The difference between Motion Art and GIFs

I’m guessing that not everyone knows what “Motion Art” is and how it differs from a GIF or .mp4 file. Well, actually, Motion Art is very different from any other type of animated file because only certain parts of the image will be animated. With a GIF, usually, the whole image will be moving. So that’s the main difference. And I have become quite lazy over the last year or so calling the motion art that I create “GIFs” when they’re really not GIFs. While it doesn’t really matter that much to someone looking at the image, technically, the process to create motion art is very different to that of a GIF, or at least it used to be until all manner of apps and software for the phone and PC started popping up all over the place.

I don’t think it really takes much know-how to create motion art, but it certainly does take creativity because you have to be able to “see” what the image will look like when it’s animated which may not sound complicated but it can be. I’ve scrapped dozens of motion art files in the time that I’ve been making them because they didn’t fit my “vision” of what I wanted the image to look like. Another critical factor is whether or not the image needs animation added to it to improve it. Out of the thousands of images, I’ve seen in the last year or so, only a tiny portion of them have been animated, and that’s because some images just look better the way they are while others would definitely look better with animation added.

Here’s one I did yesterday of Luke Skywalker from a scene in The Empire Strikes Back, one of my favourites:


I’ve had people ask me to animate images for them, and I’ve always advised that I need to see the image first before I will create any motion art with it. Some images are just better left untouched. I don’t know if everyone understands this concept, but it’s one I apply every time before committing myself and my time to creating motion art.

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