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Using Affinity Designer/Photo for Motion Graphic Design

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One of the questions I see asked a LOT in the forums is how to accomplish Motion Graphics with graphic assets created in Designer/Photo. I leave the mechanical details of preparing the AD and AP files in the capable hands of Ronnie McBride. What I want to do in this space is present options OTHER than After Effects. Some of us either can't currently afford AfterFX, others may not currently want to feed the beast that Adobe has become (I know I don't). Affinity, I also realize that Serif just discontinued MoviePlus...so, if you guys don't see yourselves coming out with an "affinity animate" app (or "affinity animator"; if you use it, you heard it here first), here are some alternatives you might be willing to suggest to take the heat off.


The following solutions are "node-based" (as a reference, Motion and After Effects use a "layer-based" user interface to create compositions) and require a discrete GPU (mid to high-powered video card; Intel HD 4000 ain't gonna cut it).


  • Nuke Non-commercial edition (free w/limitations)
  • Blackmagic Design Fusion 8 (free; Mac version announced this week at NAB2015. Will be out within July-September 2015 timeframe)
  • Resolve Lite 11/12 (free; version 12 coming out soon)

This one is open source, node-based and doesn't require a discrete GPU. Natron does all it's processing and rendering on the CPU (so this one is perfect if, like me, you have a Dual Core i3/i5 that only has intel HD graphics...Mac Mini, anyone?). It is using an OpenFX architecture, as well, so many commercial OpenFX plug-ins can be installed in Natron (btw, it's pronounced "Ney-tron". But it is also relatively new...and potentially very powerful.


  • Natron 1.2.1 (open-source; CPU based)


These two are not free and are layer-based, which might be easier to work with if one has never done Animation/Motion Graphics before. Not to say that they don't have learning curves, but--It's been my personal experience that--most persons with experience with layer-based software for static graphics have a common point of reference starting with one that has it in the UI for motion graphics. Which is why many After Effects users were Illustrator/Photoshop users first.


  • HitFilm 3 Pro ($299)
  • Apple Motion 5 ($50)


I didn't include Blender here because I was strictly keeping it to Motion Graphics, not 3D...however, Blender is also an alternative that can be considered in this list. Although it's motion graphics solutions (by way of add-ons) also tend to be node-based.


Of the solutions mentioned above--if it helps--I have used (and still advocate) Motion, HitFilm (for the "Atomic particle generator" and the true 3D compositing of 3DS, LWO and OBJ models), Blender and Natron.

Hope this helps.

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Okay, I must be reading this wrong then...




I thought they were saying that to get the full performance out of Nuke, that you have to have a video card capable of supporting OpenCL. Didn't see the "optional" line...I stand corrected. Nuke does NOT need the GPU.


Thank you for the correction, Ash.

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  • 3 months later...

To amend my earlier listing: HitFilm 3 Express: Free, www.hitfilm.com/express HitFilm's big brother, HitFilm 3 Pro, is the lower cost challenger to After Effects. HitFilm 3 Express is the free entry-level version of HitFilm that can be expanded with plug-in packs that range in price from $10 to $100. It does come with some decent base fx, but if you're looking to create fx like you can in Motion, the atomic particles pack is a $100 additional investment.

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