I am really confused between the meaning of motion graphics and compositing. Is motion graphics mean using still image to create illusion of moving object and compositing is combining 2 or more clips together in the same frame?


Motion graphics consists of Graphic Design and Animation. Main focus is to deal with images, typography, color and illustrations, also it's key to work with design assets, like flow charts, icons, images or backdrops, which created with animation in mind.

However Compositing consists of Animation, Mathematics and Rating Pictures (eyeballing). Main focus is digital image manipulation - it's the art and science to combine (matching) images from multiple sources like film, photographs or 3d renderings into new (blended) images to create a perfect illusion.

  • Melted? That might not be the right word. "Blended" maybe? – stib May 12 '15 at 3:01
  • Thanks for your help @stib. I'm not a native :) "Blended" is too technical term, something more artistic would be nice, maybe "fuse"? – p2or May 12 '15 at 7:40
  • I wouldn't say "blended" is technical, it's a synonym for "mixed". "Fuse" is more for connecting things (usually using heat to melt them). You might say "the colours were blended" but you wouldn't say "the colours were fused". – stib May 13 '15 at 7:20

Composition involves layering of multiple provided elements, such as live action footage, matte paintings, and special effects. Skills include keying, color correction, and integration. Compositing is often seamless and invisible, with the intent of making the shot appear to have been captured entirely in camera. All special effects in movies for instance have compositing as a final step to integrate the work of the other disciplines.

Motion graphics on the other hand is an extension of graphic design, but animated. The purpose of motion graphics is to tell a story, sell a product, or add visual interest. It does not produce a seamless photo-real image.

  • yea, a more succinct explanation, I like it :) – eLouai Apr 25 '16 at 1:05
  • @eLouai Why the downvote? – p2or Apr 25 '16 at 9:31
  • @poor what do you mean downvote? Oh, for your explanation ... did you read your explanation ... "motion graphics consists of graphic design and animation?", that can be shortened to motion graphics is animation. But then is it fair to call motion graphics an animation, too generic because it's not really an animation in the traditional cel animated sense. I would say "motion graphics is used to create the illusion of motion in multimedia projects" NOW that is MUCH clearer. Your explanation was just too generic and needed to be reworked. Maybe it was harsh for a downvote but that was my reason – eLouai May 1 '16 at 19:09
  • @eLouai Thanks for your explanation. Feel free to improve my post instead, I'd really appreciate your edit. If an answer shows effort in general, I'd encorage you to expand or re-word it, which is better practice (IMO). This increases the quality of the whole site, which is need to get out of beta someday. Anyway, regarding to your proposal: "...multimedia projects" does not refer to graphic design, what is key. Eg. think of kinetic typography, it's mainly well staged typography combined with classical animation principles. So I don't think this one setence will help to make it better (IMO). – p2or May 2 '16 at 11:30

In addition to what @poor said, there are many applications which do both. For example, Apple Motion, Adobe After Effects, or Autodesk Combustion. Each one can do some combination of animating stills, drawing shapes, displaying text, and each also comes with tools for doing compositing (keyers, masks, matte manipulation tools, etc.).

In fact, motion graphics often involves compositing. For example, if you think of the title sequence of most James Bond movies, they often involve a combination of silhouettes of people (usually women), hand or computer-drawn graphics, and text. This is a perfect example of how motion graphics involves both graphic design and compositing.


Motion graphics are pieces of digital footage or animation which create the illusion of motion or rotation, and are usually combined with audio for use in multimedia projects It's the industry standard now and it's very important to know the benefits from the clients' perspective. Here is a great resource on that https://yansmedia.com/2d-motion-graphics-is-the-best-animation-style-for-corporate-video-production/

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