Motion Graphics

Motion graphics is a broad term that encompasses all graphic images that appear to move. It has been called simply the combination of animation and graphic design. Typically, you would see motion graphics on a title sequence of a movie or television program, or as an animation used to identify the television channel you are watching. Advertisements are another profitable and highly visible outlet for motion graphic work and websites are increasingly using motion graphics to add an extra dimension to their message. Essentially, anywhere where you might have seen examples of graphic design, you might well now see motion graphics. This is due mainly to the development of digital technology,ex digital photography that has made the appearance of motion so much easier to achieve by a wide range of people.

Creating motion graphics

The exact method of producing these motion graphics is wide ranging and so their appearance can be totally different. They could include live action with real people, or could have elements of animation, either traditional hand drawn animation or computer generated images. They could be entirely computer based and use software to create the images or they could be a combination of all these methods, as seems appropriate.

There is usually an audio element to any motion graphic sequence, with the soundtrack as an essential part of the message the designer is trying to convey.

In line with graphic design, the total look of the piece is vital and there is a great deal of concentration on typographical elements, such as the typeface and logos, as well as colour and style. This “look” is an important skill for any motion graphic designer to get right, in agreement with the client and in line with the agreed brief.

Pioneers of motion graphics

Historically, the production of motion graphics was difficult and time consuming because all the work was carried out by hand, frame by frame, which made it expensive to produce. Many innovative people, notably Saul Bass, contributed to the developing field in the use of motion graphics in movie titles. He often used animated paper cut outs, as seen in the titles for “ The Man with the Golden Arm” by Otto Preminger, as well as moving text, such as when the letters of a film title fly in from off the screen, as seen in many titles for films by Alfred Hitchcock. Although he started work using traditional media, he later turned to computerised techniques.

The future of motion graphics

With the increasing use of digital technology and new media, much of today’s motion graphics are heavily reliant on software applications, and one of the main packages for motion graphics is Adobe After Effects. This, and other packages, allow the user to import, animate, and edit various components to produce multi media graphic sequences. With the increasing sophistication of all aspects of multi media software, the future of motion graphics is looking promising.