The ultimate guide to the anatomy of videos & ads (with examples)

July 7, 2023

Videos are undeniably one of the most powerful and complex mediums for conveying information and engaging audiences. They possess a unique advantage: the ability to combine visual storytelling with immersive soundscapes, resulting in a multisensory experience that leaves a lasting impression. In essence, videos can be seen as systems comprising various elements, each playing a crucial role in achieving their intended goals. To truly understand and appreciate the intricacies of videos and ads, let's delve deeper into their anatomy. We will analyze scene sequence, video structure, camera angles, lighting, motion, action, and sound. By unraveling the secrets behind their magic, we can unlock the key components that truly make them great. Prepare yourself for a journey through a treasure trove of tips and tricks. Along the way, we will discover sources for free videos, music, images, and photos. Moreover, we will explore the latest advancements in AI-generated content for videos.

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How to choose the right camera angles?

Camera angles and shots significantly influence how viewers perceive and engage with the video. They dictate what is shown on screen and shape the narrative perspective. Whether it's a sweeping wide-angle shot, an intimate close-up, or a dynamic tracking shot, each camera angle or shot conveys a unique perspective, influencing the viewer's understanding and emotional response.

Max Lord from the Creative Director and Owner at Bridged Media says that he uses these 4 shots in our video productions 🎥

1.  The wide shot/Establishing shot

Mainly used for establishing the video, helping the viewer know where they are to begin with. Drones or a wide angle lens are great for this.

2.  The medium shot

This shot is my go too for showing interactions between people. This could be colleagues working with each other, client interactions or showing functions of the business. It’s all about showing the human side of the brand.

3.  The tight shot

A Tight shot is all about details and homing in on a specific moment, That could be an action or a simple facial expression. This shot helps us connect with a deliberate moment in the video.

4. The Dynamic shot

His favorite of the 4. A dynamic shot has one goal - to surprise us. It always has some type of movement involved, that could panning around a subject, tracking from behind or in front, or following an action. 

Here are examples of the shots:

How to include motion & action into your videos?

Action or motion in videos adds a vibrant and captivating element to the overall visual experience. Whether it's the dynamic movement of objects, characters, or the camera itself, these motions inject life, excitement, and engagement into videos. Skillful choreography and pacing of action sequences have the power to captivate viewers, directing their attention and conveying narratives with intensity and impact.

Here are nine examples of these captivating and popular motions that can enhance your videos:

  1. 2D Spin: Add a dynamic twist to your visuals by incorporating a 2D spin effect, creating a sense of energy and movement.
  2. 3D Spin: Take your videos to the next level with a mesmerizing 3D spin effect that adds depth and dimension to your footage.
  3. Twist and Scale: Create visual interest and intrigue by smoothly twisting and scaling elements, adding a unique and eye-catching effect.
  4. Float: Give your objects a weightless and dreamy quality with the float motion, creating a magical and ethereal atmosphere.
  5. Camera Pan: Capture sweeping panoramic views and create a cinematic experience by smoothly panning the camera, immersing your audience in the scene.
  6. Carousel: Bring a dynamic and playful element to your videos with a carousel motion, allowing to show multiple objects in an engaging manner.
  7. Shake: Infuse your videos with excitement and intensity by incorporating a shake effect, adding a sense of action and impact.
  8. Reveal: Unveil elements in a captivating and dramatic manner using the reveal motion, building anticipation and enhancing the visual storytelling.
  9. Multiply: Multiply and duplicate objects to create visually stunning and complex compositions, adding layers of depth and interest to your videos.

The best part? You don't need to be a motion design wizard to achieve the same professional results below. With Motioshift's template editor and URL-to-video generator creating these visually compelling effects becomes accessible to everyone, regardless of their motion design expertise. By leveraging these trending motions from Motioshift's templates, you can instantly enhance your videos and captivate your audience with visually compelling effects. The user-friendly interface and ready-to-use templates ensure that you can achieve professional-level results with ease, capturing the attention and captivating your audience without the hassle of starting from scratch.

How to find the perfect media for your video?

Videos integrate various media elements, including images, graphics, text overlays, and animations. These elements complement the visual narrative, providing additional information, reinforcing key points, or adding visual appeal. Skillfully combining and synchronizing these media elements enhances engagement, effectively communicates ideas, and enhances the overall video experience.

Here is a curated list of top websites where to find or free images, videos and graphics

  1. Pexels 

Pexels is one of the largest and most convenient free image libraries. All the images from Pexels can be used for personal and commercial purposes. Further you don’t have to credit anyone, but it’s nice if you do. Their portfolio is in the hundreds of thousands and includes everything from A to Z. The Pexels site is super convenient to work with and the picture quality is top notch.

  1. Pixabay 

Pixabay claims that they have over a million free images and they are all free. The platform also offers free vectors, illustrations and videos. You can use the content of Pixabay personally and commercially. We think their picture quality is really great and you always find a picture suiting your needs.

  1. Midjourney

Consistency is key when it comes to incorporating graphics in your videos. The visual elements within your video play a crucial role in conveying your message effectively. That's why we highly recommend exploring this guide on How to Produce Similar Images or Styles in MidJourney on producing similar images or styles with a technique of --seed or --sameseed parameter to specify the same seed number and produce similar ending images every time.

However, it can be time consuming to find the different type of fitting media quickly. That's where Motionshift comes in. Motionshift offers an AI powered template editor, a AI-powered library and an AI-powered suggestions feature that provides everything you need for seamless video creation. With over 100k free high-quality videos, 1000+ free high-quality 3D models, 100+ free animated text libraries, 100k+ copyright-free music and the possibility to quickly generate assets. By analyzing the visual and audio aspects of videos, 3D models, and music, Motionshift's algorithms provide contextually relevant suggestions, helping you discover the perfect media elements.

Why is timing everything and what are the optimal lengths for video ads?

The best timing and lengths for video ads can vary depending on several factors, including the platform, the target audience, and the specific goals of the advertisement. However, there are some general guidelines and best practices to consider:

Short-form Ads

5 seconds: These ultra-short ads, often referred to as bumper ads, are commonly used on platforms like YouTube and are effective for quick brand awareness or highlighting key messages.

15 seconds: This length is a popular choice for platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. It allows for concise storytelling or showcasing product features while maintaining viewer attention.

Mid-form Ads

30 seconds: This length has long been a standard for TV commercials and is still widely used across platforms like YouTube, television, and pre-roll ads. It provides a bit more time for storytelling, introducing a problem and presenting a solution.

45 seconds: This slightly longer length can be effective for ads that require a bit more explanation or engagement, such as demonstrating product use or showcasing customer testimonials.

Long-form Ads

60 seconds to 2 minutes: Longer ads are often used for online platforms like YouTube, where viewers may have a higher tolerance for longer content. They are suitable for storytelling, providing in-depth product information, or conveying a more complex message.

Over 2 minutes: Very long ads are less common but can be employed for specific purposes like brand documentaries, mini-films, or immersive storytelling experiences. These ads are more likely to be used on YouTube or as targeted content on platforms that allow longer video formats.

It's important to note that these time lengths are not exhaustive, and creative experimentation should be encouraged to find what works best for your specific audience, content, and advertising objectives. Additionally, keep in mind that viewers' attention spans may vary across platforms and demographics, so regularly analyzing performance metrics and testing different lengths can help refine your ad strategy for optimal results.

The art of visual composition in video design

Composition is the realm where individual elements converge, transforming images, text, color, and graphics into a unified design where everything harmoniously blends. Looking at videos through a design perspective can be remarkably insightful. By analyzing the lesser-known principles that lie beyond the surface, we can unlock new levels of creativity and visual impact.

One such principle is the Rule of Thirds, a composition guideline that dares to break the norm. Instead of centering your subject, the Rule of Thirds encourages placing it in either the left or right third of the frame, leaving the remaining two-thirds more open. This unconventional approach often leads to visually compelling and well-composed shots, capturing the viewer's attention in unexpected ways.

Beyond the Rule of Thirds we can also apply design principles to videos and to motion design. Here are six carefully curated principles:

  1. Balance: Achieving Visual Stability

Balance plays a crucial role in creating stability within a design piece. Each element carries its own visual weight, and by skillfully distributing these weights, you can establish equilibrium and a sense of visual harmony.

  1. Unity: The Symphony of Design Elements

Unity emerges when all elements within a design piece work together in perfect harmony. It is the cohesive force that binds diverse elements, be it through consistent color palettes, complementary shapes, or synchronized movement, resulting in a unified and captivating visual experience.

  1. Contrast: Amplifying Visual Impact

Contrast breathes life into a composition by introducing differentiation between elements. Through the use of contrasting colors, shapes, textures, or even movement, you can create visual hierarchies that draw the viewer's attention to specific areas, amplifying the impact and engagement of your video.

  1. Repetition: The Power of Consistency

Repetition is a powerful tool to establish consistency and cohesiveness in a design. By strategically repeating certain elements, such as shapes, patterns, or motifs, you can create a visual rhythm that enhances the overall aesthetic appeal and strengthens the message conveyed by your video.

  1. Pattern: Elevating the Viewer's Experience

Patterns take repetition to the next level. By employing multiple design elements in a repeated manner, you can create captivating patterns that heighten the viewer's engagement and create a sense of visual intrigue and dynamism.

  1. Rhythm: The Visual Tempo of Design

Rhythm sets the visual tempo of your design, using a combination of elements repeatedly throughout. By infusing variation into this repetition, you can create a dynamic and captivating visual rhythm that guides the viewer's eye and enhances the overall aesthetic impact of your video.

How to find the best sound for your videos?

Sound is an integral part of videos that adds depth and emotion to the visual content. It can be background music, dialogues, sound effects, and voiceovers. Through carefully selected audio elements, videos can create an immersive experience, stirring emotions, and reinforce the intended message. Understanding the significance of sound in videos is essential for harnessing its power to engage and resonate with viewers.

Here is a curated list of top websites where to find or generate your perfect soundtrack or voiceover.

  1. Epidemicsound

Epidemicsound is one of the largest and most convenient royalty free music libraries with different moods, scenes or audiences. 

  1. Speechify

Speechify is the #1 AI Text to Speech Reader Voice Over Studio to create human-quality voice overs in any style and download them as an mp3, OGG, or .WAV. Perfect for narrating videos, ads, tutorials – anything


With Beatoven you can create customisable royalty free music with advanced AI music generation techniques to compose unique mood-based music to suit every part of your video or podcast

In today's fast-paced advertising landscape, timelines for shooting, editing, and launching new ads have become tighter than ever before. Often, music selection tends to be an afterthought in the creative process. However, with Motionshift, we turn this conventional approach on its head.

Motionshift allows you to start your creative journey with pre-built, professional sound design and music, simplifying the process into a single audio file. By offering a library composed with 5, 15, 30, and 45-second versions, Motionshift provides you with the flexibility to choose the perfect duration that fits your ad's needs seamlessly.

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