Interview with Mixed Media Wunderkinds Tiny Inventions
Tiny Inventions is the directing team of Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter. They have caused a sensation in the animation world with their unique technique that combines stop-motion and hand-crafted photographed elements with After Effects puppetry. But of course, it would mean nothing if they weren't masterful storytellers. We caught up with them during the production of their new film, Negative Space. Do not click away without seeing their work!
PICK OF THE WEEK: Planet Unknown (3D Animation)
Did you like Pixar's WALL-E? What about Toy Story? Or how about just compelling buddy stories in general? If you answered yes to any of that, then there's a strong chance you'll enjoy Shawn Wang's thoughtful, accessible and endlessly endearing animated short Planet Unknown.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Where Do Great Ideas Come From? (Animated Short)
What do great ideas and fishing have in common? According to filmmaker David Lynch: a lot. And in an interview with The Atlantic, he beautifully and eloquently describes why. The audio from that interview was plucked and now serves as the centerpiece of an animated short that's bound to engage, inspire and, ideally, help you better "catch" ideas.
PICK OF THE WEEK: The Airport of the Future (Animated Video)
What will the airport of the future look like? What will it feel like? And where, twenty years from now, will even we be going? The Vancouver Airport Authority sought to answer these questions with a gorgeous 30-second animated video that gives us a glimpse into what might be...
PICK OF THE WEEK: Ripaille (a Gobelins Animated Short)
Have you ever looked at art from centuries ago and thought to yourself: those "simpler times" don't look like very much fun? In Ripaille, that's exactly what our two main characters—a pair of museum-dwellers; Ségolène and Martine—think as they observe paintings from the Middle Ages. But suddenly, much to their surprise, the art comes to life and shows them a whole other side of the Middle Ages.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Invisible (CGI 3D Animated Short)
Finding love is hard enough. But when you're a shy chameleon—who vanishes from visibility whenever you get nervous—it can be downright brutal. Is there any hope? Animators Michael Trikosko and Andrew Wilson aim to answer this question in their charming animated short Invisible, which we've selected as our PICK OF THE WEEK.
An Interview with NYT Senior Graphics Editor Graham Roberts
Last week, we raved about The New York Times' latest 360 video: The Modern Olympic Games, which transported viewers back in time to some of the greatest moments in Olympic history. To learn more about how that wonderfully immersive virtual experience was crafted, we spoke with Graham Roberts.
Phil Amalong: Confessions of a Piano-Playing, Mountain-Biking Serial Entrepreneur
Growing up, Phil Amalong dreamed about a career in music.
Like most of us, Phil Amalong has many interests. But what makes Amalong different is that he has a habit of turning those interests into businesses. It started back in the 80s—when his lifelong passion for the piano led to the founding of his first company—and continues to this day. Not only with companies he founded but his entrepreneurial spirit and marketing expertise have also led him to several interesting places along the way. Like Freedom, the popular digital distraction solution (which we wrote about a few weeks back), where he currently serves as the Director of Marketing.
INTERVIEWS WITH ANIMATORS: Ying Wu
In this week’s installment, we speak with talented, recent-grad, Ying Wu...
Last week, in our PICK OF THE WEEK, we wrote about Spellbound, an adorable animated short, which was created by Ying Wu and Lizzia Xu as their thesis project at Ringling College of Art and Design. To learn more about how Spellbound was made and get some insight into how Ringling helps shape young animators, we spoke with Ying Wu.
PICK OF THE WEEK: The Modern Olympic Games (360 Video)
Have you been following the Olympics? Well, our PICK OF THE WEEK allows you to do more than just enjoy the 2016 Rio Games. With The Modern Olympic Games, a 360 video from The New York Times, viewers can be transported back in time to some of the most iconic Olympic moments from the past century. From Babe Didrikson's triumphs in 1932 to the record-breaking feats of Usain Bolt in 2008. And, because of the 360-degree video format, viewers will actually feel like they are there; observing and embracing the virtual reality of these frozen, golden moments...
PICK OF THE WEEK: Spellbound (3D Animated Short)
"Be careful what you wish for."
We've all heard that expression and undoubtedly experienced variations of this adage-in-action at various points throughout our lives. But, as adults, most of us have probably forgotten how silly those words sounded to us when we were kids. Careful? About what we wish for? What could possibly go wrong?! Well, our PICK OF THE WEEK—a 3D animated short called Spellbound—attempts to answer those questions and brings this old adage to life in a thoughtful and endearing manner.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Economics is for Everyone! (Whiteboard Animation)
Economics is important...but much too complicated for non-economists to understand, right? Well, economist Ha-Joon Chang begs to differ. At least on a fundamental level. He believes that every single person can and should get their head around basic economics. And his perspective has never been more accessible than it is in our PICK OF THE WEEK: Economics is for Everyone!, an engaging, explainer video based on a recent speech given by Ha-Joon Chang.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Hi5 (explainer video)
When hiring personnel, we’re all looking for superheroes. But as most of us have learned from experience (as well as a decade of Marvel movies!) superheroes don’t always get along. Getting talented employees to collaborate can often be a challenge. But as we’ll see in our PICK OF THE WEEK—an explainer video for Hi5, a brand that assists companies conduct co-worker reviews—there might now be some effective solutions to help solve this problem.
INTERVIEWS WITH ANIMATORS: David Heredia
In this week’s installment, we speak with (animation) hero of color David Heredia…
Last week we raved about a wonderful, dynamic and educational series of whiteboard animation called Heroes of Color. As we noted in our PICK OF THE WEEK blog post, this was the second episode of the series. So it felt fitting for us to bring back its creator, the great David Heredia, for a second interview. This time we dug deep into his graffiti-filled background and discussed how he got into (and then out of, and then back into again) animation. And, along the way, Heredia delighted us with insights and anecdotes of inspiration.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Fix Florida by Costa Sunglasses (Explainer Video)
Have you ever been to a place so beautiful that photos and videos simply don't do it justice? Of course, we all have. And we've all thought: well, then I wish there was another way for me to express the magic I've just experienced. Oftentimes, our solution is through narrative. To tell a story that--through physical description and personal experience--can convey that elusive magic about a place.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Heroes of Color- Gaspar Yanga (Whiteboard Animation)
Last year, we raved about a wonderful (and educational!) example of whiteboard animation called Heroes of Color, which highlighted the Harlem Hellfighters. The Harlem Hellfighters were an African-American infantry unit in WWI who spent more time in combat than any other American unit. In that video, animator David Heredia (of Heredia Designs) did a terrific job of introducing these heroes in an explainer video that was both compelling and captivating and compelling from start to finish. And in the newest episode of this groundbreaking series--this week's PICK OF THE WEEK--we're pleased to say Heredia's done it again.
PICK OF THE WEEK: The Berlin Candy Bomber (Explanation Video)
War, as any soldier will tell you, is hell. That's why it's rare to come across a war story that is upbeat and uplifting for all parties involved. But such tales do exist, and it's a joy to seem them brought to light. Which is exactly what our PICK OF THE WEEK has done with The Berlin Candy Bomber, a two-minute explanation video that blends animation with interview footage to tell the tale of, Gail Halvorsen, a retired officer in the United States Air Force who, during World War II, was best known to children all over Germany as "The Chocolate Flier."
PICK OF THE WEEK: Accidents, Blunders and Calamities (CGI Animation)
If possums read bedtime stories to their children, what kind of stories would they read? Filmmaker James Cunningham and his students at New Zealand's Media Design School posited that perhaps they read cautionary tales about the most deadly predator out there: humans! To bring this notion to life, they produced a beautiful and hilarious animated short entitled Accidents, Blunders and Calamities, which we've selected as our PICK OF THE WEEK.
What Makes Something “Kafkaesque”? (Explainer Video)
Who among us hasn't heard the descriptor "Kafkaesque" before? And who among us, at one time or another, hasn't wondered exactly what that word means? Well, we needn't wonder any more as the term is analyzed and beautifully explained in our PICK OF THE WEEK: a clever new explainer video entitled "What Makes Something "Kafkaesque"?
PICK OF THE WEEK: “Make The Future” (Motion Graphics Explainer Video)
At the end of this month, Shell will be hosting a four-day festival of ideas and innovation called "Make The Future." The event, which will run from June 30 to July 3, promises to provide a rare glimpse into "the future of our cities, our energy and the lives we’ll soon be living."
An Interview with Entrepreneurs Kyle Racki & Kevin Springer
When it comes to entrepreneurship, there's no better source of information than those who have lived it themselves. That's why we feel so lucky to welcome entrepreneurs Kyle Racki and Kevin Springer to talk about partnership, startups and the challenges of building a business.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Mr. Seed (CGI Explainer)
If you care about your food, your children, or the future of all mankind, then ___________.
How many times in your life have you heard a bold, future-hangs-in-the-balance message that sounds something like that? Probably enough times to make you think twice. That's normal. Maybe it's because we've all been burned by blustery messages like that or maybe it's because we occasionally feel burdened by them; either way, messages like that tend to go in one ear and out the next.
PICK OF THE WEEK: The New Plastics Economy (Explainer Video)
Most of us use plastics on a daily basis. Nevertheless, most of us probably don't ever think twice about the economics of plastic. Luckily, however, getting viewers to think more deeply about seemingly ordinary topics is just one of the many benefits that an explainer video can offer. For proof of that, look no further than The New Plastics Economy, a fast-paced, thoughtful explainer that we've selected as our PICK OF THE WEEK.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Fame in the 21st Century (An Explainer)
When we think about explainer videos, we tend to think about those that illustrate businesses, introduce new products or teach valuable lessons. Rarely, however, do we find an explainer video that talks about culture. But given how much cultural trends can influence all of the above (business, products, lessons), such videos can be useful to help us better understand our surroundings. And that opportunity for analysis--and how it's cleverly brought to life via an explainer--is one of the things that we really liked about Luiz Stockler's Grooming Your Stardom, which we've selected as our PICK OF THE WEEK.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Flattr Plus (Animated Teaser)
Whenever you go online, internet ads are just a part of life. Right? Well, maybe not. At least if Flattr Plus has their way. Flattr Plus is a microdonation provider--a joint venture between Flattr and Adblock Plus--whose goal is to eliminate online ads by directly paying content creators instead. To help launch the product and spread the word about this bold endeavor, Flattr Plus created a smart, swift animated teaser that we've selected as our PICK OF THE WEEK.
PICK OF THE WEEK: The Cook-Off (Character Animation)
Competition brings out the best in us, right? Perhaps, but sometimes that competitive spirit needs to be tempered with some humility to progress. This is a lesson that's learned by the passionate, pastry-making protagonist of Hanna Cho's The Cook-Off, a great example of 2D character animation that we've selected as our PICK OF THE WEEK.
PICK OF THE WEEK: How OnHub Keeps Your Wi-Fi Fast (Explainer)
At home or at work, Wi-Fi connectivity plays a big part in our daily lives. But what if I told you that your Wi-Fi experience could be even better? Faster? Smoother? More consistent? Well that's exactly what OnHub promises to deliver. And to help get the word out, they've created a fun, flashy, motion graphics explainer video in How OnHub Keeps Your Wi-Fi Fast that we've selected as our PICK OF THE WEEK.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Should You Trust Unanimous Decisions? (explainer)
To help make our own decisions, we often rely on the decisions made by friends, family members and anonymous audiences. So it stands to reason that the more consensus there is amongst their decisions, the more sure we should be about our own, right? Well...not quite. That's because there are hidden variables at play; unseen factors that influence decision. Luckily, to help make us more aware of these hidden forces and the potential dangers, there's a crafty, compelling explainer video entitled Should You Trust Unanimous Decisions?, which we've selected as our PICK OF THE WEEK.
INTERVIEWS WITH ANIMATORS: Amaël Isnard
In this week's installment, we speak with the French Animator Amaël Isnard.
You might remember Amaël Isnard from our PICK OF THE WEEK series, when we featured his explainer video Newton's 3 Laws of Motion last month. To learn more about how that explainer was made, how he got into the animation industry and how he approaches creating unique characters, we spoke with to get the inside scoop.
The History of RSA Animate
In this space we often talk about how useful whiteboard animation can be for clear messaging and video marketing — but we’ve rarely touched upon the origin of this style and technique. So that’s precisely what we’re going to do today. We’re going to look at the origins of RSA Animate, and explore how this groundbreaking animation series managed to so quickly and convincingly popularize the concept of whiteboard animation.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Introducing the Reddit Mobile App (Motion Graphics)
As businesses grow, particularly those in the social and tech spaces, they often reach a point where it makes sense for them to create their very own mobile app. Well, it makes sense to them. But it might not always make sense to their customers and users. Or, at the least, it's unfamiliar and potentially daunting to those who have grown accustomed to interacting with that business/service in a different capacity. As a result, it can be quite challenging for brands to introduce mobile apps. That's why we were particularly impressed by a cool, crafty explainer video entitled Introducing the Reddit Mobile App, which we've selected as our PICK OF THE WEEK.
INTERVIEWS WITH ANIMATORS: Natalie Labarre
Today, we're pleased to kick off an exciting new series for the blog: Interviews with Animators, where each week we'll be chatting with someone who works in the trenches to get an inside look at what it's like to be an animator.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Time Smash (3D Animation)
If we, as a society, have learned anything from Back to the Future, it's that time travel can be a dangerous endeavor. How dangerous? Well, if you accidentally leave your cat behind, that could potentially wipe out humankind as we know it. At least according to Ben Reicher's smart, stylish animated short Time Smash, which we've selected as our PICK OF THE WEEK.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Mrs. Meyer’s Home Maker (animated video)
Even if you love what you do and have a talent for that craft, it can be hard to figure out how to monetize your skill and your passion. This was a challenge faced by an Iowa homemaker named Thelma A. Meyer, who wanted to create a cleaning product that not only worked great, but smelled great as well. The result of her inspiration was a successful line of Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day products. Now, to give back, the company is looking to help other DIYers replicate that kind of success. And to woo submissions for the "First-Ever Mrs. Meyer's Home Maker," they created an engaging, inspiring animated video that we've selected as our PICK OF THE WEEK.
PICK OF THE WEEK: 5 Tips to Improve Your Critical Thinking (explainer)
Every day, all of us are faced with thousands of choices. With so many possibilities, it's impossible to make the right decision every time. But it would be great to understand why we make certain decisions and even greater, especially for those tough choices, to implement a technique for objective analysis and evaluation. That's exactly what "critical thinking" is and it's the focus of our PICK OF THE WEEK: a well-structured and enlightening explainer called 5 Tips to Improve Your Critical Thinking.
Behind The Scenes: Tenneco’s AEGIS Explainer Video
A little while back, we had the pleasure of working with Tenneco to help them create an explainer video about their new environmental health and safety-tracking program called AEGIS. With over 25,000 employees and offices on six continents, this explainer would need to be accessible to a global audience and persuade viewers that AEGIS is a tool that will ultimately save them time and increase efficiency.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion (explainer video)
Figuring out how to explain Newton's three laws of motion is tough. But figuring out how to do that and make viewers actually care? That's a brutal challenge. Yet it's one that is beautifully achieved in a new explainer video by the Royal Observatory Greenwich aptly titled Newton's 3 Laws of Motion, which we've selected as our PICK OF THE WEEK.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Facebook Best Practices (explainer video)
The prevalence of social media is more than just a reality; nowadays, it's a necessity. But given the short history of even the most popular social media platforms (i.e. Facebook, Twitter) as well as their quickly evolving nature, it can be hard to be aware of all the DO's and the DONT's. To help bring light to this issue, and direct users towards more information, Facebook has released a beautiful Best Practices video, which we've selected as our PICK OF THE WEEK.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Rock, Paper, Scissors (Animated Video)
Who wore it best?
That's the question that most Academy Award viewers are left wondering after the Oscars. This year, however, I found myself wondering something else entirely: Who animated that? And as much I loved seeing the Minions on stage, and admired several of the animated films contention, this question on the tip of my tongue--who animated that?--came in response to this wonderful commercial that we've now selected as our PICK OF THE WEEK:
PICK OF THE WEEK: How Miscommunication Happens (Animated Video)
Whether at home or in the office, do you find yourself frequently colliding with moments of miscommunication? With so many diverse ways to interact these days—and the increasingly diverse backgrounds of those interacting—it’s almost hard to imagine that miscommunication, in some form, isn’t part of everyone’s daily lives. But why does it happen? And, more importantly, what can be done to minimize its frequency? These are the questions that lie at the heart of our PICK OF THE WEEK: an insightful animated video aptly titled How Miscommunication Happens.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Vitaminwater (explainer video)
Doesn't it seem like Vitaminwater is sold just about everywhere these days? Well, that's because it pretty much is. Impressive! But perhaps what's most impressive about Vitaminwater's omnipresence is that the beverage was launched only 16 years ago, and with the most humble of origins. How humble are those origins and how quickly has Vitaminwater grown? That's what our PICK OF THE WEEK was created to tell us.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Big Data (animated demo)
Last week, many of the world’s political and business leaders met in Davos, Switzerland for the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) conference. The official theme of this year’s meeting was “mastering the fourth industrial revolution,” which entailed looking at technical innovations—from artificial intelligence to virtual reality—and talking about how these things will change the way we live and work in the future.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Spicy (3D Animation)
Have you ever ordered a lizard from Mexico and then dressed him up to look more like a vampire? Me neither. But that strange question serves as the premise for our PICK OF THE WEEK: an exciting and endearing 3D animation called Spicy.
PICK OF THE WEEK: An Explain Video About Multi-Asset Investing
Asset management is important to many businesses and individual investors, but it can be an intimidating topic to wrap one's head around. Intimidating and, let's face it, a dry subject matter to talk about in the abstract. That's what makes our PICK OF THE WEEK all the more impressive. From start to finish, The Seven Deadly Sins of Multi-Asset Investing is a fun, tremendously accessible explain video that really shows off the tonal versatility of animation.
Who is Stan Freberg?
Yesterday, our art director (and talented author!) Robert Kopecky asked if I'd ever heard of a "Stan Freberg." When I shook my head, a curious smile curled across his face as he waved me over for an introduction to his work. So who, exactly, is Stan Freberg? A man of many talents...
The Pros of Con: Animation Providers and Beyond!
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been re-watching some cheesy-but-fun older TV shows like Entourage, The O.C. and Veronica Mars. In addition to reinforcing that teenage angst is grossly overrated, these shows also reminded me that it wasn’t all that long ago that Comic-Con was perceived very differently than it is today. Even though all three of those shows were on the air less than ten years ago, they all portrayed Comic-Con as some kind of hardcore nerd-only man-child extravaganza. And, amazingly, I believe that was pretty accurate for the time. But over the past decade that perception has changed, as the event has evolved into something of a taste-making, geek chic event.
An Explainer for outside The Office
Oftentimes, explainer videos are used for corporate purposes--either to alert employees or inform consumers--but in California, which is in the midst of a horrendous drought, the state has turned to an animated explainer (voiced by The Office's Steve Carell) to help get out the message...