The demand for videos has increased a lot over the past few years. Videos are used on a daily basis by almost everyone in all sectors. More than ever before, videos are now an unavoidable part of the marketing strategy of various businesses. 

Animation and motion graphics are two of the most common marketing mediums these days to reach your audience. Anything from a Pixar movie to a button tap feedback in an app is animation. Businesses use it in varied ways like entertaining 2d videos for children, explainers for corporations, or product videos. 

But very few understand the distinction between animation and motion graphics. Animation is an umbrella term for various types of visual content. At the same time, motion graphics animation is just one type of animation. 

Through this blog, I will tell you the difference between animation and motion graphics so that you can understand how to use them better in your marketing strategy. 

Let's dive in…

Animation v/s Motion Graphics

A deeper understanding of animation as a concept is vital before delving into the subtopics. Animation is a sequence of images that give the illusion of motion when played in a certain period of time. 

Traditionally, animation was done using a method called cell animation. You might remember it from old Disney animated films such as Pinocchio, Bambi, or Mickey Mouse. In this method, Pictures were hand-drawn on transparent celluloid sheets and photographed. 

The first animated feature film made with this method was Snowwhite and the seven dwarfs in 1937. Even with this hefty amount of hard work, they were able to create smooth and beautiful animations, yet their use was limited to entertainment and films. 

Over the 25 decades, the tool and techniques used to create animations evolved so much that they opened doors for new applications in marketing, engineering, architecture, and many other industries. 

Animation branched out into the various types that we see today – 2D Vector Animation, 3D Animation, Stop Motion, VFX, and CGI. Motion Graphics is also one of these types. 

Types of Animation

  • Classical Animation

It is the traditional form of animation where an animator manually draws all the sequence frames manually using a lightboard to see through the paper. The use of this form is declining due to the time and effort it takes to complete a project. Animation Films like Bambi, Snowhite, and Pinocchio are examples of this style.

  • 2D vector-based animation

This form of animation is widely used due to its efficiency. It is computer-generated vector animation that allows keyframing and tweening a single drawing to be animated into another. In this method, the artist is not required to draw the same drawing for each frame.

It saves the time and effort of the artist without affecting the creativity and storytelling. All the modern-day TV cartoons, explainer videos, infographics, etc., are created using this medium of animation.

  • 3D animation

A 3D animation is a modern form of art known for its realism and the ability to achieve a magnitude of visuals. Unlike 2D or traditional animation, drawing frames is not required. Instead, polygon models are created in a 3D space and viewed through a faux camera, creating an illusion of the real world. 

All modern-day big-budget animation films are made using this medium. This form is also used in architectural visualization, engineering, product design, and advertising too. 

  • Stop motion animation

Clay models are created and animated manually, which are photographed frame by frame in this medium. Like classical animation, it consumes a lot of time and effort and is not a very common medium of animation, but it is still prevalent. 

Types of Motion Graphics 

  • Explainer videos

Explainer videos are short 2d animation videos mostly made to explain or advertise an application, software, product, or service by animating text, shapes, icons, whiteboard, infographics, and sometimes characters.

Most of these videos play the role of making the presentation very attractive and creative. These videos help businesses in reaching out to their clients. These are mostly flat-style vector-based animations. The main focus in these videos is not the character's body dynamics and acting; instead, how every frame is presented is the main characteristic of these videos. 

  • Product videos

Product videos are 3D motion graphic videos. A product is modeled in 3D and is presented in the most visually attractive way. These videos showcase how a product looks, its features, and its operation.

  • Architectural walkthroughs

Architectural walkthrough videos are used for advertising and visualization purposes. Architectural models are created in 3D, which can be used for designing, planning, or modification purposes. A virtual camera is animated through these models to visualize how the architecture will look once it is constructed in the real world.   

  • Medical animations

These videos are used for educational purposes. These are valuable for understanding subjects like anatomy, biology, and other medical sciences. These have improved this industry by preventing the need for dissections too often. 

  • Kinetic typography

Animations based on text are called kinetic typography animations. These videos are used everywhere these days; commercials, music videos, mobile apps, and websites all use them to make their words more impactful and add artistic elements.

These videos are popular because audiences often avoid big chunks of text, and these animations are stimulating enough to grab viewers' attention. 

  • User Interface animation

UI animation is how a UI element reacts upon interaction with the user. These are important because they let the user know that their action has been successfully performed.

For instance, a toggle button goes green after a tap or Tabs expanding and contracting to show navigation. The lack of these animations doesn't register action in the user's brain and can be fatal for UX. Loading animations, navigation, progress bars, etc., are some examples of these animations. 

  • Logo animation

The purpose of a logo is to represent a brand that is shown with the shapes and colors and the animation. For agility in a brand, quick motion can be used to communicate innocence or femininity with softer movements like fades, wipes, etc. Logo animations are increasing in popularity and will be something that is here to stay.

  • Titles and infographics

Important information is conveyed through titles. Animations can establish a hierarchy in relaying the information based on its importance. For example, the title or name of a movie is displayed first, followed by its director's name.

Similarly, infographics in sports streams use animations to direct the viewer's eyes, going from points table to current score to player stats. These small motions keep the audience engaged when there isn't much action going on. 

Summing it Up

To sum up, all motion graphics are animations, but all animations are not motion graphics. Similarly, not all animators are the same. A character animator needs an understanding of acting, expressions, and body dynamics. 

At the same time, a motion graphic artist excels in physics, dynamics, shape and text animation, etc. When your videos are telling a story for entertainment purposes, high-quality character animation is required. To convey information creatively and impressively, motion graphics will do the job.

 Often, both can be used together, depending on your requirements and priorities. Do you need help with understanding what videos work for you? Contact us to get assistance in making amazing videos to boost your marketing. 

                                                                                                                               Editor: Amrutha

Frequently Asked Questions

The choice between graphic design and animation depends on your interests and career goals. Graphic design primarily focuses on creating visual content, such as logos, posters, and layouts, while animation involves bringing static elements to life through movement. Both fields require creativity and technical skills, but they serve different purposes. Graphic design is about crafting static visuals, whereas animation involves dynamic storytelling and motion.

Learning motion graphics can be highly beneficial if you're interested in animation. Motion graphics involve animating graphic elements, making them a valuable skill for animators. They are often used in explainer videos, title sequences, and visual effects. By mastering motion graphics, you can enhance your animation capabilities and create engaging, visually appealing animations.

Motion graphics and graphics are related but distinct disciplines. Graphics encompass a wide range of visual elements, including illustrations, images, and designs. Motion graphics, on the other hand, involve animating these graphic elements to convey information or tell a story. While graphics focus on static visuals, motion graphics add movement and dynamics to those vis

GIFs can be considered a type of motion graphic. A GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) is a specific file format used for simple animations or looping sequences. It is a form of motion graphics that often involves short, repetitive animations. While GIFs are a subset of motion graphics, motion graphics can encompass a broader range of animated content, including videos, explainer animations, and visual effects in film and television.