Over the past decade, animators have created a position in the business and cinematic world for themselves; endorsing brands and causes, describing merchandise, services, or complex subject matter. “Motion Graphics” - the animated videos produced and uploaded to landing pages of startups everywhere - have become an almost essential tool in advertising on the internet. They are as important as keywords and AdWords are in the search engine world.
Motion graphics is a continually growing industry. As the software is developed, growing cheaper and becoming more accessible, so is the fervor of artists to create even better works of art. From ad campaigns to TV commercials, excellent motion graphics can be seen just about anywhere.
Video has become the most successful way to quickly express information; motion graphics are now the highest of priorities for businesses wanting to enlist new customers, impress investors, and attract donors; all methods which lead to an increase in cash flow.
Writing, creating and designing a motion graphic does not have to be an exorbitant cost. Working with one or two independent artists, motion graphics can be as little as $5,000; however, they can also reach estimated prices of $50,000 when working with a full-service production house. Adobe’s After Effects is the most popular tool for creating motion graphics, but as web technology continues to grow, we might begin to see more in-browser animation using HTML5.
What is wonderful is that amateurs can use After Effects to become their own screenwriters, and with the right tools they can learn how to create a good motion graphic to promote their business. This will allow them to save money until they can afford a graphic promoter.
The most important thing to remember when creating your motion graphic is to apply some design thinking to the scriptwriting process. Motion graphics are successful not only because they are auditory or mental, but because of the visual effect they offer. Visual aid is tremendously beneficial, and the most important aspect of motion graphics. The words capture the attention of the audience; they often translate the core of your business, but the visual aid seals that explanation.
The script and the storyboard are the most important points of the motion graphic, but this does not mean you have to hire an art director to stand over you while you write. However, some specific things in the scriptwriting process make things easier for the design team. Here are the key points you must remember.
First and Foremost: Work Together
You’ll see your efforts getting translated as you watch your scripts turn into storyboards. Always be open to collaboration, communication, creative criticism, and open honesty with your team. They are the keys to an excellent motion graphic.
In the initial stages, work with your team to get the story basics
With motion graphic scripts, common problems are a lack of story, or far too much story. Both are easily fixable in the early stages by working together. Set a productive meeting to identify core story structure, premise, plot, possible conflict-solution, cliffhanger, climax, and so on.
Start thinking about interesting design opportunities that will support the script. The use of a visual personification may make a humorous anecdote that would call for a keyword choice.
Remember High School English Class Writing! A Persuasive Essay-Pathos, Logos, Ethos
What is your product? Who is your target audience? What keywords or AdWorks will you be using? Once you have answered these questions, figure out which is the best persuasive technique: emotions, logic, or expert opinion. Knowing this direction will help you determine which way you want to go with your visuals.
Visuals are key
What kind of style will you use in the animation? What kind of message do you want to send with the script? What will those characters look like? Will the artwork be realistic? Will the artwork be cartoonish? Will the artwork be three-dimensional or flat? Will there be a visual portrayal of ”heroes" in the story, or does it only have text and artwork? Are you sure you have accurately chosen representation that will reach your audience? Is your message going to get across? Now is the time to select a visual style to set the tone for the animation creatively. There will be numerous questions like these before you might get to your dream motion graphic, but all need to be answered.
A storyboard is a large board where you lay out the visuals and sounds that match the script. Post-its are useful for this; all the important moments in the script can be written on them, and arranged on the board as they will play out. Include sounds, music, narration and on-screen text that occurs at each critical moment.
Watch your Transitions
The motion graphic script might have voiceovers or on-screen text, but it is not essential to write down every visual in the script. Visuals do not play out line by line. Several scene changes occur in a motion graphic, but it is not necessary to write them all down. Making a suggestion is perfectly acceptable, but let the designer do his job. Remember that the designer is responsible for the creation of visual communication.
KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid
Script and voiceover length are often misjudged. If your video is two minutes long, this does not mean it has to be verbally filled every second. Make sure you leave room for breathing, and visuals to provide color, life, visual transitions, music, and appropriate line reads. Look for alternatives for long words. Find short, fun ways to get the same message across. All of these tricks will help you get a streamlined script.
Take Frequent Breaks
Make sure to take frequent breaks so you can come to it with fresh eyes. If you come to a brain freeze or get tunnel vision, you might think that the project looks terrible when you’re just frustrated. Step Away. Take a break. Creating a motion graphic does not get finished in a few hours - it’s a creative process that takes time. The planning period is there to get things in order, and allow for panic attacks too.
After your break, come back and look at the project from different angles. Get perspective from colleagues, and talk through these shots. As you work through this process, you might be surprised to find that your motion graphic is better than you thought.
Some Simple Tips You May Not Think About, But Can Save You Time & Money
- Get rid of doubt and negatives: ask the client what they don’t want. The result should be clearcut.
-Be prepared and recognize the problems before you start: be proactive, not reactive.
- Be flexible: don't be afraid to get rid of even a good idea, if it’s not working.
- Save often: don't rely on autosave. Just don’t.
- Name your folders to stay organized and save time: It sounds simple enough, but how many of us do it? Name your files on the desktop of your computer, and organize them so it saves time when you are in a hurry. You would be surprised how much frustration this can remove.
Motion graphics are the dawning of a new era in advertising, and now you have the tips for success in it! Trying your hand is the next easy step. There are plenty of tools out there to help you - good luck!
Challenge for the day: If you were to create a motion graphic, where would you start? We would love to hear your responses in the comments section below!