Web Foundry ‘Untangling the Digital World’

Web Foundry needed special animated web video content for their homepage. Motion graphics and VFX were used in this web video that highlighted their services in a visual and engaging way and represented their theme of ‘Untangling The Digital World’.

Animated web video content with VFX

Prior to getting in touch with us Web Foundry had a video on their website of two people playing cats cradle with a piece of blue string. Needless to say that they didn’t really think it got their message of ‘Untangling The Digital World’ across very well and asked to see our interpretation of the strapline in an animation.

We had a think, found some inspiration, and ran a few quick tests in After Effects and Cinema 4D to explore ways in which we could use motion graphics, 3D and VFX to interpret the untangling of a digital world, and also to see which methods would be the most suitable and cost effective for their animation.

Interpreting the tag line “Untangling the Digital World”into an animation we imagined a tangled ball/sphere/globe of digitally styled lines being unfolded into a line that possibly underlined the strapline placed at the centre of the video. It will be something quite cinematic in terms of style as opposed to something flat, 2D, or illustrative to keep in line with the photographic imagery used on the website.

 

Particles

We walked them through our proposal and explained the different methods we had tried and both agreed that the best solution would be to go with the first effect in our presentation using particles in After Effects. It had a futuristic, messy, digital look and feel to it that they loved and we were happy because playing with particles a GUI motion graphics is something that we just love doing.

We explained the pros and cons of using particle systems to them:

Pros

  • it’s relatively easy to create an interesting and cinematic looking effect with particles;
  • it plays well with depth-of-field from the virtual camera to add depth, and additional particle and light effects for atmosphere;
  • it will look amazing with animated graphics and type;
  • it would also work well as a looping background without the unfolding effect too.

Cons

  • it’s a particle system – which means that is not easy to manipulate, style, or control the strands that are generated.ie. Particles/dots are emitted outwards from an object (a sphere) into 3D space, but once emitted there is no way to make them ‘contract’ and form a line like we would hope;
  • we would need to create the illusion that it is unfolding by reversing the effect of the emitted particles and animating a line through it. This also means we’d have to do the entire animation in reverse and then render it out reversed.

Presentation

We used After Effects to generate particle effects, animated motion graphics with GUI (graphical user interface) elements to make this stunning piece of visual art. We then presented the finished animated web video as a loop and a mock-up of how it would look on their website. We added sound effects, and a few colour variations and Web Foundry choose the darker version for their homepage which we, and they, were very happy about.

 
Web Foundry ‘Untangling the Digital World’
Freelance Design & Illustration Specialist Manchester - Scott Green, Founder of Motion Videos UK

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