Animation vs. Motion Graphics | Blog | Synapse

Have you ever wondered what the differences between motion graphics and animation are? Motion graphics and animation are two popular forms of visual media that are often used for marketing and advertising purposes. But what is the difference between the two? In this blog post, we will examine the core differences between motion graphics and animation, and discuss how each can be used to engage with consumers and promote your business. Stay with us to learn more about the fascinating world of motion graphics and animation and how to use them to your advantage!

What is Motion Graphics?

Motion graphics is a type of animation that combines graphic design elements such as typography (check out our article – Typography Design – Why is it Important?), illustration, 3D modeling, and visual effects, with moving images and sound to create a dynamic visual experience. It involves the use of digital techniques to create visually appealing and engaging animations, videos, and graphics that can be used in a variety of contexts, such as films, television shows, commercials, video games, and websites. The purpose here is to convey a message, tell a story, or enhance a visual experience. They can be used to create dynamic title sequences, infographics, explainer videos, product demonstrations, and more.

Motion graphics designers use a range of software tools, such as Adobe After Effects, Cinema 4D, and Autodesk Maya, to create their work. They may also work with other professionals, such as videographers, animators, and sound designers, to produce high-quality motion graphics projects.

What is Animation?

Animation is the process of creating the illusion of motion and change by rapidly displaying a sequence of static images that minimally differ from each other. These static images called frames, are created by artists or animators and then displayed in quick succession, typically at a rate of 24 frames per second or more, to give the impression of fluid motion.

Animation can be done in a variety of mediums, including traditional hand-drawn animation, computer-generated animation, stop-motion animation, and more. Each of these methods requires different techniques, tools, and skills.

Types of Animation

Hand-drawn Animation

Hand-drawn animation, or traditional animation, involves creating each frame by hand on paper or other traditional mediums. It’s a method that requires a lot of skill and patience. Here, the designer must draw each frame, then photograph it or scan it into a computer, so that it can be edited and compiled into a complete animation.

Computer-generated Animation

Computer-generated animation, on the other hand, uses digital software to create and manipulate images. This method involves 3D modeling, texturing, rigging, and animating characters and objects within a virtual environment. Here, the designer must have a high level of control and precision, along with the ability to create complex and detailed scenes.

Stop-motion Animation

Stop-motion animation involves capturing individual frames of physical objects or puppets that are moved slightly between each frame to create the illusion of motion. This can be done with clay, paper, or other materials, and requires a lot of patience and attention to detail.

Regardless of the medium used, an animator requires a strong understanding of motion, timing, and storytelling in order to create an effective and engaging final product. Animators must also have a strong grasp of artistic techniques and principles, such as composition, color theory, and anatomy, in order to create believable and visually appealing animations.

Animation is used in a wide range of contexts, including films, television shows, video games, and advertising. People also use animation to tell stories, educate, entertain, or advertise products and services. With its ability to bring characters and worlds to life, animation has become an increasingly popular and influential medium in modern culture.

So how is Animation different from Motion Graphics?

Animation and motion graphics are two related but distinct fields of digital art and design. While they share some similarities, there are several key differences between the two.


Animation’s primary purpose is to create a story or narrative, convey emotion, or create an immersive world through moving images. Motion graphics, on the other hand, are graphics that are in motion and used to communicate information, explain a concept or reinforce a message in a concise and visually engaging way.


Animation tends to have a more fluid, naturalistic style with attention given to character design and movement. They are more narrative-driven, and the visuals are often designed to create an emotional response in the viewer. Motion graphics, on the other hand, often have a more minimalist and abstract design style. They are utilitarian and focus on clear and concise communication of information.

Tools and Techniques

Both animation and motion graphics are created using digital tools and software. However, an animator will use traditional animation techniques such as hand-drawn or computer-generated frames, the latter with more complex software, such as Maya or Blender to create animations. Motion graphics, on the other hand, typically involve the use of 2D graphics and typography, often combined with effects like transitions and color grading to create a dynamic and engaging visual experience. A motion graphics designer uses simpler software tools, such as Adobe After Effects or Apple Motion to create animated graphics.

Production Process

Animation typically involves a longer production process, with several stages of pre-production, including storyboarding, character design, and animatics. Motion graphics, on the other hand, can often be produced more quickly, where the motion graphics designer focuses on efficiency and speed of production.


Animations are generally longer and can range from short films to feature-length movies. Motion graphics are usually shorter, with a typical duration of a few seconds to a few minutes.


Animations are often targeted at a general audience and can be enjoyed by all age groups. Motion graphics, on the other hand, are usually created for a specific audience, such as business professionals, and are used to convey specific information or concepts.

Animation or Motion Graphics – Get Help from the Experts

Motion graphics and animation are both powerful forms of visual media that can be used to create compelling marketing and advertising campaigns. While they share many similarities, they have some distinct differences which need to be taken into consideration when planning your campaign. Considering just how complex both of these are, the best course of action is to contact an experienced design agency, such as Synapse, who can advise you on the best approach for your particular needs. Once this is done, you’ll be able to give your content creation and marketing collateral a definite edge. Give us a call at 1800 121 5955 or email us at to speak to someone on the team.