Motion graphics explainer videos are videos that use professional, moving graphics instead of animated characters. They’re also commonly called infographic videos. In these videos, graphics will morph, shift and transition into other things. The emphasis is often on concepts and processes, with a focus on facts, ideas, graphics and kinetic typography.
(& this is for the purists) the term motion graphics is used incorrectly here. Actually it refers to to the graphics you put on top of live action footage. Or it used to anyway – these days it’s mostly used to refer to a professional style of animated video, so let’s just go with that.
Here’s an example:
Why use a Motion Graphics Explainer Video?
Here are some reasons why you might consider creating this type of video rather than in another style.
- Good for complex ideas: It makes abstract and difficult concepts easy to explain.
- Professional: Many brands don’t want a look that is too cartoony. Motion graphics can help with that.
- Easy to execute: It’s possible to get a good result on a limited budget. In contrast, videos with characters often need all the rigging and time-consuming animation associated with characters.
We suggest that your decision be driven by your brand identity and goals for the video. For example, a more character-driven video may be good to humanize your product or get people to relate. It all depends on your goals and brand personality.
Examples of Motion Graphics Explainer Videos
Here are a few different style ideas and videos executed. This first video uses icon-based styles and shows a character as a simple head-and-shoulders outline, which makes it less cartoony.
Here we combined 2D and 3D animated elements to show how this client’s software works.
In this 2D example we use simple shapes and also a tiniest bit of live action (the human hand pulling the string etc).
3D and 2D motion graphics combined with striking colors to show off this tech company.
Here we have a video without voiceover, where one scene is morphed into the next. The video has some cel animation and a touch of 3D at parts.
This video below is in a 3D motion graphic style.
Finally, here’s another professional and corporate style below.
Timeline & production factors
The timing of your video will be impacted by it’s complexity and duration. If you’re looking to create a high-end style you should try leave more time. Different studios have slightly different production times, and it may vary depending on their availability etc so you should do your homework. The production of a motion graphics explainer video is sometimes a little bit easier than a character-based video, for the reasons stated above (no rigging or time-consuming character animation).
What other options are there?
If you want a professional, clean look but you don’t like animation then there are a few options for you. For example, you could use live action or live action stock footage. You should also have a look at our list of explainer video styles.