Tutorial: Customize Your Videos with Motion Array
Eri Levin & Tyler Williams are the co-founders of Motion Array, a video editor's one-stop shop for all video production assets, including motion graphics, After Effects templates, Premiere Pro Templates, stock video, and stock music. Eri & Tyler recently added on a new "request" feature where Motion Array members can request custom templates from authors. Making requests are free, but only available to members. The membership plan is quite remarkable. For example, for just $19/month you can get up to 4 downloads per month and on other markets, templates usually go for at least $20 each. Motion Array is a bargain! Learn more about Motion Array and their new request feature in my interview with Eri & Tyler below.
Gal: When and why did you start Motion Array?
Eri & Tyler: We started Motion Array waaaay back in 2012 as a side project while working full-time jobs as motion graphics designers. We started Motion Array as a way out of the daily grind that comes with working at a studio, and as a way to have our work benefit a much larger audience and user base.
Gal: The daily grind can definitely take a toll. So glad you both were able to turn Motion Array into your full-time gig! To others who do not know of Motion Array, what is your Motion Array elevator pitch?
Eri & Tyler: Making a great video is hard. Our fundamental goal is to help anyone create amazing videos by providing simple to use After Effects templates, Premiere Pro templates, stock music and stock video. Along with other easy to use features such as Portfolios that allow you to host and publish a video portfolio using your own domain. If you need to make fantastic videos, a membership with Motion Array provides an incredible value.
Gal: Did you both study animation and motion graphics? Or is it something you self-taught?
Tyler: I attended the Atlanta College of Art where I earned my bachelor's degree in video. After graduating, I took a job at a post production studio as a motion graphics designer. The owner hired me based on a stop motion music video I created my senior year. I quickly realized how unqualified I was for the position, but I hung in there and managed to improve and develop my craft. I even stumbled into some BDAs for some of my work. Not to brag or anything though.
Eri: I received an associate's degree from The Art Institute of Philadelphia for the Animation and Media Arts program. I was hungry for more knowledge and also literally hungry so I took a job in Nicaragua (my motherland). I made so many crappy animations and videos that eventually I started making good ones which allowed me to freelance with some studios in the USA. Eventually it made sense to leave Nicaragua. (again)
Gal: Eri, I'm glad you are no longer hungry :) So tell me about Motion Array's new “Requests” feature. When and why did you decide to open up Motion Array to custom requests?
Eri & Tyler: We have been building a vibrant marketplace for creative assets for the past 4 years and, we wanted to find a way to give a line of communication between our clients and authors. With the new Request feature, a client can now quickly put in a request for us to make a specific type of template or music track that fits their needs. Once the request is approved by our team, other clients can upvote those requests, allowing us and our producers to prioritize. It’s a great system and a lot of people really love the opportunity to ask for specific products.
Gal: I love the goal of creating more communication between authors and clients, that's really smart and another perk for Motion Array members. What are your favorite completed requests so far? Do you have links to some of the requests you’ve finished that you’d like to share?
Eri & Tyler: There have been a lot requests that have been fulfilled, and you can quickly tell which ones are popular amongst our authors as they get completed quickly. Our guess is that some producers thinks some of those are a great idea and they jump on them. Here are some examples of what has been completed as a result of a request:
Gal: How much detail do you want people to put in their requests? What is an example of a bad request versus a good request?
Eri & Tyler: Great question. We curate all requests, and one important aspect is that they need to be useful to our other members in some form or fashion. When putting in a request, think of usability. Ask yourself: Will this be useful to others? After all, our producers want to make sure it can work for other people so it can maximize the performance of the finished product to ultimately get as many downloads as possible. Usually, anything that is too specific or anything with too many elements will get skipped by an author. In other words, think of the greater good.
Gal: Can we request music or stock video as well in addition to Premiere Pro and After Effects templates?
Eri & Tyler: Absolutely. We created the Request feature as a way for members to request assets from across any download category.
Gal: Do you assign the requests to different producers on the team to best match their skill set?
Eri & Tyler: No. Many producers can work on the same request and this is great for everyone. The client can get several interpretations of the request and since we have an upvote system, some members may prefer one version over others. This is great for the author as it gives them an opportunity to get more downloads.
Gal: What template are you most proud of? (And it doesn’t have to be a recent one from the requests)
Eri: There is a template called 10 Glitches that currently holds the title for the most downloaded template ever in Motion Array. I am pretty proud of that. :)
Tyler: One of the template’s I’m most proud of is Ho Ho Ho No. I created it in a hand painted style that I had never tried before, and I think it turned out pretty well.
Gal: Is there a particular design standard or look that you try to give to all your templates? Or do you give your producers freedom to create their own style?
Eri & Tyler: We give producers freedom. If something is good, it does not matter what style you used. Some producers love working with us because it provides a great creative opportunity. They are their own director and the ideas of what can be made are limitless. Of course, usability is important and we think most of them understand that and try to bring a creative vision while understanding that getting downloads is crucial to be successful at Motion Array.
Gal: Do you have any animation artists/work that you admire/that inspires you?
Eri: I fell in love with motion design thanks to the work of people like Danny Yount, Garson Yu and Kyle Cooper. Later it was more about the studios… Psyop, Buck, Giant Ant, Man vs Machine etc. There is so much work out there to be inspired forever.
Tyler: While I love motion graphics, one of my all time, favorite artists is Michel Gondry. I love all of his quirky, in-camera special effects.
Gal: Thanks so much for everything Motion Array Does. Is there anything else we should keep an eye out for?
Eri & Tyler: We are very excited about some new things coming soon to Motion Array. Some cool stuff. We really wish we could tell you, but we can’t. It has to stay a secret for now.