. Alternatively, you can dig into the depths of the project and customize it to your heart’s content. But the key is, you don’t have to. It’s up to you to decide how much to change.
The same goes for Premiere Pro templates. A Premiere Pro template could be something like a title animation or a set of transitions, or it could be a timed edit where all you have to do is replace the footage and export.
Here are a few of the items available for download at Motion Array.
Motion Array uses a subscription model for assets. Subscribers can download as little as 4 assets a month for $19, or get as many as 20 assets a month for $49. It just depends on what they need.
And, as most graphic designers know, licensing can be a pain with stock assets. Motion Array avoids this with a simple, “use it anywhere” license. When you download an asset or template from Motion Array, it’s yours to use for any project, personal or commercial, big or small.
And just like that, you can now offer video services and motion graphics to your graphic design clients, making them happier and making you look like a superstar. And that’s just good business, Jack.