Motion Graphic Animation Supports DPTV Video on Hydroelectric Storage

“Pumped Hydroelectric Storage” Minute Updates for Great Lakes Now

We created this supporting motion graphic animation for Great Lakes Now, a bureau of Detroit Public TV (See the full 1-minute video at here). Through this channel they share “stories about the unique culture and history of the Great Lakes basin and explains the ways the fresh water of the Great Lakes generates jobs and economic activity and creates a wealth of recreational opportunities.” (Read more about Great Lakes Now) This agency has been producing “minute updates,” a series of 1-minute videos that quickly highlight a story anyway related to Michigan’s Great Lakes. They cover everything from the obvious, “Algae: A Great Lakes Mystery,” to the cultural, “The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians,” to the environmental, “Mayflies in Lake Erie.” Watch all the Minute Update videos or follow DPTV’s Great Lakes Now playlist

Creating the Motion Graphic Animation for the “Pumped Hydroelectric Storage” Video

Detroit Public TV came to us looking for a 30 second long motion graphic animation that would succinctly explain how hydroelectric storage works. We had to create the animation without a voiceover or having seen any of the video shot as it was being created at the same time. We only had a roughly written script and the intro motion graphic (template of which was also created by Kohlitz) to work off of. It’s no coincidence that the animation looks similar to the intro and outro graphics of each minute update! Nonetheless, we were able to produce a motion graphic that the client was happy with and only took one round of revisions (mostly to re-time to the voiceover once that part was completed.) To see how our typical process works, visit


Script & Voiceover // Detroit Public TV
Illustration & Animation // Kohlitz


They can burn more fossil fuels or use the sustainable power of a natural resource.


Water can be used as a giant battery.

It’s called pumped water hydroelectric storage.

Water is drawn in from a lake or river…
…it’s power stored …and then released … spinning turbines, providing an extra jolt when it’s needed.

Pumped water hydroelectric storage harnesses the power of the Great Lakes to keep the lights on.

Motion Graphic Animation Supports DPTV Video on Hydroelectric Storage
Motion Graphic Animation Supports DPTV Video on Hydroelectric Storage

This motion graphic animation succinctly explains how hydroelectric storage works. The motion graphic was used as supporting animation in a 1-minute video Detroit Public TV was producing through it's Great Lakes story-sharing bureau, and it's series of "Minute Updates" on Michigan's Great Lakes.