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What Are Motion Graphics?

Maybe you’re browsing Vimeo or Youtube and you stumble upon someone’s sprite reel. Beautiful stuff, huh? But what exactly are motion graphics?

Motion Graphics Term

Motion graphics is a new term for a certain type of animation that has been around for a while. Motion graphics is the crossroads between animation and graphic design. They are purpose-built pieces that are intended to present information to the audience, usually using text or motion graphics. They often have voiceovers that describe what text or graphics represent. Lyric videos are a good example of motion graphics, the graphics reflect what the singer is saying.

With the spread and lower cost of computer animation, motion graphics began to separate itself from normal animation. Motion graphics also began to define a particular style – often bright and colorful, without outlines (the absence of outlines makes computer animation easier).

Fluid and animated animation style

It is generally a very fluid and animated animation style. When working with narration, you want to visually engage the audience so that they are not distracted and overhear the narrator. To do this, motion graphics artists often make elegant transitions and dynamic movements between text or graphics.

Motion graphics generally tend to be more commercial and customer-centric. It’s rare to see someone making an indie movie in the animated game genre. This is because of the combination of graphic design and animation. Taking the commercial and client-based world of graphic design and combining it with animation eliminates motion graphics.

this is not new

Motion Graphics isn’t new, but it’s much easier to do now. An early example of motion graphics is from an instructional VHS tape called Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land. It may not have helped kids learn math much, but it has had motion graphics since 1959. The part where Donald plays pool (or pool as they call it), where they show a representation of the pool table and draw the lines on it. it’s the same idea with motion graphics today.

They need to represent some information and show an idea to the audience, so they do this using animation and motion.

niche artist group

Motion graphics artists try to present themselves as a group of niche artists. Instead of the broader definition of “animator”, they choose to present themselves with the label “motion graphic artist”, just as some people call “character animator” rather than simply animator. If you’re an animator, you can be a character animator, an abstract animator, anything. But by saying you’re a motion graphics artist, you’re letting people know right away what you are and what you’re doing.

What’s getting a little sticky is that as the term motion graphics becomes more popular, more and more people seem to misalign animations. Just because an animation is bright and colorful without outlines doesn’t mean it’s motion graphics.

Also keep in mind that you don’t have to conform to their popular style to be motion graphics. In fact, it can even help you stand out among motion graphics artists if your work looks different!


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What Are Motion Graphics?

So maybe you’ve been browsing Vimeo or Youtube and you stumble across somebody’s motion graphics reel. Pretty snazzy stuff, huh? But what are motion graphics anyway?

The Term of Motion Graphics

Motion graphics is a new term for a specific genre of animation that has been around for a while. Motion graphics are the crossroad between animation and graphic design. Usually, these are purpose-driven pieces with the goal of presenting information to the viewer through the use of animated text or graphics. They often have voice-overs narrating what the text or graphics are representing. ​Lyric videos are a nice example of motion graphics, the graphics echo what the singer is singing.

With the more widespread popularity and lower cost of computer animation, motion graphics began to differentiate themselves from regular animation. Motion graphics have begun to define a specific style as well — often bright and colorful with no outlines (the lack of outlines makes the computer animation easier).

Fluid, Bouncy Animation Style

They usually are a very fluid, bouncy animation style. When you’re working with narration, you want to keep the viewer engaged visually so they don’t just zone out and listen to the narrator. To do this, motion graphics artists often make snazzy transitions and dynamic movement between text or between graphic images.

Motion graphics often tend to be more commercial and client-driven. It’s rare to see someone make an independent film in the style of a motion graphics piece. The reason for this has to do with the combination of graphic design and animation. Taking the commercial and client-based world of graphic design and combining it with animation ends up with motion graphics.

It’s Not New

Motion graphics is not new, however, it’s much easier to do now. An old example of motion graphics is from an educational VHS tape called Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land. It may have done little to help children learn how to do math, but it did contain motion graphics from all the way back in 1959. The part where Donald plays pool (or billiards, as they call it), where they show a representation of a pool table and draw the lines onto it, is the same idea of motion graphics today.

They need to represent some information and illustrate an idea to the viewer so they do that through using animation and motion.

Niche Artist Group

Motion graphics artists are trying to present themselves as a more niche artist group. Rather than the more broadly defined “animator,” they choose to present themselves with the specific label of “motion graphics artist,” just like how some people will say “character animator” rather than just simply animator. If you’re an animator, you could be a character animator, an abstract animator, any number of things. But by saying you’re a motion graphics artist, you let people know right away what you are and what you do.

Where it gets a little sticky is that the more popular the term motion graphics becomes, it seems the more people are misaligning animations to it. Just because an animation is bright and colorful without outlines doesn’t mean it’s motion graphics.

Remember also that to be motion graphics, you don’t need to fit into the popular style of them. In fact, it may even help you stand out amongst motion graphics artists if your work looks different!

#Motion #Graphics


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