What is the Difference Between Motion Graphics and Animation?

Man working on a computer doing animation

Animation is a massive medium that includes many unique genres and styles. Nearly anything can be expressed in animation with enough creativity. Although we can list a great number of animation styles at the present time, the future will no doubt introduce new forms as fresh generations of artists implement new ideas. In addition to new styles, different points in history see certain forms of animation rise to prominence. For instance, we are currently in the age of motion graphics. This informative animation style has taken the world by storm with the rise of the Internet.

What is Motion Graphics?

Motion graphics is a form of animation in which text and information takes center stage. Movement is applied to data, graphs, text, and other graphics to make an informational video more appealing to viewers. Static images are boring and lead to the minds of the audience trailing off. However, motion stimulates the mind and engages the viewer. It also makes the information easier to retain. The effect is like using multiple colors when taking notes. It is easy to recall the motion, which helps the viewer remember the information presented. You can think of motion graphics as applying animation to graphic design principles.

Motion graphics are most often employed by video creators who need to get a point across. News broadcasts, Internet videos, employee training programs, and online schools are some of the most common places you will find motion graphics in action. Animation is applied to the data being presented to make it more appealing. In the age of social media and low attention spans, creators need every advantage they can muster to attract an audience.

What are the Benefits of Learning Motion Graphics?

Motion graphics is a great animation style to master. It is easy to start learning and allows you to transfer into more intense animation forms later on as your career progresses. Independent of that, a skilled motion graphics designer can work in a variety of jobs. As everyone on the Internet vies for the limited attention span of audiences, motion graphics will continue to become more and more important. This means a healthy job market for anyone who learns the craft.

What Kind of Jobs Are Available to Motion Graphics Specialists?

There are far too many jobs to list since motion graphics is dominating the online landscape and has bled into legacy media forms as well. Everyone wants some fancy motion graphics to spruce up their business. This allows you to work just about anywhere as long as the business doesn’t have a motion graphics designer aboard already. Here are five of the most common positions a new motion graphics artist can reasonably apply for.

Motion Graphics Designer

A motion graphics designer can work anywhere as long as the company has information they want to present in animated form. These positions usually involve working in large offices for established companies. Many old businesses are just now catching up to the age of digital media. This provides hundreds of open slots for motion graphics animators to fill.

Visual Effects Artist

Motion graphics can also be used in feature-length films and TV shows in the form of special effects. Visual effects and motion graphics share many of the same principles and processes. Because of this, motion graphic artists only need to learn how to use visual effects software to transition into these positions. With unique software, you can easily create explosions, lightning, and other effects that are animated in a similar manner to text. Hence, a trained motion graphics artist will instinctively know what to do.

Entry-Level Animator

You can also obtain an entry-level animation position at a professional studio. No publisher will expect a new recruit to know everything on their first day. Therefore, they will happily train motion graphics designers to fill these spots. You have enough transferable skills to make it an easy fit and can obtain an entry-level position working with any of the other animation styles.

News Station Crew

The average news broadcast is filled to the brim with motion graphics. Each story is accompanied by at least one new image that appears on-screen. Motion graphics designers know how to get an audience to retain information, so news companies are huge fans of the art form. You don’t need to apply for large national organizations, either. You can easily work for the many local stations in your area if you prefer not to move across the country.

Social Media Video Editor

Much like news broadcasts, social media videos and posts require motion graphics to be effective. The same principles for getting an audience to retain information apply here as well. You can start your own business working for many outlets simultaneously. It is not uncommon for many freelance video editors to work with multiple YouTubers, for example. There is no limit to how much business you can do. This option also affords the most freedom for artists who prefer to work on their own schedules.

Final Thoughts

Overall, becoming a motion graphics specialist is one of the smartest career choices you can make. The Internet age has created thousands of new positions that need to be filled by animators. Such a positive job market ensures you will have job opportunities for many years to come. In addition to all the positions available to motion graphics artists, you can transition into just about any other digital art form with further training. This increases your potential career options exponentially once you have some experience under your belt. If you have any interest in motion graphics, now is the ideal time to explore the craft.

Video Editing & Motion Graphics Program

Ready to learn more about a career in video editing and motion graphics? IPR’s Online Video Editing & Motion Graphics Degree program is entirely online, and allows students to earn a multi-skill, multi-functional Associate of Applied Science Degree in less than two years*.  Students learn entry-level skills in every aspect of post-production. IPR’s Video Editing and Motion Graphics program prepares you for a real-world role in post-production processes in the editorial, color, and motion graphics/animations departments.

If you are interested in a career in video editing and motion graphics you should tour our Minneapolis creative arts college, see the labs, and meet our staff. Call 1-612-351-0631 or contact admissions to make arrangements.

*2-year program completion based on full time enrollment