Motion graphics is one of the most effective ways to capture your audience with video. This is because motion graphics video doesn’t have the same restraints as live-action. In addition, it can be crafted and stylised to suit your brand to a T.
However, before you get carried away, make sure you know exactly what motion graphics is.
What is motion graphics?
Motion graphics encompasses text and images that are animated to tell a story.
The text in motion graphics video is often described as ‘kinetic’, as opposed to the stationary way we usually see text. For example, in this blog post.
The images in motion graphics video are usually never character-based. This is because character-based animation is usually reserved for when we speak about ‘2D animation’ or ‘3D animation‘.
Rather, motion graphics refers to logos, symbols, and other shapes. However, you may have pre-made graphic images of people in your video. These ‘people’ can move around as images, but they’re not rigged like proper characters.
The 4 main types of motion graphics video
- Kinetic text & voiceover: The combination of moving text onscreen and a voiceover to pad out explanation. This works well for data-focused motion graphics videos.
- Voiceover: The voiceover does all the worded explanation work. However, the video’s graphics can explain in their own ways too. Make sure you think about what is best explained in graphic form and vice versa. This can make or break your video’s effect!
- Kinetic text: This is best for situations where sound isn’t an option, such as big trade shows. Despite the absence of sound, this can actually be effective in forcing viewers to pay more attention. As a result, they may take more information in.
- Graphic visuals only: While this subtle type of motion graphics video isn’t as common, it could work well for your brand.
The key to a successful motion graphics video? Creative collaboration, at every stage. Motion graphics requires artistic talent and creative minds to come together with a shared goal. If you can achieve this goal with your motion graphics video, you’ve done it right.
How to create a motion graphics video: step-by-step
1. Writing your script
Before you even pick up your pen, you need to think about a few key questions. These questions will inform what your motion graphics video will look and sound like.
- Who is your target audience for this motion graphics video?
- What do you want them to get out of it?
- What emotional response do you want to achieve from this audience?
Once you’ve got concrete answers to these, you can start writing.
However, there are still things to be aware of. Motion graphics video is short by design, because this brings the most engagement. As a result, you need to keep your script short but sweet.
Make sure you get continuous feedback from your colleagues or client before moving into design. This is our most important tip for the scriptwriting stage, as it wastes a lot of time if you have to backtrack!
2. Drawing your storyboard
Again, this stage warrants a good brainstorm with your design and production teams. We recommend drawing a sketch of your storyboard on a whiteboard so it can be edited with new ideas.
Each frame of your storyboard should represent each change in shot.
A good storyboard demands artistic skill and ability to properly envision the finished product.
Once your storyboard is moved from whiteboard to paper and is complete, it’s time to design.
3. Taking your storyboard into design
The design stage is where the graphics that will make up your video are created. What’s important here is nailing style and colour. Everything needs to lead back to the brand and goal.
Even more importantly, everything you will design here will be used in the final animation. No pressure! So, take extra care to get it just right so as to not waste any time.
Is your storyboarder also your designer? If not, you might want to think about reviewing this. Having the same person storyboard then move to design ensures consistency and avoids confusion.
As well as the storyboard, your production team will also need visual notes to work on the animation. Provide these with the designs, and you’re good to go.
You’re nearly there – this is where your motion graphics video comes to fruition.
To clear this final hurdle, you need to keep these things in mind:
Is your animation style in keeping with the brand? Do your transitions make sense?
In order to maintain engagement, you need to make sure your timing
is spot on. Don’t make it too fast, or your audience will miss the message. Alternatively, drag it on too long and they’ll lose interest. Find the right
balance and switch the pace up throughout to create excitement.
We all know music’s power in setting the mood. Although your motion graphics video might not need music, strongly consider using it. Music is also useful for filling gaps in voiceover that may otherwise be silent. If you do use it, think about how your graphics will move to your chosen track.
Sound effects aren’t as necessary as music for a motion graphics video. However, they might work for YOUR video if you have a good reason. Like everything else in this list, only implement it if it adds true value and not a distraction.
If you’re looking for more detail on the video production process, read our post here.
Motion graphics video tips
Here are our top pieces of wisdom to take away with you when making your first motion graphics video.
You don’t need a complex design
You just need to know how to manipulate it. As they say, it’s easy when you know how.
If you’re mixing live-action footage with motion graphics, you can use motion tracking. This is where a graphic follows the path of something in the frame, such as a person.
Have a strong creative brief
This helps everyone, from your designers to your animators.
Get the sign off at every stage
Trust us – this saves so much time. Plus, working at a consistent pace keeps up enthusiasm.
Outsource your video production
If you’re struggling – in learning the techniques, or financially – the best thing you can do is always OUTSOURCE. Outsourcing to a team of video experts is proven to save you time, energy and resources. What’s more, it’s great value for money.
Have a ready-made distribution plan
It’s easy to get caught up in the creation and forget what you’ll be doing with the video afterwards.
However, distribution is just as important because it’s how, when and where your audience will SEE the finished video. For example, you should know which platforms your audience is most present on.
Your audience is the most important factor
Don’t let your personal preference cloud your decisions. Remember who you’re making the motion graphics video for.
Motion graphics software
By this point, you’re probably thinking… ‘Now I know the steps to make a motion graphics video, but what do I make it in?’
Don’t worry – we’re here to save the day again.
There are many motion graphics software programmes out there, but we want your video to be amazing. That’s why we’ve picked the best of the best to feature here.
- Very versatile for creative designers.
- However, you need a working knowledge.
- Features: Design boards, create GIFs, stitch images together, layout cel animations
- Buy it here
- Photoshop deals with pixel-based editing – Illustrator deals with vectors
- Vector = a file that can be infinitely scaled without losing quality/pixellating (very important for motion graphics).
- Features: Guaranteed quality, built-in design templates and presets, dynamic symbols, live shapes
- Buy it here
Adobe After Effects
- The most important piece of software for motion graphics – nothing is more versatile or essential
- 2.5D animation software – can do anything but 3D modelling
- Animate in here once designed in Photoshop or Illustrator
- Features: Title animations, motion tracking, 3D compositing, simulation effects and so much more
- Buy it here
Video editing software
Adobe Premiere Pro
- Export your animation to here and add to the rest of your video
- Premiere integrates with After Effects, making it even more essential
- Almost twice as popular as its closest competitor
- Features: Motion graphics templates, video titling and graphics, transitions, VR editing
- Buy it here
- Easy to use after a quick tutorial
- Features: Volume builder, node-based shaders, UV unwrapping and so much more
- Buy it here
- Plug-ins for After Effects
- Features: Form, stroke, shine, sound keys, 3D lights, 3D backgrounds
- Buy it here
Have we helped you create your first motion graphics video? Let us know!
Still need some help? Get in touch with us and we can offer our extensive video expertise. We have years of experience in creating that ‘WOW’ effect for all kinds of audiences!
Check out the rest of our blog here, where we delve into all things video production and video marketing.