Animation may not be the obvious choice for organisations new to using video to show their products or services. We’re all familiar with the big budget box office hits from Disney and Pixar and the stunning results that can be achieved, but if you’re on a more modest budget is there a role for animation?
The first thing to point out is that the term animation covers a very wide range of styles and technologies, each has its advantages and disadvantages and each has a role to play. You can forget about two of the most familiar Cel and Stop Motion, think Snow White from Disney or Wallace and Gromit, unless of course you have 12 months to spare and a mega budget, by animation we mean computer animation.
1. Kinetic Text or Typography
Often referred to as animated infographics. This uses a combination of bold text and graphics, sometimes combined with music to engage with the viewer. A very powerful way to get across lots of statistics and information quickly – think of it as a turbo PowerPoint. Usually has a flat or 2D look.
Advantages – Works well where sound is unavailable or can’t be used, for example at a trade show.
Disadvantages – Mostly relies on static images, not as cheap as you may think and frankly there’s a lot of it about.
2. Motion Graphics
A lot of overlap with Kinetic Text for applications and the terms are used interchangeably but really quite different. A good example would be the kind of graphics you get at the start and end of a TV sports show or news program. These may have a 2D or 3D appearance and are often used to start and end a live action video but they can of course be used for the whole film.
Advantages – More fluid that Kinetic Text with more scope to illustrate complex processes and products.
Disadvantages – Take longer to produce
3. 2D Animation
Nearest thing to the animation we remember from our childhood. The style can emulate a house style or brand and of course we can introduce characters to interact with each other or the viewer.
Advantages – these largely relate to benefits over live action, e.g. it is possible to have a cast of hundreds and create virtual worlds far cheaper that employing actors and expensive location shoots.
Disadvantages – sometimes has a child-like feel and may appeal to younger audiences.
4. 3D Animation
Closest thing to the real world, the closer the more expensive it gets. Particularly useful for explain complex and technical processes with things like cut-aways.
Advantages – can be very engaging and helps the viewer get inside the product or service – literally!
Disadvantages – Can take some time to create models unless you are happy to use something ‘off the shelf’.
One of the main advantages of animation is when it comes to complex scenarios that might need multiple locations and numerous actors to achieve with live action filming – animation can be much quicker and a lot cheaper.
So for your next project why not give it a try!