University of Technology Sydney

87447 VC Technology: Motion Graphics

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2022 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Design, Architecture and Building: Design
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject introduces students to the design and production of motion graphics. The expressive potential of relationships between graphic elements, time and motion is explored. Fundamental concepts of image development, typographic design, visual composition and editing are addressed. Students engage in experimental production using relevant computing technologies.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

1.2. challenge design conventions within a developed understanding of current and historical practices, rules and conventions
1.1. originate imaginative and innovative visuals which effectively structure the visual organisation and hierarchy of graphic and typographic forms in a motion graphics sequence
2.2. apply an understanding of graphic and typographic forms, movement and spatial organisation to respond to a thematic focus and articulate a message
2.1. develop visual presentations that successfully communicate concepts, content and ideas within a framework of understanding impact, clarity and engagement
2.3. structure written and visual materials to clearly storyboardand after the realisation of a motion graphic piece.
3.1. engage in critical reflection and develop self-awareness of your design practices, skills and approaches and those of your peers
4.2. apply theories about the visual structure of 2D compositions and time based compositions to the outcome of project briefs
4.3. apply understanding of approaches to use graphic software for developing motion graphic sequences
4.1. apply understanding of key terms used to describe graphic and typographic forms, compositions and their movement
4.4. control the use of hand generated and/or digital media outcomes, including craftsmanship and in terms of structure and management of data files
5.1. learn to critically analyse and evaluate existing motion graphic practices through the ability of developing arguments and rationales.

Teaching and learning strategies

Weekly sessions of 1.5hrs lecture and 2 hours tutorial.

Students are encouraged to integrate theory and practice and achieve a progressive level of literacy in visual technologies through a process of experiential learning. Theoretical issues are presented and critically analysed in lectures then personally researched through practical investigation. Knowledge and skills gained in this subject support the processing and presentation of design project work.

Content (topics)

This subject introduces students to the design and production of motion graphics. The expressive potential of relationships between graphic elements, time and motion will be explored. Fundamental concepts of image development, typographic design, visual composition and editing will be addressed.


Assessment task 1: Move Me - set of moving image exercises

Weight: 60%

Assessment task 2: Type Emotion - typographic motion graphics piece

Weight: 40%

Recommended texts

The following textbook is the most accessible and comprehensive resource for the subject. While it is not compulsory, it is essential to advance beyond a basic understanding of the software and its possible use in motion graphics projects like the ones focused on in assignments. Since it's quite old by now, it is a bargain to pick up and use its content as a guide for the current After Effects Version:

Meyer, Trish & Meyer, Chris (2007) Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects: Essential and Advanced Techniques. (current edition if possible)

Other resources


Bellantoni, Jeff & Woolman, Matt. (2000) Moving Type: Designing for Time and
Space, Switzerland, RotoVision SA CITY CLOSED RESERVE 686.22544 WOOL

Bellantoni, Jeff & Woolman, Matt. (1999) Type in Motion: Innovations in digital
graphics, London: Thames & Hudson. 686.22 BELL

Bellantoni, Jeff & Woolman, Matt. (2005) Type in Motion 2, London: Thames & Hudson.

Bolante, Antony (2005) After Effects 6.5, Berkeley/CA: Peachpit Press,
[UTS Library electronic resource available]

Codrington, Andrea.(2003) Kyle Cooper London: Laurence King, 791.43092 CODR

Curran, Steve. (2000) Motion graphics: graphic design for broadcast and film
Gloucester, Mass: Rockport Publishers 741.6 CURR

Hillman Curtis (2002) MTIV : process, inspiration and practice for the new media
designer. Indianapolis, New Rider; 006.7 CURT

Krasner, Jon. (2004) Motion graphic design and fine art animation: principles and practice. Oxford: Focal.

Saul Bass and Associates. Tokyo: Seibundo Shinkosha, c1979.

Spencer Drate, David Robbins & Judith Salavetz (2006) Motion by Design, Laurence King Publishing, (includes DVD)

Ziegler Kathleen, Greco Nick & Riggs Tamye (2002) Motiongraphics: Web. New York, NY: HBI 006.6 ZIEE


Katz, Steven D. (2004), Film direction cinematic motion: a workshop for staging scenes. Seattle, WA : Michael Wiese Productions. 791.430233 KATZ (ED.2)

Katz, Steven D. (1991) Film directing shot by shot: visualizing from concept to screen Studio City, Calif.: Michael Wiese Production. 791.430233 KATS

Begleiter, Marcie (2000) From word to image: storyboarding and the filmaking
process. Studio City, CA : Michael Wiese Productions. 741.6 BEGL

Simon, Mark, (2000) Storyboards: motion in art. Boston, Mass; Oxford: Focal Press
791.43 SIMO (ED.2)


Bresson, Robert. (1986) Notes on the cinematographer. London; New York: Quartet
Books, 791.43 BRES

Robert Russett and Cecile Starr (1988) Experimental animation: origins of a new art
New York; London: Da Capo. 778.5347/205

Bordwell, David. And Kristin Thompson. (2004) Film art: an introduction Boston:
McGraw-Hill. 791.4301 BORD (ED.7)


Wallschlaeger, Charles, Cynthia Busic-Snyder, Meredith Morgan ed. (1992) Basic
Visual Concepts and Principles for Artists, Architects and Designers. Dubuque, Iowa:
Wm. C. Brown Publishers.

Meggs, Philip B. (1989) Type & Image: the language of graphic design. New York:
Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Carter, Rob, Ben Day, Philip Meggs (1993) Typographic Design: form and
communication. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Larbalestier, Simon. (1993) The Art and Craft of Montage London: Mitchell-Beazley.


Blackwell, Lewis (1998) Twentieth Century Type Remix. London: Laurence King

Baines, Phil & Haslam, Andrew. Type & Typography. London: Lawrence King/CSM.

Lawson, Alexander (1990) Anatomy of a Typeface. Boston: David R. Godine.

Meggs, Philip B. and Roy McKelvey. Editors. (2000) Revival of the Fittest: digital
versions of classic typefaces. New York: RC Publications.

Poyner, Rick Ed. (1996) Typography Now 2: Implosion, London: Booth-Clibborn

Poyner, Rick Ed. (1994) Typography Now: The Next Wave, London: Booth-Clibborn

Elam, Kimberly (1990) Expressive Typography: The Word as Image. New York: Van
Nostrand Reinhold.

Warwicker, John and Karl Hyde (1996) Process: A Tomato Project, London: Thames
and Hudson.

Tomato (1999) Bareback: A Tomato Project, London: Laurence King

Blackwell, Lewis (2000) The End of Print: the Grak Design of David Carson.
London: Laurence King

Meggs, Philip B. and Carson, David (1999) Fotograks. London: Laurence King

Blackwell, Lewis, Lorraine Wild, and Lucy Bates (2000) Edward Fella: Letters on
America. Princeton Architectural Press

Booth-Clibborn, Edward (2000) Urgent Images: The Graphic Language of the Fax.
London: Booth-Clibborn


Lots of DVDs now include storyboards and ‘making of’ sections. You may find these

Why Not Associates (2002) Tokyo: Design Exchange CITY AUDIOVISUAL BLUE
741.6 WHYN

Onedotzero_select dvd2 adventures in moving image. (2003) London: onedotzero,

LowFat: [a visual journey taking you to 96 hot motion graphics destination].(2003)
[Hong Kong]: AllRightsReserved CITY CAMPUS 778.52345 LOWF

Onyx pearls:Tomato (2003) Tokyo: Design Exchange. CITY AUDIOVISUAL

Music for the movies: Bernard Herrmann (1995) Sony Classical Film & Video CITY

Keith Grifths (1987) Doodlin' impressions of Len Lye N.Z.: Energy Source
International, 730.92 DOOD

Lye, Len (1997). Free Radicals New Plymouth, N.Z. Len Lye Foundation, 1997.

John Halas Masters of Animation Series. National Film Board of Canada; London,
England: Educational Film Centre Ltd. CITY AUDIOVISUAL BLUE 791.433/202

Craig Monahan (1989) Animated. South Melbourne, Vic.: Pointblank Pictures
[production company], CITY AUDIOVISUAL BLUE 791.433/220


Creative Review (UK)

if (inside lm)


ID annual review of digital media

Eye (periodical) London/UK