Making Moving Graphics With Motion Design

Given enough force, everything in our world has the ability to move. Even immobile static things, such as a leaf or limb, can move from one location to another on a windy day.

Movement is so common that it’s easy to overlook it on a daily basis. When you encounter a moving visual on a website that is changing awkwardly or appears distorted, you know something is wrong.

The specialists behind the moving pictures in commercial graphics, app interfaces, and interactive website elements are 3D motion graphic designer. It’s a difficult field to break into. However, with a solid understanding of movement concepts and the appropriate software, you may begin developing your own 3D motion graphic designs.

Motion Design Principles

Motion design is a subgenre of graphic design that blends the basic concepts of filmmaking with static graphics to produce animations and moving visual effects.

Unlike animation, motion graphics typically do not follow a predetermined storyline. Instead, they are frequently a repeating movement, either following a straight line from point A to point B or looping in a circle that begins at point A and returns to position A after a number of revolutions. Advertising moving logos are a typical application for motion design.

Finally, mobility is a matter of physics. A motion designer must grasp this and be able to adapt real-world physics onto a flat screen. This can be one of the most difficult components to master, but once you do, you’ll see a tremendous boost in your motion graphics.

Sloppy animation is especially aggravating on an app or website’s user interface (UI). Everything should be made to assist the user rather than to make them work harder.

Animation Basics

The essential concepts of animation and movement defined by world leaders such as Disney’s original animators are still followed by motion design production teams. They are as follows:

  • Squash & Stretch
  • Anticipation
  • Staging
  • Straight Ahead Action
  • Slow In and Out
  • Arcs

The idea is to create your image as realistic as possible. If you’re animating a ball, the dot on the screen should appear to have the same weight as it would in the real world. If your animation moves at the same frame rate as a car visual, it won’t be credible because a car is considerably heavier and would naturally drive slower.

Similarly, by studying real-life things, our eyes have been trained to seek for arcs when something bounces, or when an object squashes into a different shape when it collides with something at high speed. You don’t have to use every concept in every motion design you do, but you should be aware of how they might be useful when creating graphics.

Motion Design Tools

Considering animation comes in many shapes and sizes, you have complete control over what you work on. Motion design is a wonderful place to start for beginning animators due to its lack of storyline and simple principles.

After Effects

The Adobe After Effects software has hundreds of tools to help you get started on your motion design adventure. When you first open the programme, it may feel daunting, but starting with a simple 2D animation in After Effects can help you traverse some of the major aspects you’ll need to know if you want to work in motion design.

You’ll have complete control over every aspect of your image with tools like the speed graph and motion graph, allowing you to animate even the smallest bits quickly and simply. Duplicate motion graphic layers to make an animation that loops indefinitely.

You may connect Photoshop to After Effects in the same way that you can connect other Adobe programmes to import existing static projects for conversion to animations.

Cinema 4D

You can experiment with 3D animation if you’re more acquainted with your newfound animation abilities. Cinema 4D specialises in motion design project ideas like these, with modelling, rigging, and simulation capabilities built in.

This software has been used to create some of the world’s most popular video games and animated films, but it is suitable for both novices and experienced motion designers. The built-in MoGraph tool is a user-friendly feature that quickly converts complex drawings into fully functional animations.


Autodesk Maya is a prominent motion design software. It’s undoubtedly pricey, costing more than $100 each month, but students may be able to gain free membership through their motion design degree programme.

Given the price, it’s tempting to believe Maya is only for professionals. This tool is preferred by Disney’s experts, but don’t let that deter you. Maya beginners can utilise it for 2D and 3D motion designs, especially when character rigging setups are required to account for realistic movements.

Adobe Premiere Pro

While other Adobe products are usually a better alternative for elaborate motion designs, Premiere Pro is a good choice for simple animations on existing visuals.

To begin, open the software and create a new Sequence file, followed by importing your image. You may then add other visual elements or presets to make your graphic move, or change the scale of the static image to establish a keyframe, or movement time, to create a simple animation.

Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop

Although you cannot animate graphics directly within Adobe Illustrator, you can use it in conjunction with Photoshop, Premiere Pro, or After Effects to bring your design to life.

Create multiple artboards in Illustrator for each component of your animation. To make the motion feature work in Photoshop, you’ll need to number these progressively.

After you’ve imported the graphic into Photoshop, change your workspace to Motion and play it back. Adjust the speed with Photoshop’s tools until you’re satisfied with the aesthetic of your motion design.

Motion Design Roles

Working as a motion designer is a creative career that is both interesting and varied. The industry’s outlook is promising. If you want a demanding job that combines art and technology, motion design could be for you.

Television and Film

When most people consider jobs as motion designers, they first consider television and movies. However, it is not necessarily a full-length animated film or television series that necessitates the highly sought-after skills of a motion designer.

Hundreds of virtual effects are used in live action cinematography, many of which must be produced digitally and made to appear as if they were happening on set.

The combination of animation and live action has also grown in popularity in recent years, with films such as The Chronicles of Narnia and Guardians of the Galaxy generating millions of dollars at the box office due to their efficient use of computer generated graphics (CGI).

Video Games

Animators in the video game industry, like those in television and film, work on a variety of creative projects. Their primary responsibility is to build a plausible environment for 2D or 3D characters to navigate around.

Because video games have plots and scripts, these motion designers will collaborate with art directors, prop artists, and other designers to produce a film-like atmosphere to the finished game.

Because the user has influence over a character’s movement in ways that television and film audiences do not, video game motion designers are frequently charged with developing hundreds of animation possibilities to work into each segment of the game.

UI and UX Web Design

While motion designers have always been in demand in the entertainment business, the demand for commercial animators has expanded at an exponential rate. 33% of firms use animated videos in their digital marketing, and 87 percent of marketers say films have helped them improve online traffic.

This new emphasis on moving material has resulted in an increased demand for skilled UI and UX motion designers. Their major duty, however, is not in marketing. Rather, their animations steer users through apps or websites in order to influence consumer behaviour and decision-making. UX designers create even the simplest interactions, like as loading screens and navigational menus.

UI motion designers are also concerned with ensuring that the overall design of a website or app flows effectively and is an easy experience for the user.

Attracting attention with visual signals might steer customers to specific products or special offers that a brand is pushing. UI and UX motion designers collaborate with the marketing team to determine what should be highlighted, while balancing promotion and distraction.

Turn Your Images Into Moving Graphics

Motion design can be a rich and satisfying career route to pursue, or it can simply be a fun weekend hobby. With the correct tools and some patience as you practise, you’ll be well on your way to creating your own moving visuals and animations.

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