What is the Difference between Motion Graphics and Animation?

Motion Graphics and animation

There has always been a debate in the world of animated videos about the distinction between motion graphics and animation. If you’re not a part of either of those worlds, you probably have no idea what the difference is. It is very common for a motion graphics designer to be confused with an animator, even if they do not work on cartoons.

In many cases, a piece of content will use both motion graphics design and animation. Particularly in advertisements. However, in order to distinguish between the two, we will examine how each serves a distinct purpose.

One of the most perplexing aspects of all of this is how online graphics editors use the term “animation” to give shapes and pieces of data motion. The term is correct, but it merely blurs the distinction between the two. A static visual is “animated” when it is given movement in both motion graphics and animation. Of course, some die-hard fans will argue that it should “move.”

Motion Graphics

What Do They Have in Common?

Before we get into the differences between the two, let’s take a look at how they’re similar. This will help you understand why they are frequently mixed up or interchanged in conversation. Motion graphics and animation are both art forms in which objects or characters are animated. It is the process of bringing a static image to life.

Both art forms rely on the same software to achieve the desired results, such as Maya and After Effects. Motion graphics and animation both adhere to the Twelve Principles of Animation. These principles are a set of visual rules that help artists bring objects to life in a natural way. From bouncing to rolling and jumping, the twelve principles apply to any object given movement through the process of animating it.

In some ways, motion graphics and animation complement each other. Now lets assess how they differ.

The Main Difference Is the Storytelling Aspect

The best way to explain the differences between motion graphics and animation is to look at the stories that each one aims to tell. An animation is a visual representation of a story with characters and a plot where events unfold to a climax and then reach a conclusion. It could be an animated short, a full-length Disney animated film, or a presentation with animated characters telling a story.

Motion graphics is more about breathing life into something that would otherwise be lifeless. Shapes within a presentation, for example, or the background of an explainer video. Motion graphics can also be used to explain a process. For instance, the manner in which a product is manufactured and then shipped to customers.

Similar to the Difference Between Graphic Design and Illustration

Another way to look at it is that motion graphics is more closely related to the work of graphic designers, whereas animation is more closely related to illustration. Graphic designers use visuals to explain concepts, whereas motion graphics designers use movement to do the same. Illustrators create a visual story, while animators bring it to life.

When a client is deciding whether they need an animator or a motion graphics designer, they must consider exactly what they want to convey with the finished work. If they require a visually appealing presentation of their sales efforts over the previous year, a motion graphics designer is exactly what they require. An animator will be better suited if they want an emotional animated story about how their products change people’s lives.

In either case, the motion graphics designer either works directly with or is a graphic designer. The animator, on the other hand, will either be an illustrator or work closely with one. These roles are typically kept separate within a creative agency. Illustrators will sketch the art in the animation department, while animators will use software to bring those sketches to life.

What About Visual Effects?

There is one more design role that occasionally appears in the world of animation and motion graphics. This is where visual effects come in. For those outside of the design world, it’s easy to confuse motion graphics with visual effects; after all, moving something is a visual effect.

In reality, visual effects are something entirely different. A visual effects artist’s job is to add visual richness to any piece of work, whether animated or live-action. Visual effects artists enhance the atmosphere of scenes by adding rain, changing the colour of the sky, or emphasising a light source. If you look through the credits of any film, you will notice the role of visual effects artists every time.

Dezpad Designs is a motion graphics studio that aims to cater to your every need. Contact us and book your first consultation today.

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