With animated safety video production on the increase we asked Studio Rossiter’s Creative Director, Linda Rossiter for an opinion of this trend.
Linda reports “…. a few years ago filmed video was the norm for safety managers. Now 2D animated video is often seen as the first option, as it can be cheaper and quicker to produce than a filmed video alternative. And once clients use it they tend to stick with it.
Many H&S advisers also try out self-drive, cloud-based animation packages like Toonly or Powtoons in their search for the cheapest possible video price.”
Overall, animation helps resolve concerns from many sources indicating that workforce training is quickly forgotten and frequently not retained beyond a week, or even a day, obliging health & safety managers to seek more effective ways to motivate safe, compliant, legal behaviour.
With this in mind we thought we’d share with you our Hot List of 36 things you probably didn’t know about animated safety video production.
1: Animated safety video can usually be completed far more quickly than a live shoot video production, as all the work is carried out offsite in the animation studio.
2: Expensive actors and presenters are eliminated at a stroke.
3: You can show a perfect demographic mix on demand.
4: You can translate your animated safety video into any foreign language with ease.
5: Budget animated safety video is around half the cost-per-runtime-minute of budget filmed video
6: Animation is perfect for difficult locations, such as working at height, confined spaces, hot work, near traffic or moving vehicles, in a crowded city centre, tunnels, ships, aeroplanes, elite offices, railway lines, trenches, robot areas, forbidden zones, public buildings, doctors’ surgeries, hospitals and any restricted areas. Be aware special scenes will add to your your overall video design costs.
Smart worker cartoon character eps 10 vector illustration
7: You don’t need the willing (or unwilling) cooperation of your workforce as you would with a filmed video.
8: Audiences love cartoons. We were all brought up on them from Walt Disney to South Park.
9: Mixed media can be used successfully. For example, photographs can be mixed into an animated video, or a clip of archive site footage.
10: The bulk of any animated safety video is based on captions, drawn scenes and & illustrated talking characters with voiceover, in the language or accent required.
11: Use simple backgrounds to keep costs down, as it takes less for a graphic designer to draw or originate
12: Characters’ eyes, mouth and shoulders can be synced to move with the voiceover wav track to convincingly simulate real speech. This means you can have a 2D or 3D safety presenter character leading the video, talking to your workforce audience
13: Images in photographs can be bent or stretched (vectorised) to animate with the storyline. For example, a photograph of a suspended load in a warehouse could be made to wobble as if it might spill, or a leaning ladder be made to bend and warp to illustrate the effects of poor or unsafe footers, while fork lift trucks can be made to bump up and down a bit, behaving in a pushy way!
Worker panicking beside a spilt barrel with radioactive symbol sign. Vector cartoon illustration on radioactive spill industrial workplace accident concept isolated on plain background.
14: Nothing drives up animated safety video costs faster than complex or highly customised animation, such as operating special equipment, or needing to know special tools. KISS still applies.
15: Captions can be choreographed in a typographic style for greater impact, so long as they stay within the reading capabilities of your audience. It’s important that your captions are understandable to foreign workforce audiences who may speak English as a second language, and possibly don’t read it as well as they speak it.
16: Using mixed media (such as your on-the-job photographs) can increase audience information retention by creating the visual variety needed to hold the attention.
17: Animated safety video modules fit easily into elearning scoring programmes and learning management system databases.
18: You can put your completed video on the company’s youtube channel, as well as Facebook and other social media - as well as your intranet, demonstrating safety leadership in your industry.
19: Cartoon characters can say & do things that real people filmed on camera could not, giving you more leeway in how you want to project your safety message. For example, you can speak much more directly through the mouth of a cartoon, instead of tiptoeing around a hot or controversial subject. Similarly you can show accidents and incidents without creating an impression of “negative safety”.
Flat design travel security infographic illustration vector
20: You can do less to accomplish more. Animated safety videos tend to be shorter, with higher impact and less waffle than filmed video alternatives.
21: 3D safety animation is expensive. It’s 2d animation that’s affordable. For example, 3D animated safety video can easily cost £20,000 to £100,000, compared with budget 2D animation costing under £5,000 for a similar safety message.
22: You take the whole video production process offsite as there’s no longer any need to film or plan in your premises. All production meetings can be with skype, webex or google hangouts, eliminating unnecessary travel. This is not only cheaper, it’s also more environmentally friendly, eliminating the carbon emitted by travel.
23: You no longer have a disruptive film crew going on site, which can lose you production time that can’t be recouped.
24: No massive slice of your time is needed during production to organise crews, scenes, getting locations cleaned up, or press ganging extras from your workforce. It’s less stressful for the H&S team. You also eliminate the time spent liaising with production managers to arrange a shoot.
25: You need minimal involvement of colleagues compared to filmed video. You choose the level of colleague involvement.
Fire Fighter Professional with Fire Class and Fire Signs
26: The animation colours, font and design completely reflect your corporate style.
27: You can show medical impacts inside the body, such as the impact of lifting on vertebrae or smoking impact on lungs, or any long term RSI (repetitive strain injury)
28: Detailed lungs, spine, liver, bones, eyes, hands and ears can all be seen from the inside if required
29: Catastrophic incidents and hazards can be staged for a fraction of the cost of filmed video.
30: All it takes to save money with animated safety video is a little imagination, and to think generically, ie, without needing to show every site-specific detail, which pushes costs back up.
31: No more accidental bloopers are shown, compared to traditional filmed video. You no longer have to worry about some background rubbish appearing in a scene, or some minor unplanned hazard being visible. You have complete control over everything that is seen, which you’ll proof in at the storyboard stage of video production.
32: The more animated videos you make, then generally the cheaper they get, as sets and characters can be reused in a number of different but related video topics. You build your own asset library.
33: Animated safety video can be used to roll out a whole safety strategy, or Safe Systems of Work (SSOW). It needn’t be limited to one or two hot safety topics.
Cartoon man knocked off balance by automated bar barrier at boom gate. Vector illustration on concept for unexpected hazards and personal accidents isolated on plain background.
34: Your CEO, CXOs and VIPs can still appear “on camera” as realistic talking cartoons if they’re produced in an adult style that dignifies their appearance and the message.
35: No more CEO bloopers to embarrass you in the way that filmed interviews do.
36: Your site signage appears perfectly clean and unchipped every time.
There it is, 36 things you probably didn’t know about animated video production. Phew! Hope you find it useful.