Generally, Animation and Motion Graphics are the two terms which are quite used in the Entertainment and Media industry. As understood from my own experiences, people around me usually use the term Animation for Motion Graphics as well. I live in a country where the majority of people never bothered to understand the meaning of a term. Since there is a huge difference between the terms Animation and Visual Effects, so I decided to pen down this article where I have mentioned a few points letting you know the major differences between the two words.

Why is there a need to know the Difference between Animation and Motion Graphics

Well, it is indeed important to interpret the conflicts between the two conditions. If you desire to follow your career in Media Industry, then this article is for you. I have seen newbies using the term Animation in place of Motion Graphics and vice-versa since they think both divisions are same.

Thus, understanding the differences will not only help you realize a piece of knowledge, but will make you recognize that there are two different sectors where you can go. One is the Animation Industry and other is the Motion Graphics Industry. Though both the sectors operate under the same roof, yet there is a divergence between the skills of the artists working under it.

What is Animation?

Earlier Animation is made by exposing a series of pictures or frames, which results in an illusion of apparent movement. At this age of Technology, we have High Performance Workstation, which helped artists produce High Quality and more realistic animations.


Animation movies is a result of ones vision and imagination. The most common examples of animation are the cartoon which you and me have wathced in childhood. I still watch cartoons, mostly Pogo and Cartoon network :-D. Speaking about the Motion Pictures, there are award winning animated films such as Despicable Me, Cars, Rango, Up etc. They are wholly based on fictional roles and build entirely in a studio of a number of studio’s. An animation film does not consists of a real human or things.

Animation has its own definition and can be phrased as- “The technique of photographing successive drawings or positions of puppets or models to create an illusion of movement when the film is shown as a sequence.

What is Motion Graphics or Visual Effects?

Motion Graphics or Visual Effects is the process where Animation is embedded into a live action scene, i.e. something which is photographed using a camera, a real location and actors. It is then processed using Vfx Techniques, and various effects in the shot are composited into the scenery.


Matte Paintings is a term used under the heading Visual Effect. A matte painting is a painted representation of a landscape, set, or distant location that allows filmmakers to create the illusion of an environment that is nonexistent in real life or would otherwise be too expensive or impossible to build or visit.


In short, Visual Effects is implementing Computer Generated Effects Into a Live Action Footage.


From this article, it can well be concluded that Animation is something where a non existing character is created by the modelling artists with a computer and a story is framed by several other artists such as the Lighting artists, Texturing artists, rigging artists, and so on

Whereas, Motion Graphics or Visual effects are the various processes by which imagery is created and/or manipulated outside the setting of a live action shot by artists such as Compositors, Matte  Painters, Rotoscoping artists, Keying Artists etc.