Congratulations! You have a shiny new video. Now it’s time to share it with the masses. However, it’s not as simple as posting it online and waiting for results. At the very least, you need to set some groundwork to get your video noticed, as well as looking presentable.

Are you planning to upload your new video to a streaming service such as YouTube, Vimeo? Or to social media sites like Instagram and Facebook? Read on! This blog will give you some best practice tips to make your video more presentable and perhaps more importantly, discoverable in search results.

Video Title

Don’t just use the default title which may be the filename of the video. It may look like this: “videoname_final_020319_newaudio”, this may make sense to the video creator, but to a viewer, it doesn’t look appealing, and at first glance, it’s a bit confusing. In a few short words, you want the title to explain what the viewer can expect to gain from watching.

Example: “How to protect plants and crops from pests and disease | Animal and Plant Health Agency”

In this example for the Animal and Plant Health Agency, the title opens with a short explanation of what the video will cover, followed by their name for clarity on who the video belongs to – not always necessary, but it doesn’t hurt to include it.

Description and Call to Action

This area is an opportunity to expand on the video content by adding supporting information and providing a clickable ‘Call To Action’.

Think about what your Call To Action is, what do you want your viewer to do after watching. Do you want them to visit a website? If so, back up what was said in the video as to why they should visit (sometimes, people are unable to watch a video and would rather cut to the chase).

It’s important to note that website links on Youtube only work if you provide the full address, starting with: https://

By including this, the link becomes clickable, making it effortless for your viewers to react to your Call To Action.


Don’t leave this area blank.Add relevant keywords to help search engines discover your video.

For starters, keep it simple. Think about what your video contains that viewers might search for. You may even be surprised about a new audience you’ll accidentally tap in too!

Platforms like Instagram provide metrics on how many people are using a particular keyword/hashtag – try a few out and see who engages with your video.


Don’t settle for the default. Where possible, choose an image from the video to make it look appealing to new viewers. If any of the thumbnails aren’t working for you, don’t hesitate to create a custom image – just don’t deceive your viewers with clickbait wording/imagery that may not be in the video itself!

Search Engine Optimisation

SEO can require a lot of work and research. It’ll be worth speaking to a specialist to plan it effectively. However, this video gives you a chance to think about what keywords and search terms you’d like for your video to be discovered by. Once you have this figured out, try and incorporate words and phrases into your written content (title, description, tags) to help your visibility.


Following on from SEO, keep an eye on the stats of your video. On some platforms, you can find detailed information on how your video was found, how long it was watched and at what point during the video a viewer dropped off. This powerful information can help you fine-tune your videos to what your audience best responds to – perhaps even altering your content to fit in new keywords.

If you’re ever struggling and not sure if what you’re doing is working, be sure to speak to your video author, as we’re sure, after the work they put into creating it, they’d be more than happy to help you get it noticed!

Hey, you, you with the twinkly eyes! Are you a university student studying animation? Jammy Custard are offering up to 2-weeks work placement to a student starting from the 13th of February.

The studio is busy with exciting projects and we have the perfect opportunity to get a student involved at an entry level in fantastically cool projects while gaining insight into how a small studio works.

Here’s a bit more info:

The ideal candidate:

We would welcome submissions of portfolio/showreels and either a covering letter or c.v. by 12:00, 11th February (UPDATE: Due to our time constraints on Monday and the short notice of this placement, we will accept submissions until 17:00, but only if you let us know you intend to submit before 12:00). We will then review and either make a selection or arrange to meet with a few candidates for an informal interview.

Apply Now

Send your submissions to [email protected]

Good luck!

There’s no better way to say it, but wow, what a weekend! After a 20 year absence, Lauren Orme and her team resurrected the Cardiff Animation Festival with a bang. Here’s a review of our weekend experience at the festival.

Dotty the Cardiff Animation Festival 2018 Mascot, created by Sculpt Double
Dotty the Cardiff Animation Festival 2018 Mascot, created by Sculpt Double

Films, Masterclasses and People

We knew, based on the Animation Nights (organised by the same team), that it was going to be a good weekend, but we quickly realised from the programme announcement that we were in for a treat.

We set out to see and do as much as we could throughout the weekend, which resulted in seeing over 70 short films and three feature-length films with masterclasses. We also attended many valuable talks and met a lot of lovely people from within the industry, as well as passionate students from across the UK – The animation industry is full of the friendliest and enthusiastic people.

Each of the Masterclasses gave their unique insight into the industry. Our favourites and most valuable to ourselves came from the Hey Duggee Show and Tell, and the making of The Breadwinner, both of which gave quite an in-depth look at how their production process works.

Grant Orchard, Cardiff Animation Festival
Grant Orchard, the creator of Hey Duggee, gave us an insight to how the show was created with exclusive clips!

The CAF team totally knocked it out of the park for its first year, from the overall presentation of the festival in its branding, the idents before each film, the programming and the contagious passion behind the CAF team, ensured you were part of something special. It’s also important to mention the suitability of Chapter Arts Centre as a venue and the friendly staff, proving it was a perfect host for multiple screenings and talks at once, without having to leave the complex.

We’re proud to have sponsored this festival and given it the support to help it be the best it can be for its first year. We’ve come away from the weekend inspired, enlightened and excited to get back to work to make the best animations we can – and hopefully have a film to submit for next year!

Isle of Dogs Masterclass at Cardiff Animation Festival
After a screening of the amazing Isle of Dogs, we were treated to a behind the scenes masterclass from some of the crew


Apart from the many short films, some of our highlights from the weekend included:
– Hey Duggee Show and Tell
– The Breadwinner & Masterclass
– Isle of Dogs & Masterclass
– Chuck Steel Exhibition

Chuck Steel Exhibition - Cardiff Animation Nights
The ‘Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires’ exhibition gave an in depth look at the crazy detail of the models and sets from the upcoming feature film

Lastly, the JC team each picked out one favourite short film from the weekend – which was no easy task!

Late Afternoon

Emily exists between two states, the past and the present, but she struggles to connect them.

Dir. Louise Bagnall


A tragic comedy of a sweet little girl, who grows up to be a crazy old cat lady.

Dir. Brit Raes


Death of a Father

Caught in a web of age-old rituals post his father’s demise, Babu realises the banality that surrounds death.

Dir. Somnath Pal

Notable Mentions

As difficult as it was to narrow down our favourites, here are the other films we loved for one reason or another:

Did you attend?

How was the weekend for you, what did you see and do and what was your favourite film?

On behalf of the Cardiff Animation Festival team, they’re asking for feedback which will go towards putting on an even better festival next time. If you can spare a few minutes, you can help them out by filling out the feedback form here:

Cardiff Bay-based animation studio Jammy Custard will be a proud sponsor of the first Cardiff Animation Festival. The 4-day event held at Chapter Arts Centre will showcase some of the best animation from all over the world, as well as Q&A’s, Masterclasses, Workshops and Industry events.

Cardiff Animation Festival 2018 Passes on Sale

Cardiff Bay-based animation studio Jammy Custard will be a proud sponsor of the first Cardiff Animation Festival. The 4-day event held at Chapter Arts Centre will showcase some of the best animation from all over the world, as well as Q&A’s, Masterclasses, Workshops and Industry events.

It will provide local animators and creatives with an opportunity to meet and share work with like-minded individuals travelling from across the UK and further afield, to Europe’s youngest capital city. 99 short films will be screened as well as highly acclaimed feature films.

The festival is organised by the same team that has run the Cardiff Animation Nights in the city since 2014, a non-profit, community-based organisation that wanted to go one step further and showcase the region’s talent to the broader industry.

Dani Abram, Co-Organiser and Head of Marketing for the festival, is encouraged by the potential for Cardiff to continue making its mark on the industry:

“We’re so excited that Cardiff is becoming such a creative and supportive hub. The animation industry has long since thrived here, and it looks set to grow and grow, the addition of a dedicated animation festival is yet more proof of that!

We’ve been holding animation screening events in this city for well over 3 years now, bringing independent animated short films from around the world to a growing community of artists and fans. We hope the festival will attract the focus of the wider industry, with guests and filmmakers travelling from as far as India to attend, representing some of the industries most exciting studios!”

Early Man Screening at Cardiff Animation Festival
Aardmans Early Man will be showing followed by a Q&A with the Animation Director Merlin Crossingham

Cardiff Bay-based animation studio Jammy Custard will be a proud sponsor of the first Cardiff Animation Festival. The 4-day event held at Chapter Arts Centre will showcase some of the best animation from all over the world, as well as Q&A’s, Masterclasses, Workshops and Industry events.

It will provide local animators and creatives with an opportunity to meet and share work with like-minded individuals travelling from across the UK and further afield, to Europe’s youngest capital city. 99 short films will be screened as well as highly acclaimed feature films.

The festival is organised by the same team that has run the Cardiff Animation Nights in the city since 2014, a non-profit, community-based organisation that wanted to go one step further and showcase the region’s talent to the broader industry.

Dani Abram, Co-Organiser and Head of Marketing for the festival, is encouraged by the potential for Cardiff to continue making its mark on the industry:

“We’re so excited that Cardiff is becoming such a creative and supportive hub. The animation industry has long since thrived here, and it looks set to grow and grow, the addition of a dedicated animation festival is yet more proof of that!

We’ve been holding animation screening events in this city for well over 3 years now, bringing independent animated short films from around the world to a growing community of artists and fans. We hope the festival will attract the focus of the wider industry, with guests and filmmakers travelling from as far as India to attend, representing some of the industries most exciting studios!”

Jammy Custard Animation is looking to obtain larger productions in years to come. Matthew Creed, Head of Animation at Jammy Custard said that supporting the festival was an excellent opportunity to connect with others and work towards the development of the local industry:

“We’re thrilled to be a sponsor of this festival and impressed with the work that’s already gone into it. The support they have managed to arrange from organisations like the British Film Industry Network and BAFTA Cymru is something we’re all proud of.

The team have been hard at work with their Animation Nights for some time now, which in turn has strengthened the animation community/industry in Cardiff. I always come away from those nights inspired and eager to get animating the next day so I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the festival.”

4 reasons why you should go to the festival, even if you’re not an animator:

  1. First and foremost – it’ll be fun. There will be films produced for a range of ages and tastes
  2. Demand for animated content is growing – If your business is looking for talent, this may well be the place to find it
  3. Have a go – there will be workshops available so you can try your hand at animation, whether your 8 or 80.
  4. A chance to network – there will be social opportunities to meet creatives from across the city and from some of the big UK production studios.

For more information about the festival and purchasing full festival or event-based passes, please visit:

Family Fostering Partners, based in South Wales, commissioned the animated Welsh-language piece to explore the potential for a series of cartoons.

Family Fostering Partners, based in South Wales, commissioned the animated Welsh-language piece to explore the potential for a series of cartoons.

The cartoon’s development is the start of a much broader campaign, that will see the main characters “Bwtwns” and “Blw” feature in a suite of resources which will be made available to fostered children through an online portal, currently under development, including e-books. Family Fostering Partners commissioned two celebrated Welsh poets to write three ‘therapeutic’ stories to work from, with one intended for the cartoon pilot, while the other two will become supporting eBooks.

The project has been part-funded by the Welsh Government’s Cymraeg 2050 initiative programme.

Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning, Eluned Morgan said:

We want the use of Welsh to be a routine part of everyday life so that speakers at all levels feel confident in using it in formal and informal situations. Encouraging families to use Welsh is a vital part of this. It is especially important for foster families where children are first language Welsh speakers and will find it much easier to adjust to their new surroundings if they are able to use their Welsh

‘Bwtwns a Blw’ is one of many Cymraeg 2050 projects that will make it easier for people to use the language, whether face to face in the community and in the workplace or through digital platforms.

Curon Howells, Business Development Manager for Family Fostering Partners said:

We’re incredibly excited about seeing Bwtwm and Blw being brought to life on the small screen, not least of all because we believe that the animations are the first of their kind to offer Looked After children the opportunity and choice to access videos with a therapeutic theme in the Welsh language.

We want to normalise the concept of foster care and foster families, encouraging more people to consider becoming foster carers for vulnerable children in Wales. We’re looking at ways of opening up access to the brand, so other organisations, learning establishments and foster homes can contribute to this vital campaign.

The characters Bwtwns (a child) and Blw (an adult) are based on elephant characters that were initially created as part of the agency’s branding, even making it to toy form.

Curon Howells with Buttons and Blue

Curon explains why they chose elephants to lead the branding and the stories:

“As a relatively new but growing independent fostering agency, Bwtwns and Blw have a special place in our hearts. They have been an integral part of the agency since its inception. While creating our brand, we recognised that elephants in the wild are great parents who will take collective responsibility for the young of the herd. This fact is an excellent parallel for foster carers who share the task of caring for Looked After Children. Bwtwns and Blw’s first incarnation were actually as stuffed toys designed and created by the Managing Director, Judith Rees’ mother!”

Jammy Custard’s Creative Director and Lead Animator Matthew Creed reflected on the potential success of the project for all involved:

“To have the support and confidence of Family Fostering Partners to carry out this work is a great honour. They’ve been great to work with. The Jammy’s team, in particular, Kyle, who has been leading the creative direction for this project, are incredibly excited to be working on a commissioned cartoon which is not only great fun but holds real value for the audience. The storylines have been simple but effective, and we know what style of visual we’re trying to achieve. It’s a fascinating project, and we can’t wait to share it.”

Curon of Family Fostering Partners concluded:

“Seeing the work that Jammy Custard have done to transform Bwtwns and Blw from our original stuffed animals to animated characters has been a wonderful experience, and we can’t wait to share the final project with the world!”

The official launch of the campaign, including the cartoon pilot will be on the 11th of April.

His new live project is much more dynamic, working alongside ‘5th Spear’ a solo artist with a huge electronic sound and live drums, Matthew now stands on stage and performs the visuals live as a VJ, meaning the visuals are even more of a performance instead of a careful orchestrated event. After already playing a few gigs, including a huge turnout at Swn Festival 2015 and a headline slot at FreeForAll Festival 2016, this is an exciting new venture exploring the realms of interactive and dynamic visual performance.

Most business-based video content is consumed on social media. Jammy Custard shares a rundown of the top 5 factors to consider when optimising your video content for social. Here we go:

Most business-based video content is consumed on social media. Jammy Custard shares a rundown of the top 5 factors to consider when optimising your video content for social. Here we go:

Square format

Proportionality and layout design of most social feeds mean that it’s possible to fill a user’s screen with just your content, provided it’s in a square format. The effectiveness of using square formatting is amplified when you consider mobile usage, as most feeds are scrolled through with the device in Portrait. A conventional video format will scale down to roughly 30% of the screen.When actioning on the video, widescreen format videos would then need the user to clumsily rotate the device, while square format videos will sit nicely in the centre with any actionable buttons located above and below the video, rather than on top.


Straight up, hearing is a sense that can provide a lot of emphasis and emotion so you should always design sound into a video. Nonetheless, as videos autoplay as scrolling focuses on video, you need to be able to convey a message (or at least generate intrigue) without sound.

This is an issue that quickly gets complex, but to keep things brief consider:

Subtitles and kinetic typography

When there’s a point to be made, using text during the video has become a norm. The main triggers for this have been ‘Autoplay’ and usage of phones in quiet/public spaces (commuting for example). Using text on the screen makes it more likely that someone will stop to absorb. The trick with text is, of course, reading means focusing!

You have two different choices; you can use the conventional subtitle route, or alternatively, incorporate full statements or just essential words into a scene’s space. A classic example of the kinetic typography in action is in this video:

Every year players of @TNLUK help us to care for the places you love. National Lottery players, to see how you’ve helped come and join us on Wednesday 13 December when you can visit FOR FREE! Find out how at

— National Trust (@nationaltrust) December 11, 2017

The National Lottery Ticket Day with the National Trust. By the National Trust and Jammy Custard

If you think back, you’ve probably even seen film trailers use either one of these options.

Knowing your audience is the most significant key here. Deciding whether to use subtitles or kinetic type should be based on your audience’s knowledge, the level of detail required, the duration of the video, the complexity and size of the subject matter on screen, and the amount of movement it needs to support. Branding may also be another important factor, but the important thing is to decide where a focus on text or visual is a priority.

Don’t let this be an afterthought either, as including text visually comes with a lot of technical and timing nuances, so start thinking about this during storyboarding.

Looping video

Videos hosted on social media platforms can have the ability to loop and immediately replay without instruction. The goal posts of what qualifies a video to loop seem to move from time to time, but making a video loop seamlessly from start to end is a ‘sneaky’ way of ensuring the viewer understands the message. No, you’re not aiming for a state of trance with pretty visuals, but a visually enjoyable short video statistically is likely to be played more than something which is long and has a very definitive end.

We like to try and transition from the end slate back into the beginning with the right amount of timing in between, but do recognise when this might not be suitable or possible. Call to Actions are very important, for instance.

Where to host the video

If you can, try to upload the video to the actual social network. Doing so guarantees many of the qualities that define social video above, including autoplay and looping playback. More significantly, a square format video can be uploaded, meaning you can fill up that feed view with your content.
If you enjoyed this content, try having a coffee with us! We’re always happy to talk you through the above in more detail. Cardiff Bay has a cool range of cafes, too!

Thank you for reading,

The Jammies.

Who doesn’t love an animated gif? Well, like mediums of communication it depends on the context and timing, but as a means of grabbing someone’s attention as they perform their 30-minute routine social media check; snappy, short video is an incredibly powerful tool, one that we at Jammy Custard feel is not exploited nearly enough by businesses.

Marketing savvy businesses have become comfortable with using promotional and explainer videos, lasting around 1-2 minute duration to woo audiences. But with social feeds being dominated by moving content, what does the rise of the Pop-Culture gif, specifically, tell us about social feed comms?

Most social network comment sections are primed with .gif libraries. The content in these libraries is usually a scene from a TV show, film or a pet. These libraries exist so users can emphasise an emotion and use a memorable, often humorous anecdote to support their thoughts. There’s a big, flashing, neon sign in the previous statement that should be grabbing your attention, and it reads ’emphasise an emotion’. That is one of the most significant reasons why short video will grow in popularity and why you should consider creating and using short video.

Look at the key benefits:

How can a business use ‘branded’ short video?

Here are two points businesses are beginning to understand about short video usage:

1. By conveying emotion, you can humanise a brand – this is what drives most gif and short video usage; a means of expression, likely with a dash of ‘light relief’.

Businesses can already use the standard free-to-use gifs of famous film, tv and meme characters, and used well; these can be a great response.

How can a business take this one step further?

Take a look at sports. Lots of teams and personalities use gifs and short videos to tell the story of a sporting event. For example, Red Bull Racing’s Formula 1 Team have a fantastic bank of video gifs to provide anecdotal responses to moments their driver’s face during a Grand Prix. It shows their drivers ‘showing off’ a mood or reaction. But importantly, it ties into their brand and brand’s journey through the championship’s highs and lows.

Daniel Ricciardo Gif
Max Verstappen GIF

Businesses are still exploring how short videos such as the above can add their brand story, but as ever, research into different industries can provide a wealth of inspiration. How about saying “thank you”, “celebrating a big win today” or simply “have a nice weekend” in a way that is unique to your brand? What could that mean to your customers and your team?

2. Remove the audiences ‘effort’ to take in something important

Let’s imagine you have an event or an important deadline for a competition coming up. You need to boost the attentiveness of your audience and get them to act. A post that prints the objective truth that ‘time is running out’ would be well supported by an animated short video that either:

Either response taps into a person’s behaviour and is more likely to create a reaction to the situation.

When it comes to selling a product or service, we will stick our neck on the line and say, sometimes, a short video with one clear definition can sometimes be money better spent than trying to pack lots of things into a video (it’s why we created our social video package). It’s also worth thinking about how splitting up messages into individual points gives you fodder for social content. Quantity and Quality!

(caption: When social media account managers have a full posts schedule all worked out)

Take a short video campaign we did for Cawdor Vauxhall dealership. They could have gone for an explainer video that explained they had new car offers and then went on to explain who Cawdor was and why they are worth the visit. They didn’t need to. The hero message that people are interested in is a new Vauxhall offer. Qualifying Cawdor as a good dealership can come from other content sources. The point is, the audience is hooked.

(caption: a short ‘moving billboard’ social video for new Vaxuhall car deals. By Cawdor Cars and Jammy Custard Animation)

Context is everything. Use short videos if the message is simple enough to explain, or to support other content. For the latter, they are there to suggest that the post’s material is vital enough to stop the audience scrolling past. Finally, short little slick videos and animations are another opportunity to present your branding and show you invest in your image and therefore reputation – a point that’s not seemingly picked up on very much.

Beware the pitfalls of short videos

Finally, be creative

Don’t forget, limitations such as duration can provide the perfect opportunity to create something genuinely original and compelling. Not all big marketing problems require big solutions.

If you are interested in exploring gif content, we at Jammy Custard are just a phone call away. Thank you for reading.

This post is an insight to the various steps involved from brief to final animated piece, and how even though this was a short animation there’s still a lot to consider upfront to create an efficient workflow and deliver on time.

Kingfisher Animation Brief

Web designer Ryan Gittings contacted us to create a looping animation of a Kingfisher diving for food as a background video for his new website. Excited by the opportunity to animate a kingfisher, we accepted and created a gorgeous scene for it to live in.

Watch the final looping animation below:


The focus of this piece is the Kingfisher and working out what can be done to make this an interesting looping animation. First and foremost was studying how a Kingfisher moves and acts to help dictate the narrative of the video. Various segments from documentaries on Youtube helped us to piece together the action.

One of videos we took reference from was from David Attenborough’s ‘Rhythms of Nature in the Barycz Valley‘ (See below from 0.49 seconds). This clip became the foundation we built the animation and scene composition around.

Key Poses

The images below are the initial pencil sketches of the Kingfisher’s key poses which shows how the animation would loop. Each drawing is followed by a new pose going in a clockwise direction to create the loop. These initial sketches were scanned and put into Illustrator where the body pieces were colour coded to work out what pieces could be reused and save on drawing new assets. Once this was decided, it was drawn up with a colour set (that would later be built upon) to create a rough model to test the animation inside After Effects.

Preparing for Animation

When creating an object that’s going to move, you need to think about how many parts does it have that will need to be animated. Once you work out all these pieces, it’s then working out how to best control it as an animatable rig. The first test was done by putting in the separate body pieces (head, torso, left wing, right wing), with each body piece having multiple variations e.g. the wings flapping at different stages.

At this stage, that’s enough to test the animation from the key poses. After this test, it was down to fine tuning the rig to create a more efficient workflow. When animating, you want to have as few layers to work with as possible, as it can easily get into a mess, and a messy, unorganised timeline can disrupt your flow of animating when you’re having to look through a lot of layers to find the one piece you want to animate.

Not all rigs are the same, it’s down to understanding what needs to move and how best to control it to make an efficient workflow. You have to think far down the line as you don’t want to end up hacking your rig to do things it wasn’t built to do because you didn’t plan for a particular action. This adds unnecessary time and effort that could be used to perfecting an animation.

Rig Breakdown

The Kingfisher was broken down into body pieces inside After Effects. Each body piece was it’s own composition, which had all the positions of that piece laid out in a timeline, which was then controlled by time remapping. With me so far?

This meant, the main composition had only a single layer per body piece that could be switched out to a new shape/position by changing the frame number within the precomp.

Scene Design

The overall scene composition was based on the Richard Attenborough video we used for initial reference. Although the design evolved to become grander and allow room for text at the top, it didn’t move far from the original layout.

Here are screenshots on how the shot developed from the original sketch, to how it currently sits on Ryan Gittings website with header text and navigation over the top.

Creating a living scene

With the core animation in place of the Kingfisher, it’s time to bring the scene to life. To do this we animated small details within the scene, some of these details are so subtle, you may not consciously notice them on 1st glance. But brought together with other subtle movements, they collectively make the scene feel alive. Take a look at the fish in the water, the chimney smoke in the distant, the ripples in the water and the reeds in the foreground.

One of the secrets of post-production in animation is adding light. For this, we utilised Video Copilots Optical Flares to brighten up the sun, which adds a haze over the footage along with a subtle flare on the lens.

TL;DR Breakdown Video

Here’s a 1 minute video that quickly breaks down and shows all the stages involved to create the final animation.


Thanks to the upfront planning and research, there were very few problems encountered throughout the project. There are times we took shortcuts in the animation (such is the nature of animation) but we didn’t have to break the rig to achieve what we wanted. There are perhaps some elements we’d do differently next time, which is a great thing to take away after a project as you’re always learning and always improving.

“Kyle Abraham is the only person who could have convinced me to reprise my role as Jack Traven for Speed 2: Cruise Control. Unfortunately, at the time he was only four years old.” – Keanu Reeves


Born and bred in the Llanelli wilderness, Kyle didn’t see a computer or a pair of real leather shoes until after Y2K. Eventually defeating the wolves that raised him, he began to familiarise himself with the unfamiliar. This whole new world was one of broccoli, brightly coloured furniture, War Of The Worlds and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Becoming widely inspired by movie title sequences, Nickelodeon and WordArt, Kyle went on to cultivate a possibly unhealthy design compulsion. Eventually satchel in hand, he found his way to Caerdydd and cut his teeth creating posters for National Theatre Wales, Shows at the Edinburgh Fringe and other local events. Always being a lover of animation, finding a role with us seemed like the next compelling step.

Role at Jammy Custard

Originally brought on board as a creative and skilled graphic designer, Kyle has worked hard to build upon his role and help to play a more considerable part in the animating of our projects and has become a wizard at bringing high-quality graphic design into motion.  Meaning that he has recently been able to add a new title to his business cards. His creative ability and keen eye ensure that our work is on-brand, visually stunning and our colour palettes are exceptionally palatable.

His impossible wit and comedy genius have been an extremely welcome asset to the team (helping to improve productivity, our output quality and general morale). We have all been unable to fathom his ability to pick the perfect song for every situation, building extravagant levels of hype that never fail to get us in the mood (Hype Man has coincidentally also been added to his business card).

Life Outside The Studio

For the last few years, Kyle has been an extremely keen cook. During the early years of his life, the only options for survival were to steal frozen juice drinks and gnaw on dry twigs but this eventually would change. Once fully integrated into a traditional society and having the opportunity to sample such flavour eruptions as honey roasted carrot and silver tequila, it was a skyward spiral to gastronomic greatness. Eventually, he will become The Chilli Champion of South Wales.

Needing to saturate his mind with the magnificent movies of the 80’s (and their title sequences) he spends an inordinate amount of time in darkened rooms rewatching John Carpenter flicks until he is grumbling about David Lo Pan and believing he is as handsome as Kurt Russell. Luckily for him and even though, it was before his time he somehow managed to land a small but meaningful role in Carpenters cult classic They Live (1988). See below.

Disclaimer: This piece was written by Kyle. Consequently, some parts may or may not have been fictionalised.

Connect with Kyle

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @kyle64j

Instagram: @kyle64j

Linkedin: kyle64j

International Animation Day

Dating back to October 28th, 1892, International Animation Day commemorates the first public performance of Charles-Emile Renaud’s Theatre Optique in Paris, where he projected the first animated film in public called ‘Pauvre Pierrot’ (Poor Pete).

In 2002, the ASIFA (Association Internationale du Film d’Animation) announced that October 28th would be a global event to celebrate the art of animation.

Our Top 5 Favourite animations

To celebrate International Animation Day, we’re looking back at the animations that shaped and impacted our childhood, planting ideas in our heads that inspired us to do what we do today.

Transformers The Movie (1986)

There’s only one Transformers movie and it’s the original from 1986. The original that had no idea how popular it was until the backlash they received from killing off their main character ‘Optimus Prime’ to make way for a new line of toys. Featuring an amazing score by Vince Dicola and songs including Stan Bush’s ‘The Touch’, a great lineup of actors that had Orsen Welles final performance as the planet destroying Unicron, before he passed away.

Land Before Time

A Don Bluth classic, a film about dinosaurs separated from their families in search of the Great Valley. It teared us up as kids and hasn’t lost its effect today.

The Secret of Nimh

Another Don Bluth classic, though under rated in comparison to his bigger hits. This is a great example of a childrens film of science, magic and fantasy rolled into one, as we follow Nimh and her family who’s land is threatened by the farmer who owns it. A dark and magical film, with the most terrifying cat ever!

Ulysses 31

Greek mythology in space with a fantastic catchy opening soundtrack, how can you not love this?

Sherlock Hound

Probably our earliest introduction to the marvel of Studio Ghibli in the west. One of best things about Hayao Miyazaki is his ability to make various modes of transport and the engineering involved look exciting and wonderous. Even more so at a time, when as a child there were a lot of cartoons looking to the future with robots and space ships.

These are but a taste of some of the films and shows that shaped our childhood, it was extremely difficult to choose our top 5.

What did you watch as a child?

100 Years of Roald Dahl

To celebrate Roald Dahl’s 100th Birthday, Cardiff went a bit mad (or should we say ‘Gloriumptious’) with people of all ages expressing their admiration throughout September. From children dressing up as their favourite characters in schools, to fan art and theatrical performances throughout the city.

It was a wonderful sight to behold (see WalesOnline article: 15 truly magical moments from city of the Unexpected).

We wanted to get in on the act and share our thanks to both Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake, who’s iconic illustrations are just as important as the stories they came from. Stories we grew up with and would happily say influenced our childhood. This little animation is a small tribute to these great men for the magic and the imagination they conjured up in our youth.

Music Video Award Nomination

We’re thrilled to say that the Animated Music Video we made for ‘Ellie Makes Music’ has been nominated for an award at the Cardiff Mini Film Festival.

Not only is this an opportunity to win an award and gain exposure, the Cardiff Mini Film Festival is a great occasion to watch and be inspired by new films and connect with other filmmakers.

In case you haven’t seen the video before, check it out below:

Salt Bar that resides in Cardiff Bay’s Mermaid Quay, a location of food, drink and entertainment day and night. We were tasked to add our own animated touch to their new on-location promotional videos.

Salt Bar that resides in Cardiff Bay’s Mermaid Quay, a location of food, drink and entertainment day and night. We were tasked to add our own animated touch to their new on-location promotional videos.

Orchestrated by Fizzi Events, the project was to create a series of videos that promotes Salt Bars deals and events that would play and loop on the screens around the venue. With Joe Marvelly (creative videographer) filming and editing the final video, we were brought in to compliment his striking and creative footage by adding animation to help draw even more attention to the deals and events on offer in the bar, especially on busy nights.

Working closely with Joe, we were able to plan and shoot a series of motion tracked visuals that showed off the food and beverages available. This technique was especially effective when adding details to highlight the process of making cocktails.

Watching cocktails being made can be fascinating and the intention of adding extra details to the footage is to grab the viewers attention in the hope that afterwards, knowing a bit more on how it’s made and what goes into it, that they’ll head to the bar and buy themselves one.

Motion Tracking

One of the fun things about motion tracking is being able to put something digital into footage and make it look like it exists there. In order for us to achieve this we used Mocha. Mocha is an extra piece of software that comes bundled within After Effects and allows us to track objects with great precision.

However, depending on the footage, what you need to track doesn’t always go as planned. For example, in the video above, we added some spiky audio waves to the DJ Pioneer Decks. To do this you’d probably think of tracking each deck to apply the effect. As the camera was moving and the decks end up out of focus and off screen, we weren’t able to capture sufficient data to create an accurate track. The solution was in tracking the Pioneer name because it was on screen for the duration and stayed in focus enough for us to follow.

The result allowed us to capture position data that we ported into After Effects and apply to a Null that the visual would follow. Compared to After Effect’s own built in tracker, Mocha is a fantastic tool that’s quicker and smarter, with functionality to get an accurate track.

Mocha allowed us to capture a lot of position data quickly and easily, that in the end we could drop in any new visual and it would sit in place as if it already existed there.

The final result was a fun and stylised video with motion tracked visuals that complemented the appetising footage.


Footage: Joe Marvelly (
Client: Salt Bar ( and Fizzi Events (

Have you ever wondered what the RBS Six Nations would’ve been like if it were a beat em up video game? Wonder no more as we went ahead and created a series of animated videos that followed Wales fighting it’s way through the Six Nations Fighter tournament.

Have you ever wondered what the RBS Six Nations would’ve been like if it were a beat em up video game? Wonder no more as we went ahead and created a series of animated videos that followed Wales fighting it’s way through the Six Nations Fighter tournament.

The idea came from a ‘what if’ conversation that escalated into a campaign to support Wales throughout the Six Nations. There was no doubt about the art direction, it had to be based on the old 16bit fighting games like Street Fighter. To pull off the style we wanted, we knew that the attention to detail was key. We studied and mostly took inspiration from beat em games on the Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive with subtle nods to other video games we’re fond of (can you spot them all?).

Designing with Pixels

To do this, we would be working up close on a tiny image that we’d blow up later when it came to animation. The final size of the dragon is approx 4cm.
This was a learning curve that we got better at as the project went on. We studied and referenced a lot of video games in order to understand how sprite artists added detail.  By the end we understood how to add a lot detail with only a few tiny squares.

Animating The Six Nations Fighters

When animating these characters we used a modern approach of creating a puppet that we could easily manipulate i.e the limbs are separate pieces we could control and reuse, whereas traditionally each character is a single image redrawn for every frame of animation (see Ryu image below) – This is likely due to how games process sprites.

We animated the characters inside After Effects, but due to the nature of how they are animated, the movement was too smooth and clean. We would then take out every other frame (using time remapping) which made the animation stuttery but look more authentic.

Ultimately the animation needed to look slick and have a lot of detail, but at the same time look like it was done in as few frames as possible.

With a character designed and assembled, it’s a case of working out the choreography of the fight itself. If you watch through all the videos you may notice a homage to many video games. When we weren’t referencing other games, it was a case of acting out the moves ourselves around the studio.

The Results

Before and after each match Wales played, we put up a video on various social networks. Depending on the result of each match, we would put up a video of whether the Welsh Dragon had defeated its opponent or not. This meant we had to create both outcomes beforehand, so each match had three videos: The fight, the Dragon winning and the Dragon losing. However after the first Six Nations match of Wales V Ireland, the result was a tie which we foolishly hadn’t anticipated and quickly posted a picture instead in bias of Wales.

The results of the campaign has been documented on the Six Nations Fighter landing page. The video below shows what would have been if the results were different.

Ellie Makes Music is a singer-songwriter from Cardiff and ‘MOUNTAINS’ is an animated music video we made to promote her second EP ‘Are You Listening? (2015)


We were approached by Ellie to create an animated music video for the lead single ‘Mountains’ to promote her forthcoming EP Are You Listening?’.

The song is about empowerment and resilience, It was discussed early on that the video essentially be a literal interpretation of the song and follow a scenic journey of overcoming obstacles.

Our aims for the video was to reflect the song and make it feel big, colourful and up lifting. Focusing on Ellie as the protagonist, the animation follows her as she overcomes varying obstacles of size. Starting with tying her shoelaces, jumping over a river, to ultimately succeeding in climbing a mountain.

Ellie along with Bounce publishing were terrific to work with, making it a fun project to work on.

Animating Ellie

To create Ellie as an animated character, we called upon the DUIK character rig for After Effects to bring her to life.

Ellie was designed in Illustrator, then imported into After Effects where she was rigged for animation. The DUIK rig is a huge time saver that’s built upon using Inverse Kinematics for it’s movement.

Using IK helps to add little nuances to the movement that you’d perhaps miss if using Forward Kinematics. This is especially useful when you’re animating to a deadline and wouldn’t otherwise have time to spend on those little details. To give an idea of it’s efficiency we’ve included a time lapse of a scene below.

Ellie Makes Music Links

Put your feet up – discover more about our wondrously thinky, webby, mildly petrol-headed and bass-loving website designer, Patrick Hathaway.


Abertillery-born, Cardiff bred – Patrick spent his childhood surrounding himself with engine powered things. From his Radio Control Cars, Model Railways to making his father stand out in a blizzard on Crewe station to watch trains speed by – this youngster’s fascinations were clear.

As time moved on, Motorsport became a passion and whilst not exactly having a racing driver family (one with money, normally), he was still convinced he would be part of the fraternity and pulling off daring overtakes on rivals one day. As it became clear that wouldn’t happen (yet?), Patrick’s focus and fascinations turned to the general ways of life and how humans solved problems and interact with everyday things – partly helped by the trails blazed by his brother Peter who took up industrial/product design and his sister Catherine’s programming adventures (they really were adventures back in ’95).

Patrick graduated from UWIC (now Cardiff Met.) in Product Design BSc. and opted to begin a professional career sharing that knowledge with teachers and students through Sainsbury’s as an education liaison officer, whilst also developing a role in public relations within the company. Using this mix of knowledge and his self-started web design learning (back when table layouts were rife), Patrick looked for opportunities to have more tangible impact on improving people’s lives and businesses as a freelance web designer. That’s when Patrick teamed up with old college-chum Matt. The foundations of Jammy Custard!

Role at Jammy Custard

Patrick leads the web design and development efforts here at Jammy Custard, pulling together teams with the right expertise and advocates ‘design’ in its purest form – making peoples lives better. Patrick also likes to keep the rest of the team on their toes as they try to keep biscuit levels topped up.

As business development director, Patrick is often the one to get out on the road and drink coffee with contacts and help clients get a grip of their needs. He’s certainly not a fan of just taking a brief and merely carrying it out as if running a factory. He likes to get to the heart of things and understand why briefs have come about.

His on-going research into behaviours, choice architectures and other brainy sounding bits really are having an interesting and insightful affect on Jammy Custard’s output. If a client can make a single small change have a large positive affect, then you can be sure Patrick will have a smile on his face!

Life Outside The Studio

If Patrick isn’t to be found on the streets of his new home of Bristol, he’ll be back at his old home of Cardiff socialising and every 3rd Friday of the month, he’ll be obsessively detailing and balancing levels of the sound desk at Rumney Folk Club. From an early stage in the club’s 10 year history, Patrick was involved in helping promote the club and help establish it as a great source of donations for the community hall it resides in.

Fun fact: Patrick had the pleasure of sound engineering for Laura Marling at the club – he didn’t realise it though until he saw her on the main stage of Greenman Festival some years later. “Sorry Laura!”

Nonetheless, the contributions the club has made to his childhood suburb of Rumney makes him very proud and thankful.

Like Matt (but perhaps not quite as obsessed), music is a big part of Patrick’s social life and from time to time he can also be found rocking from one foot to another on stage, lurching over his bass guitar. Oh, how he loves the bass!

Our web boffin’s motorsport ambitions have not completely waned. He may have missed out on a professional career as a driver, but his passion for the sport and the engineering advancements involved have seen him branch out and take what he’s learned at Jammy Custard to a new level. Patrick is set to launch The Patron Motorsport Marketplace – a trading platform for racing cars, products and services. He’s hoping to make an impact on a national level before developing a team to open the platform to the european market and further afield. All sounds jolly exciting!

Connect with Patrick

Patrick’s always up for a chat, so if you have an interesting discussion on your mind or just want to find out what he’s up to, fire up your preferred contact method and go for it:

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @phjammycustard

Linkedin: pahathaway

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text el_class=”lead” css=”.vc_custom_1455666450880{padding-top: 30px !important;}”]Animator, visual artist, music fanatic. However you want to describe him, Matthew is our music fuelled, animating machine and this is what he gets up to.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”2113″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]


Born and bred in the mythical land of Cardiff, Matthew grew up hypnotised by the moving pictures on Saturday morning TV instilling a desire to tell stories and create his own adventures. Stories he would re-enact with his Blacktron Legos, Star Wars figures and G1 Transformers, this guy was obviously cool.

Ever since working out how to change the time on his VCR and setting up his first games console, there was a fascination with technology and finding out how things worked, hoping one day we would be living in a technology based future of flying cars, holodecks and lightsabers.

After graduating from studying Animation at UWCN, Matthew went on to find his feet taking on various creative freelance jobs he could find ranging from animated stings, building websites and even designing posters for the legendary TJs in Newport. It wasn’t until collaborating with Patrick that the early days of Jammy Custard started to form.


Role at Jammy Custard

Here at Jammy Custard, Matthew leads the video and animation projects, which means sometimes having to shy away to a different room to act out the characters he’s about to animate.

He’s also our Technical Director which involves not only overseeing the tech in use throughout the studio, but also employing new tech ideas to improve performance and workflow. Combine that with the video side and you end up with time saving resources like this Motion Elements pack he created. Pretty cool huh?

Whenever he get’s the chance, Matthew is fond of telling stories through Music Videos and sharing animated shorts across our social media channels


Life Outside The Studio

Matthew is endlessly practicing and pushing his creativity, combined with his obsession of live music, he collaborates with two Cardiff bands as a live visual artist.

With ‘Albatross Archive’ he has created animated backing visuals that synchronise and complement their music. His first outing with the band consisted of a 30 minute narrative taking the audience on a live journey of sight and sound. The shows later progressed to experiment with multiple screens and projection mapping as a means to explore ways of enhancing the live experience. This collaboration has taken him to be part of winning a battle of the bands as part of Nation Radio’s Big Gig competition, performing at variety of festivals and venues around Cardiff as well as performing on Made In Cardiff TV.

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His new live project is much more dynamic, working alongside ‘5th Spear’ a solo artist with a huge electronic sound and live drums, Matthew now stands on stage and performs the visuals live as a VJ, meaning the visuals are even more of a performance instead of a careful orchestrated event. After already playing a few gigs, including a huge turnout at Swn Festival 2015 and a headline slot at FreeForAll Festival 2016, this is an exciting new venture exploring the realms of interactive and dynamic visual performance.

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Connect with Matthew

If you think Matthew’s a swell kinda guy you think you’d get along with, pick his brain about animation, geek out about music or simply just want to stalk him. There are varying ways for you to do so:

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @mcjammycustard

Instagram: @mcjammycustard

Linkedin: mcjammycustard

Tumblr: mcjammycustard mcjammycustard[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text el_class=”lead” css=”.vc_custom_1456507670205{padding-top: 40px !important;}”]I’m still shocked by the number of small business owners who don’t invest in the creation and development of branding. We’re not just talking a logo here, I mean a full brand with consideration for the business’ character and values, something you can’t afford to cut corners on if you want your business to start – and grow – strongly.

Yes, reputation and trust is built over time, but done badly your brand (or lack of) can work against you and you might not get the chance to show the world what you’re made of.

Below are 5 common branding mistakes small businesses make[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_column_text]

Underestimating Your Brand

From a customer’s perspective your brand is the one thing that will make them buy, or walk on by. Whether they realise it or not, they’re making snap judgements about your business, its service/product and the quality of those offerings in the few seconds it takes for them to take in the look and language of your ad.

As a business, your brand is your one, biggest, most valuable asset. It epitomises your business and what it stands for. It provides a level of expectation in terms of quality and the integrity of every  single person within the organisation.

Never, ever underestimate the power of your brand.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_column_text]

Bypassing Brand Guidelines

Having a set of Brand Guidelines – essentially a rule-book for your brand – is a common mistake for small businesses. Maybe you think you’re not ‘big enough’ to need them, or there’s only a handful of people working the business and they all know what they’re doing.

Those things may be true, but still I can’t stress enough the importance of Brand Guidelines. A good set of guidelines is far more than a Dos and Don’ts of colours and fonts; it’ll also cover the character, values and tone of voice of the company, something that can easily be forgotten or warped over time. It’s vitally important to ensure your brand is treated professionally and (here’s the important bit) consistently in every advert, leaflet, poster and email if you’re hoping for your customers to not only recognise your brand but also see its integrity.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_column_text]

Bending the Brand Guideline Rules

Ok, so you’ve carefully crafted a set of brand guidelines and begun implementing them across all of your company’s correspondence, marketing materials and online platforms. Fast forward a couple of months and you’re launching a brand new product, it needs some ads and you’d really like to use a different font to those specified in your Brand Guidelines.

Can you? Of course. Should you? Well… keep in mind that every time you deviate from your Brand Guidelines you’re diluting the power of your brand. You’re essentially introducing a new brand image to your customers, losing that association with your established brand; a brand they’ve grown to trust and recognise for that wonderful reputation you’ve worked hard building.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_column_text]

Not Policing How Others Use Your Brand

You have a strong set of Brand Guidelines, and everyone within your organisation is sticking to them like glue. Good job! Now you have another problem.

Think about every person who will use your brand outside of your organisation. Every designer, printer, signwriter, journalist, blogger… every single instance of your brand being used or featured anywhere must comply with the Brand Guidelines if you want to protect your brand. Every one! That means providing a copy of your Brand Guidelines to everyone and anyone who handles communication around your business. You’ve come too far to have a local magazine feature your business but change your logo to match their colour scheme – that’s not what you want your customers to remember, and it’s up to you to make sure you protect your brand like the precious baby it is.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_column_text]

Never Considering a Re-brand

You’ve just got all that covered and now I want you to change it?! Not at all, a rebrand is a huge decision and undertaking, one that has to be handled delicately and perhaps even slowly, phasing in any big changes over time to minimise any confusion to both staff and customers alike.

However if, a few years down the line, a rebrand seems like the right approach then be excited! This is a new phase in your business! Maybe your current brand was a little too reliant on current trends, and that time has passed. Maybe you’ve gone through managerial, organisational or product changes and want a refresh of your brand to mirror that. Whatever the reason, if it’s right for your business at that time don’t be afraid to re-brand.

I once had a client mortified at the idea of a rebrand, declaring that “Apple aren’t going to suddenly change their logo to a Pear!” Let that sink in for a minute (it took me longer). Yes, your brand is absolutely, 100% your biggest asset and you must guard it with your life. But times change, businesses change, mistakes happen and sometimes a facelift is just what your business needs. It could be a complete overhaul or just just some careful little tweaks to typography and colours.

And on that note, I’ll leave you with Apple’s brand development to date. Just saying.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”1985″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1455052354206{padding-top: 30px !important;}” el_class=”lead”]When we’re editing videos, we often pull from a library of various elements and presets we’ve created and downloaded to help speed up our productions.

We feel it’s time to give something back to the videographers, animators and visual artists who have shared resources that we’ve used and benefitted from.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Motion Elements

Behold, the Jammy Custard Motion Elements Pack free to download and use.

Whether you’re a professional or just starting out, these elements will no doubt help with your productions in both saving time and adding that extra detail in production value.

In the pack there are 26 motion elements and transitions designed to add that extra flair to your videos. The video below gives you a look at the elements which include various pops, loops and transitions rendered in 30fps, 1080p with alpha backgrounds. So you can drop them directly into your NLE of choice and use them right away.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=””][vc_btn title=”Download Jammy Custard Motion Elements Pack” style=”custom” custom_background=”#f71b78″ custom_text=”#ffffff” size=”lg” align=”center” link=”|title:Download%20Jammy%20Custard%20Motion%20Elements%20Pack|”][vc_column_text]

Creative Commons License
Jammy Custard Motion Elements Pack by Jammy Custard Studios is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at


Instructions for After Effects

After you’ve downloaded and unzipped the pack, create a folder in your After Effects project and drop in the elements to keep your workflow tidy.

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”1931″ img_size=”full”][vc_separator][vc_column_text]We’d love to know if you’ve used this pack, so don’t hesitate to drop us a tweet or a comment on Facebook to let us know what you think.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

[vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1452165383296{padding-top: 40px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1452166092824{margin-top: 20px !important;}” el_class=”lead”]We’ve said farewell to 2015, a year so jam packed with online video that over 300 hours of the stuff was uploaded to YouTube every minute.

We’ve taken a look at online video trends and the work we’ve done here at Jammy Custard over 2015, and made our predictions for video in 2016.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Virtual Reality and 360 video

It’s been on the cards for some time, but Virtual Reality will hit headlines again this year with the commercial release of Oculus Rift. We’ve seen a number of developer videos and demos being released in the past, but this year will show whether VR is more than just a gimmick.

If VR catches on it will effect everything from how we play games, watch movies and TV, and interact with each other. It’s going to be really interesting to see how Marketers utilise the technology.

If you can’t wait or afford an Oculus Rift, you can get a taster using Google’s own ‘Cardboard’. It’s been around for a while, we actually have one in the studio and we’ve spent many hours wandering virtual museums and landmarks while turning in circles in the middle of the office. It’s pretty fun – and sometimes nauseating!

Related to this are 360 videos. Facebook and Youtube updated in 2015 to allow uploads of 360 videos. To be honest, it’s nothing new and has been around for a long time, but if anything it’s been improved and the hardware made more accessible.

Check out the Music Video by Foals (below), the idea is rather simple, but it’ll be interesting to see what other creative ideas can be achieved with a 360 music video.

You can use your keyboard and mouse to navigate, but for a more immersive experience try using your smart device or VR headset to take a look around.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=””][vc_column_text]

short video ads and promos

For years we’ve tolerated video ads; on Youtube we’re automatically hovering our mouse cursors over the ‘Skip Ad’ button waiting for it to appear. Throughout 2015 Video Ads have crept into most of our social networks, most notably in our Facebook and Instagram feeds.

2016 will see companies continue to use this short video format for ads and promos, as well as creating their own social accounts to post and share content. Take a look at the Star Wars Instagram account where they regularly share behind the scenes shots and snippets from the latest release ‘The Force Awakens’ to drive hype and engagement.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Target is in range! Only one week remains until #StarWars: #TheForceAwakens. Tickets available now. #movie #movies

A video posted by Star Wars (@starwars) on

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]On platforms like these businesses can really have fun and be creative. It’s easy to do for a film release like Star Wars, with short clips and teasers ready available, but take a look at Oreo on Vine where they get creative and post short, fun animations and tips.

Expect to see more use of this![/vc_column_text][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]


Periscope and Meerkat are apps that allow streaming (also known as real-time storytelling or live-stream social) from your smart device to your followers . It informs Twitter when you’re broadcasting so friends, family, followers and strangers can see what you’re doing and interact with you.

Along with people streaming from computers and games consoles using Twitch (and doing crazy crowd sourcing things with it such as: everyone controlling a single player game together), it’s so easy and accessible that it’s a no brainer for it to keep on growing.

Also worth mentioning that Facebook is getting in on the ‘Live Streaming‘ action. Previously only available to Celebrities the feature is now mid-rollout, only supported on iOS and available on some profiles for now, but it’s planned to be available for everyone through the Facebook app soon.

While this is a big addition to social sharing, expect to also see brands using this for live shows, product demos and more.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Vertical Videos

Whether you’re for or against this (see our thoughts echoed in the video below), it is going to become more prominent. Our smart phones are vertical first, so from a functional point of view it makes sense, and Snapchat is leading the way with this. The photos and videos created with the app are all in portrait and brands are using this more and more to advertise.

Why? Because mobile is where the future lies. In 2014 mobiles started to take over the desktop computer as the primary way we use the Internet.

Expect to see more platforms accommodating Vertical Videos in their layouts and interfaces.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=””][vc_separator][vc_column_text]In a nutshell, everything is focused on mobile smart devices and how we use them. From this we’ll be seeing more vertical, short and interactive videos with a pinch of realtime thrown in throughout 2016.

What do you think? Do you agree with our predictions and do you have any of your own for 2016?


(Header image source thanks to Bagogames)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

[vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1450282072943{padding-top: 40px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″ css=”.vc_custom_1450185039003{padding-top: 20px !important;}”][vc_column_text el_class=”lead”]To celebrate the release of The Force Awakens, we’ve dug through our (4 year old!) Star Wars Lego animation ‘A Merry Christmas You Must Have’ to give you a little insight in to how it was made.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_column_text]

VFX Breakdown

Below we’ve created a video that shows a side by side comparison of before and after VFX (visual effects).

The left screen is the raw footage taken in camera and the right is the result of Post Production when layers of effects, clean ups, colour work and audio is added.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=””][vc_column_text]

Making Yoda Jump

The most common question we get asked is “How did you make Yoda jump?”

Well firstly, the action is choreographed in storyboard form and then acted out with the minifigures on set to work out the best placement for the camera. Once that’s been decided we need to capture a clean plate. A clean plate is just a shot of the set without any of the characters or anything that’s likely to move which is used later in Post.

Next we continue with the animation, using rigs to position the character. In the photo below we’ve used a bit of transparent plastic to hold Yoda in the air, this is a two person job that requires stamina. One person is in charge of holding Yoda, whilst another is animating Santa, making sure Yoda has moved correctly and then captures the frame.

In post we mask out any rigging and shadows and use the clean plate to fill in the gaps. After that we can then add the lightsaber effect, sparks, lighting and anything else we can think of now the shots are locked in.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”1609″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center” onclick=”link_image” css_animation=”appear”][vc_column_text]

Lightsaber effect

If any of you budding VFX artists want to know how to make the lightsaber effect, we used VideoCopilot’s Lightsaber preset which comes with a tutorial on how to use it with AfterEffects[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_column_text]

Final Film

Here it is, after weeks of work we present the final film ‘A Merry Christmas You Must Have’.

So sit back, enjoy and have a Merry Christmas from all of us at Jammy Custard Studios[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

[vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1449761599311{padding-top: 80px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text el_class=”lead”]Newport’s new city centre shopping and leisure scheme opened its doors on November 12th, a project that cost around £100m and saw over 102,000 shoppers visiting on opening day, it’s safe to say the Friars Walk launch wasn’t short of fanfare and attention.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]To kick things off an opening ceremony performed by the Leader of Newport City Council, Councillor Bob Bright, accompanied by the First Minister of Wales. Then the shoppers were let loose, with freebies and prizes coming from all directions.

All that followed by an evening of live music organised by Fizzi Event with such acts as Bite The Buffalo, Supergoose, The Earth, Soul Strutters, Afro Cluster, Captain Accident, HMS Morris, Rusty Shackle, Houdini Dax, Cut Ribbons, We’re No Heroes and Keys performing over four nights.

The Friars Walk guys know how to throw a party.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_column_text]

That’s Where We Come In

[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”″][vc_column_text]Fizzi Events asked us to create a series of backing visuals to be shown onstage during the four nights of live music that could be used for multiple bands and songs. That meant creating a series of eight videos that were different enough to fit both the style and rhythm of the tracks while also working as a set. It was just as complicated as it sounds! We were all very happy with the outcome, though, as were the organisers and the bands themselves.

On top of the music visuals we also created a set of Friars Walk Idents showcasing famous local landmarks to be used between acts, including the castle ruins, the Wave sculpture and the locally significant train mural of the coal exchange.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_separator][vc_column_text]We’re extremely happy to have been a part of Friars Walk’s memorable launch, and are looking forward to seeing the positive effect it has on Newport and the surrounding areas.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″ css=”.vc_custom_1445344041228{padding-top: 80px !important;}”][vc_column_text el_class=”lead”]3 speakers took to the stage for the launch of Creative Cardiff and the first in the series of Show & Tell events, each speaker having 10 minutes to present an object close to their work and describe what they’re working on or how they work. Matthew and Patrick were there to be inspired and absorb the intentions of the Cardiff University-led initiative. Here’s what they learnt from the evening.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”custom” accent_color=”#aaaaaa”][vc_column_text]

1. Cardiff has some big names in creativity – but let’s not forget the ‘small guys’ can be world renowned names too

This is admittedly focussed on the fascinating opening talk from Hilary Wagstaff, who has made a big name in the doll collecting world with her intricate and splendid fashion-wear for Blythe dolls. Hilary took us through her work – no – her ‘world’ of doll dress making and the success she has had. The audience also seemed particularly interested in her digital presence, utilising social media to promote her Moshi Moshi brand and telling tales of her Penarth studio through one of her dolls – quite inspired!

Given Hilary’s peers on stage came from larger set-ups, more personnel and huge commercial appeal, it isn’t too surprising that Hilary justifiably stands with them given her international success in her industry. It shouldn’t matter anyway of course and there’s nothing that should be taken away from the other speakers achievements. But it’s a great reminder that Cardiff doesn’t need to just celebrate the successes of the larger institutions, but our smaller creative names too and the industries the city can support. Hilary of course is just one example, but with this sort of diversity in the community, collaboration has never looked more tempting in Cardiff.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”custom” accent_color=”#aaaaaa”][vc_column_text]

2. Exuberance and Wisdom is a great mix

A quick observation, but we couldn’t help notice the breadth of age in the audience. That’s only a good thing isn’t it? Let’s hope collaborations and network opportunities are capitalised on here.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”custom” accent_color=”#aaaaaa”][vc_column_text]

3. Events are a huge part on the creative culture of Cardiff and Wales

Sarah Cole – our 3rd speaker – demonstrated much of the amazing event production work she has had a hand in through her own company SC Productions (liked the penguin by the way!). But a critical point Sarah made that stuck with us was around the wider involvement of communities surrounding events. From the people of Port Talbot following Michel Sheen’s Passion of Christ, to the thousands of children who processed to the opening of the Welsh Millennium Centre, participation of a more general public in creative-led events will reverberate as support for those names involved with a project and the wider creative community as a whole.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”custom” accent_color=”#aaaaaa”][vc_column_text]

4. Q&A’s as a group are good

Whilst time was a bit of an issue for the Q&A session due to venue commitments, it was great to hear multiple answers and perspectives to questions from the audience. It allowed the focus of the session to become about the community and Cardiff as a city, although questions asked to specific speakers were welcome too.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”custom” accent_color=”#aaaaaa”][vc_column_text]

5. Animation and VFX is bubbling away nicely

With neighbouring Bristol channeling itself as a hub of British animation through the likes of Aardman, it was encouraging to listen to Peter Rogers of Bait Studios and how successful they have been supporting TV, music and film from across Wales and further afield. It was also great to hear that they have been able to support the local freelance and micro-biz brigades with opportunities to work on some top-level productions. We also met a few animators in the crowd! Cool.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”custom” accent_color=”#aaaaaa”][vc_column_text]

6. Notepads

Have one with you at all times.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”custom” accent_color=”#aaaaaa”][vc_column_text]

7. Nobody likes working and living in London

It’s true! Ok, so it’s not everyone, but it the issue did come up quite a few times during the evening, immediately followed by the benefits of living and working in Cardiff. In essence, some people found the need to work and live in London a little hard to process, as you could get to the city on the train in the same time a Londoner can get to work and Cardiff provides easy passage to rural nature and the sea for downtime – not to mention the relaxed vibe our little capital has. It seems a little scathing, but there is validity to this point – surely this benefits the creative community enormously?[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”custom” accent_color=”#aaaaaa”][vc_column_text]

8. Creative Cardiff could be the start of something

With backing from the Welsh Millennium Centre, Cardiff Council and BBC Wales, this organisation could prove to be an extra boost of momentum to the city and country’s creative economy. It’s important to stress the diversity point again. It’s great to have industry specific economies supported in such a way, but it’s also vital for all industries to see what’s happening across the wider field and Cardiff Creative can offer this. Let’s hope the events and initiatives keep coming and are supported well.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”custom” accent_color=”#aaaaaa”][vc_btn title=”Creative Cardiff Website” style=”custom” custom_background=”#f71b78″ custom_text=”#ffffff” size=”lg” align=”left” link=”||target:%20_blank”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

[vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1444922165793{padding-top: 80px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text el_class=”lead”]Explainer videos are videos that explain what you do quickly and clearly – it does what it says on the tin. It’s like an elevator pitch where you explain what you do in a manner that everyone understands easily, but in video form.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”custom” accent_color=”#aaaaaa”][vc_column_text]The benefit of this is that by watching a video, it’s more than just standing up and talking in front of an audience where they’re listening and trying to picture in their heads what you’re talking about. Here you can communicate and present imagery and demonstrations of what you do, laying it all out so the viewer gets it quickly and clearly.

A good example are the videos found on Kickstarter. Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform where project creators can pitch their idea/product for people to invest in.

Each project uses video to explain about their offering to convince people to invest and back it. The fact that a video is one of the first things you see for each pitch, just goes to show how important the medium is.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”custom” accent_color=”#aaaaaa”][vc_column_text]


[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”stretch_row” css=”.vc_custom_1444922088969{padding-top: 40px !important;padding-bottom: 40px !important;background-color: #eeeeee !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

Exploding Kittens Kickstarter Pitch Video

Exploding Kittens is a card game invented by Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal) that was pitched on Kickstarter for 30 days between  . The video pitch simply takes you through how the game works whilst showing you some of the amusing artwork. In under 2 minutes (1.43 to be precise) you get a taste of the game and how it plays.

$10,000 was needed for the project to be successful, this goal was reached on the first day and 30 days later the campaign finished with a total of $8,782,571. You could say his reputation and fan base from The Oatmeal comic helped and you’re probably right, but without demonstrating how the game works would it have reached the total it did?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_video link=”” el_class=”monitor-display”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”stretch_row” css=”.vc_custom_1444922110998{padding-top: 40px !important;padding-bottom: 40px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_video link=”” el_class=”monitor-display”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

Dropbox Explainer Video

When Dropbox first started they launched a video made by Commoncraft which introduces the company and explains what cloud computing is and how you can benefit from it.

Online storage has been around for a long time, but Dropbox made it easier and more accessible and this video explains it perfectly. Now Dropbox are one of the most successful and leading cloud storage companies.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”stretch_row” css=”.vc_custom_1444922132225{padding-top: 40px !important;padding-bottom: 40px !important;background-color: #eeeeee !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

Signable Explainer Video

Signable is an online system to send and receive documents for signature. They have an explainer video that sits prominently on the front page of their website. The video quickly explains their service and gives a brief overview of how it works.

Not only did having a video explain their service clearly but because of the security implications of the offering, the video provides confidence in the company by giving an insight into the software.

In just 1 minute a viewer is able to learn about the service and feel confident in the company. It’s a video we’re proud to have made knowing it’s contributed to new sales and increased sign ups.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_video link=”” el_class=”monitor-display”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]

Video Content Statistics

[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text el_class=”lead”]Video is rising in popularity and by 2017 over 70% of web traffic will be video. It’s a popular medium and a preferred method for people to learn and be informed with little effort.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text el_class=”lead”]ReelSEO have reported that over 300+ hours of content is uploaded to Youtube every minute, but with all this content out there, there is even more of a desire to stand out and be noticed.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_separator color=”custom” accent_color=”#aaaaaa”][vc_column_text]


[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Explainer videos are an awesome way to explain what you do quickly and easily. There’s no denying the popularity of video as it has grown to become an integral part of the Internet.

If you’re still not convinced, here are some benefits to consider when using a video to explain your business online:

If you think you’re missing out, we’d be happy to talk to you and shape any ideas you have.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row]