Learner's Guide to Motion Graphics & Video Editing
By Amy Janzen RGD, Graphic and Multimedia Designer, Mercatus Technologies Inc.


I’ve only begun adding motion graphics to my design practice over the last year. I’ve edited a few product teaser videos, podcasts and logo animations. This list is curated based on what’s been most useful to me as I continue to learn and grow.

Beginning at the Beginning

The Animator’s Survival Kit, Richard Williams
This book on traditional 2D animation is very useful for theory and general concepts like storyboarding, anticipation, squash/stretch. A quick summary of the basic transitions helps me during planning phases.
Invideo is a freemium video editing software with a lot of editable templates, The user interface is intuitive, but lacks the precision of a more advanced software. It’s a good place to start and paid plans are relatively affordable.
Sizing your Video Project
Understanding the limits of video online with a handy guide for updated social media video sizes, is helpful before you start. It’s not strictly necessary for web formats, but I found this article outlining why certain frame rates exist fascinating.

Adobe Resources


Adobe After Effects
If you are already using LinkedIn Learning, this tutorial on motion graphics for social media provided a solid foundation in After Effects. School of Motion has been very helpful in general, including their list of shortcuts and five tools for beginners.
Adobe Premiere 
A superb video editing primer, long, but worth it from Valentina Vee, courtesy of Adobe. This article explains Premiere keyboard shortcuts with a video and a charming infographic and a well-organized list. There’s a new speech to text feature in Premiere Pro that I haven’t tested at the time of this writing, but it should allow relatively accurate auto-captioning, making videos more accessible.
There are a lot of things you can do in premiere to make your audio dialog better, as well as 5 tips to make syncing, music and levels easier. 
Finishing a Project
It’s as important as starting. Here’s a good run-through of the basics of Adobe Media Encoder. This video explained the main categories of presets, so that if I need to go further in-depth, I can.
One Last Resource
I’ll end with one last invaluable resource. Another set of eyes. If your animation is popping weird or the text is too fast, a fresh perspective is essential. After I’ve been working with the same copy all day, I forget how long it takes to parse it. I’ve found that a headline should be up for 3-5s, more or less, but your mileage may vary.
Amy is a graphic designer and technical illustrator. She loves the chaos and variety of working in-house. Amy is currently the Graphic & Multimedia Designer at Mercatus Technologies, an end-to-end grocery eCommerce platform. She became an RGD in Fall 2020. Her portfolio of design, illustration and motion graphics is available at amyjanzen.com.










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