Motion Graphics with Blender

Hello fellow Blender users,

I’ve been thinking recently about trying out using Blender for some typographical motion graphics stuff. I’m sure a program like After Effects would be much more efficient to use, but when you don’t have the funds to purchase it, Blender is probably the next best thing. If you don’t know what motion graphics are, check out this site that has links to videos.

The text thing is pretty easy for me to figure out, but I was starting to wonder how I could go about with creating things like flourishes and using the particle system to create multiple instances of things. If you watch this video, you can see that they are using multiple instances of the clouds and various other things, that’s the kind of technique I’m aiming for. Oh ya, some other useful information would be knowing how to make each particle appear at a different time, and if it’s possible to have the objects be animated in the exact same way(only have to animate it once) and then have those animation play back in the particles at the same time or different times.

For the flourishes, I’m guessing that it’s just easier to create them in another program and import them or buy them as stock or something to use in the graphics. Is it possible, however, to create something simple, like an arrow and have the end grow longer and move along a path. Again, I’ve experimented some with this, but I didn’t have much success. If anybody has any success in doing these things, I’d appreciate it if you would be willing to share some of the techiniques you used.

The rest seems pretty simple to me right now, at least conceptually. It’s pretty much planning and making use of colors, motion, motion blur, composition, atmosphere, depth of field, and maybe a few other things I’m missing.

Thanks for all your help.

Thanks for the links!

I think Blender can be good at motion graphics, text effects are limited. I made some inquires and a simple python script called “Text Train” a while ago.

As far as revealing objects, there are a few approaches:

Make a Font object a mesh and use the Build modifier to reveal faces over time.

You can bend text with a curve and keep it a font, but you can not animate the font moving along a curve without first converting it to a mesh or wrapping it in a lattice.

You can use Blendgraph to distribute objects over time. This is where your pre-canned animated flourish movies really come in handy. You can use them as a layout tool. So if you are good at making animated flourishes or simply have an art pack check out:

Also for simple stroke animations visit this thread:

You can also use Animated Image Maps to reveal objects via their opacity.

The array modifier is worth checking out. Download the Regression Files for 2.48 and look for a BLEND file that demonstrates the array modifier


Arrows_3.blend (270 KB)


Thanks for the stuff you posted. I looked into it a little, but haven’t been able to test anything out yet because the computer I normally use isn’t working correctly right now, therefore limiting me to a public computer. It looks promising though and I look forward to experimenting with it.

I still haven’t been able to find out how to create multiple instances of an object I’ve modeled through particles. I remember reading an article about it a while ago, but I can’t seem to find it. If anybody knows anything about it or knows of the article, I’d appreciate it if they’d post it here.

Also, another thing that I’d like to know is how to create the effect where there is an object/texture and you zoom in on the object/texture and the same object appears in it. I’ve seen the effect being used in few motion graphics videos and thought it might be useful knowing.

If we collect enough information here, I might think about writing up a tutorial or something to help share the information unless somebody with superior knowledge would be willing to. It seems like something that would be good to share.

Thanks again for yor help.

Particles in Blender are incredibly limited when it comes to motion graphics tasks. The particle system was developed for the film/game projects. The development team does not seem to share the enthusiasm for motion graphics tasks, or simply has not had to deal with real world day-to-day issues of using the Blender particle system to solve motion graphics tasks.

Once again I thought, yeah I’ll just use the particle system to shoot an arrow object down a path. This will work. yeah it will work.

Sure enough, it does work, kind of. Blender can cause an object to travel along a curve guide, but it can not make an object actually follow and or deform along a path. So you are stuck with manually tasking that. The particle system still can not offset animation of groups or objects either based upon the birth time. This is critical for real particle work.

I think we’ll eventually see more motion graphics oriented tools in Blender, especially after all of the changes for 2.5. Nodes + being able to animate everything will be a nice step in this direction. Particles will be the real clincher, as mentioned above. Usefulness for motion graphics will undoubtedly propel Blender to new heights in commercial usage.

you might want to check out my book, Foundation Blender Compositing, where I address your area of need.

I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one. The current documentation seems to sugest that this is for the 3D animation system only, not for all objects within Blender. I’ve seen no indication that we’ll be able to manipulate over time all those static node channels that we currently enjoy being so limited in using. See:

As Atom said…
Priority number one for motion graphics is proper text. At the moment Blender’s text objects really aren’t up to it.
Sure you can animate text objects, but you have to destructively convert them into mesh first, and split up the characters if you want any inter-character animation. It’s all very inefficient and much slower to achieve anything of quality.

All this talk of motion graphics has given me some inspiration to build up a list of required features, rather than just whingeing like I normally do…