Animation shares it historical roots with cinema due to the experimentation work of the pioneers. The drive behind wanting to make moving images at the end of the nineteenth century accelerated the development of cinema technology and meant computers were better utilised years later. (Chong, 2007, p.15). Through cinema the incorporation of illusory effects combined with live action became what were known as ‘trick films’, which are essential to current feature film special effects. Méliès is often credited with being the originator of special effects and bringing a sense of theatricality, staging and narrative. (Chong, 2007, p17).
The history of digital animation is formed by the convergence of cinemas and computing (Chong, 2007, p31). John Whitney was one of the first to use computers to create an animation. Through his foundation in traditional animation and adapting the computers mechanisms Whitney was able to create abstract animations which were recognised by art institutions and brought the form to the publics attention. (Chong, 2007 ,p32).
Since the 1950’s title sequences gave evolved as a form of experimental film making. A films opening credits are designed to create a sense of the tone and style. Film titles can be traced back to the silent film era where credit sequences were presented on title cards containing text. They were included in the film to help maintain the flow of the story. However once sound was implemented, film titles became their own art form with narratives. (Krasner, 2008, p.20). Opening sequences for directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese and Stanley Kubrick amassed public attention and were considered miniature films in themselves. They were seen as a rebirth of abstract animation seen in the experimental avant garden films of the 1920s. Referring to Saul Bass, Martin Scorsese had to say “Bass was instrumental in redefining the visual language of title sequences. His graphic compositions functions as a prologue to the movie – setting the tone, providing the mood and foreshadowing the action”. (Byrne, 2011, p.50).
Since the 1950’s the progression of film title design has introduced a wide range of innovative approaches and artistic concepts that continue to inspire motion graphic designers today.
Graphics are the most elemental form of storytelling. Tales shown through pictures are the most universal and effective means of conveying a message. At a young age it is easier to relate to visuals and that has stuck with humans throughout the growing up process because they are convenient, easy to remember and instinctual. Therefore the job of a motion graphics designers is to involve the audience either consciously or inadvertently.