This blog is aimed at the corporate marketer, guiding you through some of the lesser known but important basics of producing an animated web video.
These can range from what sort of characters you should choose to star in your video, and how you want your chosen character to act.
To how to create the right scene for your character.
Choose a Character That Reflects Your Brand
Creating a character that is inline with your corporate branding is of vital importance.
In effect, the animated character will be the spokesperson for your company.
If you are in a high tech industry where quick thinking and innovation are required, your character should reflect this – with youthful looks and agility.
Alternatively, if you operate in legal or finance industries, where you need a message of reassurance and experience then your character must be more refined and composed.
This is where the benefit of bespoke illustrations come in.
With your briefing, an illustrator can develop a character that exactly suits your company.
Although there are many ‘good enough’ stock illustrations out there, that may fall inline with part of your branding. the chances are that there will be elements to the character that do not reflect your company
– or worse still, the same stock character is being used by your competitor.
Creating anticipation is about letting the viewer expect something to happen, before it does.
Instead of ‘spoiling the surprise’ of what’s about to happen, creating anticipation often builds the suspense.
This creation of anticipation was first mastered by Walts Disneys 9 old men – Walt’s elite core of animators.
Anticipation can be seen in the movements of all characters throughout the Disney back catalogue.
However, it’s in fight scenes where it is most apparent.
Next time you watch a Disney fight scene, take note of how slowly and for how long a fist is pulled back before being let loose!
Even though there is a world of difference between a Disney film and your next corporate video, the principles stay the same.
Create anticipation, and not only will your audience enjoy the video more, but they will follow the story better, with one action leading to the next, guiding the viewer through the video.
The Importance of Secondary Actions
We can group the movements of a character into 2 groups.
Primary actions – these would be actions such as walking or pointing in a certain direction, etc
Secondary actions – this would be movements such as smiling or a tilting of the head.
Although primary actions show the main function of a shot, eg, a man walking. it’s the secondary movements that set the scene and bring the animation to life.
Is he smiling or frowning?
Or is his hair being blown everywhere in the wind?
It’s these secondary actions that set the mood of the scene.
Even something as subtle as eyes blinking could convey that the character is bored – or surprised!
As secondary actions are so important, it’s often beneficial to consider which secondary actions to use as early as the storyboard stage.
Use of objects in setting a scene
There are 2 ways of setting the scene.
The first, and most obvious solution, is to have a full scene developed by an illustrator.
However, this method is time consuming, costly and not always the best route.
The alternative is setting the scene by the use of objects.
By placing just a couple of objects in the shot that you would expect to find in certain locations, the suggestion of an environment is created.
To create an office scene, a couple of tables can be placed within the shot – along with an indoor plant, maybe – and the audience will recognise the scene as an office.
This method of scene development also opens up the opportunities for the character to interact with objects – something that is often lost with static backdrops.
Picking characters, creating anticipation, using secondary actions, and using objects to set a scene might not be things the corporate animation buyer may initially think of.
But if you’re already down the road of selecting an animated video for your website, then perhaps the 4 above points will help you understand your project more deeply – and win more!
Please see our Animated Web Video page for further details: