Intro to Motion Graphics

Motion Graphics (Typography, Animated Logos)


While still considered a form of animation, motion graphics is a rather different from the other types of animation. Mostly because unlike the other types on our list it is not character or story driven. It’s the art of creatively moving graphic elements or texts, usually for commercial or promotional purposes.

“I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.”Isaac Newton

About Motion Graphics

It’s the art of creatively moving graphic elements or texts, usually for commercial or promotional purposes. Think animated logos, explainer videos, app commercials, television promos or even film opening titles.

The skills for motion graphics don’t necessarily translate to the other types of animation, since they don’t require knowledge of body mechanics or acting, but they do have some attributes in common such as understanding good composition and the all important camera motion.

The process of creating Motion Graphics depends on the programs that are used, since video editing softwares often have different UI or settings, but the process is the same. Motion Graphics usually involves animating images, texts or video clips using key framing that are tweened to make a smooth motion between frames. These programs also supports scripts that will automatically alter the animations to various preferences that are required. Motion graphics also often uses particle systems to create various effects. It is basically points in 3D and 2D space that is shown as texts, images or visual effects. The particle effects are made with emitters that digitally produces lights, surfaces, or a disassembling animation.

Motion Graphics are simply flat-based images or 3D objects that are given the illusion of motion, accompanied with music or sound effects. This technique is often used for multimedia projects.


The term Motion Graphics came about computer based video editing, as programs like Adobe After Effects and Apple Motion made editing images definitely a lot more easier, since previously, before the advent of computer editing, it was a very time-consuming process, which made it limited for high-budget productions, but in present time it is highly popular for commercials, news shows and internet videos


aftereffectsAdobe After Effects

After effects is the most common software for motion graphics. It is the software that streamlined motion graphics and made it so much easier to make.

It’s new integration with Cinema4D made it the ultimate tool to make the best looking videos (with ot without 3D) for any commercial use.

Supported platforms:

  • Windows XP, 7, 8
  • Mac OS X

Learn more…

If you want to learn more about character animation in After Effects, check out our After Effects Animation Course.

cinema4dCinema 4D

Cinema 4D is a motion graphics artist’s best friend. It’s a 3D program for the After Effects user. Very intuitive, and works directly with After Effects without the need to render first. This would not however be my first choice for serious 3D production since it was designed from the ground up with motion graphics in mind.

Supported platforms:

  • Windows Vista, 7, 8
  • Mac OS X

Learn more…


SVASchool of Visual Arts (SVA)

School information: Founded in 1947 by Silas H. Rhodes and Burne Hogarth as the Cartoonist and Illustrators School, and then renamed in 1956. Part of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design as one of 36 leading art colleges in the United States. The school offered its first degree in 1972, and it’s first master’s degree in 1983 in Fine Arts for painting, drawing and sculpture.

  • Location: New York, NY. USA
  • Courses: Animation, Computer Animation and Visual Effects
  • Tuition cost: $16,780 per semester + Department fees (Animation: $900, Computer Animation and visual effects:$1,340)
  • Notable alumni: Bill Plympton (Academy nominated animator), John.R.Dilworth (creator of Courage the Cowardly Dog), Pres Antonio Romanillos (supervising animator at Disney and Dreamworks animation)
  • Start of Academic year: September
  • BFA Animation: 270 students
  • BFA Computer Art, Computer Animation & Visual Effects: 325 students
  • Notable graduate film: Kiwi! (Dony Permedi, 2006)

Read more…

scadSavannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)

School information: Founded in 1978 by Paula S. Wallace with her husband and parents, taking out a $200,000 loan to build the first educational building, by renovating the Savannah Volunteer Guard Armory.

The university first opened in 1979 with only 71 students. Currently the University has over 11,000 students.

  • Location: Savannah, Georgia, USA. Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Hong Kong, Guangdong, China. Lacoste, Vaucluse, France.
  • Courses: Animation, Visual Effects
  • Tuition cost: (In order of locations) $33,795 (American dollars), $261,911 (Hong Kong dollars), $10,983 (American dollars)
  • Notable alumni: Mir Zafar Ali (Visual effects specialist, The Day After Tomorrow)
  • Start of Academic year: September
  • Notable graduate film: Legacy (Adam Floeck, 2013)

Read more…

fullsailFull Sail University

School information: Founded in 1979 by Jon Phelps in Ohio, before the University was moved to Orlando in 1980, under the name of Full Sail Recording Workshop. Focused on video and film production, but added in animation when the University moved to Orange County in 1989.

The University started offering online degree programs in 2007.

  • Location: Orange County, Florida. USA
  • Courses: Computer animation
  • Tuition cost: $14,762 per semester
  • Notable alumni: Culley Bunker (Lead visual effects artist), Chance Glasco (Senior animator)
  • Start of Academic year: Second week of November


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