Motion Secrets with Emanuele Colombo

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What is this course about?


If you love motion design and don't live on another planet, there is a good chance that you know Emanuele Colombo's work. Fluid movements, superb character animation, unexpected transitions, groundbreaking animation techniques and a strong sense of storytelling are some of the traits that made Emanuele one of the giants of the community, and many of his works are real milestones of motion design history.

In this course, Emanuele will show us what's behind his unique style.

Starting from a quick overview of the principles of animation, you will move on to discover some of his tips and tricks to immediately speed up your workflow, improve the fluidity of your animations and the quality of your character animation, and to create spectacular transitions. You will learn how to come up with original ideas that will make your work unique and to improve the storytelling of your videos.









Required Software

Adobe After Effects



Benefit 1

Anyone can be cool

You might think that most of the amazing animations you see on your feed are created using advanced techniques. But the truth is that any animation can be broken down into a few basic actions. In this course we will explore how some simple tricks, when added to each other, can drastically increase the quality of your animations.

Benefit 2

Step up your skills

Emanuele is well known in the community for his particular style of classy movements, catchy character animation and unexpected transitions. Once we explore some cool animation tricks in the first part of this course, we will study how to apply them to different situations, increasing the complexity with every step.

Benefit 3

Impress the Internet

What makes the difference between a good animation and a loop you just can't take your eyes off? We will spend some time going through some sweet animations that conquered the Internet and we will try to identify some of the traits they share, applying those same principles to our animations.

Benefit 4

You have to tell a story

Storytelling is a fundamental part of motion design. Catchy animations are cool, but useless if they don't support the message. Over this course, Emanuele will go behind the scenes and show you how to translate any script into images, going over his creative process to help you develop original ideas and make your videos unique.

Benefit 5

Holy source files

How many times have you scratched your head and wonder how something was animated? What's a better sensation than digging into someone else's files and discovering the holy grail? Well, you're in luck: with each chapter, Emanuele will explore the source files of some of his best known projects, laying out a gold mine of top notch tricks for you to rejoice.

The course also include source files of the animated trailer, and of Emanuele's personal project "Don't be a bully, loser"


What will I learn in Motion Secrets?


Let’s start from the basics

In this first lesson, we’ll get started in the world of motion design by presenting and explaining the principles of animation. We'll go through each of the 12 principles, exposing their intention and reviewing several videos and animations where they are and can be applied. In the second chapter, we’ll get right into action by profounding some of these principles and understanding how we can apply them in After Effects, with the help of some handy shapes, expressions and a few keyframes.


The illusion of life, applied

Over this second lesson, we’ll be practicing and applying what we learned about the principles of animation to 3 different scenes, each built with several geometric shapes. The goal of these exercises is to consolidate the principles and understand the effect they can bring to various types of scenes, even when we’re dealing with basic elements and simple shapes.

Post your work on Instagram using the hashtag #motionsecrets and tagging @motiondesignschool to get the chance to be featured in our Home Assignment of the Day posts.


It’s alive!

In this lesson, we’ll finally get to study character design and animation. Firstly, we’ll go through color palettes and talk about the different color combinations you can build, as well as some resources you can use for coming up with the best palettes for your videos. After, we’ll move on to character design, where I’ll show how, with a couple of simple shapes on Illustrator, you can come up with infinite character combinations. Finally, we’ll learn how to prepare our characters for animation, before passing to After Effects, where’ we’ll get to the good stuff. I’m going to show you exactly my process in animating a character and even some life-changing tricks that will push your skills forward.

Post your work on Instagram using the hashtag #motionsecrets and tagging @motiondesignschool to get the chance to be featured in our Home Assignment of the Day posts.



In this lesson, we’ll explore the mighty world of transitions and define the different types of transitions you can achieve within After Effects and the tools you’ll need to get there. We’ll start by explaining the differences between morphing and match cuts, before breaking down a few examples from some of the big names in the industry. After, we’ll move on to planning a transition between two icons, from the design stage until the last keyframe. We’ll have a good look at the anatomy of a smooth transition and you’ll get the chance to practice some more with a couple of exercises at the end.


Transitioning to the next level

It’s time to step up our game. In this lesson, you’ll finally get the opportunity to put your skills to the test and bring together everything you’ve learned so far into a single animation. We’re going to create a highly advanced transition between two characters, not forgetting to apply the principles of animation and create some slick character animation. I’m going to show you how I plan and organize complex transitions, breaking down each step along the way.


Oddly satisfying loop

We’ve arrived at the last practical lesson of our course. To celebrate, we’re going to (quite literally) dive in the fun world of motion and learn how to create one of the most craved animations online: the oddly satisfying loop. I specifically chose a jellyfish for this exercise because I want to show you that no matter the complexity of the subject, anything is possible in the realm of animation. As usual, I’m going to walk you through the preparation of the project and show you how to easily organize your animation. Prepare yourself, this is going to be so smooth and satisfying, people are not going to be able to take their eyes off your loop.


The art of storytelling

In this lesson, we’re going to step back from After Effects and discuss one of the most important parts of animation: storytelling. Now that I’ve given you the tools to boost your animation skills, it’s time to learn how you can grab your audience and tell your story. You’ll have an exclusive inside look at my pre-production process from my award-winning project “Don’t be a bully, loser”. I’m going to tell you exactly how I approached this video, from the moment I first laid eyes on the script until I completed the final storyboard. We’ll go over the fundamental steps in organizing any type of motion design project and help you understand how you can create your own process.


A look behind the scenes

How does a bonus chapter sound to you? In this lesson, we’re taking a sneak peak behind the curtain and see exactly how the awesome trailer for this course was created. I’ll take you step by step into each scene, giving you all the goods and showing you some neat tricks that can help you speed up your animation process. This final chapter is the perfect ensemble for you to get an idea of how everything we’ve learned over this course can be put together and take an animation from 0 to 100 in no time.

Bonus contents

“Don’t be a bully, loser” is the perfect example of a personal project done right: it speaks about an important subject and even though it came out a few years ago, a couple of scenes are still (very much!) part of Emanuele’s reel. The video was also awarded Best Personal Project at the 2017 Motion Awards. 

The source files of this project are at your complete disposal, have fun exploring them and understanding how each single detail came to life.

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About the author

About the author

Emanuele Colombo is an award-winning motion designer and director based in Milan. He was born in 1983 and grew up in a little town in the middle of nowhere surrounded by the Italian Alps, spending time building spaceships with Legos and dreaming of becoming a palaeontology. Things went differently than expected: in 2008 he graduated The University of Milan with a degree in Audio-Visual Communications.

In 2011 he started his career as a freelance motion designer, that brought him to work for world-renowned brands such as Google, MTV, NBC, Uefa, Espn, Microsoft, IBM and American Express, making him become one of the most influential motion designers of the international community.His personal project "Don't be a bully, loser" has won the Solo Project/Visual Essay category at the Motion Awards 2017 by Motionographer.

In 2017 he founded Antimatter, an animation studio where he is currently working as a designer and creative director.

What do our students say?

You will study from animators and Motion Designers from around the globe. Each of them is a professional in their own field, seasoned in production studios, freelance projects with big brands and stock footages. And right, we are also sweet.

Learn how to come up with original ideas

Smooth out your character animation

Speed up your workflow

Improve the fluidity of your animations

Motion Secrets with Emanuele Colombo

Learn the secrets of the workflow of one of the world's best motion designers. Fluid animation, unexpected transitions, superb character animation tips and tricks, and a lot of source files to dig in.


You already have some experience working with the software and understand its basic principles. You are familiar with the interface.
You already have some experience working with the software and understand its basic principles. You are familiar with the interface.






100% money back guarantee

If unhappy with the course, you can request a refund within 14 days after the purchase and get every cent back. Courses purchased before the actual starting date refund can be requested up to 14 days after the first lesson becomes available. Note: not applicable if purchased with a discount coupon