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Live Shoot v/s Simple Animation - Which one is the better bet?

Oct 12, 2015 2:04:34 AM

That's true that most of the videos you would have ever come across are either 2D animation videos or 3D animation explainer videos. Very few companies go for the live shoots..

This trend has been observed because of 2 major reasons --

Primarily, the live shoots dig a deep hole in your pocket...yes, they are too expensive if compared to 2D or 3D animation explainer videos.

Secondly, they require a very long time to be made. A 2D or 3D animation explainer video is more or less wrapped in 4 to 6 weeks whereas a live shoot may take up to 3 months!

Besides budget, here are some other, more interesting ways to consider the live action vs. animation debate for your video project:

1)   What is most the appropriate and compelling way to understand the product/service?

If you are selling a new kind of blue jeans, maybe it’s important to show that real people look good in them. But what if people who aren’t tech-savvy just don’t get your new app when you try to explain it? If the information is complex or intimidating, animation can help to make it more “friendly.” If the content is abstract, animation can help make it tangible. For example, if you want to show how your app is somehow able to do things behind the scenes, where you won’t have screenshots, it can be challenging to know what to show. Animation is very powerful in these types of situations.

2)   Use of creative language:

We all use metaphors, exaggeration and humor to help explain things and grab people’s attention (Ex. “The tip of the iceberg!” “The straw that broke the camel’s back” or “flat as a pancake”). These kinds of images work particularly well in short videos. However, actually filming an iceberg or a camel might blow your budget if you really wanted to film it. Sure, there are probably ways to get around it, I’m just saying.

3)   How hard is it to locate a live action actor who can appeal to all “types” of people?

We’ve had some clients who say they come to us because they don’t want to worry about whether a live action spokesperson is a particular race or age… or what their living room furniture looks like in the background. There are just too many distractions with live action, so they want to communicate their message in a clear and simple way. In such cases a very generic, simple character can do the trick. The character doesn’t even have to be human! Even if we want to illustrate diverse ethnicities or ages, it is easier and cheaper to just draw those people than to hire a lot of actors.

4)   How much action is involved, and how complicated is it?

If you are doing some really complicated motions involving a lot of people, it is probably easier to hire actors for live action. For example, you want to show a disco full of people dancing or you have a complicated fight scene. Animating this kind of scene in a way that the motions look natural can be hard to accomplish on a limited budget.

5)   Are you planning to translate the video?

If you want to dub the video in a second language, you won’t succeed--without humorous effect--if the actors are speaking to the camera. Animation is easy to dub into multiple languages, because animated lip syncing makes it simpler than with live action. Even timing can be easily tweaked to accommodate for the length or brevity of translations in different languages.

6)   It’s not either-or.

I hope it’s obvious that animation can also be combined very well with live action, so this doesn’t have to always be an either-or discussion. For example, one video  can be benefited from both the “real people” aspect of live action and the humorous and unexpected idea of animation. You may also incorporate photos and live action into the animation style video. For example we made a video for Vitrola, in which we combined both the styles, i.e. Live Action and 2D animation.

The possibilities are sort of endless with custom animation. And there are probably an endless list of ways that the blue jeans you are selling could be better sold with some animation to help out too.

Which video style worked for your brand? Tell us in the comments below.

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