Motion Graphics

Digital Defined: Motion Graphics

Last updated on: 2018


If you spend any time at all on social media, there is no doubt you have scrolled past posts featuring motion graphics. But what exactly is a motion graphic? Simply put, it’s a digitally animated piece of text, images or both! With our short attention spans and tendency to scroll right past things that don’t keep our attention, motion graphics are, hands down, one of the most valuable tools in social media. Below are three tips and tricks to get you started.

Get The Right Software

Adobe is a powerhouse when it comes to creating motion graphics. To get fully immersed into the motion graphics game, you’ll need to acquire Adobe After Effects; however, I recommend you play around with Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator first. Not only will this allow you to create your own intricate shapes, type and design, but it will give you a jump start on navigating After Effects.

Learn Keyframes

A keyframe defines the starting and ending points of any smooth transition (the name refers to the frames on a strip of film). Keyframes will dictate everything in your animation or motion graphic, including rotation, movement, scale, pacing and fluidity. All of these elements run on a percentage scale. Keyframes are also used in audio editing, as well as non-linear editing (something as a simple as a fade up or down on a music file).

There are an endless amount of things you can do with keyframes, so it’s best that you experiment as much as possible.

In the example below, I’ve placed two keyframes. The one on the right has set scale to 100 and the one on the left has been set to 0. This will allow my shape layer to grow from 0% – 100% in a fluid manner.

Motion Graphic Example

Motion Graphic Keyframe Example

Motion Graphic Keyframe Final Product

You can do this simple animation with any of the elements depicted or mentioned previously.

Get Creative

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the possibilities are endless with motion graphics. The more you play around with the programs and get comfortable navigating the software, the more you’ll be able to branch out creatively. Collaboration is key in the digital world, but as an editor, your ideas are only as good as your toolbox and ability to execute.

Looking for more instruction on creating motion graphics? There are many YouTube channels dedicated to teaching After Effects for people of all skill sets. Use these to your advantage and allow them to inspire you to grow as a motion graphics artist. 

Need more convincing that motion is essential to a successful social media marketing strategy? Check out our article on the topic here.

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