Making Waves: Technology and Animation

Photo by Soumil Kumar from Pexels

Way back in 2003 (an age-and-a-half by technological standards), Adam Elliot and the team behind the now legendary, Melbourne produced Harvie Krumpet reminded us just how important and engaging animation - as a film-making medium, technique and approach - can be.

And that’s certainly the case in the marketing sphere: with animation as your sharp, savvy and disarmingly versatile weapon of choice, literally no topic or concept is unreachable.

At Pickle, we often use ‘motion graphics’; essentially, animated graphic design, the result of which is something delightfully multi-dimensional, just like this little one we produced for Energy Australia.

Just like all other elements of technology, the kind used in film has undergone a huge evolution as the years have rolled on. Although Elliot’s return to claymation offers us a beautiful, heartfelt nod to the technologies of yesteryear, it also shows us just how far we’ve come in terms of filmmaking techniques, many of which are now more accessible and implementable than ever before.

From groundbreaking software to mind melting CGI, today we take a look at the technologies making animation an awesome option for your next digital campaign.

The arrival of CGI

While hand-drawn, manually animated work maintains a deep sense of warmth and nostalgia, where would we be without the advent of Computer Generated Imagery (CGI)?

CGI is generally what we think of when we consider the use of today’s ‘special effects’. The creation of the first digitally rendered animation in 1972 by Pixar co-founders Fred Park and Ed Catmull set the foundation for generations of computer-generated masterpieces, not least of which are our blockbuster favourites like Gravity, Jurassic Park, and Toy Story.

Motion capture technology

Oooooooh. Our favourite. Any Lord of the Rings fans out there? We hear you.

The arrival of Gollum, everyone’s favourite mountain-dwelling, ring-wearied creature - on our screens in the early 2000s was our first, popularised look at what motion capture technology could offer the world of animation. A more recent example is that of Dan Stevens’ work in Beauty and the Beast as well as the introduction of facial capture technology on the set of huge international hit, Avatar (2009).

What motion capture technology has done for those in marketing is make possible depictions of human (and human-like) life more accurate and authentic-seeming than ever before. And with lower-cost, high-output ‘mocap’ suiting options now available on the international market, incorporating this incredible technology into your digital content is now a totally conceivable content marketing solution.

The rise of the animated infographic

In a world that’s more evidence-driven than ever before, one thing’s for certain: marketing professionals are being drawn to find ever-innovative ways to present data for the dual purpose of audience information and sales conversion. Enter the infographic.

A traditional infographic presents data as a visualisation. What animation does is enhance the presentation of the data, reeling the customer in with myriad possibilities for delighting the senses: think sound, movement, and vast palettes of bright and vivid colours, just like the animated infographics on display here.

The best thing? The production of this type of video - from conception through to delivery - is now more affordable than ever before. Get in touch if you’re curious to know more!

[Also, let it be our little secret: we love producing these!]

Cloud-based work environments

The office - like, the physical, four-walled, bricks-and-mortar office - is fast becoming a thing of the past. Have you noticed? With rent prices rising and flexible working conditions codified in many-a-contract, online, cloud-based platforms are working hard to make provisions for businesses who dare to work across borders.

The great thing about popular online workflow management platforms like Wrike, Smartsheet, and - especially in the context of technological advances in animation - is that they allow companies to grow in skill base by connecting with other global providers to offer you a tailored, end-to-end service. This only enhances the breadth of what animation, as an approach, can achieve in the marketing domain.

It’s definitely the case for us. We pride ourselves on being able to provide all of the usual benefits of an in-house, specialist team with real-time, local assistance (we are but an email or quick phone call away) while still maintaining a national, industry-leading network of professionals who contribute to projects as required. Top-class services with the friendly and personal approach of a local outfit? It’s the Pickle way!

Abstract ideas becoming reality

Okay, okay… so this isn’t so much an example of technology as a pretty important point.

As we’ve already know, focussing on the narrative and ‘making it memorable’ is one of the many known ways of keeping your digital marketing content in the realm of being super effective. Animation, with its non-reliance upon anything too organic or unpredictable (human actors, for instance) means that you can, quite literally, elicit and explore any concept or sales angle your heart desires.

As Vyond tells us, with animation you can ‘slide the scales and bend the laws of nature’; the possibilities are endless and you are, in a way, only limited by your creativity.

But fear not. If you feel you might need help with that, just drop us a line!