Design Essentials Resources provides chapter links for Angie Taylor’s book, Design Essentials for the Motion Media Artist. There are several references made to influential work from other designers, file downloads and websites of interest in the chapters of my book. Here is a list of them broken down, chapter-by-chapter;

Design Essentials – 01 Drawing Chapter

Here’s a summary of links quoted in the Drawing Chapter;

I usually use a propeller pencil for sketching when I’m on the move (sometimes known as a propelling pencil or a mechanical pencil). Rotring makes a great range of propeller pencils including their Tikky range.

I use a variety of pens but for disposable fiber-tips or roller-balls visit

Obviously you can’t easily erase pen marks in the same way that you can with pencil marks. A solution to this is to use correction fluid (or liquid paper) such as Tip-ex to cover over any errors. Once the correction fluid has dried, you can then draw on the surface

Brushes are described by shapes and sizes. The shapes include round, flat, fan, and angled. Sizes range from negative values denoted by 4/0 (can also be written as 0000), to positive values indicated by single numbers such as 4. Here are the most common sizes; 4/0, 3/0, 2/0, 0, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24You can refer to this web page for some free brush measurement charts

Graphic tabelts provide you with much more freedom and versatility than a mouse. You might even find a new style that you wouldn’t achieve from traditional drawing. If you want to find out about Wacom tablets you can visit their website at

There are some great tutorials about the Vanishing Point tool and other Photoshop features to help you draw more successfully on Deke McClelland’s fantastically informative, yet compellingly entertaining website at I’d recommend signing up to for fabulous freebies, podcasts and tutorials.

Design Essentials – 02 Planning Chapter

The Alister Buss example seen here was inspired by the famous Saul Bass title sequences for “Anatomy of a Murder”

The Roarke Pearce example seen here was inspired by Anni Albers;

There are a few software applications that are good for brainstorming like the fantastic Omni Group applications ( or my personal favorite, Zengobi’s Curio

I have provided you with an A4 storyboard template to download from here. Just click on the link on the following page. This will enable you to download an Adobe PDF file that can be re-sized to your chosen dimensions without losing resolution. Print out a copy so that you can develop your own storyboard for your project.

In this movie I shamelessly used lot’s of influences from the 1960’s. Pop Art – opening title sequence – a series of documentaries about design and music from the swinging 1960s.

Design Essentials – 04 Animation Chapter

Here is a link to the example of a Bouncing Ball animation from the Animation page of the website.

The opening titles for Barbarella (by Arcady and Maurice Binder) feature text animation that dances weightlessly around Barbarella in her space ship. You can see this online at the wonderful “The Art of The Title Sequence” website.

One of the most inspiring projects I worked on was Aphex Twin’s infamous “Rubber Johnny” video. I worked alongside director, Chris Cunningham for a year on that project (it was a six-minute music video!). I learned a lot by watching Chris at work.

Another music video artist whose work is worth watching is Michelle Gondry who also has a knack for matching music to imaginative and innovative visuals.

An example of an animated sequence created by rotoscoping (drawing on top of footage or photographs).

In this chapter you can see drawings of a dog’s walk cycle. Here are two examples of the final animation, one where the drawing and animation was done with Corel Painter. Here’s the second animation where the character was redrawn in Adobe Illustrator and then and animated in Adobe After Effects.

A fairly common job that you may be asked to do as a motion graphic designer is to create moving footage by animating around a still image. Panning and Zooming is easily controlled in the Layer panel in Adobe After Effects, here is an Example of panning and zooming around a street map of Edinburgh.

One of the characters I designed for Children’s BBC series “See You, See Me – The Inventors”. John Logie Baird, the Scottish inventor of the television. This was drawn in liiustrator with each body part on a separate layer, ready to be animated in Adobe After Effects.

Design Essentials ResourcesA good practice exercise is to use an application like Adobe After Effects to animate some ordinary text. If you can use animation to convincingly bring life to an inanimate object then you know you’re doing a good job. In this example I’ve taken the word “Accelerate” and animated it as if it is a car being driven off the screen.

Design Essentials – 07 Editing Chapter

The opening title sequence for Midnight Cowboy is a great example of an establishing shot, both character and location are established during the opening title sequence. You can find out more about this title sequence in the Communication chapter.

A little forward planning goes a long way in video and film production and can save oodles of time and money further down the road. You can find out more about how to do this in the Technical chapter. Here’s a Chip Chart to download and print out to help you set up your cameras correctly before shooting footage.

Design Essentials – 08 Communication Chapter

The opening title sequence for Midnight Cowboy is also referred to in the Communication chapter.

Bob Kurtz’s wonderful sequence for the Pink Panther 2 Film is another good example where the opening titles are used to establish the main characters as well as the rough plot.

You can see “Anémic Cinéma” by Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray, as well as many other avante-garde films at a fantastic website named UBUWEB.

Save time by creating a single presentation template that you can use for all clients and pitches. Keep your presentation simple and concise. There’s more information about presentations in the Communication chapter and I’ve included a  Design Essentials Presentation Template for you to get started with.

Lady Sovereign’s music video for her track, Hoodie (directed by Family) sees a gang of rough-looking kids, dressed in hoodies, chasing a woman through a shopping precinct. The audience (and the woman) assumes that the gang is planning to mug the woman but at the end of the video it turns out that they are chasing her in an effort to return her bag, which she dropped while shopping. The video is intended to turn stereotypes on their heads and makes the woman look foolish for thinking the worst of the young people.

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