What you Need to Know about Animation, CGI and Film Making

What you Need to Know about Animation, CGI and Film Making

What you Need to Know about Animation & Filming

Animation is becoming an increasingly popular format for corporate films and videos, but when and how should you use it, and what pitfalls should you avoid? Our simple guide will give you some basic pointers and get you off on the right track.

Why Choose Animation Techniques?

First let’s begin by exploring some reasons why you might choose an animated approach to your film.

Overcoming Barriers with Filming People

Obviously we know that one of film’s great advantages over other marketing media is that it showcases real people bringing your products to life, but let’s be honest, not every company has personnel who look natural, relaxed and confident on camera, no matter how much practice they get.

Not to mention people who could spare the time filming can take.

Of course you could always use professional actors, but equally this can sometimes lack authenticity, so some clients may like to turn to animation as a fresher, more surprising alternative.

Softening the Tone

Another key advantage of taking an animated approach in a corporate film or video, especially for companies with a rather dry or corporate image, is that it can be used to naturally soften the tone of your brand and message, lending your company a warmer, more accessible tone and texture.

Maintaining Gravity

But just a quick word of caution here, it’s worth thinking about whether it’s appropriate for the topic of your film. You won’t want to run the risk of trivialising a serious subject with a breezy animation that might look great on the drawing board but somehow turn out a little glib in the final edit. You don’t want to go viral for the wrong reasons!

This is where using experienced professionals with a strong documentary background, like, dare we say it, Picture Book Films, really matters. With any film, animated or not, we’ll help you set the right tone and ensure your message gets across with sufficient gravity and impact.

Animated Online Explainers

These days many companies, particularly tech companies or those with innovative delivery concepts, will turn to a short, minute-long animation, often supplemented with voiceovers and/or captions, on the homepage of their website to clearly outline how their service works in a simple, visual format. These are often know in the industry as online explainer videos.

They tend to be more effective than diagrams or lengthy text descriptions because they are stickier and watching them removes the effort of processing information for your viewer.

They will also likely be more inclined to watch these multiple times if they need to, to understand your product or services, than they will be to re-read lots of verbose explanatory copy.

The Sky’s the Limit with Animation

With animation you can really let your creativity flow, without being hampered by the many practicalities and constraints of filming live action sequences.

Want to set a scene in space, on an Alpine mountaintop or on a tropical beach? You don’t need to worry about the set-up cost, cast or location scouting, you can let your imagination run away with you - just as long as your idea is relevant to your film’s message of course. If you can picture it visually and you have a skilled animator at your disposal, you can make it happen.

Using Animation and CGI with Live Footage

In some cases, rather than being the core format of your film, you can digitally insert special effects or characters to enhance an element of your film. This approach can give you the best of both worlds. CGI has become a Hollywood staple of course, but it is also a great way to add some wow factor to your content and really grab the viewer’s attention.

To see CGI in action, watch our ITV advert for the NFoPP where we digitally insert an animated key into live action sequences. The client absolutely loved the final commercial!

NFoPP ITV Advert

The Cost of Animation Film Making

Animation and CGI do tend to be more expensive than live action, due to the number of man-hours involved. The process starts with scripting, character design, storyboarding and then progresses onto pre-visualisation, the actual animation and then rendering out.

Finally, voiceover, music and sound effects need to be added to create the completed video.

If you’d like to find out more about the animation process, how it might fit your brand and also see some of our previous work, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team!

And of course you can also view our showreel here.

Good luck making your animated film debut!

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