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BlueCrab

Tutorials vs Personal Projects - The fine line when starting out

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Hi all,



I am just starting out with motion graphics and am seeking a little guidance so that I work and learn smarter and not just harder. I have a couple years as an in house graphic designer and went to school for 3d character animation, and so I have a little foundation on things like keyframing and 3d.



I really want to do things like title sequences, promotional videos, commercials, explainer/infographic videos etc.



Where should I start? I don’t want to do too many tutorials and get stuck in that pattern, and I also don’t want to learn stuff that isn’t very applicable to what I want to do (or would be more beneficial to learn later). However when attempting my own projects, I almost feel like I am learning bad habits, doing time consuming things to work around an easy answer that I just don’t know of, and missing out on cool techniques in after effects.



In your opinions what are the best things to get a decent foundation on before jumping in on your own stuff, and whats the best order to learn them in? When you do jump into your own stuff, what kind of projects are good to get your feet wet?



Thanks!


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You'll learn best by doing. So the most informative thing will be to make something. Something you're actually interested in making. In the process, you'll run into questions you'll need answered, and in answering them you're well on your way. This isn't so much like high school, where you're studying and studying, expecting that what you're learning will be useful on some eventual test. The doing of it is the learning, and there are no tests. So if you're interested in title sequences, create a project for yourself in that format, and start exploring it.

 

The good news is: you don't have to wait to be prepared. So get to it!

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Thanks Carey! I've started doing a title sequence and getting my feet wet on the basics. I think you're right because along the way so far I've learned things to help with my project, and not the tutorial ones I was just copying. Sometimes I feel like I am making more work for myself in the process of learning and just want to maximize my time and work smart though, but I guess that's just part of it all. For example I was hand keying slow ins and outs at first, not realizing that there was an option for ease in and out, or even better that there was a graph editor to utilize like in Maya.

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You bet. You'll get faster and better the more you do it, as in everything. And you can't know the pitfalls until you find them. Luckily, the pitfalls aren't fatal. ;)

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