Animations Vs. Motion Graphics – What’s The Difference?

There are tons of innovations popping out here and there in animations, which is why the whole idea of understanding the difference between various animation styles is becoming increasingly difficult.

Therefore, today I’m going to tell you the difference between two of the most popular mediums of engaging the audience – animations and motion graphics. I don’t work in an animation studio in New York; however, my interest in both fields has enabled me to learn more about what they’re actually all about.

Although motion graphics are a part of animations, there’s a difference between the two by definition and visuals, delivery, format, style, and much more. While being a part of animation, motion graphics are closely connected with objects, including cartoons to Claymation.

On the other hand, we’ve got animation, a parent term used to describe all types or graphic design, styles, elements, and movement incorporated in any video. From the storytelling narrative to the unmatched engagement, animations rest assure you that you get the most amazing results through your video marketing efforts. Animation studios in New York have learned all the ins and outs of both of these video formats, which is why they’re capitalizing on their understanding to create great videos for their customers.

Comparatively, motion graphics are less of a storytelling approach than other types of animations have. Well, this was just the intro; let’s start uncovering some of the most intriguing details of both of these and find out how both of them actually differ from each other.

What Is Animation?

 Animation is the parent term that is used to define all types of video formats related to it. Even motion graphics falls under the umbrella of animation. Additionally, the history of animation dates back almost 100 years.

With the inception of new technology, modern methodologies, and tools, creating animation has become easier than ever. Well-known Animation studios in New York have started offering animation services.

However, to become such a pro in animations, one needs to understand what they’re all about. Therefore, in the fewest possible words, any technique making a static object move in any kind of motion can be considered animation.

The following are some types of animations:

  • Whiteboard animation.
  • Cartoons.
  • CGI.
  • Anime.
  • Claymation.
  • Motion Graphics

What actually distinguishes motion graphics from other types of animations is the content involved within the videos. Motion graphics are generally centered around objects, text, or other graphic elements representing any type of motion. However, when you’re bringing a graph, web design, or inanimate characters to life, this is animations, but specifically, this is called motion graphics.

In comparison, Animations are more specifically centered towards creating cinematic effects, storytelling narratives, or aesthetically pleasing visuals to engage the audience.

A great example that would explain the core difference between the terms would be that; if your video is making graphics move to illustrate a message or purpose – it is called motion graphics. If your video has a human character that follows an emotional journey, this is more likely animation.

So, what other differences set animations apart from motion graphics?

Animations are perfect for storytelling

Animations are perfect for storytelling especially considering the fact mentioned above that they include characters. Whether you’re a grown-up or a kid, you must have seen Disney’s or Pixar’s animated movies.

Ever noticed the storytelling narrative? The characters within the movie that create an emotional bond with the audience? Although every second and scene of the animated film is fictional, it contains the power to connect with the viewers. This is what animation is known for.

More Costly Than Motion Graphics

Animations are more expensive as compared to motion graphics. This is simply because animations are super-difficult to produce as compared to motion graphics which is relatively easier. Motion graphics can also be considered as a less complicated form of animation.

However, when you’re considering making your stop motion video more CGI, hand-drawn, or photorealistic, you can expect to invest more money because this will surely cost you more than a simple stop motion.

Now that you know all about animations let’s explore what motion graphics are all about.

What are motion graphics?

Motion graphics tend to be more direct, static, and usually observed without following a special narrative. They are more drawn to the cause of making static graphic designs move hence, the word “Motion Graphics.”

For example, you want the percentage of a specific motion in your pie chart to increase with some extra visual flair – for this, you can use motion graphics. If you want your website’s logo to spin, rotate, move, change positions or perform anything movement-related – that’s motion graphics.

Furthermore, if you want to bring an entire kid’s fairy tale to life, that’s actually not motion graphics. That’s a completely different type of animation.

We learned from the above details that “Story” is one of the most noticeable factors that differentiate between motion graphics and animations. Some objects included in the motion graphics are shapes, text, graphics, boxes, designs, etc.

With the motion graphic details out of the way, let’s explore some other ways in which motion graphics differ from animations in general.

Illustrate sophisticated ideas

One of the core advantages of using motion graphics is that they can be used to visually illustrate sophisticated ideas.

For example, there are times when your audience may require a visual explanation of a subject than conventional text or images. Here, motion graphics take the teaching approach up a notch by clearing everything up perfectly by moving inanimate objects.

Just think of any bar in which you’re supposed to enter data. When you enter the wrong data, it turns red, signaling that your entered data was wrong and that you need to try again.

Motion Graphics are quite a in demand nowadays

It’s true! The outstanding property of motion graphics to clear a point easily and conveniently makes them different from other animation styles or animation itself.

Leveraging cartoons for the sake of promoting a product or service may feel a bit bland for an entrepreneur. On the other hand, motion graphics can be applied to various mature topics because of their property of making complex topics easier to understand.

Motion Graphics & Animations: When to use Them

The internet is full of viewers/users who are always ready to watch engaging videos from a brand, a studio, or any other type of digital or physical commodity. Therefore, it doesn’t matter whether you use motion graphics or animations to increase engagement, traffic, or even conversions.

What actually matters is that you know the difference between the two; you learn the logic behind both formats and then apply any one of the styles to your video.

This approach would help you to make a more informed decision hence, yielding much higher results than a video that is made just for the sake of making videos.

Furthermore, there’s a huge community of marketers that prefer videos as the best medium of attracting and engaging new customers. So, where creating videos is important, it is equally important to select the best type of video perfectly arranged according to your brand and business goals.

Over To You

That’s all, folks.

Gone are the days when you used to think of motion graphics and animations as the same thing.

As I told you earlier – with the inception of different animations, a lot of overlap between the two formats was observed. This cluttered the whole concept of both of them, making it difficult for the general audience to tell them apart.

But one thing’s for sure, and that is – no matter which type of video you’re willing to leverage for your brand. You can be rest assured that if the video is compelling, it has the power to not only attract but also convert your audience.

Moreover, now that you know the differences between the two, I believe that you’ll make a better decision when creating your next marketing or client’s video. Some of the best animation studios in New York know the difference between stop motion and animation, which is why they’re creating business, product, or service-oriented videos for their customers that are yielding amazing results.

Author Bio

Jane Collen is a creative content writer and digital marketer at BuzzFlick. She works closely with B2C and B2B businesses providing blog writing, video script writing, ghostwriting, copywriting and social media marketing services.

Christophe Rude
Christophe Rude
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