Strand Studios

The Best Output

The Importance Of Choosing The Right Format

At some point during the pre-production phase of your video you should decide on a format for the video, primarily if it should be animated or live action.

The Initial Brief

Prior to shooting a video you’ll need to have a brief in place. This will help carry the film through pre-production to post.

  • Length: Keep it short and to the point, the less confusing the better. Bullet point key pieces of information if you have to.
  • Brand Information: If you’re outsourcing your video projects it’s critical that you supply as much relevant information about your business and its audience as possible. Audience profiles, a branding pack or even your website, make sure you get this information across to them.
  • Goals: What are the expectations of the project? Which category does it fit into regarding the Hero, Hub, Help format? Which platforms will the video be published to?
  • Budget: How much are you willing to spend on the project. Remember the higher the budget the less overall risk of the project going wrong.
  • Deadlines: Deadlines are important across the board in order to keep a project moving. It’s always wise to make them flexible, have more time than you need for contingency planning.
Live Action Or Animation

Which one will work out best for your project? Each have pros and cons, let’s look at both and compare.

Live Action

Using real people and real-world environments to create the video. Live doesn’t mean unedited though, you can still chop it up in the edit and even add animated features in the post-production phase.

  • Faster: Shooting live action is usually quicker than producing an animated video.
  • Accessibility: You might have access to a location, actors or staff who can be in the video.
  • Relatable: It’s easier to connect with real people than an animated motion graphics video that’s purely based on kinetic typography.
  • Less Flexible: Unlike animation, higher concept piece done in the live action format can cost a lot. There’s a lot more to organise in terms of locations, equipment and people.
  • Higher Risk: Even with a contingency plan, things can go wrong during a shoot. Actors becoming ill, equipment faults and other acts of god which can halt a production.
  • Limited Footage: When you get to the edit, you only have the footage you’ve captured to work with. If something is missing or doesn’t work, it could require booking another shoot day.

There are two kinds of animation 2D and 3D. It’s not unusual to see elements of both in videos now with modern software like Blender, Elements 3D and After Effects all have ways of communicating with each other.

  • Less Restrictive: No need to scout locations, hire actors, gear or crew. The animation process is quite self-contained, you won’t have to worry about conflicting schedules.
  • Flexible: No need for reshoots if an aspect of the video didn’t work. Everything you need is on the computer, ready to be changed.
  • Imaginative: You can set a video anywhere when it’s animated. Create worlds that don’t exist and push concepts that would be impossible for live action.
  • Suitability: Animation wouldn’t be ideal when live action could explain something more easily, a physical product video for example.
  • Knowledge Base: Animation requires a level of technical knowledge, so you would likely have to outsource to a company that does it unless you have an experience motion designer on staff.
  • Time Consuming: 6 seconds of animation per day is considered a decent benchmark. Even short animations can take up to 6-8 weeks including the pre-production process. This can vary depending how many assets need to be built and how complex the animations are.

Kurtsegast illustrated this best in their video ‘How To Make a Kurzgesagt Video in 1200 Hours’

Which Is Best For Your Project

Each project is massively dependant on the scope of your project and the budget you’ve got available.

Live action is better at connecting with your audience on a more human level, making your brand more personable. It’s easier to demonstrate products and services using this format.

Animations work best for high concept videos that wouldn’t translate well through live action. Abstract ideas, sequences that blend with visuals and dialogue.

Continue to Part 9.