Motion Design is the art of graphic design within the context of motion graphics such as film, video or computer animation. Examples include the typography and graphics you see as the titles for a film, or opening sequences for television or the spinning, three-dimensional logo for a television channel. About 12 minutes in every hour of broadcast television is the work of the motion graphics designer, yet it is known as the invisible art, as many viewers are unaware of this component of programming. Although this art form has been around for decades, it has taken quantum leaps forward in recent years, in terms of technical sophistication. If you watch much TV or see many films, you will have noticed that the graphics, the typography, and the visual effects within this medium have become much more elaborate and sophisticated.
The dramatic elevation of this art form is largely due to technology improvements. Computer programs for the film and video industry have become vastly more powerful and more available. Probably the leading program used by motion graphic designers is Adobe After Effects
, which allows them to create and modify graphics over time. Adobe After Effects is sometimes referred to as "Photoshop
for film." A relatively recent product in the market is Apple Computer's Motion
, now a part of Final Cut Studio
. Motion is an inexpensive and user-friendly program that promises to hugely enlarge the ranks of motion graphic designers. A typical motion designer is a person trained in traditional graphic design who has learned to integrate the elements of time, sound and space into his/her existing skill-set of design knowledge. Motion designers can also come from filmmaking or animation backgrounds.
Practical Principles of Motion Design
A lot of people when using a graphic motion design application, find it is an object-oriented application. These media files can be still images in pixel or vector format, movie sequences and audio files. Inside the application you'll create a 'new composition' with an own and independent timeline, resolution, frames-per-second and pixel size.
When creating a composition, you insert one or more of your media files. The files appear on the composition window, as well as in the timeline.
Layers have properties which you can manipulate such as position (x, y and sometimes Z), scale, rotation, opacity, etc. Layers merge with each other by using transparency information provided by the alpha channel and blending modes, which change the way a layer affects the layers below. Almost all the modifiable properties can be keyframed, which means that its value can be stored at certain positions through time. And this is one of the basic principles in computer animation, the use of the computer to interpolate values between keyframes through time.
Motion Design Studios & Designers
Robert McMonagle - Pittsburgh,pa
Motion Design & digital compositing software packages
Since motion design is created using images and video sequences, a great complementary tool is a 3d software package. Cinema 4D
is widely used for its intuitive interface, layered export to Adobe After Effects, and the additional MoGraph module, but there are also several others. Such packages can generate images or video sequences with an alpha channel
, which stores all the transparency information.
Motion Design applications include:
3D Programs used in Motion Graphics include:
Motion Graphics Plugins include: