Oscar Askin on Animation for Corporate Events Part 2: What kind of animation will get my message across?
In our previous post on animation, we talked about why event organisers are increasingly using animation as a communications device: it allows you to represent facts in an illustrative way; a short sequence can convey the flavour of a more complicated story and make it more engaging. In this second of three articles, we focus on the different types of animation which you can use to get your message across.
What kind of animation is right for my event?
Hand drawn animation and visual commentary
Traditional, hand-drawn animation is still used because the imperfections can be more charming than what you might create digitally.
For several years now, the corporate stage has seen animation used in conferences to create a live, visual commentary of what is happening or being discussed; an animator or cartoonist will create live drawings relayed onto the main screen. It requires a great deal of artistry and skill and, witnessed live, it’s engaging because it’s charming to watch.
We recently we took this format one step further by turning those static graphics, which capture the moment, into animations which gave it longevity post-event.
2D Animation: A Range of Possibilities
As the most popular form of animation in the corporate world, 2D allows you to get your message across in a subtle, creative way and it is at its most effective when the audience is entertained by your characters and story.
It serves many purposes; a short animated sequence can convey a thousand words and, using references to the bigger story, it encourages your audience to use their imagination to complete the whole narrative. Have you ever written a presentation and thought, “There’s too much on this slide?” Nine times out of ten, animation will be a great solution to the problem of having too many words.
Animation can bring to life your corporate identity, explain succinctly an otherwise complicated process or it can represent your customer journey. You might use it as a conference opener or as a warm up for your key presenter. It can be used in training, product launches, exhibitions, award ceremonies or staff events.
The principle of 2D animation is similar to traditional animation in that it still requires a reasonable level of draftsmanship. Used well, it can be as impactful as 3D animation and is, in some ways, a warmer experience because you can appreciate the artistry.
Characters which convey the characteristics of your brand (or your customer) interact naturally with the environment around them. Using 2D, the animator also becomes the director and actor rolled into one, adding charm to your character and increasing audience engagement.
The advancement of inexpensive software which is easy to use such as Flash and After Effects has brought 2D animation into the mainstream and, in the last decade, it has become a very popular choice for corporate content.
3D Will Never Disappoint
Depending on your demographic, 3D offers either the Wow! factor or the norm. There is an entire generation of young professionals who have grown up extensively with 3D animation and accept it as standard. Then of course there are those who gaze at 3D in bemused wonder. For both very differing groups, there is common ground as it is always an unexpected treat to experience 3D animation in a corporate setting and outside of your living room or cinema.
When incorporated in large screen projection it becomes a completely immersive audience experience: objects and characters can be rotated and appear real and close enough to touch; animated characters can even have conversations with presenters on stage.
Instead of being drawn or constructed, characters in 3D are digitally modelled. Your audience is likely to wonder more at the technical prowess rather than the artistry and, although it lacks the imperfections of human touch, it is often the most exciting way to present your product or tell your story. Take a look at how 3D in this animation helps explain this sub-sea technology.
Happily though, technology can’t do all the work. The skills of the traditional artist are swapped for those of a creative technician and it’s their ability to apply the technology in the most creative way which turns that piece of content into a show-stopper.
Emerging out of this is virtual and augmented reality where hardware - such as headgear -and software interact to bring your audience into an immersive experience. We can think of lots of benefits this will bring to exhibitions and product launches, but that’s a topic in itself for another day.
A generic term that incorporates all of the techniques mentioned in this blog, infographics are perhaps self-explanatory. Centred on characters and stories that effectively convey information and statistics, they deserve a mention here because a sequence of graphic elements is a great way to make a more engaging visual which clarifies your brand story as important statistics unfold. The infographic represents facts in a really illustrative way and it is the most informative and entertaining way to animate text, data or complex information.
We recently worked with an industry members association who wanted us to create an animation that would, in two minutes, summarise a multi-page document describing all the benefits of membership.
If you’d like to talk to us more about animation in corporate events, we’d love to hear from you:
Glasgow: 0141 297 1007
Edinburgh: 0131 314 4000
Aberdeen: 01224 502 553
London: 020 7202 2000
Stay tuned for our last of three posts on animation which will tell you how to produce that one great piece of animated content. Animation 3: this time it’s personal.