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Duracell Case Study

Challenge:

Create a highly entertaining product demo video for the launch of Duracell’s new Powermat wireless power system for their exhibit at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The video also needed to reflect the Powermat brand’s campaign look, feel, and tone.

Solution:

We knew that CES was a critical forum for the client’s product launch. So our creative team had to work fast.

Working directly with Phonevalley—Duracell’s mobile marketing agency at the time—we got a sense of the functions and features of the iPhone app that they were developing.

At this stage there were no creative navigational screens developed, so the Indigo team had to build an entire application UX from scratch.

Our team worked out a high energy five-minute looping app demo that used animations to showcase various features of the Powermat application, including augmented reality overlays, Google Maps integrations, gamification, and battery consumption notifications.  Then we created a hip, fast-paced soundtrack to set the right tone, and produced the video to adhere to the monitor display standards and the unique environment in which it would be viewed.

Results: 

The client loved the video and ended up using the production as the centerpiece for their ongoing partnership and consumer marketing.

At CES, the video monitor displaying the video was the most highly trafficked area in their exhibit booth. The video was the perfect companion piece to share the vision for the Powermat product line with potential partners and press.

And the mobile app designs became the creative fodder for the mobile agency in their development approach.

Details:

This video was intended to be the centerpiece of a product exhibit  designed to communicate to the press the vision of the Powermat ecosystem and mobile platform for customer engagement. Most critical was the video needed to include an engaging demo of the Powermat iPhone app—which had not yet been created—and we had only two months to get the project completed. So, essentially, our team had to build a user interface design for a mobile application and animate the user experience for an app that was still in the concept stage.

The mobile application animations and designs that we created became the basis of the actual app produced by the mobile marketing agency. Some of the ways that we executed the features inspired the client to push the app further than they planned.

The client originally intended to use the video only at CES, but the reaction and execution were so well received and did such a good job at communicating the bigger vision for the product that they ended up using it in multiple touch points well after CES.

Production notes:

We had to build a very slick and fast-paced animation to keep the viewer engaged for the two-minute looping frames.  We leveraged our extensive experience as we planned out the production, taking into account the typical conference show environments we have encountered:  lots of foot traffic, over-stimulated attendees, ambient noise, unpredictable lighting conditions, poorly designed or poorly situated booths, etc.  All of these considerations had to be taken into account.

Here are the steps we took to create the video:

First we had to develop the storyboards so we could get to the development of more detailed style frames. Storyboards are typically developed for our own internal use. They visually describe the flow and composition of the spot so our team has a framework from which we can all work. Style frames are fully rendered mockups of what the actual final look of the piece will be that we share with the client for approval.

At this stage we also started the build-out of the timed animatics, which involved putting the still images of the storyboard to time and making sure all actions fit and made sense within the overall timeframe of the production. We sometimes introduce some basic animation as well at this point to make sure the actions that need to happen in the video are clear.

Once this was completed and approved, we started rendering the 3D modeling of all the 3D objects (in this case the iPhone, the Powermat products and a few of the other graphical elements) and the 2D asset generation (in this case, we needed to create all of the app icons, app graphics, and graphic embellishments that would be required for the animations). Most of the 2D artwork was generated as vector-based graphics to allow for maximum flexibility for zooming, panning, and flyouts as opposed to bitmapped images (typically from Photoshop as opposed to Illustrator files) which are more resolution-dependent.

Next steps were the development of the 3D wireframe animated mockups where all of the 3D scenes are modeled and animated.

Then, we completed the 3D lighting and texturing, which adds the desired look and feel to all of the 3D images.

At this stage we received approval of the final 3D animation and 3D rendering. This involved many CPUs and various dedicated render farm equipment. Followed by the 2D and 3D final animation and any live action integrated together in compositing programs.

Finally the daily composites were done and shown to the client for final animation approval and then converted into final required formats for delivery.

Some of the programs that were used for this project include:

• Final Cut Pro (editing)

• Adobe Creative Suite (After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc.)

• Softimage XSI (high-end 3D software)

• Maya

• FumeFX (smoke, fire simulation)

• RealFlow (water simulation)

• ZBrush (3D modeling and texturing)

• PFTrack (high-end 3D camera tracking)

We hope you enjoy the video. Let us know what you think!


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