What is motion design?


Today we will talk about what motion design is and in what areas it is used. We will also consider how you can master the interesting, creative and promising profession of a motion designer and what skills such a specialist should have.

What is motion graphics?

The word “motion” is translated from English as “movement”. With the help of motion graphics, you can turn a static picture into dynamic 2D and 3D graphics. Animated objects that can move and change their appearance attract more attention from viewers than static images and text.

In the process of creating motion design, visual effects, audio, graphic design and various animation methods are used. Motion graphics combine video, audio and text into one animated story. Due to the use of three channels of information transmission at the same time – image, text and sound – the user better assimilates data, and animated graphics have a stronger impact on the emotional perception of viewers.

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Fields of application of motion design

For the first time, animated graphics were used in cinema in the middle of the 20th century. Motion design is actively used in cinema to this day – it is used in the creation of titles, various futuristic interfaces in fantasy films, as well as in the production of trailers and teasers.

Animated graphics are often used on television in introductions to entertainment shows, in splash screens for news programs, etc. Graphical transitions used between blocks of content on TV channels allow you to change program topics without the viewer’s attention.

An example of motion graphics on television

Screensaver of the National Geographic TV channel

Since the 2000s, the widespread use of computers and the Internet, the rapid development of technology has led to the expansion of the scope of motion design. Animated graphics began to be used in the process of creating video clips, video games also widely use the capabilities of motion graphics. In the 2010s, motion design began to be actively used in content marketing and advertising.

Motion graphics are widely used when creating commercials. In marketing, such graphics are indispensable if you need to visualize any process or phenomenon and show the operation of the product. For example, with the help of animated graphics, you can visually demonstrate the operation of the program, visualize the process of ordering a service, etc. Inscriptions and moving figures, together with changing colors and backgrounds, attract and easily capture attention, forcing the user to spend more time on the site.

Animated Google logo

Animated Google logo

On landing pages and multi-page sites, you can often find animated elements:

  • Stylishly decorated with the help of motion design, transitions between sections of the site will add effectiveness to the web resource.
  • Animated logos bring more life and variety to the site.
  • To prevent the visitor from getting bored, you can use a preloader (an indicator that informs the user that the content is being loaded) with animation related to the site’s theme.
  • If you use motion graphics to design your call to action, you can draw more attention to it and increase conversions.
  • Motion graphics are used for the development of advertising banners, video presentations of products, as well as for animation of site navigation, flipping product cards or adding products to favorites.

Promosites can be completely based on motion graphics. In this case, when scrolling, scrolling does not take place from top to bottom, but different blocks of the site change on the screen in order to tell the visitor a story sequentially from beginning to end.

In addition, motion design is used in the field of education, as it allows you to easily present any information in educational videos, enliven presentations by adding interesting animations to the text, and understandably explain even the most complex scientific problems to the audience.

What skills does a motion designer need?

The profession primarily requires knowledge of the basics of graphic design:

  • A motion designer must understand coloristics (color theory), be able to correctly select the color scheme of the project, and even understand the basics of color psychology.
  • The basis of any frame is the composition. It is the right composition that makes the image lively and interesting. A specialist in motion graphics must be able to harmoniously arrange and connect graphic elements with each other.
  • No less important is the knowledge of printing (artistic and expressive text design). A specialist in animation graphics needs to understand which fonts are in maximum harmony with the overall picture: should you use modern or gothic fonts, drawings with or without serifs, and also know how to fit the text into a joint composition in order to emotionally affect the reader.

In addition, a motion designer must have scripting skills, as motion graphics usually tell a story to the viewer. A specialist should be able to create a story line, know how dramaturgical techniques are used and have an idea of ​​directorial skill.

Finally, a motion designer needs knowledge of professional tools – programs with which he will develop his projects. Most professionals working in various fields of motion design use the following graphic programs and video editors:

  • Adobe Illustrator – a graphic editor for working with vector images. It is most often used to create logos, vector illustrations, as well as backgrounds for further use in animated graphics.
  • Adobe Photoshop – software for working with raster graphics, which is used to create Matte Painting, edit textures, is suitable for combining images, creating GIFs, superimposing frame-by-frame animation, etc.
  • Adobe Premiere Pro is a non-linear editing program that’s great for piecing work together. In this video editor, you can glue videos, add sound, music and visual effects.
  • Adobe After Effects – it can be said that this is the main program for a motion designer, which allows you to create animations and visual effects. Features: logo animation, character animation, 3D compositing, motion tracking and much more.
  • Cinema 4D – a program for 3D modeling and work with 3D animation. This editor has wide functionality and is used by motion designers to model, animate and create simulation effects.

It is worth noting that, in addition to the knowledge listed above, a good motion designer should have the following qualities: the ability to work with information, that is, search, analyze and use various information resources; the ability to work in a team and cooperate with various specialists: photographers, directors, software developers.

Also, a professional in the field of motion graphics must constantly monitor trends, learn new tools and programs, be able to tell stories to the audience, and convey key ideas to the audience in a concise and accessible manner. An important quality is the ability to analyze one’s own projects and the work of colleagues and competitors, to learn and improve, as well as the ability to effectively present oneself and one’s work.

How to become a motion designer

Most users prefer boring text over a spectacular video, so motion designers are in demand in today’s labor market, and qualified professionals can count on high pay for their services.

You can start learning about motion graphics with free lessons that are easy to find on YouTube or RuTube. To learn how to create animated videos at a professional level, you should take paid online courses. Such offers are available on various educational platforms, such as Skillbox or Netology.

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Such training allows you to master practical skills of working with various programs, learn the basics of printing, composition and coloristics, master advanced animation techniques.

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