Tips for Becoming a Video Editor & Motion Graphics Artist

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There is a lot of opportunity for a great motion designer or video editor in the creative world. We are in a world where video content is everywhere and there is no sign of this trend slowing as social media and video sites like YouTube and Vimeo are growing.

So, maybe now is the time to open up a new door and find your way in the world of motion design or video editing. If you do make that decision, there are a few things you can do to get moving quickly. Here are 5 ways you can get started quickly in video editing or motion design.


Pay Attention

The easiest way to get a handle on the worlds of motion design and video editing is by really looking at what’s already out there. This means taking the time to watch videos of all sorts, from big budget movies to indie web shows, and from fully animated commercials to animated art projects.

Watch how the creators chose to make decisions, what they did, and what they didn’t do. Take notes about the things that you think work and the things that don’t work. Look for trends and patterns which are likely the “rules” and best practices that most editors and designers live by.

Before long, you will find yourself being able to dissect any video or animation you see and this is a great way to start learning.


Learn By Doing

One of the great things about getting into the fields of video editing and motion design is the huge amount of free learning resources you can find online. Sure, you can go to school for these things, and if that’s the right path for you, then you should. But the good news is, you can learn so much just from watching others in tutorials.

Searching for these subjects on YouTube will lead to loads of great results. You can also visit sites like Motion Array to check out their free tutorial library. For motion designers, they have a section of After Effects tutorials, and they have a section of Premiere Pro tutorials for aspiring video editors.

Both sections are growing with more tutorials being added on a regular basis. You can expect to find tutorials like “Easy Type On Animations With After Effects” and “10 Things I Wish I Knew About After Effects” in the After Effects tutorials section. In the Premiere Pro tutorials section, you’ll find subjects like “Creating Premiere Title Templates” and “5 Tips To Help You Edit Faster In Premiere Pro”.

While watching videos will be a great way to get you into design and editing, getting into some projects with the help of tutorials will take you to the next level.


Try A Template

If you don’t know what a template is, it’s basically a premade project that a user can adjust, add to, or change however they like. You can think of it as a quick solution for a project or as a jumpstart for something bigger.

When you are just getting started in editing and motion graphics, having a jumpstart can be a lifesaver. And it can be a great learning tool as well.

As an example, Motion Array offers many types of Premiere Pro templates. Edit templates are fully edited projects to music. You can simply replace the demo footage with your own as a way to start to work on your shot selection. You can also alter the edits to match your own music choice or pacing. This is a great way to learn more about editing. And other Premiere Pro templates like title templates will teach you how to create and add graphics to your edit projects in Premiere Pro.

Motion Array also offers After Effects templates where you can download slideshows and learn the principles of basic movement in After Effects. You can download transitional device templates, and various effects templates where you can dig into the projects to better understand the principles behind them. You can make small changes to an After Effects template or take it apart and rebuild it as you see fit. Opportunities to work with something that someone else has built will give you great insight into how artists and editors work.


Break Some Rules… After You Learn Them

Rules may seem boring. They are meant to be broken after all. But, what’s there to break if you don’t know what you are breaking.

Video editing and motion design are both creative fields, which means there is a lot of room for interpretation and original thinking. But there are also tried and true methods that work for a lot of things.

For instance, with editing, choice of pacing will affect the feel of your edit a lot, as does choice of music. And there are loads of rules regarding what camera angles work together in shot selection.

When it comes to motion graphics, there are good and bad ways to animate some things. For instance, easing in keyframes will generally yield a more fluid and realistic animation.

Use tutorials, articles, books, and an arsenal of content to learn the rules of your field. Once you have a solid understanding of what works in most cases, only then can you start to twist those rules and experiment with new ways of doing things. You can get really creative as long as you have a solid base to start from.


Keep It Together

Once you start digging into motion graphic design and video editing, it will be no time before you find yourself with a monster project. One that involves loads of content, various file formats, and changes…neverending changes.

Before you find yourself in a bottomless project pit, and you will, figure out a way to stay organized. This means, build a project structure inside of your software of choice, be it After Effects, Premiere Pro, or another application. Make folders for file types, and keep everything where it’s easy to find.

Layout your digital workspace in a way that works for you. You can create custom workspaces in a lot of software, including the Adobe Creative Cloud suite. Then you’ll always know where your panels are when you need them.

And devise a note taken plan that works for you. Maybe you are an old-school pen and paper person. Maybe you like to use software like Trello or Wunderlist for to-dos. It doesn’t matter how you keep track of your notes and changes, but make sure to use a system that you understand and that is basically foolproof. You need to spend your time practicing your craft and not digging through sticky notes all day long.

These are just some of the ways that you can jump start your way into the worlds of motion graphics design and video editing. Everything you need is out there for you to take advantage of. Tutorials, templates, and lots of inspirational content. Just get out there and make the most of it, and you’ll make progress faster than you’d believe.