Grammar-based procedural animations for motion graphics

E. Carra, C. Santoni, F. Pellacini
Computer & Graphics, 2019


Motion graphics are a form of animation where several sets of shapes are choreographed together using a wide range of effects to produce compelling footage. We present a method to procedurally generate motion graphics. We formally model motion graphics with timeslice grammars, an extension of split and group grammars, that are able to control and manipulate both the temporal and spatial components of an animation. We are able to combine both these aspects by representing animations as sets of affine transformations sampled uniformly in both space and time. These transformations are controlled by the grammar. Shapes in our system are represented as highly tessellated polygons, and are animated by applying the affine transforms to each shape vertex given the vertex position and the animation time. We introduce a small set of operators showing how we can produce convincing animations, combining the expressive power of the grammar model, the composability of the operators with themselves, and the capabilities that derive from our shape representation. Throughout the paper, we show how timeslice grammars can, in few tens of seconds, produce a wide variety of animations that would take artists hours of tedious and time-consuming work.