Motion Graphics: Take it to the Next Level

In recent posts, we have brought to light many of TRG’s services and abilities, from photography to CGI to film, but one aspect we have yet to explore in depth is motion graphics. For those of you who may not be entirely familiar with this process, motion graphics is exactly what it sounds like: text and shape animations that are added to a video to help relay information. In this piece, TRG Video Editor and Motion Designer Bobby Dorrance explains the varying degrees of this communicative art form.


On the most basic level, motion graphics are text and shapes used only to convey information. There is little design to the graphics, and little to no animation. While motion graphics can become quite sophisticated,these simpler graphics are not necessarily used as a creative element to help make the video more appealing,but to help get a message across. At the basic level, the graphics are less important when considering the visual beauty of the informational piece.

Middle of the Road

If we kick it up a notch, motion graphics are used to help tell a story in a more creative manner. More consideration goes into design – including font, color, size, placement, etc. These graphics will most likely include targeted animations that land the graphics in the right place at the right time. The graphics can also be used as a creative element in helping to communicate the story or information in a more visually appealing approach. At this level, the graphics are as important as the visual material they are supporting. Likewise, the graphics will match the quality of that visual material.

Top of the Line

Motion graphics at the advanced level can be the main force in telling the story or communicating the desired information. The design details are taken into great consideration, and will usually include complex animations that can be linked throughout the story. Given the assets at hand, advanced motion graphics truly convey the story in a beautiful graphical way, usually outweighing any of the other visuals. At the advanced level, motion graphics become the driving force behind the telling of the story.

Once we go beyond the advanced level, we begin to move from 2D motion graphics to 3D. With its seemingly innumerable possibilities in composition and movement, 3D motion graphics presents not just another level, but another world of graphic design.

3D in After Effects

These graphics can fall into the middle or advanced levels mentioned above, but they usually take a little more time to compile since you are working in a 3D space. The graphics can be simple lines, shapes, or text, but they can also be as complex as particle systems that interact with other objects in the scene.


At this level, motion graphics has reached the peak of its capabilities. Here you have the power to create anything you want, be it 2D or 3D. The only restraint at this level is the creator’s ability and the tools he or she has at hand.