The two terms, animation and motion graphics, have often been used interchangeably, despite not being exactly synonymous. While motion graphics is a type of animation involving moving or animated graphic design, animation is an umbrella term used to describe everything from animated cartoons to Claymation.
If your business is interested in promoting content via animated videos, it is crucial to understand the difference between the two terms so as to make informed decisions about the same.The process of hiring animators to curate your content depends on your specific animation needs.Many animation studios do not include motion graphics as part of their services, whereas certain studios specialize as motion graphics company exclusively.
To begin with, motion graphics can be defined as adding motion to still graphics. It involves static graphic design being given animation and movement, to make it more visually appealing.
This kind of animation works as support for photorealistic visual content. It does not create a holistic, virtual, animated world altogether, instead animating shapes, objects, and texts to present them creatively. For instance, notice howmotion graphics adds a certain flair to the information imparted in this WeaverBird video:
Other, equally relevant, ways in which motion graphics differs from other animation are:
- The Element of Storytelling:
Motion graphics and animation differ in the stories that they aim to convey. Motion graphics can be distinguished from typical animation in that they are not strictly character driven or story based.
In an animation, the visuals usually tell a story, replete with its own characters and storylines. Animation is a powerful storytelling medium, capable of narrating emotional and innovative stories; whereas motion graphics narrates information primarily.
Motion graphics is more about giving life and movement to something that usually wouldn’t have any. Texts, shapes, designs in a presentation, background and visuals in an explainer video, processes like the one through which a product gets manufactured- these are all made possible by motion graphics.
- Visual style:
The visual functions as well as the visual presentation of animation are different from those of motion graphics.This makes animation and motion graphics to cater to different needs, industries, and audiences.
Motion graphics chiefly function as visual aid. They assist in visualizing complex ideas and processes which would be duller and more difficult to express via verbal or graphic content alone.Motion graphics essentially ensure that your information is conveyed in an engaging and entertaining manner.
Animation allows for more artistic scope visually. You can get really creative with animation as it involves building a virtual, animated world, every detail of which you can manipulate, to narrate a compelling story. With visual styles in animation,the only limit is your imagination.
While animation is a visually stunning experience, its visual style and storytelling can also have a limiting effect- it may lock the video to a specific audience. For example, cute and colourful animation may appeal to children but not to adults; or, adults might enjoy an animated world with stories of realism, but not children.
Motion graphics, on the other hand, do not have to thoroughly engage the audience in their style or story. They simply have to convey the video’s messages in an attractive and understandable manner. If the video looks more interesting with motion graphics than without, motion graphics will have done its job. So, motion graphics is more palatable to universal audiences. It is an appealing medium to a wide range of viewers for this reason. Motion graphic companies specialize in making even the most inaccessible knowledge palatable to the broad, everyday audience.
Because motion graphics are generally used as visual props, they are easier and cheaper to integrate into videos. Between animation and motion graphics, the latter is a less complex art. With motion graphics, you get creative results without having to invest a lot of money.
Animation of other forms, like CGI or stop-motion animation or traditional animation, costs more. This is not surprising, because drawing whole animated realities is not the same as animating certain elements here and there. Here is a more detailed explanation of the money end of hiring animating talent:
Finally, it is important to note that animation and motion graphics are not mutually exclusive, and can of course be used simultaneously for the same video. Most motion graphics companies also offer their services to create other kinds of animation. If you are looking to make content using a variety of media, perhaps a comprehensive creative studio is ideal for you, for these reasons: