Illustration for Motion

Learn to Illustrate for Animation

In Illustration for Motion you'll learn the foundations of modern illustration from Sarah Beth Morgan. You’ll discover a range of illustrative styles through mock client briefs meant to mimic jobs found in the real world. By the end of the course, you'll be equipped to create incredible illustrated works of art that you can use in your animation projects right away.

Course Duration
12 Weeks
Software
Photoshop
Verified Credential
Intermediate Illustration and Design Frame Creation
Next Session Starts:
October 10, 2022
Next Session Starts:
As soon as you register
Enroll NowNotify MeLearn More

Cohort-based learning

Exercises & Project Files for Every Lesson

Technical & Creative Support Along the Way

Verified Credential Upon Course Completion

Course Overview

Want to make stunning artwork…and bring it to life? Developing your drawing ability and style is a huge advantage for animators, and digital artists can expand on their projects by adding a little motion. The key is to conceptualize work with movement in mind. In Illustration for Motion, you'll be empowered to create your own illustrated works, gaining valuable knowledge and insights from one of the top talents in the industry, Sarah Beth Morgan.

In this course, you will create illustrations built for animation. We’ll cover a mix of theory and practical tool usage in Adobe Photoshop, and you will learn a variety of techniques that will immediately improve your abilities to create artwork from scratch. You will learn new skills through a variety of exercises that encourage you to explore new styles, while developing your own voice in your artwork. You will even have the opportunity to explore character design.

Course Outcomes
Work with a leading industry professional to learn masterful illustration techniques
Practice a workflow that takes you from idea to sketch to finished artwork faster
Develop a custom animation-focused illustration under professional guidance

What You'll Learn

Each week is jam-packed with intense learning. While you have some flexibility in how you tackle your workload, the course is curated in a specific order. We build up foundations that support more and more advanced techniques with lessons to practice your new skills along the way.

Week 1
Day 1
You'll Learn:
Familiarize Yourself with the Course
Tools of the Trade
Workflow Tips and Tricks

Get acclimated with the process of creating Illustrations on your computer using Adobe Photoshop. You can start with a Wacom Tablet or just a pen and paper, the end result is up to you. Then you’ll jump into your first exercise using these tools, which will help our TAs see where your skills are at.

Week 2
Day 2
You'll Learn:
Creating Strong Concepts
Present Your Ideas to a Client
Complete a Set of Illustrated Boards

This week you’ll focus on how to create an idea. You’ll break down a script, generate concepts, and solve creative problems.Your first assignment is crafting illustration options to present to a client.Then take this concept into the next lesson and illustrate it in black and white line work with a single spot of color to "make things pop."

Week 3
Day 3
You'll Learn:
Break things down into Basic Forms and Shapes
Using Color to Create a Mood
Use Textures Effectively

Time to learn about abstracting objects. During the first part of the week, explore abstracting things to look "flat" while still giving a sense of depth. Later you'll explore ways to add a stylized look to your illustrations, texture, and basic shading. This will allow you to focus on creating a mood or feeling that doesn’t have a specific world shape.

Week 4
Day 4
You'll Learn:
Breaking through Imposter Syndrome
Working as an Illustrator for Motion

This week you'll have a full seven days to put your head down and focus on your work. We'll give you some bonus content filled with insights on what it's like to become a professional illustrator, and how to get over the fear, frustration, and other feelings you may encounter early in your journey.

Week 5
Day 5
You'll Learn:
1, 2, & 3 Point Perspective
Using Isometric Perspective
Blending Different Perspectives to Abstract Things

Every Illustrator needs to know how to work with Perspective. We'll give you different challenges to have you thinking and drawing in different perspectives (1 point, 2 point, birds eye view, isometric). You will also learn how to add style to these techniques, and when it's okay to "fudge it."

Week 6
Day 6
You'll Learn:
Creating Charming Characters
Illustrating Strong Poses and Forms
Stylizing Characters

It's time to add in characters! Begin by nailing down the form of a human, without worrying about facial features. In this early stage, you’ll focus on posing. This will not be a “fine art” way of learning how to draw a human figure; instead this will be stylized. During the later part of the week, explore more with human figures including adding expressions to the face, along with turning an inanimate object into a character.

Week 7
Day 7
You'll Learn:
Working with Illustrations as an Animator
Preparing Your Work for Animation

It's time for another Focus Week where you can spend some time really digging into your projects. You'll have some more bonus content that focuses on what it's like working as an animator with boards from another person, and what you can do as an Illustrator to make it easier for your animator friends.

Week 8
Day 8
You'll Learn:
Defining a Style
Capturing a Mood
Stepping Outside of your Comfort Zone

There are a lot of different styles of Illustration out there. You’ll learn why things look and feel the way that they do in specific styles, and how to give yourself rules and constraints to work with when illustrating a project. Explore these concepts through restyling a piece of artwork given to them by another designer, and then move on to another project where they have to convey a look from a very specific time period.

Week 9
Day 9
You'll Learn:
Put Your Skills to the Test
Create a Full Set of Boards for a Client

It's time to bring it all together into your final project. This time you'll be able to take all of your skills and play with your own style from start to finish on a client brief. This one will really make your portfolio shine when it's done.

Weeks 10-12
You'll Learn:
Extended Critique Period

The final 3 weeks of class are Extended Critique. You can use this time to catch up, complete your final project, and then turn it in for critique.

What You'll Get

School of Motion courses are custom-built to provide you with an unmatched learning experience. We want you to actually enjoy logging into your classes, and we’ve designed our programs to be the most effective form of online education out there. In every course, you’ll get:

Cohort-Based Learning

Join artists from around the world on our custom learning platform. Never learn alone, as you’ll have immediate access to a forum of fellow students to share work, ask questions, and improve together. 

Exercises & Project Files for Every Lesson

Each course comes packed with free project files, assets, and additional material to keep you learning and growing long after the course ends. Our exercises are designed from real world briefs, so you’re learning the skills you need to excel on your next project or venture.

Technical & Creative Support Along the Way

You’ll be assigned a Teaching Assistant with years of experience in your chosen course. They’ll provide technical and creative feedback to guide you through new skills, improve your techniques, and provide encouragement along your journey. 

Verified Credential Upon Course Completion

Completing a course isn’t just about bragging rights. Once you’ve completed at least 70% of your work in a given course, you’ll earn a verified credential that can show current and future employers exactly what you’ve accomplished.

Permanent Access to Course Material

We all need a refresher now and again, which is why you’ll keep access to your course—and all the assets and project files—for the rest of your life. Come back to listen to exclusive interviews, review old lessons, and try out new techniques using your old assets.

An Expansive Alumni Community

You’ll gain instant access to our alumni platform, The Square. Here you can network with professional artists at every stage of their career. You’ll get access to new job opportunities and exclusive alumni events, such as meetups, virtual hangouts and reel reviews. 

Upcoming Course Dates

Enroll Now

Our cohort-based leaning program runs on a designated schedule, so you’ll always have a group of like-minded artists working alongside you for support and encouragement. We offer multiple sessions each year, so choose the best start date for you and get ready to go!

October 10, 2022
Fall 2022
Course Starts:
As soon as you register
Course Duration
12 Weeks
Enroll By
October 13, 2022
Always Open
Enrollment Options
Pay all at once
$1197

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.

Full Price
$1197
Pay all at once

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.

Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Full Price
$415
3 payments of
$415

One payment now, two more 30 and 60 days from now = $1245.

3 payments of

Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Free Course
This one's on us!
January 9, 2023
Winter 2023
Course Starts:
As soon as you register
Course Duration
12 Weeks
Enroll By
January 12, 2023
Always Open
Enrollment Options
Pay all at once
$1197

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.

Pay all at once

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.

Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Full Price
$415
3 payments of
$415

One payment now, two more 30 and 60 days from now = $1245.

3 payments of

Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Free Course
This one's on us!
April 10, 2023
Spring 2023
Course Starts:
As soon as you register
Course Duration
12 Weeks
Enroll By
April 13, 2023
Enrollment Options
Pay all at once
$1197

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.

Full Price
$1197
Pay all at once

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.

Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Full Price
$415
3 payments of
$415

One payment now, two more 30 and 60 days from now = $1245.

3 payments of

Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Free Course
This one's on us!

Course Instructor

Sarah Beth Morgan
Animation Director, Illustrator & Educator

Sarah Beth Morgan is an art director, illustrator, and designer based in Portland, Oregon. Prior to her career in motion design, she spent her childhood years in Saudi Arabia where she developed a unique take on the world. This experience expanded her artistic horizons, pushing her to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design. She spent her early career at Gentleman Scholar and Oddfellows. It was working for these top-notch motion studios that gave her the confidence to branch out on her own. Now, as a full-time freelancer, she enjoys diving headfirst into passion projects, collaborating with new friends, and advocating for other women in the industry.

Our alumni are hired by companies like

Megumi Ikeda
Video Editor
“School of Motion courses provided me with the skills and feedback that my school couldn't provide. I wouldn't have gone viral or landed my internship without their in-depth courses.”
Justin Peterson
Motion Designer
“The decision to take Animation Bootcamp from School of Motion was a life changer. I have turned my passion of motion graphics into my career.”
Deanna Reilly
Animator & Illustrator
“School of Motion courses quickly reignited my passion for animation and helped me launch my career in an exciting new direction.agency”
Leigh Williamson
Illustrator & Animator
“I'm more confident, more relevant, more equipped, better connected and close to my goals since School of Motion entered my life.”
Join our growing community of over
15,000+ Alumni

FAQs

How do I know if this course is right for me?

This course is a good fit for those that are comfortable using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. To excel in the course, you should have a solid understanding of how to use Photoshop to create artwork. Illustration for Motion will teach you a variety of techniques that will help you create artwork from scratch to be used in Motion Design. The course contains a variety of exercises that encourage you to explore new styles, while developing your own style. You will even have the opportunity to explore some character design in this course!

What are the prerequisites?

To take this course you need to be comfortable using Adobe Photoshop, if you are not there yet, we recommend taking Photoshop and Illustrator Unleashed first. Having Adobe Illustrator experience is also a plus. Lastly, having a foundational  knowledge of design is recommended. Below we've provided examples of tools and techniques you should know to excel in this course:

  • Using Brushes
  • Basic application of textures to artwork
  • The Pen Tool
  • Masking
  • Basic Effects (Distortions, Transforms, and Layer Styles)
  • Blend Modes

What are the differences in the School of Motion design and illustration courses?

Photoshop and Illustrator Unleashed is the perfect introductory design course for those unfamiliar with the softwares. You'll be confident using both Photoshop and Illustrator after completing the course. If you have experience with software but are not confident in your understanding or implementation of the Design Principles we recommend Design Kickstart.

If you're comfortable with the software and the principles, you can skip ahead to Design Bootcamp in which you'll create style frames and storyboards while learning to master typography, composition, and color theory. If you want to improve your actual drawing and illustration abilities Illustration for Motion is the best fit for you!

If you are debating between which course to enroll in, there is no wrong choice! It just depends on which skills you want or need to strengthen. For more on our design curriculum you can check out this article, The School of Motion Design Courses in a Nutshell and our Design for Motion Student Showcase.

What is the required software?

Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 (20.0.0 or Higher).

Adobe Illustrator CC 2019 (23.1.0 or Higher).

Do I need a drawing tablet for this course?

To get the most out of Illustration for Motion we recommend that you get a drawing tablet that can connect to your computer. If you're looking for something reliable, we would highly suggest Wacom. They are one of the most popular drawing tablets available. Every Wacom tablet includes Wacom's excellent customer support and dependability. There are a range of different tablets that vary in size and price.

Some of these tablets are smaller and will sit well next to your laptop or desktop keyboard, while others will be used as a second screen. Which one you should get will really depend on your preference and budget.

Some of these tablets take a little more getting used to, since you'll be looking at a different spot than where your hand is. Your focus will be on your screen and your hand will be on the desk about where you would be using your mouse or directly in front of you.

Here are a few Wacom drawing tablets options for Photoshop:

Budget Conscious Wacom Tablets

One by Wacom - Small

Wacom Intuus S, Black

Wacome Intous M, BT

High-End Wacom Tablets

Intuos Pro S, M & L

Wacom Cintiq - Tablet with screen

Wacom MobileStudio Pro - Full Computer

Note: We are not paid by Wacom

Can I Use an iPad or Surface Tablet for this course?

A tablet is also a great solution for Illustration for Motion. Whether it's an iPad Pro or a Surface Pro, both digital tablets will give you the ability to easily create digital drawings that can easily be sent to a computer for manipulating in Photoshop. Notable drawing apps include ProCreate and AstroPad.

Can I use a pencil and paper for this course?

Yes, you can use pencil and paper for this course. First you'll need paper (duh), preferably something that is a solid white color and doesn't have patterns. Having a blank piece of paper will save you time editing when you're working in Photoshop.

The next thing you'll need is a camera to photograph your drawings and bring them into Photoshop. The higher the megapixel count the better. You'll want to bring in as much resolution as possible to help keep your artwork crisp.

We would recommend that you shine plenty of light on your drawing when taking these photographs, and try to keep the lighting as even as possible. This will help keep the image clear, sharp, and the un-even lighting would have to be corrected later in Photoshop for a desirable result. You can also use a scanner to scan your drawings into the computer.

Although you can use a physical medium we'll be working and finalizing our designs using Adobe Photoshop. The instructor, Sarah Beth Morgan, will be using Photoshop for the course lessons and there are many opportunities throughout the course to to get tips and workflow advice for Photoshop.

What is the course format?

Illustration for Motion is an 12-week course. Lessons become available at a specific time each week but you can watch them and do your work whenever it is convenient for you. The lessons include pre-recorded videos, podcasts, PDFs and assignments with working files.

All student work is critiqued by our highly trained Teaching Assistants. School of Motion TA's are professional Animators with real life experience in the industry.

During the course you will be invited to a private classroom that contains all of the  students and Teaching Assistants in your session. This is a great tool for connecting, asking or answering questions, sharing thoughts or insights, and winning cool contests!

How much time do I need to commit?

Illustration for Motion is a 12-week course. You'll have the flexibility to watch the course content and complete your course work on your schedule. However, you can expect to commit at least 15 - 20 hours per week on course material. The video lesson are 1-2 hours in length. There are 13 assignments total. Assignments are typically assigned on Mondays and Thursdays with soft deadlines the next day. We have designated catch-up weeks built into the schedule so students have extra time to complete their assignments if needed. There is also an extended critique add-on for those that want more time with a Teaching Assistant after the 12-week course or need more time to complete assignments towards earning a credential.

Do I get a certificate at the end of the course?

Yes, if you complete, submit, and have 70% of your course assignments approved by your Teaching Assistant you will be eligible for a Course Credential through Credly. With your Credly Course Credential, you can share your accomplishments across your social networks, the blockchain, or to print out yourself.

Can I access my course content after the course ends?

Yes! Once you complete Illustration for Motion, you’ll have lifetime access to all the course lessons and materials, so you can revisit them whenever you like. Also, if we make any changes to Illustration for Motion following your session, you’ll automatically receive access to the latest version.

Please note: Video critiques change each session, so you’ll only have access to the video critiques during the session you're enrolled in. The written critiques you receive in your homework locker as well as the classroom content will also remain available to you forever!

Are you interested in learning more?
We can help! But first we need to learn a little more about you. Submit the form below to get the full course syllabus and more information on the course.