Movin’ On Up: The Evolution of Motion Graphics
Motion graphic technology has become so advanced, sophisticated and accessible that it’s easy to forget just how long-established this technique really is. The term ‘motion graphics’ covers a range of methods: from kinetic typography (moving text) to fully animated video content. Astoundingly, the concept of ‘motion graphics’ even goes way back to the original flip books of the 19th century, including the work of Eadweard Muybridge; his ‘Horse in Motion’ work was originally 12 individual images which, when flipped through, animated the horse and jockey. While very basic, it stands as one of the earliest examples of motion graphics.
Times have changed though, and the scope in motion graphics ranges from fancy titles to fully animated video. Here are some #TeamTanami’s particular favourites:
Scott Pilgrim vs The World
With a striking opening title sequence that mixes comic book-style graphics with live footage, Scott Pilgrim vs The World immediately captivates the audience and assures them that this film is going to be fast-paced and a feast for the senses. The graphics are a mixture of kinetic typography, vector graphics and even animations reminiscent of Tekken are littered throughout, making this an exciting and fun indie film.
Catch Me If You Can
Although Catch Me If You Can doesn’t make use of consistent motion graphics throughout, the opening title sequence gives film fans their fill of good old-fashioned animation. Inspired by the work of animation legend Saul Bass, Kuntzel + Deygas created an animated sequence using custom-made rubber stamps and ink, combined with modern animation software. It is evident that this wasn’t intended to be just any title sequence: the intent was to instill a sense of nostalgia in the audience, and as the designers put it, “serve as a bridge between the past and the present”.
The opening title scene in Fight Club is truly fixating – the sequence takes us on a journey through the neurons of a brain, turning into a bead of sweat which runs down the skin of the unidentified character, before landing on the barrel of a gun. It’s difficult to determine exactly what is going on in this scene until the camera settles on a shot of Edward Norton’s character with a gun in his mouth, at which point the audience is captivated.
As well as this, the scene where Edward Norton’s character takes stock of his materialistic existence uses simple but effective graphics to illustrate the character’s amassed possessions. The graphics are minimal, yet clean and slick; appropriate for annotating the IKEA furniture.
Times are still changing for motion graphics and technology is always evolving for the better. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination, and this is definitely one of the most exciting parts of the video production process.