Friday, 10 July 2015

Friday sketch: Cartoon for painter and political activist Atena Farghadani

After reading Atena’s story I felt compelled to draw attention to her plight whilst exercising the freedom to draw political cartoons. Atena Farghadani peacefully protested against her Government through her art and was arrested, beaten and sentenced to over 12 years in prison. She has committed no crime. Visit Amnesty International to see how you can help free Atena.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

The Engagement Coach - Explainer animation for employee engagement

One of my clients has launched their new business' website which has one of my animations on grin emoticon Go Check out it's a really lovely design!
Last month I made this animation for The Engagement Coach. Basically they teach managers how to help their employees to be happier and create better work environments. Amrit who hired me is a really nice guy and genuinely cares about making better working environments for people. He also gave me a lot of creative freedom with the animation as he wanted an explainer animation that looked different and stood out.
So I developed this ethereal animation style and used human hand metaphors to suit the abstract concepts within employee engagement. The colours and rendering of the animation area also designed to compliment the existing brand.
For those interested in more technical parts - the hand animation was rotoscoped in After Effects from video footage of mine and my partner's hands. I also included a few particle effects and lots of layer style glow.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Choice Support - Charity Animation

Choice Support are a social care and disability charity based in London. They approached our animation studio after seeing our other cause based animations. The charity is celebrating their 30th anniversary, and they wanted a time line motion graphics video to highlight their achievements and explain what the charity does to help disabled and disadvantaged people.

We worked closely with their communications manager to plan the animation structure and how to combine motion graphics with live photo and film footage. Choice Support wrote a script which we edited it and adapted it for animation. Once Choice Support were happy with the script content and length, we began creating the animation visuals and storyboards.

The finished video was screened at Choice Support's 30th anniversary celebration evening. The animated video is also embedded on their website, shared on their social media channels and has been burned to DVDs to share with their service users.


The animation style

Choice Support has an established brand that incorporates their values so we designed an animation style which would compliment their other marketing materials. They have also carried elements of the animation over into their latest printed marketing material. We sent the character illustration files to their designer to use so we have helped develop their branding and visual identity further. It was important to include real footage of the people that Choice Support helps. So we designed a character illustration style that sensitively depicted disabled people. This was achieved by developing a few concepts, sending them for review then receiving feedback from the Choice Support team and using it to develop the final designs.

The voice over and music

The animation's voice overs were done by two of Choice Support's trustees and are featured in the animation. Kevin went to a recording studio then delivered the raw sound file to us for editing. Helen came to the studio to record her voice over. Our sound track supplier, Haynes Music Productions wrote an original music score to add greater emotional depth to the video. Ben Haynes sent music style samples to Choice Support then created a composition based on their feedback. The score works in time with the pace of the animation and was edited to work with the narration and video clips.

Project management

All of the project was conducted remotely between Choice Support's office in London and our studio in Derby via phone calls and emails. At the beginning of the project we both agreed on a production schedule to ensure all project milestones were met so the animation was delivered in time for the 30th Anniversary celebrations. From beginning to delivery, the animated video took 6 weeks to produce.

Choice Support's feedback on the animation 
 "Mair provided a fantastic service from beginning to end of the project. I am very happy with the animation she has created to celebrate our 30th anniversary. The charity I work for is called Choice Support. We support adults with learning disabilities and Mair took on board a very detailed brief to tell our story and sensitively draw up characters to represent the people we have supported over the last 30 years. I would recommend Mair to anyone looking for a professional, high quality but good value animation production service. "

Animation production software and applications

  • Microsoft word for script writing
  • Toon Boom Storyboard and Adobe InDesign CC to plan the animation together.
  • Adobe acrobat for sending concept work and receiving feedback.
  • Dropbox (pro subscription) for file sharing
  • Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator the the animation graphic assets
  • Adobe After Effects for the animation and motion graphics
  • Logic Pro for the voice over edits and music composition.
  • Adobe Media Encoder for output and delivery of several file types.