Today I decided it was a good time to dig up some old animation experiments I did a few years ago. I produced these in my downtime in order to strengthen some of my weaker skills in 2d handdrawn work. These are for a variety of 2d effects that I wanted to improve on. They are laid out below for your enjoyment.
The process of creating an animated video is complicated and the steps from start to finish numerous. However, don’t be intimidated! Video is a wonderful marketing tool that easily engages people and rapidly improves lead generation and sales. In order to create a video that will be successful, knowing these steps will help you. It will empower you to understand what to look for, what to expect, and what to watch out for.
Step 1) – What do I want my story to be?
Animation is a storytelling tool. So getting clear on what you want your audience to understand about your story is essential. A good place to start is to ask yourself this question; what do I want my video to convey to my customer?
Consider answering these questions before you pick your vendor, it will help you to decide what kind of project you want to build:
What do I want my customers to think or feel about me?
What is the essential information I want to convey to them in this video?
What is the tone and feeling of the video I am looking for?
How quickly do I need this project completed?
How much can I afford to pay for this project?
Step 2) – What to look for in a vendor
Animation studios and companies that can provide animation services are numerous around the world. Many of them with unique strengths and weaknesses. Some are focused on 2D animation only. Others focus exclusively on 3D work for industrial applications or commercials. Others are a blend of video studios who do visual effects and motion design.
Because of this, it’s important to hunt around and do your research on the kind of company you’d like to work with. If you know you want a 2d explainer video at a lower cost, there are many options out there of companies that exclusively produce those products. So pick your vendor carefully and in accordance to what you think they can do for you.
Step 3) – How soon can I get my video?
Animation production can take a while depending on how long, detailed or complicated your video is. If the animation is simple and short, say a 30 second spot. The turn around could be as crunched as 2 weeks, to as much as 4 or 5 weeks.
For a longer form project like an explainer video that is say 2 minutes in length. The average production process be can as little at 4 weeks to as much as 8 weeks. Anything less then that and you’re looking for trouble. Turn around and time to integrate feedback will be limited. It could cost you your deadline!
Hopefully that gives you a better idea of the scale and time that goes into animation.
Step 4) – The Script and Preproduction Phase
Now that you’ve picked your vendor and locked in a budget and schedule, the first phase of production begins. Depending on the length and how complicated the script is, the process from beginning to end could take as little as a few days to up to a week or so. If you have taken on the task of providing the script yourself, great! If you have asked the vendor to create your script for you to comment on and tweak, great as well!
The other part of this phase is called Preproduction. That can mean you will start getting some visual ideas and designs or illustrations for sections of your video, like the characters, icons, backgrounds, etc.
You may be provided with the following during Preproduction:
Styleframes: these are still frames that show you what your video will look like at a few points in the script.
Storyboards: These are more rudimentary, not overtly designed drawings that illustrate your video’s progression from start to finish. They usually include an explaination of what will be happening in that part of the video, as well as timecodes for it.
Animatic: An animatic is a moving storyboard with sound. It’s basically a pre-animation, low resolution of the timing and pacing of your video with some rudimentary movement of things to show you how everything will work together.
Step 5) Production Phase
The production phase is where the rubber hits the road. Now that you have approved the pre-production portion, animation begins. During this phase is where your video is now created. Sometimes segments of the video will be presented up front as a proof of concept.
Usually for explainer videos I give clients the first 15 seconds for comments. This informs them of where the look and feel of it is going and gives them a chance to tweak and adjust things that aren’t working right off the bat.
Next you are usually provided with a finished product to look at and give feedback for.
Step 6) Post Production Phase
This is where sound and music are mastered and officially finished for production. As well as final tweaks to things like color correction and the look of the finished product as a whole once it’s done.
This is the last phase of the process. After this the project is wrapped up and your final product is ready to go!
If you’re curious to know more about animation or hire my company to help you out. You can view more of my blog here, or email me anytime with questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello world. We’ve been hard at work the last eight weeks on a 2 minute video in conjunction with Playfish Media and Multiscale HN. The piece is sleek, elegant and was a joy to help complete. Take a look!
We’ve been very busy this year on many exciting and fun projects. Motion graphics is a large part of our workload. Motion-based projects are a broad discipline and can apply in many types of needs. A sliding scale of affordability makes motion graphics a great tool to tell complex stories for different companies, organizations, causes, and budgets.
Motion graphics encompass both 2d and 3d animation and design. They can be used for a quick logo reveal, commercials, marketing campaigns, explainer videos, visual effects, and e-learning coursework, just to name a few applications. Design can be simple to incredibly complex, it all depends on what you need.
The affordability scale is great because any budget can fit into the service. It just depends on what you’d like to do. A list of budget types and the end result you get are detailed below, so if you know what your budget is, you can get an idea of what to expect.
Lower Budgets: A lower budget project can often give you text-based motion design work, simple icon-based motion design and a clean simple aesthetic for your product. An example of a lower budget project we completed is below:
Medium budgets: Medium budgets open up the possibilities of basic character animation, more color choices, somewhat complex background and prop elements and generally more sophisticated animation. An example of a medium budget project we completed is below:
High Budgets: High budgets offer a much broader scope of possibilities for your project. These benefits include complex and detailed designs with a lot of highly complex animated elements, lots of color usage inside the video project, usually longer videos with more content, high-level visual effects and often blending of disciplines, like 2d animation and 3d animation in the same project. An example of a high budget project we completed is below:
As you can see, motion graphics are a great scaleable product and can apply in many disciplines and needs. If you’d like to know more about motion graphics, you can browse our blog or ask us a question in the contact us section of our portfolio site. If you’re interested in hiring us for a project, we’d love to hear from you!
Greetings! It’s been quiet on the blog this year. But it’s because we’ve been busy working on a bunch of projects. Last year we had the opportunity to work on two television shows for Explosm entertainment. One was a show called Purgatony, and the other a show called The Blubburbs.
You can watch the first free episode of Purgatony below:
The Blubburbs can been seen in it’s entirety online at GO90.com. You can view one of the shorts of the series below:
The game is slated to be released in February of 2019 on Steam, XBoxOne, PS4, and other platforms that are yet to be announced. We are responsible for almost all of the game’s artwork, and very excited to see it released next year.
You’re in the middle of a video marketing campaign launch and your conversions aren’t meeting their targets. Adjustments and optimizations aren’t helping. What could be the problem? Let’s go through a few tips to get your strategy back on track:
1) One tip to get back on track is to take a second look at who you’re targeting. Who are your customers? What are their lives like? Who seems to be enthusiastic about your product? Who isn’t enthusiastic? What is your average CTR (click-through rate) based on gender, demographics and interests?
Going back to basics like this can really help with adjusting your strategy from keywords to use, to understanding when to market to your audience during different times of the week, or times of the day. Remember that you are here to help people who might benefit from your product in some way.
2) Try to visualize your potential audience and write a profile of their interests, their lives and what makes them happy. What do they wear? What are their hobbies? What are their values?
After this, if you haven’t done so, write a brief profile of one member of this potential audience and what makes them happy, as well as what they dislike.
It’s also a good exercise to make a list of items that they might have in their house, and what they might do with their free time or with their family or friends.
3) Another tip to re-adjust your strategy is to try and readjust your video’s delivery method. Not all social media platforms or broadcast platforms are equal. Some perform better than others. Video use on the internet is rising every year, and Youtube is one of the most potent social media platforms for advertising these days.
There is evidence that well-optimized youtube video campaigns work wonders on conversion rates. Why? People love watching videos, and youtube is the largest video network in the world.
Try and use any statistics you can from social media outlets you’re using to craft a better picture of what isn’t working.
Need extra help? Adjustments not working? We do market strategy consultations for customers in order to help them figure out further marketing pitfalls.
Sometimes a video just is not impacting your audience because the message and video itself may have some fundamental misunderstandings about the product and the audience for whom the product is for.
Impactful messaging is the most important part to get right on a video campaign. If the messaging isn’t right, it can have a big impact on your bottom line for the marketing budget that’s spent.
Anyone can agree that a well-honed education is vital to the prosperity of a child’s future, and so delivering effective, quality educational content that kids can enjoy and understand is important. It’s also well understood that educating can be expensive.
Animation and interactive content can do the job of educating well. It’s obvious to anyone that kids find cartoons fun and entertaining. Any parent can tell you stories of sitting a child in front of the TV and coming back to hear they learned something new. Even if that something new wasn’t what a parent intended, it happens.
There is even something called “The Sesame Street Effect”. A well-documented study showed the impact of Sesame Street on early education for kids.
It was concluded that Sesame Street increased readiness for youth entering kindergarten or elementary school. It was also shown to give an especially great boost to early education for young black men, which is great news.
Sesame Street was originally designed to target inner city youth and people of color, and it’s great to see the affect established for the audience they were trying to help the most.
Another great advantage about Sesame Street’s impact on early childhood education what the cost effectiveness of its production. It cost mere penny’s on the dollar to educate and get kids ready for school. This is opposed to the HEADSTART program implemented in 1969. What cost the government $7,600 annually to educate children, Sesame Street could do for a mere $5 per child.
This is the advantage of television and broadcast media in the modern era.
Although it’s often hard to come draw conclusions on the long-term impact of educational shows like Sesame Street. It cannot be denied that the budget and effectiveness in educational content using video and animation saves money for educators in the long haul.
* – Header image is copyright Sesame Street and respective owners.
Mobile games have been implementing ads and in-app purchases to make their money on freely downloaded software since 2008. Will AR follow the same trend?
There is a new market on the block, and it’s called Augmented Reality. In a few short days Pokemon Go has turned into a world-wide sensation. It’s definitely something new and different from a normal mobile game. It displays some of the amazing things that we can now do with augmented reality technology, including the integration of high-level GPS tracking data, environmentally aware camera tracking technology and 3d animated characters together.
The next step for AR and VR tech may be the inclusion of new and different monetization features that aren’t too obstructive to users, and still make the experience of augmented reality fun while making publishers and developers money.
It’s no big leap to say that similar advertising systems will be developed for augmented reality experiences like ones that are built for mobile games now, especially if like Pokemon Go, the app is free to download and use.
“Enter PokéCoins, the in-game currency of Pokémon Go. Players need these coins to buy useful items, such as Poké Balls, which are needed to actually “catch” Pokémon, and for inventory upgrades. There are ways to earn coins within the flow of the game, but the quickest way is to shell out the cash. Users can pay anywhere from 99 cents for 100 PokéCoins to $99.99 for 14,500 coins.” *
Another possible avenue that developers could take to create revenue streams, and one I’m interested to see implemented, is the use of augmented reality “commercial breaks”. Or ads that appear inside the environment you’re immersed in as a backdrop to the experience itself.
There is a big possibility for better marketing analytics with the kind of data you can retrieve from augmented reality apps as well, making your marketing campaigns and ads smarter, better, faster, stronger, and more targeted particular subsets of users.
Whether using your smartphone or a virtual reality headset in the experience, the possibilities for marketing inside this new media sphere are just getting started.
As a studio with a deep history inside the game industry web development, it’s exciting to see a new market filled with creative possibilities moving forward. The future is rushing towards us, and it will be exciting.