Friday, 18 March 2016

Reasons to choose live action or animation

Normally, "live action" can be understood as a narrative film (not documentary), with no animation whatsoever.

A lot of people face a real problem when making an explainer video: what to choose? Animation or live action?
You have to pay attention to 3 main points when choosing.


Best practices/behavior go well with live action. It’s easy to watch a real person doing something. The same appeals to body language.
A concept should appear better in animation. You can explain an idea via animation better than in real time. How do you explain DNA in live-action?


Choose live when showing actual people/existing product. Context always helps.
Animation should be chosen to visualize something difficult, complex. 
For example, a new software piece can be detailed with graphics/images/illustrations.


Choose animation for frequent updates, live action for a done deal.
Simply because it’s cheaper.

Don’t try to save much when doing an explainer video. Low budget will not necessary have the needed immediate effect.

In any case leave the final decision to the professionals. They will recommend good, better and the best options meeting so your needs as your budget.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Live action or animation: 3 myths

When considering what explainer video type is optimal for you you might face some myths preventing you to consider reasonable.
Let’s try to unveil them.

Myth 1: It’s more expensive to shoot a live action video

Ok, a live video requires a lot of people (cast, crew), equipment (lighting, sound equipment, cameras, and props). All that given it doesn’t necessary be more expensive.
Think variables - length and production complexity. 

A one-minute full 3D-animation with a bunch of effects could cost the same as a three-minute live video. 
Even one animator on the project might require more hours due to effort and detail level needed 
to illustrate and animate a 3D feature.
However not all live action videos are equal. 
There could also be huge variables in the production costs:
Multiple locations video shoot with will take longer due to the travel time expense and the need to set up and fix all the stuff: cameras, lights, and other equipment. In case not using own stores or offices, location rental fees also could grow high.
The more actors you need, the more you have to pay them
If the sound is needed, sound equipment and a crew to operate are obligatory. 
But  when making motion-only footage, there’s no need for that.

Good production companies are able to tailor live video to your goals

Myth 2: Animation requires more time

You might have heard animation requires a year to get done whilst live action can come along in say a MONTH.
The news is is that video type doesn’t matter.  Neither video style.
It’s just when your client needs their product. And how quick are you. 
There is equal planning involved in both video formats, and an equal number of moving parts. 
Any given format requires review time, video-  and audio-editing, and product delivery.

The timeline is depends on the video length and production complexity.

Myth 3: Choose either animation or live action

Video production world covers more than just animation and live action. Good production companies use a combination of:
B roll (motion only video footage)
Live action footage
Screencast (recording of the interface of a program or tool)
Kinetic typography (moving text)

See: no limits whatsoever.

Is there a proper answer: what is best?

What video type is perfect for you? 

The one that meets the goals, concept and idea. That’s just it.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

What is 3D animation and how it works

First of all - 3D is just an illusion made of the series of still flat images. They go 3-d when you play them.
3D requires a lot of time and a lot of designer effort. Hence a 3D-video is not cheap.
First every frame needs to be drawn with the help of a computer and then put into a 3D software.

The animator inputs a parameter set into the special software.
This parameter set describes how elements look like and move

"At frame #1 (a point in time) place the ball at coordinates X1,Y1,Z1 (a point in space).»

At frame #25 (1 second later) place the ball at coordinates X2,Y2,Z2 (a second point).»

A camera needs to be placed at particular coordinates (X3,Y3,Z3) - so to say where your camera will look from.
A source of light is also placed to illuminate the whole thing.

Once these parameters are set the software calculates (renders):

  • The journey the ball makes from point 1 to point 2: Where exactly should the ball be at each one of the 25 frames?
  • How each frame looks from camera POV?

What you get?

A 25-image sequence moving across your screen. If you play the result at 25 frames per second you get the notion how 3D works. At least basically.

Is it this hard?

Yes it is. There is no «Animate» button.

We can compare an animation software trying to animate a whole movie to MS Word trying to write a world-class novel.
You can align text, copy-paste - automatically. That’s all. The rest is done manually.

What a computer can do:

Filling the tweens
Multiple figures/characters
Perfect 3D illusion
Material simulation
Complicated lighting simulation
Virtual and live integration (e.g. Mars landscape and a real person).
Live actor and animation combination

In modern world the margins between 2D and 3D are getting thinner. Take « Beauty and the Beast» - 2D animation waltzed under a 3D chandelier.

However a real 3D is a stunning experience.

Should you have any more questions - e-mail us. 

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Explainer video: why and how much

A good explainer video ranks your website better in Google search, increase the CTR, clarify your idea, boost the sales.

But when heard the cost of an explainer video for the first time, the people might consider that way too much. Knowing nothing of the production process, required resources amount, video quality and its immediate effect the people might consider the price to bee too much. Let’s unveil the production process just a bit to justify the explainer video cost.

A very legit Question: How much does it cost?

It’s the primary question when we enquire about the explainer videos.
      An exact number would differ from client to client due to their requirements and that could be unique. 
So the price is really based on the video length of the video and the animation style involved.
      Some people demand the price quote well before hearing the rest about an explainer video. 
A typical explainer video would cost about $1000 to $5000 per minute. Do keep in mind that a sophisticated animation video cost can go as high as $10.000 per minute.
    You could as well pay as much as $100.000 when creating a TV spot. Creating a video is not always cheap.
How the video production budget split up works?

     Normally it would take 4-8 weeks to complete a 1-1,5 minute video.

  • Research and Brainstorming (4-7 days)
  • Story, scripting (4-7 days)
  • Voice production, recording (1-2 days)
  • Storyboarding (7-10 days)
  • Animation and Production (10-12 days)
  • Sound effects & Music design (3-5 days)
  • Delivery and Promotion (2-4 days)

Is that the proper amount you invest?

As Andrew Angus properly pointed out, an explainer video is the best way to increase CTR.

Before doing so (investing funds on an explainer video) one should know:
  • a proper amount of funds;
  • what happens if you fail to invest a proper amount.

You can have a 60-90 second explainer video with your project proper explanation that’s not working. Why so? You did everything to make your audience grasp your idea pros and cons. The answer is - the video was not executed properly.
Don’t try to save funds by making a poorly designed explainer video. Cost reduction can affect negatively and the user replies with «I’m not buying». Mission failed. 
Don’t think you are saving when you stand by a minimum budgeted video. Likely you are going to end up doing things twice which can’t only cost you money but also time and resources.

A bad idea would be to hunt for the lowest cost explainer video, sometimes you might be unhappy with the video that you receive finally.

Flip notes

      Normally a production house is keen to offer you more than just animation. Their goal is to provide an effective video that goes beyond mere product explanation. It deals with your ideal customers pain and how your product /service solves that pain.

      Don’t invest insufficient funds in an explainer video. Better acquiring more funds than distracting your potential customers.

Monday, 14 March 2016

What is 2.5D Animation?

When you think animation you most assuredly mean 2D.
This kind of animation depicts 2-d space (hence name). This space is drawn using line art on a flat background. Depth is only thought of - when various objects are located next to each other. Perspective might work as well so shadows.
3 D animation is a whole another story
That happens in 3 dimension space. Figures, objects et al. move on 3 axes (remember, 2D uses 2 axes only. There can be 3rd axe if you change size or motion for a particular object. But this third axe is only implied in 2D world).
Having this cleared, can there really be a half point between  2D and 3D?
The answer is yes.
Picture yourself a 2D animation in 3D world. You’d get a 
Sometimes this involves actually moving 2D-animated objects in a 3D space; sometimes it involves using clever tricks of perspective and shadow to make 2D space look like 3D space, although you're still working on a 2D plane.

A nice example of 2.5D animation is Feel Good, Inc by Gorillaz.
This is done (among all other applied techniques) by layering, morphing, perspective animation et al.
A famous Family Guy series use 3D objects in 2D space.

2.5D effect can be accomplished by adding shadows to 2D. Shadow we are talking about is the one the object casts on other figures/objects. 
If you place a 2D object on a white background you result in a flat object somewhat of 2 dimensions.  A shadow stretched in a distance on paper makes this 2D object in a 3D world. A perspective adds a finishing touch and extra depth.

Actually it is possible to create 2.5D effects in so 2D as 3D (Flash might be a fine example). A fake perspective is created and then animated. Shadows can be created by objects/figures greyed out and arranged at a proper order. Perspective tools are used to stretch the shapes.
A 3D software piece makes it possible to place 2D object on a transparent polygon, animate them and reposition. To create shadow a lighting tool is used. 

2.5D animation is more ubiquitous that you might think.
Should you you decide that 2.5D animation is your thing - join us or

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Live action vs. animation

Most explainer videos are made n simple animation (i.e. 2D). Why so? Plain and simple! If you are bootstrapped startup you ain’t got much funds. And simple animation (2D) is simply cheaper. Plus you can place your order even on a freelance marketplace.
When making a decision you are considering ROI (return of investment) spent in creating a video as well.
Let’s consider live action vid (in place of 2D).
You would need 5 actors plus and that might be costly.
Which video would convert better?
Chances are, an animated one. Plus it would turn out cheaper. The ROI would be much better.
Let’s consider other issues when deciding which one is more appropriate?
live action or animation? 

1)   How can you make people understand/ get inclined to the project?

Well, that depends on your product. If you sell blue denim you would need to show real people in real blue denim.
Let’s make it more difficult. Do you think all your viewers have a Master Degree in Computer Science? Hope, not. So don’t try to apply live action techniques to explain your tech project.
The more complex the information the more friendly it can be by means of animation. 
If the content is too abstract use animation to give understandable images.
Every time you don’t have screenshots (i.e. for your app) you may apply animation.

2)   Creative language may be used differently 
One thing is metaphors and fun to attract attention (the tip of the iceberg, the camel back broken be a straw).
Quite another story is «filming» the real iceberg/camel etc. 
Some projects might require it. Others play animation card really well.

3)   Can you really find an actor appealing to all types of your audience (for a live action video)?

There are too many questions with live action videos. 
Too much to worry about. Starting from sex/age/race/looks of a person to whereabouts. 
Some messages require that difficulty some need to dat simple and clear.
If your project idea involves different personas - consider drawing them. Unless you absolutely require bazillion different people of various creed/age etc. 

4)  Is action needed? To what extent? Is it feasible to set?
Complicated motions/action requiring a lot of people most certainly call for live action. 
Consider for instance a disco with dancers or a fight. Easier to shoot live, eh? Animation cost might go bananas on that stuff.

5)  Will your vid be translated?
Do you need a multiple language dub for your vid? If so - animation is much better. Animated lip syncing makes it simpler. Timing can also be accustomed.

6)   The choice is not «pick this or that»
Animation can be combined with live action at not much extra cost. Cartoon viewers can be watching “real” TV. Custom animation is almost limitless when it comes to possibilities. Even blue jeans can be sold differently. 

If you are still stuck, maybe there’s high time to get in touch with a Pro.

At least get in touch with us via twitter

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Top 20 infographics

When we speak infographics  we don’t mean static. If you look around carefully you would notice quite a bit of really good examples with great content but they are got lost. Why? Because the users are not attracted. To change it all for good a designer might consider animated infographics. Almost certainly the future of infographics lays in interaction and HTML5. Animated infographics  elevate users engagement. Else the viewers would not pay attention to some particularly dull topics. We have collected 20 infographics you can get inspired from. Animated and interactive infographics, especially those designed using HTML5, are quite possibly the future of infographics. Animated infographics engage with viewers better and can help add interest to topics that might otherwise come across as mundane.

Social Media Complete History

This is the infographic using Flash technology.

5 Tech Giants that like acquisitions

This one is interactive. It represents the sortable acquisitions timeline. This is how the top tech world giants worked over the last 15 years.

Ready for HTML5 & CSS3

This infographic is also interactive. It shows how and when HTML5 and CSS3 appeared in all web-browsers

The evolution of WWW

This is the SVG-powered infographic. It shows so tech and browser progress as the WWW itself.

Business using HTML5

How SMB use technology to boost productivity. An interactive one as well.

Car engine

This is an animated infographic showing how the car engine operates. Details in full, uses HTML5. 

Flat panel display: how it works

This is an animated HTML5-operated infographics for those enquiring how such display really operates. Very informative.

Insight: An evolution

Through this interactive infographic you can learn market research timeline (starting from 1900s up to XXI c.).

Human brain needs Infographics: 13 reasons

Why that happens can be seen via that lovely animated infographic.

Top data breaches

Do you want major data breaches (since 2004?) visualized? Head-on for thatinfographic.

Inception explained

What happened in the movie ‘Inception’? Advise with this animated infographic. A minimalist one yet working.

Interactive flights

Address that interactive infographic if you are an aviation fan. Check out the interactive tracking map for all flights in real time and the commercial flight historical timeline.

007: A driver’s license

Do you like James Bond? Indulge yourself in animated, drawn and designed info-graphic charts. You will see all of 007 cars:  from the Sunbeam Alpine in ‘Dr. No’ up to the Land Rover Defender in ‘Skyfall’.

Browser evolution

Are you interested in tech? Check this animated infographic for a proof that any web-page should be tested on any available, browser. screen resolution, OS.

Google Search explained

Ever wondered how Google search works? Starting from indexing and crawling unto spam filtering?Look through this interactive infographic.

Dribble: why?

HTML5 explanatory interactive animation explains that service and the used terms.

Game Console Evolution

Video Game Console history has long required such vector-graphic interactive chart.

Social collaboration evolution

A quick look at social collaboration evolution (from 1960s till now) is given in this interactive infographic.

Security threats in retail

Never thought the hackers might try to access the network from a retail store? Well, they can. Check this for animated and interactive infographic showing all retail store «blind spots».

Console Game Journeys: 8 examples

Console gaming cam provide quite a treat when it comes to a journey experience. You can verify that in this info graphic that is infographic that is HTML5-based. Please make sure that the mentioned examples can serve as a real inspiration source so for you as your business. Still unsure?