Animation studio South Africa: A Story
Animation has blown up over the last few years, thanks to advancements in animation software development resulting in increased accessibility. On top of that as the industry grows the amount of tutorials, articles and training material grows with it. This increased accessibility enables more potential providers to participate in the market, resulting in a sea of potential animation studios in South Africa. The only issue with this is that there is a lot more to animation production than just making animations. There are numerous different styles of animation, vital production decisions, video optimisation for different platforms and even marketing inputs that influence the production of said animated content. On top of production decisions there are also communication, project management and collaborative efforts that are all combined to produce an animation that suits the clients needs, and is within their budget and proposed time frames.
Lessons learned from years of practice
Sound Idea Digital has been in business for over thirty years. During this time we have observed and adapted to technological disruptions, in fact it is a big reason why we are still in business today. For example: We offered website development during the days where every website had to be custom developed. There were no ‘drag and drop’ options for website development and as such, as a service, it came with a heap of complexity. This created a high barrier to entry for new potential website developers as they needed considerable development experience to even get started. Over the years we saw the industry develop and with it the tools that increased the accessibility of website development as a whole. This resulted in lower prices for website development and a plethora of newcomers to the industry. During this period we shifted our focus away from website development as it was not viable to pursue further. The market also responded as we expected, but only for a while. See, once the dust had settled and everyone had their newly built WordPress sites for a while, the issues would start to creep in. All of a sudden we were receiving inquiries to assist clients with their troubled websites. They were unsure how to add complex functionality, or how to integrate their websites with existing systems. All of a sudden the convenience of a ‘drag and drop’ website was counting against them. During this period we reinstated our website development division and started helping clients with custom built websites again. Oh, and despite the lower market price, the clients were willing to pay more for custom development, because it meant they had a much bigger influence on the creation of the site. They also had access to the nuances that come with years of experience, whether that be a website developer or an animation studio in South Africa.
Established animation studios in South Africa are experienced
Now much like the website development, animation production is going through a similar route. The one big difference between the two is the demand. Unlike a website development, animation production is not a one time affair. Rather in the digital age we operate in, well constructed content is the ammunition you use to get ahead of your competition. Which also means that the take away lesson from this long-winded explanation would occur considerably quicker. In other words, many companies would make the mistake of using a cheaper and inexperienced animation studio once, only to find a more suitable supplier for their next animation item. Essentially there is a switch from convenient animation studios to nuanced animation studios in South Africa.
Why Animation is ideal for Health and Safety Induction Videos
We have been producing health and safety videos for over two decades. During this time we have learned a ‘thousand and one’ lessons on refining this form of video production. From the equipment we choose to the planning involved. Every step comes with potential pitfalls and opportunities to push the video’s production value. It is a process that takes a great deal of collaboration and communication to optimise, but one that yields the best results. For the longest time, animation was simply to costly for a video of this style, especially when you consider the average length of one these training videos, which falls around fifteen minutes. As the technology became more accessible, new opportunities for animation became possible. With this shift there was also another major advantage to this medium, namely the ability to create neutral characters.
See, prior to the introduction of animation for health and safety videos, all filming was centred around key team members, who would be incorporated as part of the videos narration. The issue with this, was that every time those key members left the company the video content had to be updated again. This meant planning a whole new video production and all the costs that came with it. Now with animation we were finally able to overcome this issue, by creating neutral animated characters to facilitate this role. This also meant, if the videos needed updating, which is a regular demand in this field, they could easily be updated without the need to start from scratch. This advantage would also apply to the company branding and additional health and safety procedures.
Animation ‘takes the edge off’
When producing a health and safety video there are a couple of important rules to ensure the viewers absorb as much information as possible. One method is to focus on what to do, as opposed to what not to do. The idea being that the focus is on the process or procedure rather than the potential negative outcome. Furthermore from a filming perspective, it is considerably more practical to have staff adhere to the rules in front of the camera. For example: Access control often includes rules about the state of well being of each staff member, which means no drugs or alcohol. Now we have had staff members pretending to be drunk in front of the camera, but let me tell you it is considerably easier when the same scenario is recreated in animation. Additionally the animation can be done is such a way that an intense consequence can be presented in a slightly light-hearted manner. This both demonstrates what not to do, but does not present it in a potentially upsetting light.
This was part 2 in a series from an animation studio in South Africa, stay tuned for part 3, where we continue our story. Looking to tell your own? Get in touch with our team today!
We are a full-service Web development and Content Production Agency in Gauteng specialising in Video Production, Animation, eLearning Content Development, Learning Management Systems, Content Production. Contact us for a quote. | Info@soundidea.co.za | www.soundidea.co.za | +27 82 491 5824 |