[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″ css=”.vc_custom_1507623610155{padding-top: 40px !important;}”][vc_column_text el_class=”lead”]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.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

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:[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/9abmWi7uWNQ”][/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]

Research

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.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/veQ2ilQrzMU?t=47s”][/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]

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.[/vc_column_text][vc_gallery interval=”3″ images=”3657,3658,3659″ img_size=”full”][/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]

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.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”3630″ img_size=”full”][vc_column_text]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.[/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]

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.

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”3633″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][vc_single_image image=”3636″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][vc_single_image image=”3635″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/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]

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.[/vc_column_text][vc_gallery interval=”3″ images=”3642,3643,3644,3645,3647″ img_size=”full”][/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]

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.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”3648″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/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]

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.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/UXvrUKkYAs4″][/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]

Conclusion

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.

[/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]

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.

[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/426mqlB-kAY”][vc_separator][/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]

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.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][/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]

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.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/_25RK5GbJIc”][vc_separator][/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]

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.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/0BykeVld018″][vc_separator][/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]

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![/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/FwNfsLwQBhM”][vc_separator][/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]

Ulysses 31

Greek mythology in space with a fantastic catchy opening soundtrack, how can you not love this?[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/OZ4c1X5ene8″][vc_separator][/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]

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.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/xKsFURf7C18″][vc_separator][/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]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?[/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]

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.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/ns6uAjguEQQ” align=”center”][/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]

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:[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”2772″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/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_video link=”https://youtu.be/qtyZfY9UsOY” align=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

[vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1459376278017{padding-top: 20px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text el_class=”lead”]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.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]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.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/_3ET7W21sEI”][vc_column_text]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.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

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.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”2454″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][vc_single_image image=”2455″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes”][vc_single_image image=”2456″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes”][vc_column_text]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.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Credits

Footage: Joe Marvelly (http://www.joemarvelly.co.uk)
Client: Salt Bar (http://www.saltcardiff.com/) and Fizzi Events (http://fizzievents.co.uk/)[/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_1458820494877{padding-top: 40px !important;}”]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.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]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?).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”2438″ 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]

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.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”2433″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes”][vc_single_image image=”2434″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]

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.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”2442″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]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.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”2437″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes”][vc_column_text]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.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

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.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/3S61TxZzXBE”][/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 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=”https://youtu.be/Q8Ydd9P9kqw”][vc_btn title=”Download Jammy Custard Motion Elements Pack” style=”custom” custom_background=”#f71b78″ custom_text=”#ffffff” size=”lg” align=”center” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mediafire.com%2Fdownload%2Fd67jcctu6yke3qq%2FJammy_Custard_Motion_Elements.zip|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 jammycustard.co.uk/motion-elements-pack/.

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_column_text]

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=”https://youtu.be/l_EIE5f2t6M”][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]

Streaming

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=”https://youtu.be/Bt9zSfinwFA”][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=”https://youtu.be/a69D4RuHMIs”][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=”https://youtu.be/Vm9bpE-9384″][/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=”https://youtu.be/TAXReyGuGT0″][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 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]

Examples

[/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=”https://youtu.be/OtREUajBwIQ” 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=”https://youtu.be/w4eTR7tci6A” 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=”https://youtu.be/M7tVckwNvBE” 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]

Summary

[/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]