And what motion designers hopefully learned from it.

“A glowing red “change” neon on a wall” by Ross Findon on Unsplash

During the years of surrounding 2003, we saw budgets for production range anywhere from $30k per job and up. The typical proposal line items were: Planning & Bit-budgeting, Design & Animation, Authoring, QC and Mastering for replication.

From the High Definition format wars we saw Blu-ray make short work of its only real competitor — HD DVD, then quickly ride the budget cuts in an industry shifting away from physical media and into streaming services. Commercial software development for DVD authoring had already matured and come to a halt, while Blu-ray authoring suites left much to be desired.

The nostalgic “collector” has become the target audience, and with the sales of physical discs diminishing greatly over the last 10–15 years, so too have the production budgets. Gone are the elaborate intro animations and trick menu transitions that created an entertaining user experience and a playground for motion graphics artists. Instead we have autoplay and hard cuts, not just to bring production costs down, but also to accommodate an audience with an ever-shortening attention span.

“Tower Block” menus ©2013 Shout! Factory

Where an After Effects artist could once flourish in a full time position working entirely on menu animations, those same positions have been replaced with in-house Photoshop artists or vanished all together. The skill of authoring is close behind as streaming services are replacing people’s need to have physical copies on their shelves.

Graphic designers from every discipline—whether it’s print, web or motion graphics—have a big takeaway from this change in the medium. Always be aware of the industry and it’s impending shifts, especially with media changing at a faster rate than ever. As graphic designers we need to stay alert and keep our core design skills loaded with fingers on the triggers—ready for the next medium. Following a format or discipline too far down a rabbit hole can leave you obsolete, and chasing the latest trend in design from the back of the pack.

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