Tips to Make Your Motion Graphics Work Portfolio-Ready

Do you have a few motion graphics pieces in your portfolio that look amateurish, compared to some of your better work? Don't let that keep you from getting the career of your dreams. When you know you have a motion graphics project that needs a little revisiting, try out these tips to polish your work and make it portfolio-ready. Write-on Effects Let’s say you have a write-on effect that you’ve used as a mask to reveal the text. You can improve by adding additional masks to reveal it in more like realistic handwriting. Make sure you have the timing of the write-on tweaked to perfection. Then begin adding masks to the areas that are revealed too early, due to having to use a large enough stroke to reveal the wide parts of the font. image2 Watch Out for Twinning Twinning is a big animation no-no. For example, circles pop up in your composition as a backdrop for some text. You’ve added keyframes for them to scale up from 0 to 100%. However, the keys on the layers are all happening on the same frames, making your animation very predictable. It's easy to simply copy and paste the keys from one layer to another. Instead, stagger those same keyframes to give it a better, less predictable look and feel. Viewers will appreciate the break in monotony of all your animations happening at once, as well as being given the time to focus on one thing at a time. image3 Keyframe Interpolation What if you’ve found your animation just lacking general pizzazz? It may be due to the keyframe interpolation you’re defaulting to. Use the graph editor to increase the contrast of your animation, and get those buttery smooth animations you were going for. Check out this article for more tips to creating smooth animations. image4 The Principles of Animation Fully employ the 12 principles of animation. Evaluate your piece and find places that could be animated to look more realistic by adding follow-through, recoil and anticipation. Text is a great place to use these principles. They can really make an otherwise boring bit of type look much more interesting. Try thinking about what you’re trying to say with your text. Is it saying something about falling, and maybe you have the letters going off the bottom of the screen? You could push this even further by making it hang for a few seconds as if it is caught by a thread, and then have it break apart when it hits the bottom of the shot. image5 Or maybe you have something big that’s about to happen in your animation. Try animating it slightly in the opposite direction before you start the big move, like a wind-up before the pitch. This wind-up adds just a small element to make you piece look more professional. Photoreal Lastly, add a few elements to your piece to make it stand out further with a few realistic camera lens effects. Don’t go crazy with lens flares, but adding a little astigmatism or chromatic aberration can do some good. They may not work with every piece but just the right amount of lens effects can take an almost perfect looking piece over the top. image6 Now that you've read these useful tips to add some shine to your work, take a second to honestly look through your portfolio and ask yourself, what could I do better? If I saw this in someone else's portfolio, what would I change? The first quarter of the year is when people change jobs the most. If you know your portfolio needs some TLC, it's time to give it! Every piece can use a little extra polish, and by trying out one or more of these tips you can take your work from amateur to professional in no time. You can also take advantage of our free PDF guide full of tips to make your demo reel come to life: