There are a lot of great motion graphics video tutorials out there, but they can often be lacking in information as compared to what motion graphics eBooks can offer. We’ve gathered 8 of the absolute best eBooks on the subject that are totally free.Learn about visual design, animation, motion graphics, and much more. These eBooks mainly focus on After Effects and also highlight a lot of general advice for motion design.
Download these great PDFs to learn more about using After Effects, learning the fundamentals as well as advanced features. Cover photo by: Austin Distel
Motion Graphics in After Effects by Dr. Mathias Möhl
This After Effects motion graphics eBook doesn’t even require a download (although it is available in several formats). There are many helpful videos embedded to help you along. It’s a pretty comprehensive guide to After Effects motion graphics, with a lot of time spent on how keyframing works, and some fantastic lessons about “squash and stretch” and other ways to make your animations come to life and not be so static. This book is well-regarded as a great companion to our next suggestion…
Making MOGRTs by Jarle Leirpoll
Making MOGRTs (Motion Graphics Templates) is a free eBook actually hosted on Adobe’s website, and it’s one of the best-rated ones available. It’s 120 pages long and packed with useful information. It spends a long time covering expressions, a very important part of editing effects inside After Effects. Since it’s based on being able to create and sell these templates, there is also plenty of information about making them user-friendly and adding them to Adobe Stock. The eBook itself is packed with images to help explain everything you need to know.
Motion Graphics Design Academy – The Basics by Timo Fecher
This eBook has a paid version that is 200 pages long, but the free version is around 30 pages of introductory information that is a good start for anyone interested in motion graphics but isn’t quite sure what to expect. It has some great fundamentals that don’t require opening up a program and getting to work. It’s important to get these ingrained in your head before creating anything. It’s a quick read, but worthwhile.
After Effects Apprentice by Trish & Chris Meyer
After Effects Apprentice teaches you the core features and capabilities of After Effects through a variety of exercises. It starts simple and works through to advanced tools that you’ll likely use in many of your projects. The book appeals to beginners to start from scratch, but anyone can learn something from it.
After Effects Expressions by David Alex
This free motion graphics eBook is all about expressions. Expressions make After Effects motion graphics easily customizable, and this guide explains what they are, how to use them, and understanding how to move to an advanced level. You won’t just be copying and pasting existing expressions, you will actually be learning how expressions can affect your projects.
How to Cheat in After Effects by Chad Perkins
Aimed at people with some existing After Effects experience, How to Cheat in After Effects is as fun as it sounds. It features a number of tricks you can apply in your motion graphics work that will speed up your workflow. You can jump around to various tricks that suit your needs. The guide is a little outdated so you may need to adapt the lessons to the current version of After Effects, but the principles remain the same.
Experiment. Fail. Repeat. by School of Motion
Experiment. Fail. Repeat. isn’t quite a book of tutorials or guidelines, but actually a collection of insights and knowledge from 86 of the biggest motion designers in the industry. This 250+ page book asks motion designers questions that beginners would love to hear the answers to, including common beginner mistakes and what they think the future of the industry looks like.
3 Types of Motion Graphics to Enhance Your Content Strategy by Killer Visual Strategies
This motion graphics eBook takes a different approach, and is aimed more at marketers specifically. This book will explain how measurable goals can help in decision-making, so you can choose what type of motion graphic is best for your campaigns. This doesn’t teach how to create motion graphics, but it does guide you on which ones to use.