Motion Graphics Majors

Bachelor's degree programs in motion graphics are available online, on-campus and as hybrid programs with both distance- and campus-based classes. Read on to learn about the field, available types of programs, prerequisites, online study and coursework. Schools offering Digital Cinematography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is Motion Graphics?

Motion graphics utilizes a variety of media combined with computer technology to create moving graphics for communications media, such as film, video, television, gaming, smart phones and the Internet. Graphic designers who work in this field use a variety of techniques, including animation, modeling, stop-motion and composite rendering, to create these computer-generated effects. Their use of combined techniques allows them to create 2.5D or 3D images as opposed to the flat 2D graphics traditionally associated with animation.

Motion Graphics Media and computer technology used to create moving graphics for communications media
Animation and other techniques used to create computer-generated effects
Program Types Motion graphics programs and combination programs available
Stand-Alone Programs Graphic design often major part of programs
Lead to work in advertising and business design departments
Combination Programs Cover animation, game design, video simulation
Focus on technical, design and development of computer-based projects and website design
Prerequisites High school diploma or GED, hand-drawn or computer art work examples, skills test completion, personal essay
Common Classes Advanced math, interactive design, 3D modeling
Online vs. On-Campus On-campus programs provide computer labs with software
Online programs have specific technology requirements

Which Type of Program Should I Choose?

The type of motion graphics education program that you choose should depend on your career goals. You can choose from stand-alone programs that focus solely on motion graphics or from programs that combine the study of motion graphics with other digital art forms, such as animation and computer graphics.

Stand-alone programs concentrate on the creation of graphics that utilize motion through a variety of different media, including Flash, film and video. Graphic design is a major part of these programs, along with the processes and techniques that go into creating motion graphics. Graduates of these programs often find work in the advertising and design departments of businesses.

Combination programs can target various design areas, such as animation, or the technical aspects of graphics found in such areas as game design, video simulation and motion pictures. For example, in a motion graphics and animation program, you will learn how to incorporate various media, such as modeling, 3-D, video and photography, into animated projects.

A motion and computer graphics program will focus on the technical, design and development aspects of creating computer-based projects through the use of HTML and other computer-coding processes. Website development, multi-media applications and video game creation often attracts designers with these skill sets.

What Are the Prerequisites?

Admission requirements vary according to school, but you will find that most programs in this field have similar prerequisites. Generally, all bachelor's degree programs require that you have a high school diploma or a GED.

Most motion graphics programs require the submission of art work examples, created either by hand or on a computer, to determine your artistic ability and knowledge of basic design elements. You may also have to take basic skills tests to demonstrate that you can handle college-level coursework and submit a personal essay outlining your career goals, artistic background and other personalized information.

What Classes Will I Take?

You will be taking a combination of general education courses, core courses in graphic design and courses specific to motion graphics. Many motion graphics programs require advanced math courses, such as algebra, geometry and calculus. If you are in a combination program, you will also be taking courses related to the area of specialization, such as animation basics, computer programming or game development.

Graphic design coursework can include color theory, Web design, digital editing and computer graphics. Courses related to motions graphics can include:

  • Interactive design
  • 3D modeling
  • Motion theory
  • Motion graphics production
  • Video motion
  • Interactive graphics
  • Advertising concepts

Should I Take an Online Program or an On-Campus Program?

You'll likely want to consider a variety of factors when deciding between online or on-campus education. Besides the experiential differences between studying from home versus taking classes at a school, you will need to consider the technology options.

Most on-campus programs provide students with access to computer labs that have the necessary software programs pre-installed. If you are pursuing your degree online and plan on using your own equipment, you may need to meet specific technology requirements, such as operating system, RAM and processing speeds.

You may also be required to purchase and install various computer graphic programs, if you're studying online. Most schools offer online students discounts on software programs at the school's bookstore or through affiliated businesses.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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