NEWS & VIEWS

Logo animations – which way to turn?

Logos - Which way to turn

Logos are so underrated … rarely are they used beyond ‘print’ and ‘presentations’ … which is such a shame, as they are usually fairly easy to turn into animations, quite often taking between a few hours to no more than a day to devise, create and render out with an appropriate music piece.

The trick here is to use an original (or re-created) logo made from Adobe Illustrator or similar, so it can be animated and output at the very latest broadcast HD or 4K resolutions … and for the very technical we’re talking 3,840 x 2,160 or 1920 x 1080 res at the very least. Once built at this quality, it will last as many years as you wish your branding to remain. So this could be anything from 5 to 20 years.

And each animation needs only to last from 3 to 10 seconds.

Then, once created, can they be used everywhere … and here we mean presentations, websites, videos (top & tail) and commercials. Here are a few examples … each made in a few hours with a different approach:

So … which one is a ‘block’ … ‘particles’ … or ‘shatter’?

Animations latest!

Sovereign Specials Medicines

With all the multiple video projects produced over the last 6 months, we’ve been creating animations of all types. From logo idents to product pieces to eLearning, we’ve been busy.

Have a look at  some of our favourite pieces created already for GDPR Academy and Capital Tuition Group, as well GL Assessment and Mayfield Developments below.

These don’t take long to create, especially logo idents, which we can devise just using the original brand files – making them build and move to music stings.

The best bit is that once built, they can be added to all your programmes and presentations easily and at no additional cost!

Our 3D animation services are used to enable product visualisation, to preview architectural structures, prototypes, brands and expand your audience’s imaginative capability. We can simulate any physical object or atmosphere and turn your ideas into a dynamic moving image.

We can provide high quality graphics and animations for application to all types of digital media and produce 3D animated logos, virtual reality environments, product representations, background displays and pilot cartoons all delivered on CD-ROM, DVD, websites or print.

See our favourite examples for GDPR, Pearson – BTEC Promo, IVCA, Kimberly-Clark and Edexcel below:

GDPR Academy – Brand ident for Academy eLearning website

SSTL Geostationary – Product promo for Surrey Satellite’s Geostationary satellite systems

Edexcel Diploma Launch

River Thames Flood Risks – the 100 year flood

Friends Provident – Data Risk! – Data Security at the most obvious … even when using snail mail!

Edexcel English GCSE

Special Products – teaser animation campaign

GL Assessment’s SEN logo animation for a sereis of 6 product demo video

Mayfield Properties’ 20th Anniversary celebrations – logo sequences

Team360 – one of several logo animations we use to demonstrate different approaches

Kognitio logo animation – used for several corporate and product programmes

TP Legal – animation for website use

Legal & General – opening animation or for single use in conferences

Ericsson ident

TP Legal animation

TP Legal logo animation
Animation: Following our participation at Woking Means Business exhibition, we started working with several local companies, one of whom is the legal practice TP Legal based in Woking. In the process of  specifying several videos they asked to use our ideas for their animated logo sequence for their website – straightaway!
Fairly simple, this only took half a day, and they’re using it on their website and in presentations already.

Special Products Flash Promo

Flash promo for Special Products
Since we started working for Special Products Limited last year, we’ve already created a promotional Flash piece for use by the marketing team at international clinical events, with the first at The Clinical Pharmacy Congress at Earl’s Court, London.

Designed as a one minute promo, with fast animation to catch the eye and draw the crowds to the Special Products Limited exhibition stand.

A resounding success, which was then followed by creation of a new CMS website. and now further videos and animations for the marketing team. Watch this space!

Data Explosion with 4K Video

Video data explosion

With the increasing pressure, or use, to have your videos recorded in 4K, as opposed to HD, one needs to understand the benefits and the shortcomings of both.

Many production companies now offer production in 4K, although it is true that all of us shoot in both formats/definitions. Should this affect you? And why should you be bothered?

Because this affects your speed of delivery, delivery platforms – projected/large screen, web, desktops, handhelds and mobiles – and budget.

You have to decide the main delivery platform, and if you are not displaying your final beautifully crafted video in cinemas or large stage screens as the main priority, then consider the outcomes.

4K can be beautiful compared to HD, but only in the right circumstances: the main consideration with any craft is the concept and creation of the final piece – from the big idea, the script or storyboard, to the filming (recording and/or animation etc.)

4K data is four times the size of HD, requiring more investment not only in camera systems – the easy bit – but in the IP or networks for transfer, the edit (post) systems, the storage, back-up and delivery. Which means production companies have to invest properly in all of these systems and infrastructures.

HD offers the speed that all screens and TVs easily display with, at high quality, and at great value for squeezed corporate budgets.

We work with many production cameramen and ‘self-shooters’ (no crew) who all declare that HD does the job perfectly well, so consider if you really need 4K.

We work with both, and have the systems in place accordingly, but always happy to have a chat about what you really need.

And of course, the creativity is always there, no matter the definition.

Data Archiving Cloud?

The Cloud Panacea

A new Windows 10 production machine of ours last year received a message shortly after start-up that our ‘One Drive was full’. Of course it was a 1GB free cloud storage facility that had gobbled up what it first saw – a slice of our design software which we already had on other drives! We were advised to ‘Upgrade’ at a cost to enable the One Drive to gobble up all else. Oh dear.

Talking video, we are so aware of the elephant in the room – ‘The Cloud’, which is seen as the panacea for all.

So often we have clients who ask for old material (from 3 – 8 years or more) to be resurrected, usually with testimonials or footage from expensive location shoots, and we are always happy to access material from our archives, which are physical, local and remote, but most importantly easily accessable and affordable – and this can be at no or little cost.

Local back-ups are great – although on-site can be at risk of fire or theft.

Near-local back-ups are even better – off-site, but physically local enough to access, and cheap enough to maintain.

Long-term storage though requires more thought: ‘deep archive’ in ‘The Cloud’ (which requires annual storage fees dependant on access retrieval speeds) or, suprisingly enough for a lot of us, good old fashioned tape, now speeded up and known as LTO, the development of which is managed by a consortium of IBM, HP and Quantum to amazingly high standards of retrieval. This is now used widely in Broadcast. Fixed off-site or near-local, this can provide a cheaper, reliable and more cost effective approach to data archiving.

Our current view is that ‘The Cloud’ has too many risks: relying upon 100% internet connectivity (are you always on-line capable?) and long term annual fees for occasional access.

When do projects have the luxury of time when archives are required, with permanent high cost retrieval fees?

Best to consider your back-up strategies, with whatever data you have … and I would bet that most you of reading this already have nearly full back-ups of one kind or another.

Archives?

Website hosting

Most weeks we have clients contacting us for artwork, images or re-edits on previous productions, and this can happen from projects completed several years ago. Never a problem.

As our archive storage system holds projects going back over 20 years, properly indexed, it’s always an easy and speedy process to retrieve those all important assets.

Not only do we provide the creative ideas and fresh materials – design and live recordings – on a daily basis, but we ensure that all clients have the reassurance that their projects are also delivered on time to budget. Just see our client testimonials on the right >

As well as the experience of the team (over 120 combined man/woman-years), we ensure the right paperwork is in place: Release Forms, Insurance, Copyright Clearance, Risk Assessments, Method Statements, and ICO Registration for Data Protection.

So, as well as using and following your brand guidelines, we are free to be creative and make your message memorable!

Lambing In Action

Trevor and Karen Telling of Bonhurst Farm have farmed in Bramley for 20 years. Trevor is from a farming family and was born in Wiltshire, His father, Reg Telling, moved with his family to Surrey in the 1960’s and Trevor worked alongside his father for many years untill his death in 2001. Karen, having been married for 26 years, has always been involved in the running of the farm, does all the farm paperwork, helps with the sheep and rears the orphan lambs.

A Lambing Story

They run a closed flock of 500 ewes on the farm. This consists of a flock of North Country mules and Welsh lleyns. They use Suffolk, Charollais and lleyn rams. The lleyns are proving a much more versatile breed and they are breeding their own replacment ewes. They are smaller and more manageable when it comes to lambing.  On the whole, they lamb more easily and there seem to be fewer Lleyn orphans in comparison with the mules as they ‘mother up’ with their lambs more quickly.

The ewes are fed home grown top quality hay in the winter and a concentrated feed ration two months before lambing to ensure they receive the correct amount of protein and vitamins. This year they are growing their own oats, which will be fed to the ewes at which time, everything the sheep eat will be home grown. All the lambs are born and raised on the farm. They are naturally reared outdoors on ewe’s milk, grass, stubble, turnips, sunshine, rain and fresh air.

Bonhurst farm is a member of FABBL (Farm Assured British Beef & Lamb) and follows strict guidelines with regard to welfare and medical treatments.

Business Process for Digital

Getting all the planning in place for any digital production is so important … and that assumes your brand is ready.

Business Process for Digital

It all starts with that crucial ‘scoping document’:

Brand – design, logo/symbol, typeface/fonts, colours, layouts, applications
Scope – contacts, timings, aims, audience/s, proposition, key messages, contributors, content, delivery
Ideas – key points, approach, sound, design, action, animation, choreography, light/lighting, structure, event
Scripts – words, writing, shot list, storyboard, key frames, actions
Design – graphics, artwork, titles, captions, credits
Sound – voice/commentary, music, sound effects (SFX)

Interactive tools from Vimeo

Team360 Splash

Connecting with viewers is a beautiful thing: it means you’re telling your story, reaching more humans, and growing your brand.

Vimeo video interaction toolsThat’s why we’re excited to see the fresh release all-new interaction tools on Vimeo, which include:

Updated end screens for Vimeo Plus, PRO, and Business members allows customisation of  what appears after your video, and drive even more engagement with call-to-action buttons. These are known as End Cards.

Mobile-friendly cards let Vimeo Business members link viewers to any destination they choose, at any point in their video.

These were designed to elevate the video and encourage viewers to engage.

Email capture forms help Vimeo Business members generate leads, whether it’s before, during, or after their video.

This is all good news as YouTube have now ceased a lot of these interactive services, so Vimeo have jumped into the breach … and with greater frame accuracy too!

All great news for interactive and branching videos.

 

Interactive video

GL Assessment YouTube Playlists

When Bersin by Deloitte published their infographic ‘Meet the Modern Learner‘ , we were all surprised at the research findings that lead to interactive video:

– Workers can devote only 1% of their time to training & development

– Workers are online 27 times day

– Workers unlock their smartphones up to 9 times an hour

… and workers won’t watch videos longer than 4 minutes.

And that last point is critical to those of you in marketing and education, and ourselves in broadcast and corporate programme production … but it happily works with other developments already ongoing since Steve Jobs threw Flash out with the bathwater in one his famous tantrums.

Since 2012, when we all had to look around to replace our Flash-based web content, the options were limited to the then very new HTML5 and/or converting everything to H264 – now commonly known as .mp4 format.

So, how do we keep videos under 4 minutes in length?

Publish multiple shorts, like a series?

Or Branching? Otherwise known as interactive video.

We’ve been able to do this with YouTube since 2012 (or earlier), but for those wanting a more controllable publishing platform (without ads and competitive interjections), we’ve been able to use e-Learning programmes like Camtasia, Articulate and Captivate in a limited though costly manner (licenses, development, costs per seat etc.).

Unfortunately, YouTube’s Annotations Editor (the only way to multi-link even short videos to others on YouTube) is being withdrawn from use on May 2nd this year, so we only have their End Screens and Cards to work with: limiting for truly interactive video, but still good for next play or action buttons.

But is there something that is more open source and usable with plug-ins to existing publishing platforms?

H5P was the result of this challenge, coming out of the Norwegian NDLA’s free-to-use high school learning portal’s need to replace all their web-based Flash content.

Here, a community driven project was established, with a few companies doing the heavy lifting. https://h5p.org/about-the-project

H5P is a plugin for existing publishing systems that enables the system to create interactive content like Interactive Videos, Presentations, Games, Quizzes and more.

It currently works on WordPress and Drupal, with the Moodle plugin now a release candidate (Feb 2017) currently undergoing evaluation by Moodle.org.

Everything is open source and free to use.

So, coming back to that Bersin by Deloitte paper on ‘The Modern Learner’, it is ever more important to keep our video materials under 4 minutes in length … otherwise they won’t stay till the end. And that’s why Vimeo stats have the totals ‘completed’ as well as ‘played’.

You do want your intended audiences to watch all of your hard work and ideas, don’t you?

Well then, keep it under 4 minutes and use branching if you have lots of messages and examples.

Otherwise viewers won’t watch it.

Why Branching Videos?

Bersin by Deloitte - the modern learner - branching videos

When Bersin by Deloitte published their infographic ‘Meet the Modern Learner’  we were all surprised at the research findings:

– Workers can devote only 1% of their time to training & development

– Workers are online 27 times day

– Workers unlock their smartphones up to 9 times an hour

… and won’t watch videos longer than 4 minutes.

And that last point is critical to those of you in marketing and education, and ourselves in broadcast and corporate programme production … but it happily works with other developments already ongoing since Steve Jobs threw Flash out with the bathwater in one his famous tantrums.

Since 2012, when we all had to look around to replace our Flash-based web content, the options were limited to the then very new HTML5 and/or converting everything to H264 – now commonly known as .mp4 format.

So, how do we keep videos under 4 minutes in length?

Publish multiple shorts, like a series?

Or Branching? Otherwise known as interactive video.

We’ve been able to do this with YouTube since 2012 (or earler), but for those wanting a more controllable publishing platform (without ads and competitive interjections), we’ve been able to use e-Learning programmes like Camtasia, Articulate and Captivate in a limited though costly manner (licenses, development, costs per seat etc.).

But is there something that is more open source and usable with plug-ins to existing publishing platforms?

h5pH5P was the result of this challenge, coming out of the Norwegian NDLA’s free-to-use high school learning portal’s need to replace all their web-based Flash content.

Here, a community driven project was established, with a few companies doing the heavy lifting.

H5P is a plugin for existing publishing systems that enables the system to create interactive content like Interactive Videos, Presentations, Games, Quizzes and more.

It currently works on WordPress and Drupal, with the Moodle plugin 1.0 currently undergoing evaluation by Moodle.org.

Everything is open source and free to use.

So, coming back to that Bersin by Deloitte paper on ‘The Modern Learner’, it is ever more important to keep our video materials under 4 minutes in length … otherwise they won’t stay till the end. And that’s why Vimeo stats have the totals ‘completed’ as well as ‘played’.

You do want your intended audiences to watch all of your hard work and ideas, don’t you?

Well then, keep it under 4 minutes and use branching if you have lots of messages and examples.

Otherwise they won’t watch it.

Re-purposing your material?

Re-purposing

“Clients expect each project to be produced in such a way that it’s re-purposable future content” was a comment in a ‘Broadcast’ article I recently came across. How naive.

That should always be the case – of course that has to be the way, and always has as far as we’re concerned.

Take animated logos: once created, they have to be versatile enough to be used in all media. They derive from the current brand and therefore always have to be usable in media, once created.

All media recorded and/or created has to be re-purposable across all platforms. That is a given.

But how many marketers (being a pedant, I always wish to spell it ‘marketeers’, as in correct English) always consider re-applying that hard fought budget to other projects?

Consider how you can use previously produced material in other messages.

We do.

Lighting for all?

Lighting for all

So, does your videographer have the lighting necessary for all situations? Or does he or she bring along their LED or Tube panels and a single soft spot?

Depends what you pay for, especially if you value the time they need to set and prep to produce quality for re-use.

Trained as a fashion photographer, I know lighting, even though the equipment has changed over recent years, the use of light is the same. As well as clothing, although make-up for lighting less so.

Any videographer will have the camera and some sound equipment, but the trick is the lighting.

A recent location shoot required some in-fill for a dark actor, which required a simple handheld/desk mounted LED, self-powered, to create improved illumination for her features. Easy.

And then it just comes down to the ideas, the script and the direction.

Lighting – plenty of choice for all situations?

Why just one video?

Why just one video?

So many times in the last couple of years we have realised, along with most of our clients, that we can produce several videos from one shoot.

A one day of shooting/recording can take a great deal of time to set up, as well as budget, but if done appropriately, can provide for a series of short videos on and around the same subject.

All this takes is forethought – and whilst it may mean more time in editing, this can provide more than that single video as per the original brief.

So, let’s get down to the actualities: a singe day’s shoot will always have that known cost, once budgeted. But if handled and planned properly, can provide an abundance of material for use in a series of videos, not just one.

And all that requires is a little more editing to create the series: the brand is constant, the animations should be constant and the only difference is the footage, captions and music, if that needs to be different (although in practise this is the same source, albeit mixed differently/appropriately).

Why go for one, when you can create a series for slow, cascade or social release?

QED

4K v Broadcast HD

Broadcast video camera

Sony’s Head of Business Development – 3D, 4K & Sports, Mark Grinyer, provides a word of caution before any live production leaps into the wonderful world of 4K.

Single-chip vs Depth of Field (Focus depth)

“Before you start thinking about 4K there’s a serious consideration to take into account when it comes to 4K cameras versus ‘normal’ cameras,” he says. “4K cameras are single-chip models, whereas broadcast cameras have 3CCD blocks (Red, Green and Blue) and the image is more sensitive to depth of field, which is perfect for live productions such as Top Gear. It’s much more straightforward to get a far greater depth of field with a broadcast camera, compared to a 4K camera.”

4k ultra hd video

Depth of field is related to the amount of light and the control of the iris, and, says Grinyer, “some learning needs to be done around single sensor cameras” to create a similar effect. “The camera operator and the producer/director needs to be aware of what to do [with a single sensor 4K camera] in terms of managing lenses, focus and exposure, to create a similar depth of field to a broadcast camera.”
It’s certainly not impossible to emulate the depth of field of a three-chip broadcast camera with the latest 4K cameras, though it’s just a skill that will need to be learned.

“If you were shooting with a single-chip HD camera you’d struggle to get a look as good as with a three-chip camera,” explains Grinyer. “But 4K cameras are a lot more sensitive, providing more F-stops, so you can adjust the exposure, iris, lenses and other tools available on the camera to adjust the imagery.

Once any issues relating to creating an appropriate depth-of-field have been addressed, there are huge potential advantages in opting for a 4K camera over an HD model, even if you’re delivering in HD.

“Anything shot in 4K and down-converted is going to be better than HD, which is partly down to the noise ceiling and signal,” explains Grinyer. “The clearer signal to transmission, the clearer signal you get at home. You get a better picture as there’s a lot more data to down-convert compared to a standard HD image.”

8k ultra hd videoJust remember that 4K eats up 4 times the amount of data, creates much larger files sizes (4x) and will have an effect on the speed of any post production suite and your production deadlines. And 8K, on the way will be (8x) … the stuff of cinema.

At the end of the day, how is that video going to be used? On desktops and mobiles mainly? If that’s the case, it’s not necessarily worth the extra time and cost to produce in 4k when it’s not going to be seen. 4K for desktops and tablets – no.

For commercials and large screen features – yes.

UX = User Experience

UX - User Experience

UX … refers to a person’s emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system or service.

It includes the practical, experiential, effective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human–computer interaction and product ownership.

So few people are aware of the whole UX industry that employs UX researchers, designers, developers to provide the best User Experience in as many human-computer reactions as possible. How easy is something to use? How intuitive? How logical?

Well, this world is now moving on to the next stage … CONVERSATIONAL UX.

From mouse clicks, screen taps and voice commands, we now have ‘swipe’ as the new click, and Conversational UX in the form of Siri, Google and Alexa from tech giants such as Apple, Google and Amazon becoming more commonly used.

WeChat logo   LINE_logo

Natural language recognition is progressing at a rapid pace – with getting a ride, paying a bill or shopping online with chat becoming more of daily life – already happening in Asia with WeChat and Line.

———————-

Back to basics though … every instructional video or e-learning project needs UX … and that means time to pilot first cuts with feedback. All too frequently, deadlines have to be met which impede proper QC and UX.

So, always best to allow for time, following post-production, for piloting that beautifully crafted video material and gaining that all-important User eXperience!

UA-25452946-1