Motion Graphics


There is no universal definition of motion graphics, because of that there is no defined beginning of the art form. People have claimed that the first form of motion graphics dates back to as early as the 1800s. However, Michael Betancourt wrote the first historical in-depth survey on the subject, he stated that the first form of motion graphics was in the 1920s in the films by Walther Ruttmann, Hans Richter and Viking Eggeling.

Walther Ruttmann – Opus 2 (1921)

Ruttmann’s Opus 2 is one of my favourite abstract motion graphic pieces. The graphics coincide with the orchestral music with a gentle on the eye flow of graphics connoting an abstract the circle of life (in my opinion). To me it seems that the agent grande movement influenced Ruttmann’s work of film expression.

Hans Richter – Rhythem.21 (1921)

Unlike most films in the 1920s featuring people, plants, animals, the ocean, etc. to create a 3 demential depth that shows a foreground, middle ground and background.  This motion image uses geometric shapes like squares and rectangles to create optical effects. I believe that Richer’s work is one of the men leading the way to motion graphics and kinetic typography as we know them today.

Viking Eggeling – Symphonie Diagonale (1924)

Eggeling’s work has a definitive style of agent-grande, dada and cubism. His work has complex forms of lines and shapes created frame by frame with a non naturalistic style. According to Richter, Eggeling “… had succeeded in articulating a complete syntax of form on the basis of line, which he called ‘Generalbass der Malerei.’ I was passionately impressed.”

Before computers were widely available, motion graphics were costly and time-consuming, limiting their use to high-budget filmmaking and television production. But the art form continued to evolve with elements such as 3D camera paths, special effects, compositing, colour correction, etc. Animation is also a big part of motion graphics through the use softwares like Adobe After Effects it is possible to animate art, text, photos and video clips. Combining these elements together can capture the attention of vast audiences. Today motion graphics is used to entertain, inform and educate the public, Disney Pixar is one of the leading companies in the entertain section. Inform and educate is farmed out to graphic designers with the skills to use softwares like Adobe After Effects for various companies and governments.

Disney Pixar animation – Toy Story Trailer (1995)

But the technology today doesn’t stop at animation, there are Computer Generated-Imagery, top of the range Special Effects and much more. James Cameron’s Avatar (2009), Titanic (1997) and Aliens (1986) are all significant points in the history of motion image. This is because these films showed the world what modern technology could accomplish. They are some of the best blockbuster films to ever come out , not just because of the effects used, but the storyline, emotions and the innocence of the characters.

Aliens (1986)

Titanic (1997)

Avatar (2009)

Clips from the internet

Government – Don’t fail Idoha by Buck

This info motion graphic really hits home with the realism of the animation. It will make parents and students think about their decisions in their life to do with education and the future. The transitions serve up delightful surprises by the eye-full while visual metaphors peppered throughout the poignant script give the spot equal measures of weight and wit.

Industry – We are Hitachi by Andrew Gill

Gill’s animation was created to show the employees of Hitachi the full spectrum of products and services. His use of kinetic typography and animation to captivate the audience and to understand no matter the nationality what Hitachi are all about, due to the sense of realism.

TV – T4 This Means War movie special by Andrew Gill

This short film is about the film This Means War. It was created to inform the T4 viewers about the new action/romance/comedy movie staring Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine and Tom Hardy. The use of the interview footage and animation is clever and it keeps the audience intrigued. They become one with each other as if it was a film.

Andrew Gill

Through some of my research for me I think that Andrew Gill’s work is some of the best motion graphics that I have come across, they are all different for different projects and he has specialised himself to motion graphics with some print work combined. His showreel is  complex and gets across the highlights of his work.

He has worked with some national and international names and organisations like T4, Hitachi, Fair Trade, Swan and Nandos just to name a few. Some of Gill’s work goes into a subsection of motion graphics called kinetic typography, this is when the animation is mainly text orientated.

Fair Trade

This motion graphic for Fairtrade highlights the facts and processes involved with the organisation. It is an info motion graphic. I like the realism involved in getting the message across.

R308. Creating Worlds

Formed from a mass of confusing, contrasting and inspirational voices, of experiences and ideas that inhabit this one space in time. This is one of my favourites, it just keeps me interested in it and can influence my thinking at the time.

Stuff Magazine

This was for a launch of the Stuff iPad app. It is clever and emulates Stuff’s purpose for the viewers, I really enjoy watching it.


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