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Animating Lockdown: Adland’s Trusty Resource


Animation studio Blind Pig reflects on the lessons learnt in lockdown 1.0 and 2.0 and how we can put them into practice during lockdown 3.0 and beyond

Animating Lockdown: Adland’s Trusty Resource
We don’t need to say it. 2020 was a rough ride. But the incredible thing about our industry is that is does not falter in the face of adversity. We adapt, we grow, and we pull each other through.

From a professional stance, we’ve gained incredible new experiences from our amazing clients over the past ten months. We’ve also learnt to keep Zoom meetings brief and explanations short.

So here it is – our three key takeaways from the 2020 period and how the industry will continue to rely on them in 2021.

Craft as king in lockdown 1.0 was an initial observation from a new client of ours, Backhausen, who specialise in creating bespoke fabrics. But we soon found out it wasn’t limited to professional environments. Suddenly, our Instagram feeds were becoming littered with new creative accounts from our super talented chums who had finally found the space and place to explore their craftier sides.

The home-made, hand-crafted and home-baked followed us deep into lockdown two and three (although we never want to eat another slice of banana bread again, thanks) and craft remains a hugely ramped up offering from an animation perspective. Texture and handcrafted artistry as seen in our collaboration with Backhausen have become sought after outcomes and we even gave the humble doodle its share of the limelight in Boots’ recent ‘Happy’ campaign.

We’ve clapped for carers, we’ve gotten to know our neighbours and we’ve really cherished our time with friends. Being distanced from our family and loved ones has brought home just how important our relationships are and how much we truly depend on one another. Advertising has long been concerned with human stories, but the intensity of personal experiences in the past year or so means they have been tricker to capture and share.

The pharma industry, for example, relies heavily on patient testimonials. But how do you elevate this content from the depths of ‘just another Zoom call’ aesthetic? Enter animation, stage left.

For a recent project entitled ‘Self’, animation allowed us to augment self-shot testimonies, bringing the patients’ important stories to life in a bold and vivid way. Archive assets are also a great way of telling tales, without relying on recently shot footage - something Ancestry’s campaigns capture perfectly. We used multi-plane animation and textural atmospherics to authentically display human stories from a totally different era. A genuine nod to the generations that precede ours.

If something was difficult in 2019, you can pretty much guarantee it got even more tricky when the pandemic hit. It probably continues to be pretty fiddly, a year on. There are always challenges in our business – part of our remit is to help find creative solutions! For a long time, filming in 2020 was, if not impossible then pretty damn undesirable, so we as an industry needed to explore other avenues.

If a manufactured product is for sale, be it a car, a shoe, or anything in-between, you can bet your bottom dollar there is a CAD model of it in existence. By taking these models and tweaking them, you open up a door to limitless animation opportunities – a shoot alternative many brands are continuing to embrace with open arms.

We adopted this technique for Wacom’s campaign, we recreating the actual textures of the product. We wanted to use cameras to explore it, but it was also really important to show the product in use, so, we created graphics and animation for the screen, then animated the pen as if it were creating them.

So there you have it, (we said we’d be brief!) our top three takeaways from animation in the year 2020 – a year so eventful they named it twice. Who knows what 2021 has in store for us all, but we’re certainly embracing the process. If, like us, you want to chat more about all things animation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. And who knows, we might even be able to do it in person soon enough!

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Genres: Visual VFX, Animation

Blind Pig, Mon, 08 Feb 2021 12:38:26 GMT