10 stunning motion graphics in music videos

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From the mid--70s onwards, music videos have played an increasingly important role in the marketing of new music, with MTV spearheading the first wave when it launched back in 1981. And whilst the '80s and '90s saw TV as the primary way of accessing music videos, the internet has now become the dominant platform, and YouTube has replaced MTV as the key player (with MTV dropping its ‘Music Television’ tagline in 2010).

And as the medium of music video has developed, so too have the techniques employed in their production, and nowhere is this more evident than in the increasing use of motion graphics. The rise of motion graphics in music videos (produced in all manner of apps, from After Effects to Maya) is down to a number of factors: camera shy (or simply unwilling) musicians no longer wanting to appear front and centre; the opportunity to make music videos more artistic and bigger in scale; and technology making it easier than ever to achieve professional results.

In this post we feature a broad range of styles and treatments, from an eclectic mix of artists, as we take a look at 10 breathtaking examples of motion graphics in music video. Sit back and enjoy!

01. Justice - On'n'On (nsfw)

02. Ta-ku - Diamond Mouth

03. Keys N Krates - Treat Me Right

04. Massive Attack - Atlas Air

05. The Vein - Magma

06. Regina Spektor - All the Rowboats

  • Directors: Peter Sluszka and Adria Petty
  • Effects: Hornet Inc.

07. Chew Lips - Seven

  • Director: RedHead
  • Effects: Bullet

08. N.A.S.A. (featuring Kool Keith and Tom Waits) - Spacious Thoughts

  • Director: Fluorescent Hill
  • Effects: Mark Lomond, Johanne Ste-Marie and Jacques Khouri

09. Ólafur Arnalds – Ljósið

10. Efterklang - Polygyne

Win a trip to SIGGRAPH!

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We invite you to form a team (of up to four participants) and tackle as many of our four categories as you wish - Title Sequence, Main Shots, Film Poster or Idents. For full details of how to enter and to get your Competition Information Pack, head to the Masters of CG website now.

Enter the competition today!

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Dan Oliver

Over the last 20 years, Dan has edited a number of print magazines and websites, including Computer Arts, 3D World and ImagineFX, and has written for publications including the Sunday Times, the Guardian, the Manchester Evening News, Manchester United Magazine, T3, and many more. He is currently the digital editor of Creative Bloq's sister magazine, Wallpaper*.