Animation looks better with some finishing touches: see for yourself

It’s tempting to buy a cheap animation, but you really do get what you pay for – and sometimes even less. Cheap is cheap for a reason, and it means that corners have been cut somewhere. The average viewer might not be able to put their finger on what’s wrong with the video. They’ll simply register a cheaply-made video as sloppy or unprofessional, but the keen eyes at our video production company catch every inelegant cost-saving measure.

We’ve created a ‘spot the difference’ video so that you too can identify some of the specific differences you’ll commonly spot in cheap videos and how they might differ from the animations that we produce.

You get what you pay for

A cursory Google search will reveal the incredible proliferation of advertisements for cheap animation, and we’ll readily admit that it’s tempting to be lured in by the ‘special offers’. But remember, these animated videos are cheap because very little time and effort is spent on them. That doesn’t just mean low-quality visuals with crude detail, audio and movement – it also often means a tacky marketing concept, the wrong message and poorly chosen hooks or triggers. Ultimately, an animated video is a marketing tool, and its quality reflects on your business.

In the example video we created, we’ve shown what a video might look like if it was done on the cheap. The illustrations are nice, but the animating has been rushed. This is representative of a lot of the cheap videos you see advertised.

We’ve then taken the same clip but added the finishing touches you only get when using a reputable video production company. You’ll notice the more detailed movements, fluid bounces, and appropriate sound effects. These seemingly insignificant differences make a world of difference and show that while cutting corners will save you some money in the short term, it ultimately costs your video.

Choosing the right video production company

Professional video production companies work full time and should have a portfolio of consistent, impressive work. Because these companies insist on producing content to high standards, they may be willing to turn down work where the budget is too low: it’s better not to take a job than to do it poorly. A proper production company will also work with you to refine the video until it’s perfect, whereas with cheap animations you’re stuck with the one-and-done product they produce. We think that this side-by-side comparison makes it clear that quality animation makes all the difference, and quality is worth paying for.

If your company wants an animation with high production values, contact us today.

 

Written by: Jamie Field, Managing Director

Visual communication in times of crisis

During this pandemic, one of the most powerful tools in explaining the importance of social distancing to the public has been the ‘flatten the curve’ image. It’s not an actual graph with axes and values, but a way of using the familiar, visual language of a graph to convey a complex concept. The animated gif version, posted by Dr Siouxie Wells, is particularly effective and even appears on the Wikipedia page for social distancing. That’s right, even in uncertain times, we still appreciate a good gif.

At TopLine Film, we have long been advocates for the power and value that animation can deliver when it comes to succinct messaging and a ‘sky’s the limit’ approach to visuals. Now, as we isolate ourselves, practice social distancing and cannot meet face-to-face, the role of digital communications and video is more important than ever. Here are our top reasons that animation reigns as a powerful, convenient, and reliable communication method.

Working remotely

Thanks to the internet, a very small team practising social distancing – or indeed even one person – can work entirely remotely to create top-notch animations. At TopLine, we’re all working from home indefinitely and for years the business has offered all employees the ability to work from home two days a week, so all of us have all the equipment we need to do our work at home. This means that any lockdown or isolation measures have a minimal effect on production, which can go ahead without a single in-person meeting. Google hangout anyone?

Fortunately, that means that we’re used to working with clients remotely. Requests come in over email, we make a phone call to establish a strategy, and we share our storyboards and final content out digitally. Normally, we welcome in-person meetings in our London office, but it certainly isn’t a requirement, and that means that there’s no change to our interactions with clients when we can’t work from the office.

Quick turnaround

Unlike regular video shoots, an animation doesn’t require booking actors and a set, carrying lighting and sound equipment, multiple takes, or any of the potentially time-consuming – and currently impossible – aspects of traditional video work. Animation can move from conception to storyboard to delivery at a rapid pace, which makes it ideal for organisations that need to react quickly.

The ability to create visually engaging content quickly is a real advantage in the present environment, or in any sort of crisis. If you need to create an informative animation to get the facts out about an event at very short notice, animation is the obvious choice.

A welcome distraction

As people in most industries are being advised to work from home, many have set aside some extra time to tackle email outreach and links that they have been sent. Whereas in the past office chatter may have distracted some, at home they’re more focused. We’re all fighting to keep boredom at bay, unable to see our colleagues and friends in person, and we are all more likely to click through to a thoughtful animation if it appears in our inboxes.

Animation, as with video in general, can also offer a friendly outreach in times where people might be feeling a little lonely. For everyone who is housebound and spends their days working on spreadsheets and looking through email – now without the benefit of colleagues in the office to lighten the mood – a colourful, energetic animation can be a welcome change of pace. It’s a visual ‘shock’ and therefore more likely to be received positively and remembered.

Professional video production services

Animation has always been a powerful tool for delivering content, and in the current situation, it is a convenient and safe method too. Working with an accomplished animation company, you can be sure that you’ll end up with a polished, professional product that reflects well on your business.

If we can help your business to reach out to your customers, staff, or stakeholders and if you want to use animation to deliver that message, we can help! Contact us today.

 

Written by: Sian Evans, Senior Producer

Why NOT to use whiteboard animations!

We asked a team of marketers and video production pros what they thought of whiteboard animation as a style.

They gasped in horror.

They did not like it one little bit.

CHEAP!

“They feel cheap because the idea lacks creativity. The drawings themselves can be creative, but it really doesn’t matter because the idea is such a turnoff”

DATED!

“They are super dated. There was a point when it seemed absolutely everyone did one of these. That was maybe 5 years ago.”

LAZY!

“It looks so low effort that it makes your audience think you don’t care about it, and then why should they if you don’t?”

GENERIC!

“’It’s nearly impossible to make it on-brand. A very narrow style of illustration and artwork works with whiteboard, and it’s unlikely this happens to be your brand style. It also means they all look the same, as a consequence.”

SILLY!

“The particularly heinous ones use a static hand holding a pen and move that around and it looks really quite silly. That’s not animation. It’s nonsense.

“This style shows that the company has zero consideration for its audience.”

Well there you have it! If your heart’s still set on a whiteboard animation, then maybe this one didn’t do a good enough job of convincing you. If you’ve changed your mind…then we’re in an endless logic black hole.

To escape, contact a real animation company.

Our 32 best explainer animations

We asked our explainer video production team to head out into the internet on a voyage of discovery and find the explainer animations that really inspire them. They selected these 32 examples.

Mobike

 

They said: Beautiful environment design and love the stripped use of the colour palette.

Selfridges

 

They said: Aside from the pretty colourful watercolour paint style, we most love the fact it’s voiced by ‘real people’ working at Selfridges. Super effective and engaging.

Goodbit

 

They said: This animation perfectly explains digital currency. The message and voiceover are strong and I felt totally engaged right through to the end.

Botcentral

 

They said: We totally fell in love with these characters.

Eatruscan

 

They said: Abstract elements working harmoniously with illustrative assets and subtle and effective sound design. What’s not to love?

SendGrid

 

They said: We like this one because it’s so dynamic and playful. We also really like the bright colours, shapes and gradients – and the animation itself is exceptionally well done.

Thor Token

 

They said: Another really nicely animated one, with excellent blend of a 2D look in 3D space. This one also has really good sound design, both in the music and subtle sound effects.

Adyen

 

They said: Nice little explainer for an app. No voiceover, but nicely animated and smooth, with a very slick design.

Plutora

 

They said: Really nice, thorough animation. It has characters and abstract shapes and ways to explain a very complex idea which works very well for it.

Freighty

 

They said: Very simple but friendly and to the point.

Acast

 

They said: Nice explainer with great use of textures and a lot of character animation.

Meet Bixby

 

They said: Expertly animated and very slick looking. Works great for a tech product.

What is MS?

 

They said: Nice explainer visualising a complex medical issue in a simple and abstract way, also demonstrating the effect on people’s lives.

Square Online

 

They said: Mixed media piece which is incredibly effective. Covers filmed content, examples of interface and animated elements.

Sensei

 

They said: Very detailed illustration style, with some lovely 3D environments and camera moves.

Aromastick

 

 They said: Lovely abstract and modern style that demonstrates the product in action.

Croxley Recycling

 

 

They said: This animation is a great way to show a process, with really nice transitions and a quick pace.

Cylance

 

 They said: Great animation for a cyber security business. The style works very well and the sound design really adds to the whole thing.

Thumbtack

 

They said: This video looks deceptively simple, but there is so much great animation involved in it. The transitions in particular are fantastic.

Panoply

 

 They said: This animation uses a really nice limited colour palette in its brand colours, which works great for it.

Squarespace

 

 They said: A nice mixed media piece with 3D animation and filmed content. Using realistic visuals in an abstract way is very interesting.

Beech Nut

 

 They said: Another mixed media piece with 2D animation over a live action background. It’s very effective in making the brand feel genuine and organic.

Ooohlympics

 

 They said: This one is a few years old but we love the colour and movement throughout.

About Taxi

 

 They said: This video does a great job of juxtaposing good and evil using just colours – also I like that the characters are fairly simple but their expressions are definable.

Death Explained

 

 They said: We know this one is pretty dark but we like the use of animation to overlay anonymous interviews.

Trendy Butler

 

 They said: There is great detail in the background and the characters’ movement is pretty natural. There are also a number of perspective changes that make it more interesting to watch than a typical explainer.

Xroad

 

 They said: Eye catching colour and great use of shapes from 2D -2.5D make this animation really pop.

Stairwise

 

 They said: The flow of this big bold explainer about a boutique consulting firm is spot on, the use of colour and flow perfectly implemented.

Stekio

 

 

They said: Simple and subtle grid and line based animation, staged beautifully and underpinned with a gorgeous music track make this text led explainer a hit.

Torrebia

 

 

They said: We really enjoyed the great character animations mixed with seamless transitions between scenarios in the film. The light and bright VO seals the deal.

Samsung Bixby

 

They said: So simple, so gorgeous, the animation somehow gives a sense of what Samsung’s Siri clone is capable of -without saying a word.

 

Feeling inspired and ready to get started on your own explainer? We know just the explainer video company for you.

The top five promotional animations

Promotional animations are a great tool for explaining what your business does. They don’t tend to be too long, and can help translate big ideas into a format that is easy to watch and share online. They also have the added benefit of being evergreen content, given they don’t feature employees (or a client) who might leave the company in the future.

If you’re thinking about making your own promotional animation video, a good starting point is to look at other animations to get some ideas. As a video animation company, we try and keep an eye on the latest and best promotional animations that companies are putting out.

Here are our top five favourite promotional animations for you to take inspiration from.

Meet Bixby

This promotional animation video about Bixby, Samsung’s AI assistant, makes a great case for simplicity. It doesn’t even use a voiceover, only text, but isn’t at all boring. It’s a great, stylish looking animation, that gets the job done.

Airbnb Pacific

Airbnb recently made a series of short promos (emphasis on the word ‘short’, as this video comes in at only 15 seconds). They’re full of character, with great pacing, design and animation. Plus, the script is succinct and gets the message across in a very short space of time.

LinkedIn Slider

LinkedIn created an animation specifically to promote the ‘slider’ tool that it offers on its platform. The graphics are clear and simple, but still tie in with the brand.

Google / Android Wear

This one’s from a little while ago, but it’s so good we thought a throwback was in order. Google put together this energetic but goofy mixed media piece to announce its own wearable range. There’s no voiceover, just a great animation, bright colours and a memorable soundtrack. A job well done.

Golfbidder

You’ll have to indulge us for a moment here, as this promotional animation video is one of our own. This Golfbidder promotional animation is bright and colourful, while covering a lot of information without being overwhelming. If we do say so ourselves.

If you’re looking for a video animation company that can help you create a promotional animation video for your business, get in touch with Jamie, our MD.

 

Guide to corporate animations and explainers

According to Cisco, video will account for 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2020. Now, granted, most of that is just cats falling asleep. But there’s a significant amount of non-feline traffic there, just waiting to be exploited by your company.

So, when it comes to commissioning a video, you’re faced with a number of difficult decisions. Chief among them is: should you go for a live-action production – or an animation? As any video animation company will tell you, animation has its advantages.

Why would you even need an animation?

Well, let’s start with the obvious: animation just lets you do more. Live-action filming is great, but it can be limiting, for the simple fact that you can’t really do anything that isn’t physically possible.

Animation has no such limitation: if you can think of it, it can be done. Want to fly? Want to go to outer space? Want to turn your CEO into an anthropomorphic goat? You can do it, and it won’t even cost that much money. But when it comes to promoting your product or service, there’s far more to it than that.

Animation CEO goat

Animation lets you stop being literal and start being fantastical and metaphorical. When your product isn’t the most immediately engaging, it can be an arresting way to present its features and benefits. When new staff don’t respond to dense training manuals or 10-year old VHS instructional videos, an animation can give them an education they’ll surely remember. If you’re trying to visualise something that hasn’t been built yet, it can help you do so.

We could name countless more. That isn’t an exaggeration: there really are countless uses for animated content.

Types of animation

There are loads of different types of animation, all with sub categories and small differences that often come down to the techniques that are used to make them. But the three main kinds used by corporates are:

Motion graphics is basically graphical images that move. Think logo stings, moving infographics, software demos and typography animations that have words animating into other words. Motion graphics is a simple, cost effective form of animation that is well suited to corporate communication. Motion graphics can also be embedded into live action video footage (remember Minority Report?)

2D character animations are extremely popular and a great way of identifying with your customer. This type of animation is a form of motion graphics that uses illustrated characters to tell a story and often has a strong narrative at its foundation.

3D animations use many of the same techniques as motion graphics and 2D animation, however objects are modelled in a 3D space to give greater depth. When working with 3D, you still have lots of creative options, including photorealistic products, abstract shapes and even characters.

Types of animation 3D 2D

Choosing a style of animation

So what style of animation should you go for?

That’s not a question we can really answer. It always comes down to your company’s target audience, personality and tone of voice. If you’re selling enterprise accounting software, you probably won’t want something bright, bouncy, and character-based – and if you’re running a children’s toy company, you probably won’t want some musty, diagrammatic animation that outlines every component of the product.

When we’ve received a commission for an animated explainer video, we first get to know the client, and make a recommendation based on their preferences, initial ideas, brand identity, and its objectives. Sometimes moodboards can be effective starting points: we’ll put together what we think the client might like, and then they select one or two images that they think best represents their brand. From there, we can narrow it down further and create a bespoke styleframe based on their feedback.

But this whole process is much easier if you prepare a thorough, comprehensive brief outlining your aims and expectations.

Briefing an agency

The best brief should contain:

Your objective

Quite simply: what’s the point of your animation? Far too many corporate videos exist for the sake of it – and consequently, far too many corporate videos are a giant waste of money. Do you want to attract higher-quality job applicants? Do you want to drive revenue? Or do you want your customers to use a self-help guide on your site instead of contacting your support desk? Whatever it is, defining your objective is the starting point for any animation project.

Your target audience

Who is this animation for?  And, perhaps more importantly, who is it not for? You don’t want to spend thousands of pounds on a video that’s not particularly relevant to your most important demographics. Telling them that your target audience is middle-aged insurance salesmen with two ex-wives will prevent the agency from creating something ‘zany’ and ‘on fleek’ for millennial teens.

Your key messages

Effective animations are seldom more than two minutes long. If you think that two minutes isn’t nearly enough time to get all of your corporate messaging across, you’re absolutely right – so don’t even try.

Whittle it down to three or four key takeaways, and ask yourself this simple question: What absolutely has to be in the video?  Remove everything else. And if you absolutely have to include more content, consider whether you need another video.

Your budget

How much money do you want to spend on your animation? There’s usually a sweet spot between Pixar and hand-drawn flip-book-level stuff, and it depends on exactly what your business needs.

Talk to the agency about the pricing structure associated with different animation formats – and be honest about what your company can and can’t afford. A video that’s only half-finished is no good to anyone.

Your deadline

Simply: when do you need it by? The longer your lead time, the better the final product, but if you’re looking to time the release of your animation with an event or a big summer promotion, tell the agency well in advance of said event.

Animation agency

Choosing an animation agency

The best animation agencies are honest, communicative, and willing to put their expertise to good use – if they don’t agree with you, or if they think it could be done more effectively another way, they’ll say so; they won’t simply take your money and shut up.

If you’re going to hire an agency, you also want an end-to-end experience with full project management and a dedicated producer; you don’t want a freelancer who’ll simply animate your idea before promptly vanishing back into the murky netherworld of the gig economy.

Before you hire them, however, look for examples of their work. If they haven’t made an animation that’s caught your eye, you probably don’t want to work with them.

There are also a few telltale signs of a poor animation to look out for when trying to decide if a company is right for you. The most obvious is the way characters and objects move. Shoddy work won’t feel fluid, and can often seem entirely unnatural.

Font size can be surprisingly telling: if they haven’t read the brand guidelines and used the correct typeface for on-screen text, you’ll be able to tell (system fonts like Arial, Myriad and others can be especially revealing). Stock illustrations, icons, and templates can also suggest a studio that’s more or less doing your project on autopilot: a surprising number will throw something together with little care or attention, colours that work together poorly or not at all, and negligible detail.

The ideal animation agency will take care of the big picture and the little things alike.

The animation process

Working with a quality agency, the animation process is straightforward.

Firstly, you’ll be assigned a dedicated producer. They’ll serve as your key point of contact and are largely there to guide you – and the employees working on your animation – through the production process. Got a complaint? Want to change something? Take it to them and they’ll work something out.

The producer will also work closely with the agency’s scriptwriters to develop a concept for your animation. Assuming you’re happy with the script – and this part of the process can take several attempts – the animation team will create a storyboard (accompanied by visual direction) that will suggest a proposed narrative for the final video. This will give you a chance to make sure you’re completely happy before the actual animation work begins.

Fortunately, it’s not your last chance. Based on your feedback, the agency will create style frames to illustrate how characters, objects and environments will look in the final animation. If they’re not quite what you’re after, you can feed back with suggested changes before the team proceeds to the next step of the process.

Most videos will require voice actors and music, and a good agency will have a large rolodex of talent to call on. They’ll send you samples, you’ll pick the ones you like best, and from there, your narration will be recorded in-studio – directed by your producer. In the edit suite, music will be added to your animation, along with any sound effects that you may require.

From there, you’ll be presented with a short preview of your animation – and if you’re happy enough to sign off, all illustrations will be designed and the first draft of your video will be uploaded for your feedback. If you require further changes, you’ll be sent further drafts.

When your animation is complete, it can typically be supplied with finished master files in your chosen format. Specific versions can also be tailored for website delivery and online hosting.

Don’t make these common mistakes

The process of commissioning an animation may be straightforward, but that doesn’t mean you can’t screw it up. Here are just a few classic mistakes.

Don’t write the script yourself – unless you’ve got your own copywriters, unless they’re experienced in writing for video, and unless they’re damned good. Leave it to the professionals.

Don’t request a proposal before you’ve got a budget. Unless the agency knows how much money they’re working with, they won’t know what to propose. Ballpark figures are fine.

Don’t overthink – or overpack – it. Not all information is essential information. Focus on what’s necessary for the video to communicate your message and hold the attention of your viewer.

Don’t involve too many stakeholders. It’s very hard to make a creatively satisfying and successful animation by committee. Your opinion absolutely matters – but ‘opinion’ isn’t plural.

Don’t feed back late.  Late feedback is feedback that takes longer to action.

Don’t project your personal wants over the requirements of the project. In the 1990s, Hollywood producer Jon Peters wanted to relaunch Superman. His big ideas were for Superman to 1) not fly 2) wear black and 3) fight a giant mechanical spider. These were all terrible, and his Superman project failed because they were terrible. The big spider was eventually featured in Wild Wild West, which is widely regarded as one of the worst movies of all time.

Don’t be Jon Peters. Don’t overcommit to bad ideas. Focus on what your project needs, not what you think is cool.

Don’t suggest your CEO does the voice over. She probably has a lovely voice. But there’s more to it than simply reading lines off the page.

Don’t do anything unless you have a plan for it. If an animation won’t help you provoke business growth, drive sales, hire better people, or meet any of your other goals, don’t spend money on an animation.

If it can, contact our MD to discuss your brief.

 

Spot the difference

Maybe the most immediately obvious, but definitely one of the least understood parts of the filmmaking process is colour grading. As technology changes at an ever increasing pace, the art and science of colour grading have become more commonplace in smaller productions. As high-end cameras have come down in price, it has opened up this mysterious and highly technical aspect of filmmaking to lower budget and smaller productions.

This new camera equipment offers increased flexibility to producers on how their final image will look. It is now possible to be more focused on colour grading as opposed to colour correction. Colour correction is fairly self-explanatory – it’s the process by which any inconsistencies in the colour of an image are addressed, usually with an aim to make the image as realistic as possible and usually a more technical treatment of the image.

Colour grading, on the other hand, is the more creative aspect of the colour process, where a colourist (or editor) will treat an image to produce a different emotional response or feeling depending on the story being told. The “flat” image out of the camera allows for much more latitude in how the picture can be manipulated by recording a higher dynamic range – more information is retained in both the shadows and the highlights of the image. With the relevant software, it’s then possible to manipulate this image to get the feel that you want from each shot.

Grading an image can have a massive effect on how it makes the viewer feel. In our video production company at TopLine, we have used blue or muted tones in projects around science and technology, lending a more serious and focused look to the film. On projects with a less information heavy focus, we might use warmer tones to help drive a more emotional response. Blue and cooler tones can also lend a horror project an unsettling atmosphere, as seen in this example we made for Absolute Radio:

The purple grade (and some lighting choices made on set too) really set a spooky unsettling tone. One of the best books on colour grading is called “If It’s Purple, Someone’s Gonna Die” and you can see from this film that we’ve really taken that adage to heart.

On most projects though, the grade is much more subtle. This recent shoot for Edenred, for example, is mostly just giving the image a realistic, natural feel but we have also chosen to really push the saturation of red colours in particular as this is the main brand colour for this client. You can also see here the difference between the raw image straight from the camera and what the finished shot looks like.

 

Because every project is unique, we always shoot a flat image with our projects here at TopLine so that we have the maximum amount of flexibility with colour grading in post-production.

As you can see colour grading can have a huge impact on a production so we always recommend allowing enough time (and consequently budget) to properly treat footage at the final stage of a project.

Why your explainer video is not getting results

An explainer video is in essence, a video which uses the technique of explaining a concept in such a way that it markets your brand. There is a wide gulf between a good explainer video and a bad one. We study the marketplace constantly and we’ve noticed that a number of mistakes appear over and over again. What’s truly frustrating for us is that those mistakes are very easy to avoid.

 

A bad video won’t achieve good results. Audience numbers will be low and there will be limited – if any – follow-on interest. So, if you have recently released an explainer video, and it’s not performing as well as expected, we just might be able to tell you why!

 

It’s too long

We know you have a lot to say and that you expect your video to be the goose that lays the proverbial golden egg – but if you try to communicate everything about your product or service, the impact will be lost. A simple, bite-sized and specifically targeted message is a lot easier for your viewers to understand and remember and will achieve better marketing results.

 

Your viewers have already clicked away

The first 30 seconds of your explainer video are incredibly important. Introduce your product or service up front as the solution to the viewer’s problem. Say it in a meaningful punchy way and use visual aids that will be memorable and attractive.

 

Your audience has no idea what you’re talking about

Keep it simple. There is nothing impressive about using jargon. All it does is make people switch off. And that’s exactly what your viewers will do. They’ll simply conclude that they’re not the target audience and click away.

 

It looks cheap

In the age of online everything, people are used to seeing quality design – they know what a good video looks like. A professional brand needs a professional looking video. If it looks like rubbish, your video will end up in the bin.

 

People can’t find it

How and where you present your video matters almost as much as the actual content. Your distribution strategy is crucial – and with an abundance of explainer videos out there online, you can’t simply sling yours onto YouTube and hope for the best. At the very least, you have to give it a good spot on your homepage and support it with an integrated marketing strategy.

 

There is no doubt that explainer videos can deliver big beautiful results for your brand. But now that everyone and his mum have produced one, you have to go the extra mile. In order to be seen, you need to consider your target audience and the best and most innovative channels to reach it.

Explainer videos can be effective if done well! Luckily, we are an experienced explainer video company with key skills in creating. If you need help creating a spectacular explainer video, we would be happy to assist. Get in touch with our MD Jamie and let’s get started!

Blending live action and animation for the best of both worlds

Imagine this: You’re in a creative brainstorm for an amazing new product that you’re launching. The meeting has been incredible so far, creative juices have been flowing, some innovative ideas have been thrown about and you’re pretty sure that the team has just come up with the best launch idea ever. Just when you think to yourself that your team has hit the jackpot, you’re immediately thrown back down to earth when Sally from marketing pipes up about the exorbitant cost that this genius idea would incur. It turns out that filming a fifty-foot, flashing Santa Clause balloon floating in the skies of London is not “practical”.

However, this does not need to be the case. There is a way in which creativity does not need to be limited (unless it involves a giant flashing Santa Clause balloon). At TopLine Comms, we’ve earned our stripes as a video production agency that understands how to deliver creative excellence that doesn’t break the bank. To overcome such barriers, we often choose to create mixed media videos. This method involves merging animation and live action video. Both live action and animation have their own pros and cons, but with mixed media videos, you can get the best of both worlds.

With animation, we are free to create anything. Literally. It gives us free reign to demonstrate anything from what the future of space travel might look like, to the ins and outs of how a piece of machinery might work. Animation is very much a ‘sky’s the limit’ approach to a project.

Not only does animation allow us to create the unimaginable for your video, but it’s also a great mechanism for selling concepts or explaining something that is very technical. Humans are naturally visual creatures, and therefore will understand concepts more easily with a visual aid. In this sense, animation can bring abstract or complex concepts to life, allowing us to create a story that can evoke emotion that resonates with viewers.

Animation is a stylish art form that can be used across all sectors in different capacities. It’s engaging, memorable and effective. In addition to this, animation can often be cheaper to produce and easier to amend/alter should the information need to be changed in the future. If animation sparks your interest, contact our brilliant animation team to find out more.

On the other side of the spectrum is live action or camera facing work. This technique also has its own benefits. It is a human and personal approach. We know that people love to see faces – instinctively, we are drawn to real humans. Therefore, we choose to use live action for case studies and testimonials. However, like a pink sequined disco jacket, there is a time and a place. In the same way that animation is limitless and fantastical, live action is very much grounded in reality. It can reassure the viewer that what they’re looking at isn’t a fantasy, it’s very much real and they’re staring right at the proof. Ultimately, we use live action to bring a human element to videos, where it is constrained by comfortable reality (unlike animation).

If you’re wondering which method we prefer to use at TopLine, our answer is both! We often merge live action and animation to create mixed media videos to bring stories and concepts to life. We know that our audience responds well to seeing a person, but also realise that people love to engage their imaginations in videos. Blending the two allows the videos we create to cut through the digital noise. This is because it makes the videos dynamic and keeps viewers engaged for longer.

In the end, it all depends on the purpose of the video and the message we are trying to portray. However, by using the mixed media method, a new and innovative type of video is born. If you’re wanting to find out more about mixed media videos, or if you can’t afford to float a giant Santa Clause balloon across your city, then contact our expert video team.