Cisco predicts that by 2020, 82% of all Internet traffic will be video. In 2017, this figure was already at 70%. Research also shows that people stay on your page two minutes longer if you include embedded videos.
The good news is, you don’t need to produce your own videos the old fashioned way – hiring filmmakers, coming up with sets and actors, or writing scripts.
Mary Meeker tells us that 81% of people mute video ads; 80% of Facebook video is watched without sound. Keeping that in mind, it is important to have videos that visually engage your audience. This is where motion graphics — the art and technology behind most of the videos that you see today — come into the picture.
What are Motion Graphics?
The term ‘motion graphics’ literally relates to digital footage that gives the illusion of movement. Such animations keep the audience engaged visually, and the dynamic transitions between text and images make the narration more exciting.
Motion graphics have been around for decades — just take a look at Donald Duck shooting some pool, one of the earliest examples of motion graphics! The difference now is that they are much easier to create.
Motion graphics are today’s most creative, cost-effective and exciting way to create videos. Traditionally speaking, they can be considered something between regular animation and graphic design, but with a lower cost of computer animation.
Today, motion graphics have moved away from being considered just a kind of graphic design, and have become a ‘movement’ in their own right. That said, here are some trends defining where motion graphics is headed.
Combining 2D and 3D
This is an example of a mixed production style. While we’ll continue to see the use of more and more 3D animation and graphic design, a trend taking over the motion graphics sector right now is the integration of 2D and 3D to create a radically new kind of visual.
The idea here is to make the visual more interesting and transform the traditional ‘paper cut out’ style. This makes the visual more complicated and is a strong, yet simple way to tell a story. The video ‘Let’s talk about Soil’ by IASS Vimeo Channel is an excellent example of mixing 2D and 3D.
Seamless transitions in motion design can be compared to a single shot movie. There are no interruptions, there is a smooth flow, and the narration moves ahead easily. The footage moves fluidly from one scene to the next, and it’s a conscious strategy to creatively use graphical elements and camera movement that already exists to create a blended or seamless transition.
Getting this right can lead to some mesmerizing and aesthetically pleasing results, keeping your audience glued to their screens.
Another trend that could be considered a variant of seamless transitions is infinite zooming. With this trend, it can appear as though the narration is headed inwards rather than following a longitudinal flow, producing a similar effect as a video that has seamless transition.
To see for yourself, here is a brilliant and visually captivating example of infinite zoom in play.
In addition to smooth transitions between scenes or invisible cuts is a growing trend of liquid motion. While this has been around for a while, it enjoys continued popularity today.
Liquid animation is when organic shapes transform in a liquid way. This can be achieved through morphing, stretching of objects, swirling typography, slow motion or twists and bends; this video is a good example of liquid motion.
Retro Motion or the Glitch Effect
Nostalgia is indeed a powerful tool, and retro motion graphics can lend a camera-like quality to the video and create a more organic effect. You can think of this as the Lo-Fi version of motion graphics in 2018.
One way to do this is by tweaking grain and noise. Grain helps in lending the camera-like quality and noise helps to present an element of visual distortion. The distortion elements create a natural video that adds more ‘realness’ and texture to the animated graphic. Here is a good example.
The popular TV show True Detective may or may not be behind this trend, but double exposure or the use overlapping images has definitely been one of the most ‘in’ trends in motion graphics this year. This effect can range from the use of two images to create the illusion of double exposure to animating text on images.
Watch this video to see for yourself.
Animated Fonts and Titles
Fonts and titles don’t need to be boring. By introducing animation, artists are making videos even more creative. You can send out a simple message in text form without losing your viewers’ attention. Take a look at this video, where animated fonts are done right.
In addition to the effects outlined above, another way to keep up with trends is to consider the colors you use. While motion graphic artists are using more bold and bright colors, pastel is also trendy.
Imagination is your strongest skill. While keeping up with the trends is certainly the way to go, constant innovation, experimenting and creating new styles is what helps to create memorable experiences for your audience.