We recently did a 3D video project for Curo365, a legal software company, to show technological advancements through the ages. The video used high-end 3D animation to model tech that was both old and new to significant effect. Don’t believe us? Take a look for yourself!
You can see this video following the rules of “The S.T.U.F.F.” As you know, this video uses the very first in our acronym for S: Sexy/Sizzle/Style T: Touching U: Unique/Unexpected F: Funny F: Fear.
Yes, we used the ‘S’ for a B2B platform that is helping the legal industry. ‘Sexy/Sizzle/Style’ is delivered because the visuals pop and grab attention in an unexpected way.
Curo365 is the next step in legal software. It’s an all-in-one solution that aims to solve every organizational issue that an international, regional, or local law firm could have. When Curo365 approached Rip Media Group, they wanted to make a 3D animation that would show the history of legal practice.
Right now, we would typically say something like, “We know, riveting, right?” and then segue into how the premise was actually interesting once it was brought to life in 3D. But we won’t because you’ve already seen how great 3D is at completely transforming anything into something incredible.
The Secret to 3D Animation Is Preparation
One reason why we were able to work with Curo365 was because they knew that our 3D animation workflow was sound.
We personally believe that the secret behind this video was the inventive scenery and the incredible textures. So, we’ll focus this short guide on that. If you’d like a guide on animating movement, check out Blender’s fantastic guide to the basics of 3D animation instead.
When you hop into a 3D program like Blender, you have a host of incredibly diverse and customizable elements. Still, all you’re going to be able to do is make a featureless pyramid spin unless you come prepared with the right textures. To do this, you need something called a “texture map” that tells the 3D program how to make the surface of a 3D object look. That’s how 3D artists render wood, metal, and sometimes even reflections.
Before starting a 3D animation project, you should develop a color pallet that tells the creative team what kinds of materials will be present in the animation. That way, the team can grab – or make – the texture maps they need to make a 3D animation pop.
Deciding what textures to use in our video for Curo365 was one of the biggest obstacles we faced when turning this into a high-quality piece. Material from each era needed to be unique and similar to materials from other generations, so our viewers had a visual landmark to guide them through the video.
3D Animation Is Nothing Without a Story
That leads us to our last tip for great 3D explainer videos. Beautiful textures and life-like animation are nothing without a great story. In this video, we told Curo365’s story by placing the viewer on top of a clock as it “ticked through the ages.”
We suggest taking advantage of powerful visual metaphors like this whenever you can. Reinforcing narration with visual metaphors, like a clock ticking, presents your narration and 3D animation as a single message instead of as two separate things playing simultaneously.
We have an excellent storytelling course called “Lights, Camera, Sales!” that goes into all aspects of a great story in depth. So, if you want to up your storytelling game, go check it out!
Great 3D Video Takes Practice!
So, to sum up what we’ve said so far…
- Making 3D animations is all about preparation (getting the right textures, creating a cohesive branded pallet, etc…)
- 3D animations come to life through the story they tell
Finally, more than anything, great 3D animation takes a lot of PRACTICE. We should know – each of our 3D animators has been practicing for years to get where they are now.
We’ve pointed you toward a couple of great resources, but if you don’t have the time to learn the art of 3D animation, why not reach out to us? We would love to help you make your next 3D video.