What Does a Motion Graphic Designer Do?

The term motion graphic designer is really popular.

Often, people confuse the term with animators and designers. But that’s not correct. Motion graphic designers have their league. There are fully dedicated 3D Motion Graphics Services that employ these talented designers.

A motion graphic designer may use animation, audio, and visuals to create moving content. He may create moving graphics for film, television, or the internet.

To nail their job to perfection, motion graphic designers are always coordinating with creative team members. So, communication is of vital importance. They have to be proactive to incorporate design elements into the project.

As per the US Bureau of Statistics, a motion graphics design is better off seeking employment when they have a Bachelor’s degree in computer graphics or a similar field.

More importantly, some know-how of the industry or a work portfolio can improve job prospects for your career as a motion graphics designer.

Motion graphic experts use a combination of tools and software.

Mostly they use Adobe tools including Photoshop and Illustrator. These two tools are the most common programs used. However, more advanced motion graphic designers also use Cinema4D for 3D modeling.

Isn’t that too much to absorb? Let’s make our discussion simple and concise.

So, if you’re new to the crew, this would help.

Let’s define motion graphics.

What is motion graphics?

Motion graphics is a kind of animation that involves turning static designs into moving picture editor. Mostly these animations may be made in a two or three-dimensional format and have sound to amplify the effect.

Motion graphics are mostly used in apps, videos, games, and ads as well as on social media, where motion in images may allow the brand to connect with the audience in a better way.

Designers may use software tools to paint visual narratives digitally or on television.

Motion graphics vs Animations

Motion graphics is a type of animation. Conversely, the animation is a broad term.

Motion graphics often tend to be self-explanatory. There’s no narrative going around them. So, there is no element of storytelling.

However, most motion graphic companies offer a range of services, including scriptwriting and voiceover so that clients find the attractive.

The self-contained animation conveys the message. Often the fluidity of motion encodes the message as you may have seen in the intro of films and TV shows.

That self-contained animation may evoke emotion or response on its own.

It does not carry any narrative or storytelling. Filmmakers use motion graphics in the opening titles. You may have witnessed them using the effects of kinetic typography.

Besides, motion graphics are also popularly used in social media GIFs.

On the other hand, the animation is a broad domain. All types of motion design fall under the umbrella of animations. You can expect to see anything from cartoons, characters, stop motion, as well as Claymation.

Often to delight the audiences with a heartwarming effect animations may be tweaked to have a cinematic effect. Creatives may even use storytelling to paint scenes and characters using animation.

Essential skills to become a motion graphics designer

To embark on a journey of success in motion graphics, there are certain skills that are essential, and one may develop these to the best of their capabilities.

Firstly, you need an in-depth understanding of design principles including layout, color theory as well as typography.

And, one skill that is at the heart of any art career, is creativity. Quality motion graphics designers should not shy away from unleashing their creativity.

Besides, it would be wise to get acquainted with the principles of motion graphics, and animation.

But that’s the conceptual knowledge. There’s more.

You need to have sound technical knowledge or good hands-on experience with software or design tools including PhotoShop, Illustrator, InDesign, and After Effects.

Now, that we’ve discussed technical and conceptual knowledge related to design, there are some soft skills, one must hone to be competitive and attractive to employers.

Motion graphics designers or any designer must possess strong communication skills.

Having exceptional communication skills does not only mean that you should be able to get the message across quickly, but should be really effective among your coworkers, clients, and managers.

More than that, you would want to minimize jargon and consider using simple language as it would help you to make a general audience understand your work with ease.

What does the job of a motion graphics designer look like?

As a graphic designer, your role can be demanding. You would be asked to create graphics. Or depending upon the complexity of the job, you may be asked to curate 2d or 3d animations from inception to the final product.

In addition, there are other job duties;

You’ll be working with a creative team

Often, you’ll be asked to actively discuss the project with the client, and understand their needs.

Your job as a motion graphic designer would also involve picking audio, visuals, typography, and even other essential design elements.

Since brands are also continuously working to level up their social media experience for the user, you would also be working to create motion graphics for Social media GIFs and much more to connect with the audience.

Last, but not least, on an average day, a motion graphic designer would be working on tools like Illustrator, PhotoShop, InDesign, and much more.

As you progress through the ranks in the team, you might be asked to assume more of a managerial role. You will be responsible for the swift onboarding of new members and help them acclimatize to the work culture of your team.

Work environment

The domain of motion graphics is full of exciting talent. Interestingly, more than half of all motion graphic designers are self-employed.

That shows how much emphasis artists lay on being independent and free. Plus, working as a freelancer also means better opportunities for growing your income.

Besides, motion graphic designers may also work with agencies and gaming studios. Primarily, they are hired by ad agencies and computer-related industries. Moreover, scientific agencies and other technical niche companies may also pay attention to them.

So, if you wish to become a motion graphics designer, know that you can find solid opportunities both in the entertainment and non-entertainment niche.

Or if you’ve quality skills, and some fine experience which you can prove with a versatile portfolio, then you can even start as a self-employed motion graphics artist.

How much money can you make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average special effect artists and animators earn 78000+ USD. The lowest 10 percent are under the 50000 USD mark, whereas the highest is well above the 131000 USD mark.

And, interestingly the job market is likely to grow by 5 percent during the period 2021-2031.

Final thoughts

Let’s wrap it up. Motion graphics is a style of animation that involves moving pictures, texts, and graphics. Conversely, the animation is a broad domain.

A career in motion graphics can be fruitful for those who have a knack for design, a drive to work relentlessly while collaborating with teams and clients, and also addressing the needs of the audience compassionately. And, don’t forget, you must have a creative spark to get going and nail your job to perfection.

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