Hager supplies electrical installation solutions for residential, commercial and industrial buildings. The company needed an animation to showcase a product, with the user then able to select from a series of short video clips depicting individual aspects. The result was a slick product presentation system that also works on mobile devices – and cost-effective too, due to innovative re-use of some existing video footage.
It would be much easier if we could think like a Dalek and exterminate all humans from animations.
Why? Well, you may know that making human movement look realistic is one of the hardest things to do in an animation? That’s because the human mind is hard-wired to spot discomfort and unnatural movement in other human figures. After all, in real life, its something that we do all day and every day.
We instinctively know what does and doesn’t look right. If you see a poor piece of animation, you’ll know when “It just doesn’t look right”. Our brains don’t like it and they focus on why. That’s a strange way to move – is he hurt? Why does he look so uncomfortable?
As our minds focus on these things, we are paying attention to the clunky execution of the animation – rather than to whatever key message you were trying to get across.
Nowadays, the art of animating humans is improving fast – if you have the money.
For example, look at the technological leap between the two Avengers films. In just a few years the improvement in realism of animated characters and the definition of faces and expressions has been incredible. But not everyone has the budget required to motion capture Mark Ruffalo’s face, so for lesser mortals (and most business customers) animators instead have clever tricks for implying – rather than showing – human movement.
By clever positioning and sequencing, there are ways of implying to the human mind that movement has actually taken place – it hasn’t, but our minds feel that it has and we are content with this.
It does take endless hours of experience, but its a skill that all good animators need – the ability to fool the human mind for its own benefit, using shortcuts and implications which our minds find more acceptable than watching the full sequence of movement.
Cunning, isn’t it? It still looks good, it lets the viewer’s mind focus on what you really wanted to talk about in the first place – and it saves you money, too.
The Interactive City
We have created an advanced interactive marketing system for Lucy Switchgear, a global leader in secondary power distribution solutions. A centrepiece for the company’s exhibition stand, the Interactive City shows the location of switching and protection products within a city’s major infrastructure types (ports, hospitals, airport etc) as well as the interconnecting electrical distribution systems. Based on interactive map technology, the system allows instant call-up of technical and quality information, animations showing correct product use and maintenance and examples of locations where Lucy’s products are used around the world. As well as exhibition use, the system will be adapted for online, sales and training purposes.
Image and animation orders for major cable manufacturers
We have taken a series of orders from cable manufacturers for computer-generated 3D images of products – a growing line of business for us. In these latest wins, we have secured orders from three major cable manufacturing clients – adding to our list of cable-based clients and cable ancillary clients (including gland and harness manufacturers).
Advanced FPSO off-loading animation
We have been chosen to supply an animation of advanced FPSO off-loading technology for Techflow Marine – a leading supplier of specialist products to the offshore oil & gas and marine industries, whose products include FPSO/FSU fluid transfer, hose handling and tandem mooring systems.
Showcase valve animations for Vortex Valves
Vortex Valves is a global manufacturer of slide gates, diverters and iris valves for handling dry bulk powders, pellets, granules and aggregates. The company has asked us to supply various animations of their product range that specifically highlights the features and advantages of their advanced products.