Motion Graphics: Learn the Principles of Animation

Tamas Kovacs
Jan 27, 2024
•   Posted:
Jan 27, 2024

In the marketing industry, animating a product or idea with a unique motion graphic is one of the most effective solutions for conveying a message successfully. Whether you’re looking to raise brand awareness or generate robust revenue from your next ad campaign, animation works. 

So, we compiled a hot list of animation principles and animated a related example for each to help you understand how animation can bring your ideas to life.

Let’s jump in!

What is animation?

Animation is the process of creating the illusion of motion and shape change by rapidly displaying a sequence of static images. It is used in a variety of fields, such as film, gaming, marketing, and advertising. Most animations are typically created by using software.

Why animation is important?

As a marketer, animation is your secret visual tool for capturing your audience and taking your business to the next level. And the reason for this is quite simple:

Animation gives you CREATIVE FREEDOM

Thanks to its advanced technological features, whatever you visualize, you can bring to life with animation. The sky is the limit for conveying emotions in a unique and easy-to-understand way. Therefore, you can maximize the impact of your storytelling and showcase your product in your one of a kind style.

Here are the TOP 4 benefits of using animation for your marketing efforts:

1. Conveys complex ideas easily

Animation helps you SHOW what you want your prospects to perceive about your product. Instead of using large pieces of text, you can demonstrate hard-to-explain processes in a simple yet appealing way, which accelerates the delivery of the information. As a result, you can build trust and increase the chance of conversion.

2. Reaches a broader audience

87% of marketers say animation increases traffic to their websites. People find animated videos entertaining, so you can attract more prospects and generate more interaction by using them.

3. Cost-effective

Animated videos usually cost less than live-action videos. Sure, complex animations will cost more. But generally speaking, you don’t need to manage a casting, have the video filmed and edited as you would do for live-action videos. Instead, you get a high-quality video in a shorter time frame.

4. Studio-quality

Animation helps you create a type of realistic visuals that is different from live-action. As a result, you can draw in viewers in no time.

The principles of animation

Squash and stretch

This principle is considered to be the most important one for giving objects a sense of weight and volume. The theory behind squash and stretch is that animated objects will look more realistic if you slightly shorten and widen them. It is typically explained with the metaphor of a bouncing ball.

In this video, you can see a ball hitting the ground, getting compressed, and then bouncing back.


Anticipation adds life to the content. The stronger the anticipation, the more realistic the animation. This solution gives the viewer the idea of something is about to happen which raises a sense of curiosity. Using anticipation, you can capture attention and engage your audience for a longer time period. 

The ball in this video is moving dynamically from left to right, heading towards an upcoming event. The dotted lines emphasize the motion. You can’t wait to see what’s next, right?


To get your idea completely understood at the very first time, you have to present it crystal clearly. That’s what staging helps you achieve. The role of this animation technique is directing the audience’s attention to the most important element of the scene. This way, you can eliminate distraction and ensure that your prospects get the information you’d like to transmit.

Follow through and overlapping action

This one is another amazing tool for reacting the sense of realism. Follow through indicates that the object continues to move after a completed action. Overlapping action refers to that the same elements move at different speed. Just like in our video:

Slow in and slow out

Movements are look more realistic if you give them time to accelerate and slow down. Leveraging this principle, you want to use more action in the beginning and the end than in the middle. Observe the motion of the ball and slow in slow out effect it creates with the circles:

Secondary action

This principle establishes realism by emphasizing the primary action in the scene. If you use this technique, you can add more dimension and life to your character animation. We used secondary action in the video below. The main planet in the video is moving towards you and the additional planets support this through minimal motion.


This crucial animation technique is used to make the visual experience more lovely. With exaggeration, you imitate reality but in an extreme way. Using wilder motions, you can make your content more entertaining. See how exaggeration made this video strong:

Ready to increase your ROI with stunning animated videos? You’re in the right place. Our highly experienced motion graphics designers will animate your ideas by combining technology and visual arts so that you can stand out from the crowd and reach your business goals.

Take your first step to delivering a jaw-dropping brand experience by booking a call with us now!

Ready? Book a free discovery call with us now to find out how we can propel you towards your goals!