Why you should learn motion design with LABASAD, Barcelona School of Arts and Design

Project by Buff

Buff’s Creative Director and Co-founder Tom Allen explains why he’s become the course leader for the English-language Online Master in Motion Graphics at LABASAD. Together, we explore the online, hands-on methodology of the school.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a recent graduate or a creative director with decades of experience. If your background is in graphic design, illustration or similar creative discipline, and you want to pivot to motion design, there couldn’t be a better time to do so.

Let’s face it: Motion design is in enormous demand right now – from website, brand packages and app experiences to in-store terminals, TV, VFX, movies, AR, and virtual reality. In short, the world is craving more and more animated experiences, yet the number of designers proficient in this niche skill is comparatively small.

Variations in people’s learning style means that not everyone can simply watch online tutorials on YouTube and become a motion designer. That method will certainly work for some, but not all. There are some great online learning resources and courses where students can study an aspect of motion but very few that give a comprehensive overview of every facet of the craft. That’s why LABASAD has recently launched an Online Master in Motion Graphics, which is carefully engineered to give you a comprehensive overview covering every aspect of motion.

So, if you’re a fresh face in the design world, you’re essentially future-proofing your career and opening the door to a ton of opportunities. If you’re more experienced, you’ll be able to boost your earning power and even open your studio: again, the world’s basically your oyster.

Live, online

The course is being led by Tom Allen, creative director and co-founder of Buff, who has worked for major brands such as Google, Meta, BBC, Lego and BAFTA, and that we recently profiled on Creative Boom. So we decided to catch up with Tom and find out everything you might want to know about this exciting course.

Buff’s Tom Allen, course leader of Online Master in Motion Graphics at LABASAD

When Tom was first approached by the LABASAD Barcelona School of Arts and Design, he was excited by their vision for a new motion design course. “The university is really interesting because they’ve pushed everything online, but at the same time, they want to create a kind of in-person feel,” he explains. “Everything’s geared around the idea of live group critiques of the students’ work, feedback sessions and live facetime with the instructors. So, I wanted to put together a team of experts and teachers I know and trust. I reached out to a bunch of people I knew or had followed for years, thankfully they said yes, and things developed from there.”

And Tom’s little black book must be quite a weighty one because the roster of talent he’s compiled to teach the course is impressive indeed. Instructors on this year’s course are:

Lawrie Mallyon, head of production at Buff Motion
Millie Woodcock, art and animation director at Lambda Films
Ruby Nian, a 3D generalist for Private Island studio in London
Mark Davis, director and co-founder of Form Play Animation
Marius Vaitkevicius, senior motion designer at Buff Motion
Mat Voyce, a type designer and animator known for his illustrative kinetic typography
Danielle Molyneux, a type-twisting artist and designer based in Manchester
Callum Cannarella, a freelance motion designer who has worked with the likes of Logitech and Apple
Daniel Lofthouse, a motion designer at Kinisi, and who lives and works in York
Stephanie Dewhirst, a 3D designer, illustrator and animator living and working in London
Mikey Dowdle, a motion designer and animator specialising in 3D with 10+ years experience in studios around London
Plus, Tom himself, as well as being the course leader, is teaching the kinetic-type module.

Diverse range of students

This year’s course is already in full flow, and Tom explains that the student intake is a pretty diverse range of people. “A lot of them have worked in similar creative industries such as graphic design or illustration, and want to move into motion.

“Some are senior creative directors in agencies that want to understand motion a bit more and incorporate it into what they do,” he continues. “And then there are people completely new to the industry, who’ve done really interesting things like launch startups,” Tom adds. “So it’s a real good mix of people everywhere. Mainly Europe, but a few people from the US and South America. A good spread of personalities.”

Project by Dani Molyneux, LABASAD instructor

While the course is online, making it very convenient for people to fit it around their day jobs and daily lives, there’s a huge amount of interaction, not just with the teachers but among the students themselves.

“We encourage them to get involved and comment on each other’s work,” Tom stresses. “And I think that’s largely because we’re trying to prepare people for a career in industry. Obviously, we’re creating a safe space, so there’s no harsh criticism, but a space where people can get used to having their work shown and picked apart, in good ways and bad. So there are many questions, feedback and troubleshooting that people run into, and that’s really helping them improve their craft.”

What’s involved

So how is LABASAD’s Online Master in Motion Graphics actually structured, and what does it involve? In short, the course is organised around six modules:

Module 1. Production (including pre-production)
Module 2. Design (including art direction and AI)
Module 3. 2D motion (including cel animation, character animation, kinetic type, abstract motion design, live action and VFX)
Module 4. 3D motion (including modelling, animation, texturing, lighting, rendering, character animation
Module 5. Audio
Module 6. Final major project

Throughout the course, students will be expected to tackle briefs, which will be similar to real-world commercial briefs and put into practice the things they’ve learned in each module. Meanwhile, the final project will be more open-ended, allowing students to focus on an area of interest and create a portfolio piece to grab the attention of prospective employers.

Why you should apply

In short, whether you wish to work on motion design at an animation and motion graphics studio, a graphic design studio or advertising agency, a film production company, a video game company or as a freelancer or business owner, the Online Master in Motion Graphics at LABASAD Barcelona School of Arts and Design is the perfect course to hone and perfect your skills.

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