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Design Essentials for the Motion Media Artist: A Practical Guide to Principles & Techniques Paperback – 7 Oct 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press (7 Oct. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 024081181X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240811819
  • Product Dimensions: 24.4 x 18.8 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 905,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Angie Taylor is an art director, animator, illustrator and motion graphic designer. The author of three books; two "Creative After Effects" books (versions 5 and 7) , and "Design Essentials for the motion media artist" published by Focal Press. She is the author of "After Effects: Learn by Video" and "Illustrator: Learn by Video" DVD training titles published by video2brain.

Angie studied Fine Art at Edinburgh College of Art (Heriot-Watt University) and has enjoyed a successful, fourteen year career as a Motion Graphic artist producing animation, visual effects and motion graphics for companies such as the BBC and Channel 4 television. She has worked on music videos and films with several renowned directors such as Chris Cunningham and John Williams.

She now runs her own business in the UK helping other creative professionals realize their goals. Angie has provided bespoke training and consultancy to companies including; BBC; Channel 4; Channel 5; Carlton; HTV; B Sky B; MTV.

Product Description


"Today's software is so creative and seductive that it is easy to think that's all there is to creating engaging content. Angie Taylor's book shows the other side of the story: the visual techniques and design principles that underpin digital moving image making. In this comprehensive guide she has assembled a wealth of tips and exercises in topics such as drawing, composition and typography that will be required reading for all up-and-coming motion media artists."

- Birgitta Hosea, Artist and Course Director of MA Character Animation, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London.

About the Author

A freelance animator and digital filmmaker, Angie produces animations, motion graphics, and visual effects for production companies and broadcasters including the BBC and Channel 4 television in the UK.. An Adobe Certified Expert, and Apple Solutions Expert, she is active on the training circuit; providing corporate training for Adobe and Apple, and seminars at key industry events like NAB, SIGGRAPH, and IBC.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I found this to be a really great book and is suitable for anyone who works or has an interest in motion graphics or animation. It would help someone who is studying at college, but is also very useful for those that have been in the industry a long time. I fall into the later category and was formally trained at art school in the early 80's but I found it very useful to revisit many of the fundamental ideas that I was taught in those days which give me a solid grounding. It also gave me many new ideas and covered areas that did not exist or were in their infancy when I was a student.

I really liked the sections on colour, typography and especially the section on composition which everyone in the industry should be familiar with but clearly are not. I'm sure this would fill in the gaps for people such as avid editors who have a purely technical background and would also inspire those who are creative technophobes to get stuck in with the computer packages today which frighten many with their complexity.

I have shown the book to my manager at Sky and he will be buying some copies for the post production dept to read. He was was also very impressed.
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By James of the coast on 4 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Get it if you consider yourself to have a much more technical skill set rather than graphical design skill. its improved my work a lot.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 24 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A Clear and Thorough Guide to Principles of Design for Use in Motion Graphics 2 Jan. 2011
By Nate - Published on
Format: Paperback
Motion Graphics programs such as Flash and After Effects have become very advanced, and it's possible to create highly sophisticated, professional quality graphics and animation on a basic consumer laptop. What keeps much of it from looking very professional, though, is that most amateur users are winging it, going with what looks decent enough but tends to be cluttered or busy or lacking in unity or overall coherence. What Angie Taylor does in this richly illustrated and clear guide is introduce and apply basic principles of design to bring a consistent and coherent look to projects using programs such as After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, and Flash. I learned a lot from it, and expect to consult this on a regular basis.

There's a bit of a punk sensibility to Angie Taylor's own work, and it shows in many of the examples she uses, but the principles she teaches are mostly adaptations from timeless rules that you'd find treated similarly in many art and design books. It's a very helpful approach, and while I've been exposed to many of the general ideas already, I'm far from internalizing most of them, and found this to be a very helpful refresher book. Even more helpful is the way that she takes theoretical principles of design and shows how they can be adapted for use with motion graphics programs. The chapter on color, especially, helped clarify things to me I'd seen or heard before but never quite understood, such as color theory and the relation between color spaces and the overall color spectrum.

The book covers a wide range of design issues, such as planning and thinking about composition, principles of animation and editing, typography, color, and managing the business side of motion graphics design. The author balances a spunky enthusiasm with the need for clarity; and there's a nice balance here as well between theory and practice, or principles and illustration. Each chapter includes a few insights from successful professionals whose work reflects an attention to the issues of that chapter. It's a very worthwhile guide, that would benefit both beginners and professionals who want to brush up on basic principles they may have missed. I think it would make a useful textbook for a design class, where the instructor would need to develop exercises to complement each chapter. That's really the only thing missing - the author has an encouraging and warm tone, but doesn't offer much in the way of "where to go from here and put these ideas into practice" for the beginner who may not have projects underway where these ideas could be implemented.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
What a Tremendous Resource! 12 April 2011
By Michelle Rayburn - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book accomplishes exactly what Angie Taylor says she wants to achieve in the introduction, and then some. I've checked out books at my library on graphic design before, but many of them focus so much on the software side of design and they're full of techie stuff. Now, don't get me wrong, this book is very textbook in style, but the principles are not based on techie software. They are based on getting back to the real elements of design.

I love that Taylor begins the book with lessons on drawing. I think it's her approach with beginning at the beginning that too many media artists miss. She's clear that it begins with shape, form, color, light. This book is fabulous for college students who need to grasp the core principles of design before they begin clicking with a mouse. And Taylor sure delivers!

But the book is also great as a reference for people like me who do a little of this and a little of that. I draw, I paint, I play with Photoshop and experiment with green screen video for fun. With a reference book like this, the hobby media artist will find a priceless resource. Where I might have to invest heaps of cash in a class, this book offers a college course in core design for less than $30. She even has a chapter on fonts, which applies to so many aspects of design, even that outside of motion media.

Taylor was wise in creating a visually stunning book that cross markets to college students and the hobby artist. Sure, there are chapters that go over my head, but that's okay. If it weren't so, it wouldn't make a very good college textbook.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
just the basics, covered in a basic way 23 Dec. 2011
By Denez McAdoo - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a video production guy, who's truly never studied graphic design (which, by the way, is what this book is about. No real emphasis on motion graphics, despite the title.) So I wanted a book that covered the basics, and that's what this book does.

However, I was still largely disappointed. I couldn't help but feel that I already knew much of this information already and the author's presentation of if felt as though she had little more then a basic understanding as well. She several time admits that one topic or another is not an area of her expertise (video editing for example, strange in a book title for the Motion Media Artist.) This feeling was not helped by the fact that this is one of those books on design where the authors personal design examples are, frankly, not that great.

This book is also structured so that you are told what your going to learn, you learn it, and then recap what you just learned two pages ago. Also, many chapters end with and "inspirational" story from an artist. This all feels like fluff to me.

Bottom line, if you want just the basics, explained in a truly basic way, this book does that. But if you want any thing more then that, then this book spends too much time on basic subject and too little time on anything advanced.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A high level survey of multimedia design 12 Aug. 2011
By GameMaker - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a pretty interesting book. What it basically does is devote one chapter to the most common subjects that are relevant to creating multimedia. The topics include: drawing, planning, composition, animation, type, color, video editing, and then what they call "communication" (which talks about how to work with customers).

I think this book is best used in an entry level multimedia type of course. It covers a lot of ground, but everything it covers, is covered in more depth in other books. And I think the lengthy chapter on drawing seems a little silly to me, because I just don't see it helping anybody that wants to improve their drawing skill.

For me, I liked the chapters on composition, type, and color in particular. But I also realize that it wasn't a very thorough treatment of any of those topics.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Comprehensive, Wise, Pivotal... 28 Feb. 2011
By Paul M. Provencher - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I live in the corporate world of information technology. For the most part, this existence for me is based in an engineering mindset - plan, design, build, test, deliver.

In my IT world, artists are thought to be undisciplined in these areas. Angie Taylor's book makes it clear that successful artists clearly execute in much the same way as the best scientists. While they bring a creative streak that may not appear in engineering and science, they owe their success in business to their ability to plan, execute and deliver a satisfactory product on time, on budget.

The author takes the reader through a series of concepts, starting with sketching. At first I didn't understand what this had to do with Motion Media. But it very quickly became obvious why this was important. The book gives a great primer and cites numerous references (including current online resources) that may be used to dig in deeper.

From there the book explores a number of concepts familiar to practicing artists - composition, story-boards, software packages (again with numerous references to some terrific resources), and all while developing the concepts in a way that follows the workflow of projects.

I am reading this book (and several others) to gain a better command of the concepts I hope to apply to the use of my HD-movie capability of my DSLR. I believe that making movies, even if they end up being glorified home movies of my family, will benefit from a basic understanding of what goes into good motion media.

This book has something to offer beginners like me as well as practicing professionals who need to update their understanding of motion media. I will probably read this book twice - the illustrations are wonderful, and perfectly on point, the explanations are very understandable, even for someone with little experience in this field (though I have been a photographer for a long time).

The many resources cited as places to dig deeper are all quality products and have clearly been vetted thoroughly by the author.

This is a solid book with much to offer. If you're just getting into motion media like me, or perhaps you'd like to step into the latest tools and concepts, don't hesitate to buy and read this book.
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