This Is How I Became A Motion Designer

Careers | 23th October 2017

Meet Miguel Baptista who is one of our Motion Designers. We sat down with him to talk about why he chose his career path and what working with motion means to him.

How did you become interested in motion design?

Miguel Baptista: Since I was very little, I had this passion for things that move. I really enjoy looking at a person and seeing how she or he moves - the hands, the hair… All of it. However, It was quite late in my university years that I discovered motion design, I was already taking my masters degree. One of the projects I made for it included projecting designs on specific structures. It was one of the projects I enjoyed doing the most as I had to make it all from scratch, including all the structures and the main concept. I put so much effort in it and at the end I said to myself - “This is it, this is what I really like to do”. I loved the final result so I started doing motion design more. It’s a pure passion of mine which probably comes from the inside! *laughs*

I always had a passion for things that move. I really enjoy looking at a person and seeing how she or he moves - the hands, the hair… All of it.

Miguel Baptista 

How did your view of motion design changed since you started?

Miguel Baptista: In my course I received education which was more artistic, but in this commercial universe we need to expand our vision. I can say that my first steps with motion were more related to visual effects and abstract, non-concrete designs. While I really like this artistic area and projects with more extravagant concepts and designs, I think you also need to know all that is to motion design. I wanted to know what the market really wants, so I can have a broad vision on it. That’s why I chose to go to commercial area after I finished my course.

Miguel Baptista, Motion Designer at Hi INTERACTIVE
Miguel Baptista, Motion Designer, being interviewed.

What do you enjoy the most about being a Motion Designer?

Miguel Baptista: Motion is a very natural thing about the world, the first way of communication that mankind had. They used gestures, they drew on cave walls about animals they hunted in various ways to also represent motion. I love how it is such a perfect way to communicate, and that is what we as designers do. We communicate ideas. There’s a lot of ways to do storytelling, even with static images. But I think motion works best to tell a story, to represent what characters are about with only time and motion. This is what we do daily at Hi INTERACTIVE. We tell stories daily, we pass the message that a client wants us to pass.

We tell stories daily, we pass the message that a client wants us to pass.

Miguel Baptista

What are the biggest challenges you face?

Miguel Baptista: Well, first of all some movements are difficult to represent. But it can also be really enjoyable to work on it, because we have the ability to exaggerate the movement. Motion design is amazing, because it transports us to another world where things are how we want them to be. It communicates messages better.

Finishing a project can also be challenging when it is not going well. This happens to me too, I get the urge to start again. But you have to think that even if this is not perfect, it is good enough for now. Then keep doing it again! Eventually you will grow and become more experienced and you will see that every project is better.

Can you remember one project that you especially enjoyed doing?

Miguel Baptista: I think a recent project I enjoyed working on was the music video for a famous Portuguese band Os Azeitonas. It was a very different project for our team, but very exciting! One of my personal interests is combining motion with music, I really enjoy conjugating them together to represent sound in the visuals and this was a perfect opportunity to do it. I loved working on it and I think we got a great result.

motion design quote

Who in the industry do you follow and look up to?

Miguel Baptista: I especially like this studio called Device. They are from Barcelona. They do commercial projects very well conceptually and technically. But they also have some experimental ones, where everybody extrapolates a little bit. In the commercial area we usually use what we already know to do the project and in this experimental area we get a chance to try and learn new things. That way we can discover new ways to do motion, new technologies. I identify with them a lot because of this.

What are the most important skills a Motion Designer needs to have?

Miguel Baptista: To start with, you have to notice movement. You have to be aware of your surroundings, of how things are. It is not just about movement, it is also about change and transformation. Even change of colour from green to red is a type of movement, a transformation! Be aware of how these things work, how physics work in real world, so you can represent them in a digital way. Graphic design and digital design are also very important. You need to study them, to see what looks good in different situations. Finally, you need try and really understand what you want to represent, what the message of the project is.

We shouldn’t compare ourselves with a more experienced designer and think “I’m never going to get there”. You will, I promise. Eventually. You have to train it - it is not a talent!

Miguel Baptista

What would be your advice to somebody, just like you, who wants to become a Motion Designer?

Miguel Baptista: To start with, focus on self-education, learn from the internet - we have so much knowledge at our fingertips so make sure you use it! Then if you can, of course go to courses. You will meet people there who have more experience and you will learn faster. However, it is not the only way - remember that.

Try things, try really hard. What happens a lot is people tend to quit when what they are doing is not going well and they don’t get the result they first imagined. You can’t do that, even if the final result isn’t what you expect. If you quit in a middle of the project, big or small, it kills all the potential. So always finish your projects!

Finally, remember that we shouldn’t compare ourselves with a more experienced designer and think “I’m never going to get there”. You will, I promise. Eventually. You have to train it - it is not a talent!
 

Looking for more information about motion design?
Download this free eBook!
Motion in Storytelling eBook
>> Read our interview from last month with Mônica Dioconde about being an UX designer

Back