Top notch CG animation for product video, TV adverts and brand films
Our experience with CG runs through Hightower’s life cycle and all the way through our senior management. We use all the latest tools from 3D Studio Max to Maya, to ensure whether it is a TV advert, brand or web video – the quality is of the maximum standard possible. Our team of CG animators have extensive experience producing amazing content for feature films, TV and online…
Computer generated animation is the process of producing vibrant, engaging animation generated in the computer. CG animation has been nurtured and refined to a large degree by the Hollywood film industry, pioneered by the likes of Industrial Light & Magic and Pixar taking filmmaking in amazing new directions.
The next large scale industry take up was from the advertising industry in the 1990s – a take up which totally transformed the industry. CG is now showcased on its own as well as being integrated with LOADS of adverts across the world.
Hot on the heels were corporate video. Back in those days corporate video was pretty dull -but CG and falling costs ensured that the industry moved on significantly. This spawned web video and brand video as we know it today. CG really provided a significant boost to commercial film making.
There are many different ways CG can be employed to really make commercial video look really special. Perhaps where it has been traditionally most used is TV adverts, with all manner of meerkats and other cuddly creatures created for vast campaigns like Money Supermarket and Vodafone. As the cost of dedicated CG animation has come down it has been used much more widely in brand video and web. Here at Hightower, we have been producing CG content for a decade and we work only the best CG artists we can get our hands on – each with strong London agency experience.
The process involves firstly creating a 3D model of the object or background needed for the project. This is something we always do inhouse at Hightower to ensure the end result is perfect. After this texturing and lighting is applied to the 3D model. This is when CG animation really come alive. Texturing is frequently the most complicated element of the process. Think about any car – it has literally hundreds of different textures – from paint to tire rubber to glass and metal. Lighting is also a time intensive process – setting the lights incorrectly will make the 3D model not look photorealistic.
A recent example of how crazy CG technology is becoming is the new car rig from the Mill – a huge agency based in New York. The Mill have created a rig that is essentially a series of cameras on a go-kart which assist the post production team in creating a image of ANY car digitally over the rig in post production. The results are incredible – it’s almost impossible to actually see that the car is computer generated. All the way down to the perfect reflections – captured by the computer animation rig on location – are pasted onto the car in post. You can see the video here.
CG animation comes in pretty of different flavours. The reality is that it’s a time intensive process. As each element needs to be created in the computer and animated afterwards. Frequently a team of CG generalists will be employed on a project to help offset the amount of hours involved.
This is a two part answer. Firstly a CG generalist is a very skilled individual. They frequently have trained for many years to hone their CG skills and don’t come cheap. The second part of the anwer links to the answer above. Depending on the size of the project, a team of CG animators may well be involved – which means a lot of skilled workers needing paying!
Once again we have to refer to the great analogy – how long is a piece of string? There are plenty of elements to think about, time scale, the amount of CG needed, style and complexity.
As touched on above, CG artists are highly trained individuals. It would be expected for someone new to the industry to take a degree in computer animation at one of the Universities with a well established CG animation course. After this it’s very probable that you will need to find a placement in a company and work for free or very little money for a while. All this time your skills and CV will be refined. After this (with a lot of persistence) you should find a company willing to employ you.
Budget is certainly a factor – but one of the biggest draws for CG animation is how unique and amazing it can make a product or service look. Half of the battle is getting content seen online – which shared content going viral being the easiest way of getting a lot of eyeballs on the product. Viral videos have a habit of looking incredible and unique – which is where CG animation frequently comes into the equazion.
The future is almost limitless. The example of the Mill’s car rig further up this page illustrates how the industry is building an refining to make CG a force to be reckoned with. The refinement isn’t just practical. Creatively things are getting more and more interesting – obviously in TV advertising where creativity is always strived for. But also in corporate and web video – where CG allows what would previously been staid and interesting to look really special.