For E.J. Hassenfratz, creativity is in his blood. Both his father and uncle worked as graphic designers for broadcast news stations, so he grew up around artists. When it came time to make a decision about college, he pursued a Fine Arts degree and taught himself Adobe Photoshop and After Effects on the side. He put those skills to work interning at the NBC television station in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and then landed his first full time job as a graphic designer at ABC in Washington, DC.
After eight years, E.J. decided to try his hand at freelancing, where he’s worked on 3D modeling and graphic design projects for companies including Microsoft and Apple, 360-degree videos for consumer products companies, and content for NBA and NHL games, including projection mapping and content for Jumbotrons. “Previously, the animation work I did would play on the local news, so it’s cool to see my work projected on a huge basketball court or a massive Jumbotron in a hockey arena,” says E.J.
The majority of E.J.’s 2D work is done completely inside of After Effects, then taken to Premiere Pro for editing. He does a lot of animation work, and appreciates how the Puppet tool in After Effects lets him add character to inanimate objects.
E.J. also builds out designs in Cinema 4D and takes advantage of its integration with After Effects for compositing and rendering assets. “The workflow between After Effects and Cinema 4D is very seamless,” he says.
Through his freelance work, he connected with other designers and got plugged in to the After Effects community. Today, what he enjoys most is creating After Effects and Cinema 4D tutorials, which he posts to his website, Eyedesyn, as well as his YouTube channel. He also posts quick tips and industry news on Twitter.
“I’ve learned so much from the community so I decided that I wanted to start creating tutorials to pay it forward,” says E.J. “Many people are self-taught, and I enjoy being able to make learning After Effects easier and more accessible.”
His experience designing motion graphics for television broadcasts made E.J. a perfect fit for creating Motion Graphics templates for After Effects. In addition to understanding the need to work quickly, he also understood the need to make graphics as adaptable as possible.
E.J. created three primary Motion Graphics templates packages: a sports package, a news package, and a futuristic package for online video creators. All of the packages ship free with Premiere Pro, so users can start experimenting with them right away. Each package includes a show open, lower thirds, a logo resolve, and transitions. After doing the initial design and determining what features should be editable, he worked with a back-end designer to bring the Motion Graphics template to life.
“We tried to make as many elements as we could, so if someone wants to make an entire TV show or web show they have all of the elements within each theme to create just the aesthetic they’re envisioning,” says E.J. “These templates are definitely something I wish I’d had 10 years ago when I was building everything from scratch.”
E.J. based much of the template design on current design trends, while being careful not to make anything too limiting. For example, the sports template includes a shield, which is showing up in many sports logos, but includes more modular elements as well.
“The Motion Graphics templates are able to adapt to different situations, making them very flexible and useful,” says E.J. “Designing Motion Graphics templates with adaptability and customization in mind saves time that designers previously spent creating and rendering out individual elements and lets editors focus on what they do best.”
Looking forward, E.J. hopes to continue building his training library, along with speaking at conferences and developing coursework for Lynda.com. E.J. strongly believes he wouldn’t be where he is today without the generous free training content available online, and is happy to now help other up-and-coming designers learn and achieve their goals.
Learn more about Motion Graphics templates in Premiere Pro CC