History of motion graphics.
The origins of motion graphics are rooted in the evolution of film credits. In the early days of cinema, directors created title credits to meet the interest of this new generation of cinemagoers, who wanted to learn more about the actors in the films they saw.
The motion graphics in cinema trend really took off post World War Two. Graphic designers such as Saul Bass and Elaine Bass pioneered a new era of bold, colourful and creative motion graphics that brought films such as The Seven Year Itch (1955) and North by Northwest (1959) to life.
Other iconic film title designers of the 1960s and 1970s include Pablo Ferro, famed for Dr Strangelove (1964) and The Thomas Crown Affair (1968).
The digital age of motion graphics.
The arrival of digital technology in the late 20th century had a huge impact on motion graphics design. The Apple Mac landed in the early 1980s, empowering designers to create even more inventive title credits for films and TV shows.
Though the technology of the 1980s looks primitive today, by comparison with what had been available in the 1960s and 1970s, it amounted to a creative revolution. And as digital technology has advanced further in recent years with software such as Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects, the creative capabilities of designers have increased.
The Netflix-era of TV miniseries.
As television grew in popularity, the creators of popular TV shows employed the motion graphics principles of cinema. Early versions of TV credits from the 1970s and 1980s were basic. But as TV has grown to rival cinema, that gap has narrowed. Today, big-budget miniseries on HBO or Netflix boast opening credits to rival anything seen in Hollywood - with 3D motion graphics in particular providing some memorable title sequences.
The advertising and social media age.
The advent of the Internet, social media and digital advertising in the 2000s ushered in a new era of motion graphic design. Creative agencies began to employ talented designers to create short, animated (and often annotated) graphics to advertise their client’s products and services — often to break down complex processes into simple steps.
Using motion graphics to inform the world.
Infographics developed as a medium throughout the 2010s, aided by initiatives such as The Information is Beautiful Awards. But as social media became more prominent, many designers began to animate their flat infographics to tell more engaging stories that used motion to bring data and charts to life.
Examples of motion graphics
The Seven Year Itch (1955).
The opening credits of The Seven Year Itch, designed by Saul Bass, broke up the frame into a series of animated boxes in bold colours which opened and closed and appeared and disappeared to reveal the names of stars such as Marilyn Monroe and screenwriter Billy Wilder.
Game of Thrones (2011-2019).
The iconic HBO series based on the books of George R.R. Martin took readers to a vivid fantasy world. The design team behind it chose to use the opening credits to give context to that imaginary world, as the viewer journeys around a map of the different locations.
The ABC of Architects.
Named a staff pick by video-sharing platform Vimeo, this charming animation tells the history of architecture with a motion graphic design for the letters of the alphabet. Created by Andrea Stinga and Federico Gonzalez.
The Life of Spartacus.
Fiona Radford created this engaging animation for the Ted Ed site. It uses animation and a voiceover to tell the story of Spartacus and the creation of Sparta. Cleverly, the designer has based the animation on paintings found on ceramics from Ancient Rome.
How to create motion graphics.
Whether you’re creating opening credits for a film or social media posts for your small business, you can easily make words and pictures move with Adobe After Effects. With it you can:
Move an object through the scene with animation
Create background effects such as flowing patterns
Easily add flickering and wiggling movements
Introduce motion graphics to an existing video
- Create visual effects such as motion blur
Learn as much as you can about After Effects.
Adobe After Effects is one of the main tools motion designers use day to day. So, our first bit of advice on learning how to create motion graphic would be to spend as much time as possible getting to know After Effects.
4 After Effects tutorials for motion graphics.
Basic tools of After Effects
Create and animate text
Basics of keyframe animation
Animate an object to follow a path