Motion graphics are similar to infographics, but they use video footage or animation to create the illusion of motion. Unlike interactive data visualizations, which allow users to manipulate the infographic and interact with a dataset, motion graphics tend to transform on their own and are generally displayed through some sort of electronic media.
Before computers were widely available, motion graphics were expensive and time-consuming. But the availability of desktop programs like Adobe Flash and After Effects have made motion graphics increasingly accessible and easier than ever to create.
The leading program used to create motion graphics is probably Adobe After Effects, which works a bit like Photoshop. But any motion graphics program will be able to combine video, text, speech, data visualization, special effects and even 3D to create animations.
If you want to breathe life into otherwise static content, you might start with the book Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects by Trish & Chris Meyer. More than just a review of the features of this powerful program, it actually walks you through how the program works and shows you step-by-step how to create motion graphics.
If you’re using Final Cut Pro X you can find a number of YouTube videos that show how to use that software to create motion graphics.
And Adobe has a number of instructional videos that teach you about After Effects, including how to assemble a transitional motion graphic element.
If you want to add an audio soundtrack to the motion graphic you create, there are plenty of options, as well. One of the best is SmartSound Sonicfire Pro 5, a plug-in for After Effects that helps you create a soundtrack that’s as sophisticated as your motion graphics. They have an entire library of royalty-free music that integrates seamlessly with After Effects.
There’s also our blog, where you can find articles about motion graphics -- and where you’ll be the first to find out when our web-based visualization tools are ready to debut. It will be a great way to create motion graphics and animated infographics -- cheaper and with less effort than ever.