Product animation projects often start as the client's recognition of a need for video content. It may be driven by a new product launch, a freshly minted marketing plan or budget, or a need to renew interest in an established or declining product. Proposals are requested for the usual content marketing channels, primarily video for a YouTube channel and a video embedded into the product website page(s). While there is a huge amount of value to be gained from these channels, there are a significant amount of additional assets that can be gleaned from the work that goes into creating a 3D animation. Let's look at some of these!
Product marketing videos are typically a one- to three-minute presentation, covering a range of features of a given product and the resulting benefits that the customer sees. However, we find that during the animation production process, certain shots are especially interesting or illustrative to viewers. These key sequences can be replicated as separate, short animations to complement the original long-form animation. What do these shorter clips offer?
These shorter clips are usually only an incremental cost to produce, especially if taken into account early on in the production process. In some cases, these clips can be made to be seamlessly looping, so that they can continue to play over and over again, giving the appearance of a much longer video while keeping file size and playback requirements very low.
Since video frames are typically rendered at HD resolutions, it takes very little extra effort to generate a series of still images based on the assets created for the project. As of today, high-definition renderings at 4K resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels) are on the same order of magnitude as a high-end camera, and renderings can be created that are many times that. So the capacity for high-resolution, print-ready image generation is here as part of the animation setup.
By generating stills from an animation project, you can create a library of product images to share with the media, even before the product enters production! Consider also that you are not limited to just photo-realistic appearances with 3D renderings. Through our technical illustration services, we can create line drawings or other abstracted styles to add some diversity to your marketing images.
The key to gaining these additional assets at little to no additional cost is to plan ahead, and have a "wish list" of art assets ready at the beginning of the project. There are always new discoveries that happen during the production process, but so much more can be accomplished if we plan ahead during the early storyboarding and visual layout phase. In addition, some production techniques might change if we know there is a specific need. For example, a poster or wall-sized trade show graphic would require very high-resolution images, which in turn would affect the size of the textures to be displayed on a 3D model. (Textures are the images used to create image patterns on the surface of a 3D model, such as printed labels, logos, metallic grain, and even small bumps.) A low-resolution texture in a high-resolution rendering can result in some pretty ugly labels and logos!
With any luck, this article has given you some additional things to think about as you plan out your animation project. Contact us to get answers to your questions about product animation or to discuss your upcoming project.