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Motion graphic design is a subset of graphic design in that it uses graphic design principles in a filmmaking or video production context (or other temporally evolving visual medium) through the use of animation or filmic techniques. Examples include the kinetic typography and graphics used in film and television opening sequences, and the spinning, three-dimensional station identification logos of some television channels. Although this art form has been around for decades, it has taken quantum leaps forward in recent years in terms of technical sophistication.
The elevation of this art form is largely due to technology improvements. Computer programs for the film and video industry have become vastly more powerful and more available. One of the leading programs used by motion graphic designers is Adobe After Effects, which allows them to create and modify graphics over time. Adobe After Effects is sometimes referred to as "Photoshop for film." A relatively recent product in the market is Apple Inc. Motion, now a part of Final Cut Studio. Adobe Flash is widely used to create motion design for the web.
Modern motion graphics design involves several tools and processes. Software such as Maxon Cinema4D has integrated tools to create motion graphics, such as the native MoGraph plugin, or ICE of Softimage that can also be used for similar purposes. While techniques used are heavily dependent on the designer, trends are also defining which techniques are used and when.
A typical motion designer is a person trained in traditional graphic design who has learned to integrate the elements of time, sound and space into his/her existing skill set of design knowledge. Motion designers can also come from filmmaking or animation backgrounds.
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