Our client commissioned us to create an animated video to educate and inform their internal stakeholders about the experiences of people living with a specific liver disease largely caused by an unhealthy diet and a lack of exercise, and which currently has no available treatments. The animation had to help these stakeholders understand the daily challenges faced by sufferers and make recommendations on how best to communicate with these patients to help them make healthier lifestyle choices, as well as identifying areas where funding and resources were required to develop new treatments for the disease.
Major pharmaceutical company
(Unnamed for purposes of confidentiality)
Creative Direction, Motion Graphics, Animation, Photo Editing, Illustration
After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Audition
Please note: due to client confidential insights and data included in this project, the final animated video cannot be uploaded in full. GIFs and screenshots have been used throughout in lieu of this.
The script was drafted by the research team whilst I developed a rough pencil storyboard. We worked closely together on these simultaneously so that we could ensure that all necessary information was presented either verbally in the narration or visually on screen whilst staying within the five minute maximum length allowed for the video.
These were then refined through discussions with the client, until they were satisfied that everything they felt was essential to the story had been captured.
The client was very specific that they did not want the animation to feel cartoon-like in any way due to the seriousness of the subject matter. They were also very keen to differentiate their video from those using corporate animation styles such as ‘Alegria’ that they felt that their audience had been oversaturated by, and would therefore be less engaged by.
Workshopping via Zoom through various potential style treatments, the client responded very positively to a series of promotional advertisements by supermarket chain Sainsbury’s that had been created in the style of paper cutouts and stop-motion photography.
From there, I developed a digital stop-motion style for the animation, created using stock photography of people, objects, and textures. Photoshop was used extensively as part of the process, both for cutting out and separating layers ready for the animation process, and to edit the photos to ensure they fit the narrative that was being told. Examples of this included using the programme’s adjustment layers, blend modes and Liquify tools to increase the age of one subject to appear somewhat older to better match the average age of his particular patient group, or altering the appearance of other subjects to sufficiently match the look of the three ‘hero’ subjects for use as inbetweening frames.
Swipe to compare before & after
Adobe’s ‘Ernie’ font was selected for the text used within the animation, due to it being a good balance between being easily legible and clear for the audience to read quickly, whilst still retaining the organic, handmade feeling of the animation as a whole.
After Effects was used to compile the animation together. In order to achieve the desired stop motion look, as well as giving the animation a sense of depth and tangibility, effects such as Turbulent Displacement, Roughen Edges, Drop Shadow and Posterize Time were added to the composition layers, and a subtle Wiggle effect added to the layers to give the feeling of pieces of paper being moved around slightly between shots.