The main idea behind creating this explainer video was for the end customer to use it as a marketing tool for the new app they built called Dun Today, which is a home warranty on demand. The case study below will cover the process I used to create this video from concept to final delivery.
Dun Today is an app that was created in order to provide an on demand solution for Home Builders, Home Warranty Companies, Professional Services Companies and Homeowners to connect in real-time. As a relatively new home owner in the past few years, I could relate to the frustration that comes with the modern day paper home warranty system.
For this project, I would be in charge of everything past the script. There were no specific visuals that needed to be used (besides the client's logo), and there were no real constraints on what creative direction I could take this project. I did know the budget I was working with, therefore, very early on I decided I wanted to execute this video using a simple 2D vector design style.
Even though I did not write the script for the video, I was involved in coming up with the script content from the beginning. I was on a call with the client to learn more about their business, and then I collaborated with the agency's script writer in order to come up with what we though were good ideas for each section. While coming up with the script, we also started bouncing around possible visual ideas to use for parts of the video.
As with all motion design projects I work on these days, my typical process when I first start out is to begin free writing or mind mapping, loose sketching, and I start putting together a pinterest board for the project.
One extra step I took for this project, since it revolved around a newly created app, is I actually went through the app prototype using Invisionapp.com. This allowed me to get familiar with some of the visual content to try and create a consistent image, as well as, have an understanding on how the app operates.
From talking the project over with both the agency and the client, I knew we wanted to go in a more straight forward approach for much of the script. We utilized icons that not only could the customer relate to, but I wanted to use images that were industry specific.
A few of the final storyboard sketches are shown here. Multiple iterations were created before getting to these. These were used to communicate with the customer to ensure everyone was on the same page, as well as, to provide any feedback before getting to the design stage.
Once the customer was on board with the direction I wanted to take the script, I used the moodboard I created early on in the project to help guide me in creating the visuals. This moodboard was created from the images pulled from the pinterest board that was created at the very beginning.
One of the biggest reasons we settled on a simple 2D vector style was due to budget, as well as, it allowed us to deliver the customer's video through an enjoyable design style.
Before I started designing out the sketched storyboards, I created a few style frames to let the customer review. Even with a simple 2D style, there are different variations on the style.
While designing the boards, I focused on ways to communicate the script's message through the use of relatable icons. Through discussion with the customer, we also wanted to find a way to demonstrate the end customer's interaction with the app via a phone.
In addition to the design boards, I provided the boardamatic I sent over to the customer for approval before starting animation. This boardamatic includes the music for the piece, as well as, a scratch voiceover track. By doing this, the customer gets a feel for what the piece may look like before anything is even animated in a moving format.
With everything approved, it was onto the animation stage. Due to the design of this video, the most complicated element was in the character animation that was used around the middle of the video. In order to rig up the characters, I utilized Battle Axe's Rubber Hose script. This allowed for quick rigging and animation with enough design flexibility, and the hand clicks were done via path keyframes.
Since I created all of the necessary assets in Adobe Illustrator, a newer extension I used was Overlord. If Illustrator is a constant in your After Effects workflow, the amount of time you save using Overlord cannot be underestimated. It was a huge time saver for me not only in this project, but in all other projects that use Illustrator since the extension came out.
Once all of the animation was done, the last part to wrapping up the video was getting the voiceover recorded by a voiceover artist (which I handled) and mixing it with the music.
That's a Wrap!
There you have my write-up from working on this video with only the script provided via the agency. It was a pleasure being the only artist to work on this project, and it was a fun experience. All told it added up to about 2 full weeks of work in order to accomplish everything.