Month: November 2014

Motion Graphics and Video Compositing

I am writing this post to analyse the technical and aesthetic considerations of the examples I have researched in relation to delivery platform and purpose; comparing one example against the other, discussing the various uses of motion graphics/video compositing before outlining key characteristics important to its production.

“Motion graphics are graphics that create the illusion of motion or rotation by using video footage and/or animation technology, and are usually combined with audio for use in multimedia projects.”-Wikipedia. Motion graphics are may occasionally be displayed via manual powered technology, but are most commonly displayed via electronic media technology. The term is useful for distinguishing graphics with a transforming appearance over time without over-specifying the form from still graphics.
“One of the most common special-effects techniques used today is called video compositing. When you composite a scene in your digital video, you actually layer several different clips of video over each other to make a single image. A common, everyday example of compositing can be seen during the weather forecast. When you watch it on TV, it looks like the weatherperson is standing in front of a radar weather map, but in all likelihood, that map is actually a blank wall/green screen. Editing software superimposes the image of the weatherperson over the image of the weather map, creating the illusion you see on TV. (The weatherperson discreetly watches all this on a monitor screen so as not to lose track of where to point.)” –

Motion graphics are usually used in areas like film/TV title sequences or in music videos . Video compositing is simply the combination of various layers or motion graphics into a single image. They are used to animate videos/clips to bring the whole video to life. One way that video compositing is used is by shooting a video/clip in front of a green or blue screen and then another without and putting the two together using a software. Motion graphics is used by animating a video clip or adding animations to an existing video to give it more personality, or make it fit the theme/style more.

I will now discuss how the purpose and technical constraints of a piece help determine the final product, the pieces being two music videos that I will be comparing against each other, discussing their uses of motion graphics and video compositing and outlining key characteristics that are important to their production.

This music video is made with film and motion graphics as the band and truck are recorded live and then composited over the backgrounds. The purpose of this piece is to provide a visual for the song playing but the motion graphics are purposely used to animate the band and give the music video a specific look.


This music video uses video compositing, by filming a man running through the woods, and filming another clip of arrows being fired through the woods into the man’s direction, as if he was running from them. Then the videos have been composited and layered together to make the arrows look like they are going through his body. There is a lot of VFX used in this music video as well as the video compositing, which also help with the arrows looking like they are through his body.

In comparison, the two pieces are completely different aesthetically, they’re different in style, in pacing and even in the techniques used. Where one music video is more animated and sticks to a very strict colour scheme in these motion graphics, the other has a completely different style and theme.

The pacing of the two music videos is different, where one is slower due to the speed of the song, the other is a lot faster because of the different style of music causing the song itself to be a lot faster in pace.

In conclusion, I personally prefer the music video for ALT-J’s song in terms of the techniques and aesthetic style used. This video has influenced me to create my own video/clip using video compositing for the second part of this assignment in January.