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The Smashing Book #5

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The Ultimate Motion Graphics Tutorials Round-Up


Although static graphics is obviously much easier to scan and therefore can be easily perceived, motion graphics brings dynamics and life into otherwise static content. Animation can help designers to convey a deeper meaning with the use of various video-techniques. It can also provide a better data visualization than the static graphics. How and where you use it in real-life situations is totally up to your talent and your abilities to express yourself.

Motion graphics are not only created using digital techniques; also traditional animation and special effects techniques are used. However, digital techniques help to minimize production costs and achieve nice results with less effort. For example, the Juno opening sequence1 was a hand-made motion graphics which took painstakingly long time to finish.

A couple of weeks ago we presented Best Tutorials For Cinematic Visual Effects2. In this post we present a collection of useful Tutorials for motion graphics – created with the use of digital techniques. These tutorials focus on the designing skills of a motion designer and not on the modeling or the animation. You can use these techniques to create stunning motion graphics or improve upon these ideas and come up with your own creative ideas that will be truly remarkable. Most of the tutorials are from similar sources, because of its quality and usefulness.

Useful Tutorials for Motion Graphics Link

Stormy and Electric Type Reveal3
This Adobe After Effects tutorial uses a form plug-in to create a mysterious and electric type reveal.


Text Explosion
Create text explosion with the help of 3DS Max and Adobe After Effects software. Part 1 and Part 2

Old Paper Look5
Create an Old Paper texture to add old look to the title animation using the Fractal Noise Effect in Adobe After Effects.


Dunk Your Logo in a Wave World7
This Adobe After Effects tutorial uses Wave World plug-in to achieve this effect.


Sound Reacting 3D Waveform9
Create a sound reacting 3D waveform animation in Adobe After Effect using built-in plug-ins.


Stunning Website Demo Presentation11
This tutorial shows how to create a clean and elegant solution to show off your website.


Forging Fire13
Give a forging fire effect to title in Adobe After Effects.


In this After Effects tutorial you will learn to create colourful dynamic particles by controlling their motion using Trapcode particular.

Elegantly Handwritten Text Reveal15
This Adobe After Effects tutorial will teach you how to animate a handwritten text sequence with ink bleeding through the paper to create an elegant old-world style title reveal.


Awesome 80’s Inspired Title Animation17
Design an Awesome 80’s Inspired Title Animation in Adobe After Effects.


Ethereal Morphing Letter Canvas19
This tutorial shows how to use the built-in radio waves plug-in to create an incredibly beautiful and ethereal animation of morphing letters.


Beautifully Animated Faux 3D Flower Scene21
In this tutorial you will learn how to create and animate a beautiful 3D flower that can be a design element of any motion graphics piece.


Chromatic Aberration23
Learn how to virtually create Chromatic Aberration – The failure of a lens to focus light rays to the same point. Images obtained from the lens having chromatic aberration are always colourful.


iPod Commercial 25
Create iPod ad in Cinema 4D using tracer tool and later composite the final video in Adobe After Effects.


Light-tastic” Logo Reveal27

This 2 part tutorial you will learn to create some beautifully organic light streaks that are used for logo reveal. This tutorial makes use of expressions in After Effects. Part 128 and Part 229


Dreamy Logo in the Clouds31
This tutorial shows how to use a particle generator to create 3D clouds and use them as a transitional device to reveal a logo.


Cinematic Opening Title Redux33
This 2 part tutorial uses freely available scripts and expressions to create stunning Hollywood movie style opening. This is deep skill based tutorial which will show some techniques to harness a large amount of text and quickly format and animate it in a cinematic style and use scripts to split up and animate a logo into hundreds of pieces. Part 134 and Part 235

The Juno Opening Credit Look36
Adobe After Effects tutorial to create famous handmade juno opening sequence37.


Cinematic Opening Title39
Another Adobe After Effects tutorial to learn how to create a beautiful cinematic opening title using Trapcode Form.


Mac OS X Leopard-style Aura Effect41
In this After Effects tutorial you learn how to create beautiful Mac OS X Leopard-style aura effect.


Radio Detection and Ranging43
This tutorial will teach you to create 3 types of animated radar displays using expressions rather than keyframes which will help you to save time.


Lottery Balls45
This Adobe After Effects tutorial demonstrates how to use expressions to generate multiple custom particles in Particular to create an animation of bouncing and floating Ping Pong balls.


Heart Monitor47
Create a heart monitor display using Adobe After Effects.


Volume Meter49
Create a Volume Meter that is reactive to change in sound. It uses expressions in Adobe After Effects to achieve this sound reacting motion graphics.


Flying through a tunnel51
Create a flying through tunnel effect in After Effects. Also check the similar tutorial at www.maxafter.com52


Automated Odometer54
This tutorial will show you how to create automated odometer in After Effects using expressions.


Create a stylized sun using expressions in Adobe After Effects.


Dropping into water58
Create an effect of an object dropping into water, using the Caustics and WaveWorld filters in Adobe After Effects.


Line Chart Diagram60
This tutorial will show you to create diagram which can be animated with use of expressions in Adobe After Effects.


3D City62
Using this tutorial you can create a stylistic 3D city with 2D images in Adobe After Effects.


Card Dance64
Create a effect of millions of pictures flying around.


The 007 Intro66
This tutorial shows you how to achieve the classic introduction of James Bond films using only basic After Effects plug-ins.


Earth Zoom68
Create a cosmic Earth zoom in Adobe After Effects.


Welding Sparks70
Create welding sparks effect using Trapcode particluar in Adobe After Effects.


Spin Orbs72
Create a spinning orb in Adobe After Effects that self animates with times


Fun with Ink74
This Adobe After Effects tutorial uses Particle World to create ink spatter elements.


Learn to create animated swirls in Adobe After Effects.

Moving 3D Lines77
This tutorial will teach you to create flowing light streams using Adobe After Effects.


The Blue Planet9179
This tutorial will teach you to create an earth in After Effects with atmosphere, rotation, solar eclipse and lighting. This tutorial uses CC sphere plug-in to convert flat map to 3d earth.


Car Racing Scene81
Create a scene of cars racing down a road towards camera from photographs. Part 182 and Part 283


Medical Zoom85
This 3 Part tutorial will show you how to model a blood cell (3D Max) and use it in After Effects to create the effect, where a camera goes inside a person`s body. Part186, Part2 87and Part388


Dead Planet90
This tutorial is similar to “The Blue Planet9179 ” which will show you to create a dying planet with visible lava and cracks.


Planet Explosion93
This tutorial will teach you to create explosion using shatter effect in After Effects.


Fancy Title Plate95
Create a beautiful fancy 3D Title in Adobe After Effects.


Flaming Chrome Text97
Creates flaming chrome text in Adobe After Effects using the glow and liquefy effects.


Growing 3D Vines99
This tutorial will teach you to create growing 3D vines over a water floor in 3D Max and later composite it in After Effects.


Smokey Type Effect101
This tutorial will teach you to create Smokey Type animation in Adobe After Effects.


Colorful Universe103
This tutorial Uses expression in Adobe After Effect to create a 3D dynamic space world with light streams.


Breathtakingly Awesome Rain Scene105
Adobe After Effects tutorial shows how to create the dramatic slow motion rain drops falling scene. Part 1106 and Part 2107


Organic Mesh109
This tutorial will teach you to create an bloody wet organic mesh using 3DMax.


Spray Paint and Stencil Effect111
In this tutorial you will learn how to create a spray paint effect using After Effects.


Shiny Ring113
This tutorial will teach you to create a silver ring in After Effects with a particle wipe and some expressions.


TV Screens115
This Adobe After Effects tutorial will teach you to create many TV screens placed in a grid. Also some optical effects are added to make it look interesting.


DVD Motion Menu Design117
Major difference between this tutorial and the other DVD menu design tutorial is that it shows you create interactive menus from pen-and-paper sketches.


Graffiti Writing119
This is an awesome After Effect tutorial to simulate graffiti writing on a wall in 3D along with some paint splatter elements.


Ink Bleeding Effect121
Create an ink bleeding effect. This tutorial makes use of Photoshop, Illustrator and Adobe After Effects with Trapcode’s Particular


Cool TV bumper123
In this tutorial you will learn to create a cool TV bumper using mattes in Adobe After Effects.


Speed Particles125
Create sandy like particles that fly off of text using expressions to drive particles based on speed.


3D Watch Animation127
This 3 part tutorial will teach you to create a 3D Watch Animation. This tutorial makes use of Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extendend with Google 3D Warehouse128 Plug-in and Adobe After Effects. Part 1129, Part 2130 and Part 3131.


Droste Effect133
This tutorial demonstrates the use of new Pixel Bender plug-in134 to obtain “Droste Effect”.


Retro Style136
Learn how to create a vintage retro style.


Building and animating a CGSnake138
Learn how to create a animated snake in Adobe After Effects based on a “chain rig”.


3D Toon on Paper140
Transform your hand drawn sketch from paper to digital animation.


Fracture Design142
Use expressions and scripts to create a distressed title in Adobe After Effects.


Best Sources for Motion Graphics Tutorials Link

  • aetuts+144
    Website is full of great Adobe After Effects tutorials.
  • Video Copilot145
    High quality After Effects video tutorials for motion graphics and visual effects presented by Andrew Kramer.
  • Creative Cow146
    Support community for digital video, video editing, and media production professionals in broadcasting, motion graphics, special FX and film.
    Blog dedicated to Graphic Design.
  • maltaannon.com148
    Adobe After Effects and Production Studio Video Tutorials
  • GomediaZine149
    Resources for artists and designers.
  • Digital Arts150
    A place for digital artist to find articles, reviews and tutorials.
  • Layers Magazine151
    Everything about Adobe.
  • ayato@web152
    Japanese website providing useful Adobe After effects tips and tutorials.
  • Maxafter153
    Visual Effects and Motion Graphic Design tutorials.
  • www.henrythejedi.com154
    New website providing visual effects, motion graphic and animation tutorials.

Footnotes Link

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Vailancio Rodrigues is a web ninja who bakes semantic muffins. Apart from that he is also interested in Motion Graphics, Visual Effects, Photography and knows little bit of Physics due to his college education . He is from Goa - a beautiful tropical paradise in India.

  1. 1

    Grrreat…although, too much to consume at once…

  2. 2

    First! Great article!

  3. 3

    Interesting article. I’ve always been fascinated at how movie studios (Paramount, Universal, Bad Robot, Spyglass) have taken their once-still logos and added life to them with motion.

  4. 4

    Nice Compilation Rodrigues… Thanks for sharing !!

    DKumar M.

  5. 5

    ABSOLUTELY FAB! This is just what i’ve been after for the last few days!! Such a shame it wasnt featured on friday! haha. Thanks guys keep up the great work!

  6. 6

    Nice article

  7. 7

    Informative article..
    Thanks Smashing.

  8. 8

    Azrie Muzaffar

    May 26, 2009 1:37 am

    excellent. Love this.

  9. 9

    I was expecting for this article.

    thank you SM

  10. 10

    Thanks For Sharing. Nice Article.

  11. 11

    Another resource:
    1001 Adobe After Effects Tutorials: 1001 Adobe After Effects Tutorials

  12. 12


  13. 13

    Wow, great roundup… although it heavily relies on Andrew Kramer (which is not so bad)

  14. 14

    Great! Thank you!

  15. 15

    I realize “AfterEffects” is sort of the deFacto but I can’t believe there was not one mention/tutorial for “Motion”. Would be nice to add a few of them to the list. ;-)

  16. 16

    First one doesn’t seem to work.

  17. 17

    is there something like a flash-video-tutorial?
    similar to these for after-effects?

    • 18

      Flash and After Effects talk to each other. There’s a book about it. Search: Flash AfterEffects Book” I cannot remember the name, sadly.

      • 19

        the correct name is: From After Effects to Flash: Poetry in motion graphics.

  18. 20

    Great motion Graphics. I enjoyed most of the pics. Also Really wonderful collection of links for tutorials.

  19. 21

    nice post smashingmagazine!!

  20. 22

    amazing article, opens a whole new world for me!

  21. 23

    great feature article.

  22. 24

    Thanks pretty good tutorials :)

  23. 25

    Huge thumbs up. Andrew Kramer is my new After Effects hero.

  24. 26

    I am starting learning one by one tutorial I have came across 2-3 now. they are really rocking my design knowledge.

  25. 27

    Nice collection, thanks.

  26. 28

    Brilliant, been looking for some quality motion graphics tutorials!

  27. 29

    awesome, nice collection

  28. 30

    May 31, 2009 2:20 pm

    When did you start working for Adobe?

  29. 31

    Great tutorials! One thing almost all of these revolve around After Effects any similar tutorials that use Apple’s Motion?

  30. 32

    Nice collection keep it gng…!!!


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