Free Design Elements for Motion Graphics Artists
Heads up, motion designers: Here’s a handy, up-to-date roundup of some of our very favorite motion graphics freebies.
Look, everyone loves free content and assets. How could you not? But over the last few years, outlets have realized that advertising free assets is an easy way to generate traffic.
As a result, we’ve seen an increase in free giveaways, or, more specifically, an increase in recycled free assets that don’t offer much and make the good stuff harder to find.
Well, let’s cut through the noise. In this article, I’ll run through several types of free motion design elements that you can download for free and start using immediately (instead of spending your time sorting through Google).
Before we start stocking up on free design elements, let’s add some free tools to the toolbox.
Aptly named plugin author Plugin Everything offers a plethora of free plugin downloads on their website. Just two months ago, they released Thicc Stroke, which is the perfect free plugin to create quick gradient variable-width strokes.
While they have eight plugins and presets available to download for free, here are two of my favorites:
Another great source of free plugins is aescripts. Although, I should state that these plugins are better described as “name your own price,” so be sure to support your fellow creators by tipping an amount that reflects how much you’ll use the plugin. Here are two of my favorites:
Ease and Wizz is a great tool to give your motion design elements slick fluidity at the click of a button.
Free Design Assets
The Motion Array Newsletter
As well as being one of the largest mograph stores on the web, Motion Array also sends newsletters throughout the week — and Friday’s edition always offers a new free download.
These downloads are usually presented as After Effects templates or Premiere Mographs, and they’re often customizable to a degree where you can make the designs significantly different than their default appearance.
You can sign up for their newsletter by joining their free pricing program. Of course, Motion Array has a wide range of free assets and design elements available, but I often find the newsletter freebies could easily fall into the priced subscription.
Okay, I know it feels somewhat self-congratulatory to place yourself in a resource list, but a lot of our free design elements are created by some of the finest animators I know, and it would be a disservice not to include them.
The 51 Free Accent Motion Graphics pack is my current go-to when creating an explainer video. The elements are highly customizable with the other effect properties found within After Effects, such as glow and stroke. By simply adding one of the accent animations to your composition, you can spare yourself the mundane work of creating a lot of basic shape animations.
From the blog, I also recommend these motion design elements:
With motion graphics, sometimes it’s not the more substantial and technical graphics that take a lot of time, rather it’s the small and intricate ones. The gang over at RocketStock look to quash that with this quirky set of animated business icons (MOV files) that eliminate the tedious action of creating small, animated icons.
Your library of motion design elements shouldn’t just consist of pre-created animated assets that you can drop straight into your composition. You should also have organic design elements that you can sculpt into your own creations. Let’s look at what’s on offer.
Paper Textures at Graphic Burger
Graphic Burger offers 12 free high-quality paper textures that give your animated fonts and shapes an extra bit of nuance. In our recent video “Top 10 Paid and Free Scripts for After Effects,” we recommend a plugin (Ray Dynamic Texture) that bundles great with texture files, so make sure you watch the tutorial after you download your free textures from Graphic Burger,
Real Textures from Texture King
If your motion graphic requires less subtlety, or perhaps even edges toward the abstract, Texture King has 422 textures available for download. It’s worth noting that these textures are primarily photos of real-world surfaces, so they won’t always make for great shape or font textures. Nonetheless, there are several variables in which they can be employed — displacement maps come to mind.
Motion Textures From Lindsay Horner
Free motion textures don’t come about as often as photo textures, likely due to the extra few steps required to make them. However, with enough digging around, you can find a few decent sets on the internet. I particularly like these few from Linsday Horner.
What do you do with motion textures, you ask? Well, quite like a paper texture, you use them to add a stylistic flair to your shape or text layer. The difference is, of course, that motion textures move. I find this useful when creating motion graphics, especially explanation sections, that would have otherwise been somewhat dull without that extra flicker of movement.
Free Animated Fonts
If I’m ever writing a free resource list, whether for filmmakers, motion graphic artists, or editors, Animography usually finds their way onto the list. The website is an online shop for creative and reasonably priced animated typography.
Their design elements are easy to use and add great value to your motion graphic if you’re not too versed with animating text. While the majority of animated typefaces need to be purchased, there are a few free animated typefaces available:
Looking for more After Effects action? Well, here you go:
- Top 10 Paid and Free Scripts and Plugins for After Effects
- 10 After Effects Plugins Every Motion Designer Should Have
- Free Vaporwave and Synthwave Graphics for Your Next Project
- 9 FREE After Effects Templates
Cover image via Kit8.net.