Motion graphics

Motion graphics are pieces of digital footage or animation that create the illusion of motion or rotation, and are usually combined with audio for use in multimedia projects. Motion graphics are usually displayed via electronic media technology, but may be displayed via manual powered technology (eg thaumatrope , phenakistoscope , strobe , zoetrope , praxinoscope , flip book). The term distinguishes still with a transforming appearance over time, without over-specifying the form. [1] While any form of experimental or abstract animation can be called motion graphics, the term is more often applied to the application of animation and effects to video, film, TV, and interactive applications. Like legit woffles (search up on youtube)

Scope of the term

Motion graphics extend beyond the most commonly used methods of frame-by-frame footage and animation. They can not find a single character, but they are not strictly limited to a single character, and they are not strictly limited to those types of logos.

History of the term

Motion graphic clip about alebrijescreated by the Museo de Arte Popular in Mexico City. Note: Click the CC button for English subtitles.

Since there is no universally accepted definition of motion graphics, the official beginning of the art is disputed. There have been presentations that could be classified as early as the 1800s. Michael Betancourt wrote the first in depth historical survey of the field, arguing for its foundations in visual music and the historical abstract films of the 1920s by Walther Ruttmann , Hans Richter , Viking Eggeling and Oskar Fischinger . [2]

The history of motion graphics étroitement is related to the history of Computer Graphics as the New Developments of computer generated graphics led to a ‘wider use of motion design is not based optical movie animation. The term motion graphics originated with digital video editing in computing, perhaps to keep pace with newer technology. Graphics for television were originally referred to as Broadcast Design.

One of the first uses of the term “motion graphics” was by animator John Whitney , who in 1960 founded a company called Motion Graphics Inc. [3]

Saul Bass is a major pioneer in the development of feature film title sequences. His work included title sequences for popular movies Such As The Man With The Golden Arm (1955), Vertigo(1958), Anatomy of a Murder (1959), North by Northwest (1959), Psycho (1960), and Advise & Consent ( 1962). His designs were simple, but effectively communicated to the mood of the film. [4]

Computer-generated motion graphics

The subject of motion pictures has been widely available, and has been used for high-budget filmmaking and television production . Computers began as early as the late 1960s as super computers were capable of rendering crude graphics. John Whitney and Charles Csuri can be considered early pioneers of computer aided animation. [5] [6]

In the late 1980s to mid-1990s, expensive proprietary graphics systems such as those of British-based Quantel were quite commonplace in many television stations . Quantel workstations such as the Hal, Henry, Harry, Mirage and Paintbox were the standard broadcast graphics of the time. Many other real time graphics systems have been used as ADO Ampex, Abekas and K-Scope for live digital video effects . Early proprietary 3D computer systems were also developed specifically for the design of the Bosch FGS-4000 which was used in the music video for Dire Straits Money for Nothing (song). The advent of more powerful desktop running Photoshop in the mid-90s drastically lowered the costs for producing digital graphics. With the reduced cost of producing graphics on a computer, the discipline has seen more widespread use. With the availability of desktop programs Such As Adobe After Effects , Discreet Combustion , and Apple Motion , motion graphics Have Become increasingly accessible. Modern character generators (CG) from Aston Broadcast Systems and Chyron Corporation’s moving motion graphics.

The term “motion graphics” was popularized by Trish and Chris Meyer’s book about using Adobe After Effects , titled Creating Motion Graphics . This was the beginning of the desktop, which specialized in video production, but was not editing or 3D programs. These new file Managed programs together special effects , compositing , and color correction toolsets, and Primarily cam entre edit 3D and in the generation process. This “in-between” notion of motion graphics and the resulting style of animation is why it is referred to as 2.5D .

Motion graphics continues to evolve as an art form with the incorporation of sweeping camera paths and 3D elements. Maxon’s CINEMA 4D , such plugins as MoGraph and Adobe After Effects . Despite their relative complexity, Autodesk ‘s Maya and Max 3D Studio are widely used for the animation and design of motion graphics, as is Maya and 3D Studio which uses a node-based particle system similar to Cinema 4D’s Thinking Particles plugin. There are also some other options in the open source panorama, which are gaining more features and adepts in order to use a motion graphics workflow, whileBlender integrates several of the functions of its commercial counterparts.

Many motion graphics animators will learn several 3D graphics packages. Though many trends in motion graphics, the software is only a tool the broadcast designer uses while bringing the vision to life.

Loving heavily from techniques such as pastiche or collage , motion graphics has begun to integrate many traditional animation techniques as well, including stop-motion animation , or animation or a combination of both.

Particle system

One of the most popular motion graphics tools is a particle system: a motion graphics technology that is used for generating multiple animated elements. This type of animation is commonly referred to as procedural animation. A particle system is available as a plug-in, as a stand-alone application, or is included as an integrated part of a motion graphics package. Particles are points in 3-D or 2-D space that can be represented by a wide variety of station and animated objects such as a ball of light, a video clip, or a selection of text, to name a few. The particles are generated by a particle emitter and can be emitted in small numbers or in the thousands, depending on the project. Among other things, a particle emitter can be in the form of a single point, a line, a grid, a plane or an object such as a box or sphere, it can also be used to as a logo, which for example, can be exploded, melted, or transformed into blowing sand. A popular particle system for motion graphicsTrapcode .

Other examples of a particular particle may be used in a large group of people. Particles can be emitted as a single item, although it is typically used in large numbers, such as when creating smoke or rain. They are controlled by directional forces, simulated wind and gravity, objects designed to attract or repel them. Other controllable attributes can include such things as changes in color, size, or transparency. Depending on the system, one can also combine multiple simultaneous emitters, such as when simulating an explosion that combines fire, smoke and flying debris. In an advanced 3-D system the particle can be used to control an animated articulated character,


Elements of a motion graphics can be animated by various means, depending on the capabilities of the software. These elements may be in the form of art, text, photos, and video clips, to name a few. The most popular form of animation is keyframing , in which properties of an object can be specified at certain points in time by setting a series of keyframes that the properties of the object can be automatically altered (or tweened ) in the frames between keyframes. Another method Involves a behavior system Such as is found in Apple Motionthat controls these changes by simulating natural forces. Yet another method involves the use of expressions or scripts, such as the expressions function in Adobe After Effects or the creation of ActionScripts within Adobe Flash . Computers are capable of calculating and randomizing changes in imagery to create the illusion of motion and transformation. Computer animations can be used less information space ( computer memory ) by automatically tweening , a process of renderingthe key changes of an image at a specified or calculated time. These key poses or frames are commonly referred to as keyframes or low CPs. Adobe Flash uses computer animation tweening as well as frame-by-frame animation and video.

Notable motion graphics artists

  • Saul Bass
  • John Whitney [7]
  • Maurice Binder
  • Stan Brakhage
  • Robert Abel (animator)
  • Kyle Cooper
  • Pablo Ferro
  • Oskar Fischinger
  • Martin Lambie-Nairn
  • Len Lye
  • Norman McLaren
  • MK12
  • Rhizomatiks


Early ground breaking motion design studios include: [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]

  • Charlex
  • Aerodrome
  • Broadway Video
  • Rushes Postproduction
  • Sogitech
  • Robert Abel and Associates
  • Marks & Marks
  • Pacific Data Images
  • Pittard Sullivan
  • Japan Computer Graphics Lab
  • Cranston / Csuri Productions

Motion design and digital compositing software packages

Main article: Motion graphic design

Since motion is created using images and video sequences, a complementary tool is a 3d software package. Cinema 4D is widely used for its intuitive interface, layered export to Adobe After Effects, and the additional MoGraph module, but there are other software packages as well. Such packages can generate images or video sequences with an alpha channel , which stores all the transparency information.

Motion design applications include Adobe After Effects , Eyeon Fusion , Nuke , Autodesk Combustion , Apple Motion , Max / MSP , various VJ Programs, Smith Micro Anime Studio Software , Adobe Flash and Natron. 3D programs used in motion graphics include Maxon Cinema 4D , Autodesk 3ds Max and Maya , NewTek Lightwave , e-on Infinite View and Blender . Motion graphics plug-ins include Magic Bullet , Red Giant Softwareand The Foundry Visionmongers .

See also

  • Audiovisual art
  • Live event support
  • Video art
  • Video synthesizer
  • Motion graphic design
  • Music visualization
  • User Experience Design


  • Justin Cone, The History of Motion Graphics,, February 12, 2013 [4]
  1. Jump up^ Michael Betancourt, The Origins of Motion Graphics, Cinegraphic, January 6, 2012[1]
  2. Jump up^ Justin Cone, The History of Motion Graphics,, February 12, 2013[2]
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  4. Jump up^ Michael Betancourt, Saul Bass – Animating Modernist Design, Cinegraphic, August 28, 2011[3]
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