A Complete Guide to Motion Graphics

Last Updated: 2021. 07. 21

Summary: In this guide we answer what is motion graphics, why use motion graphics and show some motion graphic examples for you.

Motion Graphics

Image Board: Motion Graphics

Videos are not just entertaining. They can also add something to what you are trying to say. But what is it about them that makes them so interesting? Is it the story? Is it the graphics used? Is it the sound? Or is it a combination of all of these things? If you're anything like us, you'll find it hard to pinpoint one area of an entertaining video that made you like it. Everything in the video, every component must fit together to complement each other.

Motion graphics are no different and when used effectively, can create truly stunning videos or video segments that get a point across, sell a product, or create emotion. And with great online and free software like FlexClip available, making motion graphics is easier than ever from one of the many templates they provide.

What Exactly Is Motion Graphics and Motion Graphic Animation?

Motion graphics are complete videos or segments of animation which use motion or rotation to create the illusion of actual real-world motion. Motion graphic animation is usually combined with audio to create multimedia products and projects. The videos created through motion graphic techniques are usually captured in a digital format but can also use manual technology, such as thaumatrope, stroboscope, praxinoscope, and flip books in their design.

The term motion graphics is used to distinguish the genre from static graphics that have no motion component. While most forms of abstract animation can be labelled motion graphics, the term normally refers to animation effects employed in film, video, TV, and other interactive applications.

One of the main components of motion graphic design is text. Text is employed as a narrative tool and makes motion graphic animation essentially an animated from of graphic design.

What Makes Motion Graphics Different to Full Animation?

Motion graphics, as mentioned above, is a form of animated graphic design. As such, it is also a form of animation. But if something is animation, it is not necessarily motion graphics. Animation is an umbrella term for all moving animated imagery, including CG special effects and cartoons. Motion graphic animation, on the other hand, gives movement to the elements of graphic design without trying to tell a specific story.

Still struggling to understand? Here's an example to help you out. When you are watching the latest Toy Story film at your local multiplex you are watching animation (check out a trailer below).

Depict video: Toy Story 4 | Official Trailer

If you have a bar chart and animate it so that the bars rise up or you make the logo on your website spin around, you have created motion graphics. For examples of motion graphics and to compare them to animation, have a look at this video below.

Depict video: Motion Graphic Design Inspirations and Trends

Why Use Motion Graphics?

Motion graphics are a great way to illustrate complex ideas in a visual format. They can act as a sort of visual aid to get your ideas across. If what you are trying to say is abstract or complex, getting your point across can be difficult. Having a few seconds or even minutes of motion graphics can help you to grab your audience's attention and be clearer in your explanation.

But explaining things isn't the only way that motion graphics can be used. Many TV shows and films employ motion graphics in their opening titles so they can grab a viewer's attention while giving the required cast and crew information to the viewer. Psycho in 1960 is one of the first examples of motion graphic design being used as a way to increase viewer attention during what would otherwise be a boring part of a movie.

Depict video: Psycho's opening credits

When Should I Use Motion Graphics?

As mentioned above, motion graphics can be utilized for many different purposes, but they are most effective when employed as a means to emphasize facts or illustrate points. If you need to tell a story or express a narrative, motion graphics are probably not the right tool for you and other forms of animation would probably suit your needs more.

Motion graphic animation can help you break down complex ideas and present them in a memorable way. They work like visual aids and excel as a teaching tool.

You can also use motion graphics to inject life into a presentation. Want to liven up your statistics? Then make them sing and dance (figuratively or literally) on screen. Want a social media post that's more likely to go viral? Then add in some motion graphics. Want a kick ass infographic video? That's easy with motion graphics.

Motion graphics allow you to grab your viewers'attention with animation and get your point across easier.

Examples of How Motion Graphic Design Can Be Used

Marketing and Branding

Motion graphics can be employed effectively in a company's marketing and branding. Logos, graphics, website animations, and YouTube videos can all employ motion graphic animation to grab a potential customers attention and make them more inclined to buy from you. A good example of this is a few years ago the British terrestrial TV station Channel 4 rebranded and implemented effective motion graphics in their new logo which broke down parts of their old logo into a moveable character. Check out a video logo from YouTube below.

Depict video: Channel 4 | Idents

Television sequences and opening / closing credits

If you've watched the opening or closing credits of a TV program or film recently the odds are you've watched motion graphics. The main title sequence to the phenomenally successful Game of Thrones is a great example. It uses a visual sequence that sets the scene for the program by highlighting the many varied locations, combined with a fantasy themed typography to list the cast members and award-winning music that lingers in the memory. Check the example out below:

Depict video: Official Opening Credits: Game of Thrones (HBO)

Explaining concepts

Motion Graphics are a great way to explain a concept or topic. Want to show someone how your business is tackling climate change? Motion graphics can help. Want to tell people how block chain works? Then a motion graphic video will make it easy. Are you a teacher and want to tell your pupils how to use trigonometric functions? You can try with motion graphics (although no amount of explanation ever helped me).

Motion graphic animation is the perfect tool to explain things by providing you with a way to support your words with animation and sound. Here is an example of motion graphics being used to explain something:

Depict video: Animated Explainer Video for Mad Fliers App - Kasra Design

And finally…

Motion graphics are a great way to increase engagement and get your point across. When employed correctly, they provide a memorable and entertaining form of animation that can be utilized for many different purposes. Head over to a website like FlexClip today and see how easy it is to create great motion graphic animation for any purpose.

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