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types of AR effects

AR Filter Experiences – 5 Different Types Of Effects You Can Use

By | Augmented Reality | No Comments

The future of Instagram is a fun, filtered experience that augments the real world with art and technology. As Augmented reality (AR) technology rapidly grows, augmented reality experiences is also increasing – from face filters to world effects – the marketing potential of AR is large.

AR filter experiences make a unique opportunity for brands to connect with their consumer.  It enables visualization, personalization, and story-telling. Currently, the range of AR formats available allows tailor-made advertising campaigns that promote services, brands, products, and campaigns in unique ways.

 

What is an Instagram AR filter?

They are computer-generated effects placed over the real-life image a camera shows. For Instagram Stories, an AR filter alters the image the front or back camera shows.

Remember that Instagram AR filters are different from their preset filters. The preset filters on Instagram elevate the quality of photos with just one click, so you’ll not be required to spend a lot of time editing images for your Instagram post.

 

What is new with Instagram Stories AR filters?

At its conference in May 2019, Facebook made it known to the public that anyone can create custom AR filters by making use of its Spark AR Studio platform. This platform makes it possible for users to make original augmented reality effects for Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories, Messenger, and Portal.

Before this platform was made public in August 2019, Instagram users had to be invited to use Spark AR. That meant only a few Instagram users could create and publish custom AR filters. But today, anyone who downloads Spark AR Studio can get creative with making filters.

It is simple for Instagram users to find these filters. Anybody that visits the Instagram profile of your brand can click the new face icon. All the AR filters you make are compiled here.

 

Benefits of creating AR filters for Instagram Stories

Although this tool might not be right for all brands, it is a good option for companies that are trying to reach younger users on Instagram. Remember that 67 percent of all Instagram users are ages 18-29. Also, one-third of the most-viewed Instagram Stories are from brands.

Here are some examples of how custom AR filters could leverage your business:

 

Show-off the personality of your brand

  • Custom AR filters reflect the tone of your brand, particularly if that tone is fun or playful.
  • They reflect the unique aspects of your brand, assisting you to stand out from your competitors.

 

Connect with customers

  • In 2019, over 500 million accounts engaged with Instagram Stories daily.
  • Also, 60 percent of brands using Instagram Stories used an interactive element to increase monthly engagement.
  • Custom AR filters are the best interactive elements for Instagram Stories.

 

Be ahead of the competition

  • Custom AR filters are still a new feature, and not every company is using them yet.
  • Make an AR filter for your audience to “try on” a product before buying or “put on” a branded item of clothing.
  • It is not just for self-promotion. You could also make a filter for your brand to show your support for social causes.

 

Increase brand awareness

  • Incorporate the logo or mascot of your brand into an AR filter.
  • If your unique filter is not promotional, it will show in the Effect Gallery of Instagram where anyone can locate it.
  • When users share selfies using your filter, their followers will be exposed to your business.

5 Types of AR Experiences

To leverage its benefits, you have to understand each available AR experience individually. The great thing is that every format is great in its way. They all make it possible for you to attract consumers, with easy and fun engagement that is always right to the goals of your brand. Below are the types of AR filter experiences you can use.

 

  1. Face Filters

Everybody wants to look good on social media. Since Snapchat made the AR aesthetic popular in 2011 with its Lenses, making use of face filters has become almost second nature. Face filters created an effect on the face of the user, immediately altering their appearance. It is easy to use them by directing the imagination of the customer to focus on the AR design of the brand; they link brand and consumer.

The important benefit of face filters is that they are easy to share. It only takes a few taps to send a beautifully augmented selfie to an audience. These days, nothing is worth much if done privately. A beautiful filter will probably be shared with friends.

By using AR filter experience to enhance your selfies, face filters make effects that the users can easily recognize, enjoy, and share, making it possible for brands to access a wider audience and to immediately become recognizable.

  1. Portals

They are magical ways of introducing users to a great world of your creation. Going through a virtual doorway, which the camera imposes on a horizontal plane, the user is taken into a different world. From animated wonderlands to photorealistic creation of new places, portals allow consumers to go into the world of different businesses.

Portals give an unprecedented level of immersion. Any marketing campaign, from promoting the image of a brand to evoking emotions linked to your services, they can be captured in a whole new world.

AR Filter Experiences
  1. World Effects

Of all the various AR experiences, world effects are changing our world. They are created for back-facing cameras. By focusing on a blank plane, they make a 3D picture in the space in front of the user, allowing it to become part of that visual space.

They have a large scope. By mixing the digital and real-world, they make an experience that makes it possible for customers to connect with businesses. Older users would be surprised at the realism of modern AR world effects, but younger people will enjoy the 3D figures and objects suddenly popping up in their rooms.

  1. Mini-Games

Mini-games make it possible for users to participate in short games by tapping on their screens or by using face gestures. They are the most interactive types of AR filter experiences, exciting users, and encouraging word-of-mouth sharing.

They are a quick and easy way to keep users occupied, while everyone else is looking for things to fill the time. Users will interact with the branding of the mini-games, thereby stimulating active thought on the product being advertised.

Since they are mostly based on face filters, they can be easily shared, making it possible for users to share their scores and funny moments with their followers.

AR Filter Experiences
  1. Image Trackers

Image trackers enhance a physical image with more layers of content and information. They are the perfect way to include depth to any marketing campaign, rising materials like posters and merchandise to the next level.

They make it possible for users to interact with a business while using physical context to drive consumers to further engage with posters, logos, or billboards.

It is easy to engage users with an image tracker after viewing a physical product or advert. With the ability to work well together with other forms of advertisement, image trackers can be exciting and boost the advertising campaign of your brand.

 

Conclusion

Now, more than ever, you need to harness the power of AR filter experience. With the uncertainties in the world, the virtual world has become important. They have the unique ability to add dynamism and excitement to your new reality. By blurring the lines between the real and virtual worlds, AR filter experiences can drive home important messages and lift morale in these trying times.

educational animation videos

Educational Animation Videos

By | Animation | No Comments

Educational Animation Videos

When it comes to learning in the classroom, you have to be innovative to make it an enjoyable and easily understandable process. When learners get knowledge through fun activities, it becomes more important. With technological advancements, the use of educational animation videos has come to stay. Educators use simple but effective sketch videos to teach. This can either be through an image of any form to direct pupils on the screen or the use of cartoons to explain a topic in the classroom.

Today’s youngsters are surrounded by technology and high tech gadgets. We cannot expect them to follow the old methods of learning, like lecturing and simple PowerPoint presentations. Educational animated videos are one of the best types of learning facilitators. It is a helpful medium to mix the subject matter with some entertainment to enhance learning.

Students today need more brain stimulation as they can learn better with visual content. Educational animation videos make that possible because they can see the objects in action through animated lessons. For instance, they can see a model of the whole universe when they are learning about the solar system. A teacher can explain to them the differences in the planets in our solar system and they can remember better.

Educational Animation videos improve creativity in students and motivate them to explore complex dimensions of knowledge. The skills of students get honed in the process. Presentations can be made more engaging and fun by making use of animation. Lessons can be explained in story form which increases comprehension.

What Kind of a 3D Animation Video is used in Education?

A video can tell a story, explain a concept, or just walk you through space. Thus, learning through a video is seen as a presentation.

Classroom teaching is no more restricted to chalk and blackboard. Schools and colleges are investing in educational animation videos to enable their students to learn more efficiently.

There are a lot of concepts that can easily be explained using 3D animation. They flexibly explain structures and their working to students. For instance, if you want a student to learn about a solar water heater, a 3D graphic will perfectly show its complete structure.

As a teacher or general knowledge-giver, chances are you’re no stranger to the concept of presentations. And with recent pushes for online learning amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, various educators are looking for creative ways to digitize their curriculum, and one way of doing this is by making use of educational animated videos.

The world of animated videos has great opportunities, particularly when the objective is to keep viewers engaged and entertained. But the benefits don’t just end there. Here are a few reasons we believe education and animation go hand in hand.

educational animation videos

Benefits of Educational Animated Videos

We have been challenging ourselves to get familiar with technological enhancement. Its fast growth has left us with no option than to find ways to adapt. But the young generation already adapted themselves to technology.

Using educational animated videos is a step forward toward future learning. We can get benefits from it by removing the old learning barriers and teaching limitations. There are various benefits for students such as:

1. It can be used as support tools

Animated videos are used as support tools in learning. They complement the other processes of learning as it facilitates a deeper understanding of a subject. In the case of a complex topic, representative characters can make it simpler, therefore, bringing a lot of motivation and satisfaction to the learner.

A short and straightforward comic video at the end of a topic can make the lesson much more memorable. Familiar characters can be used in different subjects to make learning more interesting.

2. Developing problem-solving skill

Watching educational animation videos about mathematics or geometry provokes the innate potential of students in critical thinking and problem-solving. Educational animation videos make the learning environment more instructive and engaging. It offers a big platform for students when learning important and valuable lessons. Apart from the attractive nature of animation, it can send a message that lectures, sounds, or simple videos cannot deliver.

3. Improves pronunciation and communication

Children have a habit of imitating what they see and hear. You might observe, if they watch a certain cartoon for most of the day, they tend to speak like their favorite character. They speak, even if they don’t know the meaning of a new word they just learned.

This mimicry might correct any wrong pronunciations a student might have. Since they catch the language they hear easily, a video having a polished language with correct grammar is important. Rather than watching bad cartoons, it is useful if you encourage them to watch something more fruitful. Therefore, if you show them a video on saving water, imagine what he’ll speak when he goes back home.

4. Cherishing creativity

All of us were born with some creative power – some of us more and some of us less. But as we progress in life, we might forget this ability. The storytelling in animation wakes up our creativity from a long hibernation and it facilitates communication between the subject matter and students.
It helps us explore the meaning of our work and experience. Colors, shapes, characters, pictures, creativity, and imagination in the educational animated videos help students move further and answer the questions that have been left unanswered.

5. It is engaging

Particularly if you’re teaching a young audience, animation is a great way to keep your learners engaged in the lesson. And no matter what age you are, actively listening to anything can be hard without visual aid. 90 percent of the information absorbed by the brain is visual, so expecting your students to truly understand what you are teaching without a video is wishful thinking.

6. Animation is flexible

By using a custom educational animation video, there’s no limit to what you can do. From math to science and social studies, any lecture or lesson can be brought to life with the magic of visual aid.

7. Enhancing memory

Memory has three phases in the brain – sensory memory, short term memory, and long term memory. It is through sensory memory that external input gets to the brain. For instance, when a child gets new information through videos, it is easier to retrieve the information, because most of the information will save in the long term memory. Thus, if the valuable lessons from school or moralities are presented through animated videos, it is easier for the students to remember.

8. Developing personality

Animation directly affects learning. Introducing animation in the course of learning involves many parts of the brain and simultaneously uses some skills. This forms a deeper connection between skills and results in life-long learning.

9. Recognizing spatial relationships

The brain of children cannot distinguish shapes at the young ages. Animation can be used to rescue the spatial relationship skills in the mind. Children can distinguish and recognize the shapes through animated videos. Animation assists kids to understand shapes and objects and their differences.

In Conclusion

Animation today is no longer only used for entertainment. It plays a significant role in the course of learning and education. Moreover, with the technological enhancement experienced today, it is vital to use animation to educate our children about subject matters and morality.

Protect Your WordPress Website

7 Ways to Protect Your WordPress Website from Hackers

By | Web Design | No Comments

7 Ways to Protect Your WordPress Website from Hackers

There is nothing more terrifying for a website owner than the thought of seeing all of your work altered or entirely deleted by a hacker.

Hacking is a concern, even to people who don’t believe their website has any value to hackers. Websites are compromised all of the time, and most security breaches are not to steal data, but to use your server as an email relay for spam.

Data breaches happen all the time – so it’s important to take the time to protect your WordPress website with these basic hacker protection tips.

1. Install security plugins

If your website is built with a content management system (CMS), you can make it better by using security plugins that actively prevent website attempts. All of the major CMS options have security plugins, most of them for free.

Security plugins address security vulnerabilities that are inherent in websites, preventing hacking attempts that could threaten your website.

2. Keep your software up-to-date

Making sure you keep all software updated is important in securing your site. This applies to both the server operating system and any software that might be running on your site such as a CMS or forum. When website security holes are discovered in software, hackers can attempt to abuse them.

Those using a managed hosting solution don’t need to worry about security updates for the operating system because the hosting company should take care of this. People that use third-party software such as a CMS or forum, should ensure they apply all security patches.

3. SQL injection

This happens when the hacker uses a web form field or URL parameter to gain access or to manipulate your website data. When using standard Transact SQL attackers can easily insert rogue code into your query that is used to alter tables, get information, and delete vital data. This can be easily avoided by always making use of parameterized queries, and most web languages have this feature and it is easily implemented.

4. Use a secure username and password

Most people leave their login details as ‘admin’ and ‘password1234’ because they can easily remember them. But hackers can easily guess simple usernames and passwords. This allows them to gain access to your website. Additionally, there is a possible way of putting SQL injections to throw these queries.

Hackers target any website using a method called brute force attacks. They make use of bots to comb through the web looking for sites to attack. With just one command, they can make hundreds of guesses in just one second.

In order to protect your WordPress website, you should always use unique usernames to easily ward off such hacking attempts. Also, use strong passwords such as a passphrase together with numbers and symbols.

5. Beware of error messages

Take note of the amount of information you give away in your error messages. Only provide minimal errors to your users to ensure they don’t leak secrets found on your server, such as database passwords and API keys. Avoid providing full exception details because these can make complex attacks such as SQL injection easier. Keep detailed errors in your server logs, and show users only the information they require.

6. Make use of HTTPS

As a website visitor, you may already know to always look for the green lock image and https in your browser bar when giving out sensitive information online. That green bar called HTTPS is shorthand for hacker security: it indicates that it’s safe to provide financial information on that particular page.

HTTPS is used to give security over the internet. It guarantees that users are talking to the server they expect and that nobody else can intercept or change the content they’re viewing in transit.

7. Take note of file uploads

Permitting users to upload any sort of files to your website is a huge security risk. Any file they upload could potentially carry a script that opens your website up when executed.

If file uploading is permitted you must treat all files with great suspicion, and file extension or mime type is not a reliable method of identification because they can be faked easily. Most formats of pictures have room for a comments section that could contact risky PHP code.

The best way to prevent this is to restrict users from uploading any file. By default, web servers will not try to execute files that contain image extensions, but you cannot completely depend on checking the extension.

In Conclusion

Securing your website and learning how to protect it against hackers is a major part of keeping it healthy and safe. Don’t procrastinate on implementing these vital steps.

Taking security measures on your site is an absolute necessity to keep hackers out. But security is not something you can set and forget. These measures have to be reviewed or re-implemented regularly.

It is recommended by HIPAA to install a simple yet powerful security tool on your website. This tool will constantly monitor your website and defend it against malicious traffic. The HIPAA guides website owners on ways to effectively protect their websites from hackers. Check out the HIPPA Compliance guide here

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animation styles

6 Animation Styles That Can Work For Any Brand Story!

By | Animation | No Comments

6 Animation Styles That Can Work For Any Brand!

Every year the number of businesses using video marketing seems to be growing. Businesses and brands of all sizes seem to be harnessing the power of online video. Online video is a rather broad term however and with so many different forms of video that can be utilised to tell your brand story, it can be hard to know which direction to go. Do you go down the live action route or are you interested in producing an animation? A lot of brands tend to go down the animation route for several reasons.

 

  • Animation is visually stimulating:Let’s face it attention spans are at an all time low, its scary to think that you are doing well to captivate a viewer past the 8 second mark on YouTube. Its up to the brands to do whatever it takes to maintain that consumer attention. Animation brings movement and energy. It can be used to convey large amounts of information or to simplify complex concepts quite painlessly for the viewer and it does this in a visually engaging way.

 

  • Animation is great for storytelling:With so many animation styles, you can really have full control over how you want to craft the narrative around your brand. And also how you guide your viewer through it. I mean sure, you could just talk directly into a camera, but no offense I think people would probably rather spend the 90 seconds not looking at your face. I don’t know for sure though we’d have to run some tests.

 

  • Animation increases retention:A typical reader will retain 10% of the information they’re reading, whilst with people who watch an animation, over 93% of viewers will retain the core message. If message retention is high up on your list of objectives, which I am presuming it is, well then an animated video seems to be an excellent piece of content for your brand to deploy.

 

  • Animation is effective:85% of businesses we asked said that animated videos were relevant to their marketing strategy and typically performed well against other video content that they had produced.

 

  • Animation is highly versatile:Now we are going to get into this throughout this article but there are so many animation styles to choose from and to combine, that there really is no limit to what you can create. It is literally the most flexible form of media available to you and your brand. With animation you are limited only by your imagination, and perhaps your wallet! It’s free to dream but they don’t come cheap.

 

So, the next time that you’re contemplating your next video, just consider the vast amount of animation styles that you have at your disposal. Despite there being so many different animation styles for this article I will focus in on 6 key styles of animation. I have chosen these styles because of how popular they are for brand story telling. If you have come for inspiration I hope to not disappoint.

2D Animation

Now when it comes to animation styles, 2D animation is probably the most commonly understood. This is largely because the majority of cartoons people are familiar with, were originally created using the traditional form of animation which involved creating your images in a two dimensional environment. The animator only needs to worry about two dimensions, width and height, when it comes to effectively communicating a story.

2D animation was invented back in the late 1800s, however the technology used to create 2D animation has totally changed today, allowing animators to take this animation style to entirely new levels. If you really want to see just how far we have come in the 2D arena, just look at the difference in quality between the original 2D animated Snow White and the newer episodes of The Simpsons or Family Guy.

“Breaking Down Walls” – Airbnb

This animation from Airbnb is a great example of how animation can be used for compelling storytelling. What makes it particularly special is that it features the true story of a real Airbnb guest. This guest is actually the narrator for the voice over and she tells a moving story about her father, an ex Berlin Wall guard from the Cold War days. She tells the story of how she brought him back to Berlin decades later to replace his wartime memories with more vibrant and up to date ones. This video has had over 6 million views on YouTube so it must be doing something right. In just a one minute it tells the emotional story of a family, the effects of war and the strength of healing. It really shows the extent at which you can connect with a viewer through animation and how animation style can enhance a story in more ways than traditional video.

“Father’s Day” – Ford

Just like peanut butter and jelly, Itchy and Scratchy or lamb and tuna fish, dads and their cars have been infamously paired together through many pop culture references. This animation from Ford leverages a real customer story just like Airbnb’s, but this time it is slightly more light hearted and has a more humorous twist. The animation style works well with this, its vibrant and colourful and the illustrations are simple. It has a fun feel that parallels the nature of the story.

“Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships” – NHS

This informative but charming animation from the NHS was created to raise awareness and to publicise their new plans, a series of unique collaborations with local councils across the UK to drastically improve patient care and impact communities all around the nation. This animation is less about story telling and more about conveying information, or driving initiatives. The animation style is also a bit simpler and has more of a generic style.

3D Animation

3D animation is probably one of the more well known animation styles. With its additional dimension, adding depth into the animation equation, 3D animation allows animators to create some pretty dynamic 3D environments that allows story tellers to visually craft some highly detailed characters and objects as well as enhancing the overall feel through lighting and textures. The majority of movies that use animation these days would typically go with this animation style. For instance anything Pixar, like Coco or Toy Story 4. Let’s now take a look at how some different brands are using this 3D animation style for video content they’re producing.

“A Can Size for Every Aussie” – Heinz

In this rather odd animation, would you call it odd? Well it’s certainly tells a strangely uplifting story, of one bean lover’s journey through life. It’s actually quite impressive how much life story they manged to squeeze in there amongst the beans. But the animation work looks amazing. Who doesn’t love a good shader. Also keep a look out for how a nearby window reflects in the glass of a picture frame, the amazing amount of depth created with the shadows and the quality of the textures used on everything from the kitchen countertops to the doors. The details are impeccable. This is 3D animation done right, but I would expect nothing less from Heinz.

“App Launch Video” – Yellow Ribbon

Just like peanut butter and jelly, Itchy and Scratchy or lamb and tuna fish, dads and their cars have been infamously paired together through many pop culture references. This animation from Ford leverages a real customer story just like Airbnb’s, but this time it is slightly more light hearted and has a more humorous twist. The animation style works well with this, its vibrant and colourful and the illustrations are simple. It has a fun feel that parallels the nature of the story.

Stop Motion Animation

Stop motion is one of the longest standing animation styles and the technique has been used for decades. It basically involves moving objects a small amount at a time, and then shooting it frame by frame and then stitching all the frames together. Then when you watch it all played in sequence, it gives you the feeling of movement. Whilst this particular style of animation has existed since the late 1800s, it wasn’t until about the mid-1900s when it really became popular following some classics like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”. There is an absolute ton of modern stop motion examples, one of the more recent favourites would have to be Wes Anderson’s latest feature “Isle of Dogs”. Now let’s take a look at how some brands have used these stop motion animation styles to reach their audience.

“Paper” – Honda

A lot of the best ideas started out as sketches on paper, and its probably no surprise that a lot of Honda’s innovations were no exception. That is why this stop motion animation has used paper as the primary medium to tell this six-decade long story. This video is like a pop-up book mixed with a flip book, rolled into like an advent calendar or something. It was originally concepted through computer graphics, but the final version was created analogue, which really adds that sense of warmth and added depth. It literally took thousands of illustrations drawn by hand and dozens of other materials. Not to mention about 60 odd years of Honda’s outstanding innovation. If you’re really interested in how this was made there’s a behind the scenes video

Corporate Video – Eurofirms

I think this could just be the most artistic human resources video I’ve ever seen. Eurofirms is a Spanish HR firm and in this stop motion animation dozens of different office-based materials were used to breath life into this corporate video. They then reinforce the core messages by overlaying 2D statistics giving it another dimension and making it more visually interesting. This stop motion animation shows how using different techniques and getting creative with materials can inject a whole lot of life into a typically dull subject.

”Last Glass” – Cravendale

This stop motion from Cravendale is absolutely brilliant. It’s safe to say that this animation wouldn’t have had the same impact if any other style of animation had been chosen. Like if it had been created in 2D for instance, I actually think I might have hated it, it could have ended up looking like some sort of Hanna Barbera reject. Or if you had gone all overboard and made it 3D, you would have just been throwing away budget. Anyway if you can’t tell I love this, it’s fun, it’s quirky, it stands out against any other video you may have seen at the time. And it goes to show that production quality isn’t always everything.

“The Bear and the Hare” – John Lewis

This is probably on the older side of things, when you think this was their 2013 Christmas advert and is now 7 years. But none the less this video really pushes the boundaries of stop motion. It’s absolutely phenomenal. The animators have paired 2D animated characters along with a 3D stop motion set. This creates a very unique feel and gives this layered environment which give the picture a whole load of additional depth and a magical sense of wonder. This is really what Christmas ads are about, highly emotive storytelling, and what’s nearly even more impressive than the combination of animation techniques they have used, is the way they achieved such a strong sense of feel without even a single line of voice over. Sometimes the most powerful stories need no words. If you’re as impressed as I am with this animation, they have an awesome behind the scenes video that is well worth a watch. Really allows you to see the painstaking dedication that goes into a stop motion production like this.

Animation Combined With Live Action

If you are on the fence about whether to go with a talking head explainer video or whether you should go with an animation, perhaps you don’t need to choose? These two styles can be used in combination quite powerfully and can allow you to show real-life situations with animated characters or else to use recognisable people in an animated environment. Layering on top of live action footage has been increasing in popularity over the last few years, particularly as animation tracking technology has become more widely available and user friendly. Let’s have a look at how some major brands have combined live action and animation to create some very impressive video content.

“Security” – Paypal

This video is an excellent example of producing a high-quality video to a budget by using animation. Not a small budget but it’s not like they’re making Avatar. Genuinely if Paypal had wanted to create this entire video with live action it would have been a full-scale Hollywood production. We’re talking like 6 figures. There’s sharks and aliens and ninjas, and the shots are pretty complex if you wanted to achieve them entirely in a physical world. By combining 2D animation you are able to still include the visual details but you only need a one room location, one actor and a jib to get all the required live action footage. They are also talking about financial security at the end of the day, and animation is always a great tool for discussing darker or scarier topics in a light hearted manner.

“Rewards” – Harvey Nichols

There is nothing I love more than a free content opportunity. Harvey Nichols have absolutely nailed this one. They have actually taken real security camera footage of shop lifters stealing and layered over some comical 2D animations. It’s just clever. Why not use the footage? It just works so perfectly as this animation is being used to launch a new customer rewards scheme, with the takeaway message about getting their freebies legally. Talk about two birds and one stone. Not only are the promoting customer loyalty but at the same time they are deterring theft.

“You Can’t Get Any More Ribenary” – Ribena

This one is pretty whacked out of it. I mean it doesn’t get wackier than that really. But it’s certainly memorable and was quite a key turning point in live action animations. This video layers animations on top of video footage to create a crazy and visually stimulating world with monster rabbits and owls with laser eyes and birds in top hats. It’s unquestionably eye catching and I feel that it would have resonated well with their younger male audience.

Motion Graphic Animation

Motion graphic videos usually involves combining animated graphics that tend to be quite factual and text based with simple visual graphics or illustrations. Traditionally animations would be focused on characters and the environments, whereas motion graphics are useful for breathing life into text that would otherwise not be very visual. By using different shapes, and graphics and mixing it with animated text you can create quite a content heavy but visual story. When you are watching the brand examples below just look out for how even some very simple graphical approaches can amplify the story.

“Communication Without Chaos” – Slack

Communication Without Chaos by Slack is just a fantastic example of motion graphics at their best. The main problem wit Slack as an application is that the problems its designed to solve aren’t really easily represented through animated character in an office environment. That’s why for this video Slack decided to refine their message and visually tell it through moving 2D shapes that are consistent with their branding and work ever so elegantly with the animation’s script. After seeing this it’s easy to see how often the simplest option is always the best.

“Product Video” – Abaninja

Okay so this one isn’t exactly a fully motion graphic based animation. They have combined quite a bit of 2D animation into it as well. This is typically the combined style used for creating most animated explainer videos for a lot of SaaS based companies. They use animated characters to create that connection and to make the story more relatable from the offset. Using characters allows the audience to empathise towards the characters. They then seamlessly blend simple motion graphics into the video when discussing the products features and benefits as it is definitely the simplest way to get those messages across that aren’t told through character experience.

“Make the Future” – Shell

Although this is probably the simplest of all visual approaches on the list, it is most certainly a motion graphic video, there is no doubt about that, and for that reason it has made the cut. Shell manages to tell a pretty complex story through the power of motion graphics, as it is able to distil the complicated concepts into easy to understand visuals. However, don’t just think this video is amazing because of its simplicity. The real magic with this video is the seamless scene transition, the consistent line art and the motion graphics eye catching colour palette that created this friendly and approachable vibe whilst remaining professional and trustworthy.

Whiteboard Animation

Whiteboard animation is a particular animation style that 9 times out of 10 will feature line art illustrations and also the animators physical hand drawing those illustration onto a whiteboard type surface using a variety of pens and coloured markers. This style of animation really blew up around the time that people started getting into YouTube around 2005. There is something rather captivating about the style and its great for letting the viewer both see and feel a story coming to life. This is a truly timeless style that remains a very popular animation style for storytelling. If you are interested in learning more about this animation style you can check out our extensive guide on whiteboard animation. Otherwise just keep reading to see some examples of whiteboard animation that really shows the potential of the medium to both excite and effectively communicate simultaneously.

“How to Save Energy & Money with Elevations Energy Loans” – Elevations Credit Union

One of the biggest problems for anyone making a video is ensuring that you keep it engaging for the audience. Generally, you are trying to keep the viewer entertained and invested in the story. This whiteboard video from Elevations Credit Union showcases how a simple whiteboard animation with not a whole lot of actual animation can still create a sense of motion and bring a story to life. It also weaves in a few elements of stop motion to enhance the overall feel of the animation production.

“Where Good Ideas Come From” – Riverhead Books

This is really whiteboard animation at its finest. I really feel that this style lends itself particularly well to fact based story telling that has an educational feel to it. It also is the most effective when the illustrations that are used have been created completely custom. That means no downloaded vectors that have been slightly tweaked to fit, even though they may be slightly ambiguous in relation to the script. You can just tell that more effort and attention to detail has gone into it and that really impacts your audience engagement as well as their recall of the information you are trying to get across.

To Conclude

The scope for these six animation styles is truly endless. Especially when combining them. Everything from a 30 second explainer video to international full-length feature films, animation as a medium has the capacity to tell stories of any shape or size. If you are planning an animation, take into consideration the following tips when deciding which of these animation styles is right for your brand.

  1. Consider the brand:Every animation style tends to have a particular feel, ideally you should think about which style of animation most accurately reflects your brand. For instance, is your brand have artistic attributes? Because then maybe a stop motion or a more intricate 2D animation would provide the perfect sentiment for your intended audience. In contrast if your brand is high tech or futuristic then a 3D style might be a more appropriate fit.
  1. Consider your competitors: The only way to stand out from the crowd is to know what the crowd is doing. Take a look at what video content they are producing and what animation style they may be going for. Make sure you choose a style that is different, and a better brand fit that theirs. It’s important to differentiate your content if you want to gain more attention. 
  1. Consider the budget: Now not all animation styles are created equally and as such this is reflected in their associated production cost. Whilst absolutely stunning from a visual standpoint, stop motion takes a lot of time and resources to produce. Whereas whiteboard animation can be created to be much more economical if required. It’s important to have a good idea of your budget before attempting to select any animation styles, otherwise you might end up with your heart set on something that you don’t have the budget to produce.
link building strategy

Link Building Strategy: Good Backlinks Vs Bad Backlinks

By | SEO | One Comment

Link Building Strategy: Good Backlinks Vs Bad Backlinks

There is much discussion when it comes to link building strategy. Many SEO experts have their own opinions as to how integral a link building strategy really is to the ideal SEO strategy, as well as what sort of attributes a link would need for it to be considered a good backlink. Ultimately there is no one way or one set formula to use when assessing the quality of a backlink. Unfortunately, not every link was created equal. However, there are a few things to look out for. At the end of the day the quality of a link always really hinges on two main factors, Authority and Relevance.

what makes a good link?

But before we even get stuck into all this just remember one thing. For any link to even be in the running to be considered, it has to have been indexed. If any links haven’t been indexed or worse your website is deindexed, well then that is a problem that needs to be resolved immediately. Keep in mind though, that if your website or any new page is less than 6 months old then that may be the case why it has not been indexed yet, so there is no need to panic just yet if this is the case.

So, the one main thing to note here is that any link that hasn’t been indexed is by default a bad link.

There is a lot more to this and it does get a tad more complex, but theoretically any link that has been indexed should pass some sort of link juice. And this link juice is what you are looking to build.

Cheeky Little Tip #1: If you want to check whether a link is indexed or not, just put the link url into Google. Does it come up first? Or like relatively first?

Okay, so now that you know that all link needs to be indexed and you know the simplest way to check if a link has been indexed, we can go ahead and get into a little bit more detail.

This is now where Authority and Relevance come in to play.

LINK BUILDING STRATEGY

Now to start with let’s look at Authority. Authority comes in a few different forms. It depends whether you are looing at AHREFs Domain Rating (DR) or the number or referring domains. I tend to just go with DR. Your websites Authority is based on a few factors but by far the biggest one is the number of links it has linking back to it.

Probably the best method for calculating Authority is by looking at :

  1. The number of backlinks to website (DR)
  2.  The number of backlinks to the specific page (UR)

One of the more common questions that you often hear is:

“If a link does not have a particularly high DR, would it be considered a bad link?”

This isn’t always going to be the case, because you could have a considerable number of links going to a specific page only, which would increase the UR score.

This is where PBN’s come in. One of the main reasons for this is because of PBN’s! What’s a PBN? Well it stands for private blog network. I thought they were bad? Well they are, but not all of them. But a lot of them. To be fair the majority of them are just these spammy websites with poor content that’s probably been duplicated, and they all send links to each other. It used to work very well for gaming Google SEO back in the day. But Google got wise to it and now they have cracked down on all that carry on. But is there any use for a PBN? Well you can find less spammy looking ones and they can be used for a few things.

Naturally a lot of links pointing to a specific page, perhaps even an internal page, would signal to Google that this link is of some importance. This is what will build a pages UR score. If you then link that page to your website, it now passes that link juice to you. This is where PBN’s come in. You can get a high amount of cost-effective links and point them to a guest post that is linking to you. This increases that links UR and in turn passes that on to your website. This is why you can’t rely solely on DR when it comes to determining the quality of a link, a website with a strong UR will pass link juice also

This doesn’t mean that you should ignore DR or that it’s not important. DR is still one of the most important metrics, this is because it gives the quickest insight into a website’s authority. But the main thing to note here is that by building several links to a page with high DR, you will increase its UR making it an even stronger link.

Let’s look at the example below:

Imagine a page with a DR 0 and a UR 0. Well it’s pretty obvious to everyone that you aren’t going to want that.

Or, how about a page with a DR 5 and a UR 5. Whilst this one is a bit better, you probably aren’t going to notice much of an impact from that either.

Now let’s just say that you had a page with a DR 60 and a UR 10. There is room to build on this pretty easily. By adding a few Tier 2 links to that page you could increase the UR to 20 maybe even 30. In doing so the overall link is now much stronger.

This would result in a lot more link juice being passed on than it would have been. Niche edits can also be a great way to boost the power of a guest post.

The other factor that we mentioned earlier was Relevance. Relevance can be seen in two forms: Domain and Page Relevance. This basically involves looking at the keywords pointing to a domain or website and the meaning behind them. This will signal how relevant they are.

It would be quite rare to come across domain level links that have high relevance. This can typically only be done within certain niched. However, it is still possible to find a page that is relevant to what you are linking to. This will pass even more link juice on to you.

Cheeky Little Tip #2: Other than these two relevance based factors there really isn’t too much else to be worrying yourself with.

I’m also generally not too concerned about the quantity of content on the page itself either. Ideally, I’d want to see a contextual link on the page and I always like to ensure the page’s content is relevant. But its most important to me that the page is relevant to my site. Also, you want to make sure that the link is “dofollow” and is also indexed, I think that goes without saying.

So, in short, the key take away is that you want to get as many links with as high a DR as possible and then you want to power them up by pointing links to that link. And if you are feeling like being cost effective you can use Tier 2 a PBN links in this way relatively risk free. Ultimately this is going to give you the results that you need. Big site DR and big page UR. It’s worth noting that messing with PBN’s is considered black hat but if you are selective and careful to consider relevance when selecting these Tier 2 links it is probably more grey hat. The link building strategy is to use a mixture of everything and to try and maintain a realistic looking link profile. A sketchy looking link profile is ultimately going to be the main signal to Google that you are trying to play the system. So just always remember to ensure that there is relevance between the source and the target. For instance, you shouldn’t have a link about flowers, linking to your pet site. There is no relevance. Unless maybe it was to do with pet allergies or something but that’s an exception to the rule really. The odd one or two of these wont effect anything, especially if you have been maintaining a realistic link profile.

The sum up – 4 things you need to keep in mind when hunting for those good quality links:

  • The link must be indexed.
  • You need to get a dofollow.
  • The link should have a good authority, DR30+.
  • The link needs to be relevant from source to target.

Don’t worry if this all seems complicated. It can be at first, but once you get it, you get it. Hopefully by analysing your own site and taking a look at the links you have, you will begin to learn what types of links are good and which are bad. And if you just don’t have the time for all of that carry on, you could always just give us a call. We would be happy to help you put the perfect link building strategy in place.

Instagram AR Games

10 Of The Best Instagram AR Game Filters

By | Augmented Reality | One Comment

10 Of The Best Instagram AR Game Filters You Can Play Right Now

You may have noticed that there has been a recent influx of game based AR filters being released on Instagram and Facebook at the moment. However due to the complexity of developing many of these AR game filters, there’s still nowhere near as many of them popping up as their simpler AR activation counterparts. This is great news for brands and marketers alike.

AR filters are already providing brands with a new method for standing out on social media platforms, but AR game filters now give you a way to stand out from the regular AR filter competition. The metrics support this too. You are always going to see a much higher engagement rate with game based AR filters over other types of filters. And if you happen to be linking it in with a competition, you’re metrics are going to sky rocket. Then if you use a few influencers to amplify the reach or if you just get lucky enough for a couple of famous people to share it, well now you could be on your way to achieving that highly coveted “viral” status.

The idea of gamification is nothing new. It has been proven to be effective time and time again. Considering that the next step in evolution for these filters is to move away from single use activations towards AR filters that are used on a regular basis, game based AR filters could prove to be one answer to this. AR & VR gaming is certainly the future and that future is probably much closer than we can even imagine. Facebook has been buying up AR & VR game studios left right and centre so the developing AR and VR gaming out to become more mainstream is progressing even more rapidly.

So just in case you are looking into developing your very own Instagram AR game filter, I have compiled a list of the 10 best AR game filters that I have come across to date. In order to provide you with some solid inspiration I’ve also tried to vary up the game mechanics involved in each game filter to show the different types of Instagram AR game filters that can be created.

FACEINVADER x Ross Wakefield

Whilst the graphics created for this game may look a little bit rough the mechanics of this AR game filter are absolutely awesome and that’s why it’s so addictive to play. Eye tracked laser beams used to destroy attacking alien UFO’s. What’s particularly great about this one is the way it integrates the user into the game as the main character, rather than just being the game controller like the majority of them.

FRUIT FRENZY x Jerzy Pilch

This game filter uses a very simple game mechanics but none the less produces an interesting game that can be replicated across many different executions. To score the colider objects must colide with the basket that is tracked to the head. The retro nintendo feel is always a nice touch too.

TIC-TAC-TOE x Rudi Wahyudi

Despite being named incorrectly, because that game is called naughts and crosses, this AR game filter is based on the age old game that we have all played at multiple times throughout our lives. What’s particularly nice about this one is that allows for two player, a function that is not frequently seen being used in these types of AR filters.

FLAPPY BIRD STYLE GAME x TEJ

The Blue Plane Game is a tried and tested game filter. The majority of people will be familiar with its game mechanics as it is the same as the hit sensation flappy bird. The only difference with this version is that the mouth is used as the trigger action. The scripting required for the physics of this game was quite challenging to reproduce but it was well worth it as it is always a crowd pleaser.

6 SECONDS x Yana Mishkinis

Some of the simplest games are often the most effective and testing mental strength and human reflexes have always been frustratlingly enjoyable throughout the ages. This game tests how good you are at counting in your head and how fast and controlled your blink reflex is. This can be applied to any concept and if paired with a competiton entry it’s certain to be a hit with any social audience.

SOCCER HEAD x Wow Filters

I think just about everyone is familliar with the good old game of keep-y ups. I don’t know about you but juggling an AR football on your head is just as tricky as in the real world. Either way this is a fun AR game filter that could easily be branded and released as part of a social media competition around a sporting event.

PACA-PACA x Yana Mishkinis

This is the retro classic that we all know and love! Pac-man has been ripped again however this time round you’re going to have to control it by moving your head. Make sure to pick the right speed – rabbit (fast), tortoise (medium), or snail (slow) – before the game starts.

FACEOUT GAME x Danny Frenzreb

Are you looking to kill even more or your time on social media? Feeling extra competitive today? Then look no further. Challenge all your mates with this AR version of the classic Brick Breaker and see who’s got the best head, face and eye co-ordination.

NEXT VACATION x Petra

This is just another take on the recently exploded randomizer AR filter. However it is easy to see how with some better visuals and a promotional element, this could be a major part of any travel company’s Instagram marketing campaign. It’s easy to see how any brand could cleverly apply this to still drive good results despite this type of filter being already so heavily saturated.

MAGIC8BALL x Yana Mishkinis

Are there any questions keeping you up at night? Looking for some advice? Well you could always ask the magic 8 ball a close-ended question. Think it in your head or say it out loud the 8 ball will tell you what to do. This is again another clever variation on the classic randomizer AR filter that took Instagram by storm.

instagram ar campaign

How To Run An Effective Instagram AR Filter Campaign?

By | Augmented Reality | No Comments

How To Run An Effective Instagram AR Filter Campaign?

One of the most powerful viral marketing tools of the last few years has got to be AR filters. As such it’s no surprise that we have seen such an explosion of Instagram AR filters since moving out of their beta programme. Well like with all things new, it can be difficult to find information on them and how they function or how to even go about distributing them. This is largely because not many digital marketers have had the chance to work on an Instagram AR filter campaign. Naturally it can be a challenge figuring out how to effectively launch and measure an Instagram AR campaign.

So in order to make life easier I just went ahead and put this helpful guide together, so that you can better understand how your Instagram AR filter is found and shared by your audience, and how you can go about measuring the audience engagement that your branded AR experience receives.

How Does My Audience Find My Instagram AR Filter?

When you publish your Instagram AR filter it is linked directly to your profile. One published it will stay there unless you decide to take it down. Once your filter is live it can also be easily accessed through the designated filter tab that is just below your highlight reel. The other way for you to share it is to post it in your story with somebody using it. You’re able to add a “Try” it button which means anyone who views your story can use the filter by simply pressing it.

Once you have recorded a video of your AR filter (They’re actually called “Instagram Camera Effects” FYI) tap the link button top of your screen. This should open a new screen with a button that says “Swipe Up + Camera Effect” that should let you embed a link to your AR filter directly into your story. All your audience have to do is tap the link to give it a go themselves.

If you are running a branded Instagram AR filter you are now able to tag a partner, e.g. Influencers or Brand Ambassadors, with a little label saying, “Paid Partnership With” and the name of the partner. This partner is also able to view the metrics of your story. You’ll also be able to let your partner promote the Instagram AR filter story. It will give them the ability to turn your tagged story into an ad. The one thing to keep in mind however is that once you turn your story into an ad, you will have much less options to edit it and you can’t turn off this setting either. Any ad is publicly listed in the Ad Library.

Another way that you can direct users to your AR filter is through the tappable link. This can be shared on any social media platform or website or anything at all really.

What Analytics Do Instagram Give You?

Unfortunately for you data heads the analytics are pretty basic, but it’s better than nothing and they are enough to give you an idea as to whether or not you’ve launched a decent filter. Once everything is live you’ll be able to view metrics on Impressions, which refers to how many times an AR effect was displayed on a screen, the Captures, which is the number of times it has been captured as a photo or video through the Instagram camera and lastly the Shares which is how many times someone took a photo or a video using your AR filter and shared it on Instagram, usually as a story. You are able to find and compare the insights from all of your filters over at the Spark AR hub.

Instagram AR filter

How Do I Increase The Engagement On My Instagram AR Filter?

This is probably the most important aspect to consider at the end of the day. How will your audience actually find your Instagram AR filter? A number of digital marketers may post it once, on one channel, this one time and the expect it to blow up and go viral, but like all social media marketing campaigns you need to look at a multi-channel strategy if you want to really increase the metrics of your Instagram AR filter campaign.

You can also use the same influencer marketing tactics that you would use for just normal story based or static branded content, to amplify your Instagram AR filter campaign. The best thing to do is to get your brand ambassadors to post the AR filter in their stories or feed multiple times over the space of a few weeks. Or else create a competition around the campaign that uses the Instagram AR filter as the entry mechanism. The AR game filters are particularly useful for this and it is most certainly reflected in their higher metrics.

Instagram AR filters shift your audience from being merely passive observers into active brand participants and provide your audience with a tool to help spread your message for you. The growth of these AR filters has only just gotten started. It remains to be seen what limits can be reached with social media AR. The next stage is developing AR concepts that are more than just a single use experience. Creating Instagram AR filters that are more than just novel experience, ones that people will want to actually use again and again.

blog commenting for SEO

Blog Commenting For SEO, Is It That Vital?

By | SEO | 12 Comments

Blog Commenting For SEO, Is It That Vital?

There’s no surprise that blog commenting plays an important role in any blogging or SEO strategy. They can provide backlinks to your website and can also drive actual traffic to your website too. By utilising an effective blog commenting strategy you will really begin to notice a natural increase in your backlink metrics. If you’re looking to find out more information on blog commenting and how you can harness it as an SEO tool then you have come to the right place.

blog commenting for SEO

So What is Blog Commenting?

Blog commenting can be seen as the relationship between bloggers and their blog readers. It can also be an amazing way of exchanging ideas and thoughts, offering additional relevant content, or even just giving a particular opinion or perspective for a particular topic or post. Blog comments certainly creates a more social and community based feel which tends to attract additional traffic. Blog commenting is ultimately an action that is taken by the blogs audience or visitors. Some blog readers would leave a comment on a particular blog post typically in the form of a question, if there was something they wanted to ask or if they required clarification on any points . Others may leave comments that show support for the blogger or show their appreciation for the content that they are reading.

 

Why Is Blog Commenting For SEO That Important?

Comments on blogs posts are like petrol to an engine. Through the SEO tactic of blog commenting, you can improve your SEO whilst also sharing knowledge. Blog commenting can not only be great for driving traffic to your website but it can also be rather useful for driving relevant traffic to particular blog posts on your own site. At the end of the day comments create a conversation, the more you converse the more of a relationship that is built between the user and the author. The stronger your relationships the greater your popularity will become. But also remember it’s not all about popularity and relationship building. Blog commenting for SEO can also get you a lot of backlinks and a healthy boost in website traffic.

 

Have You Ever heard about Blog commenting systems?

The internet is just one massive hub of all information. You can find the answers to the why’s, what’s and the when’s of the world. Blog commenting can also be used as a great way to share new ideas , knowledge and experiences. One of the best features of web 2.0 websites must be user interaction with the site and the web in general. Blog commenting system can be viewed as a system that allows users and reader to leave comments on blog posts. The majority of modern content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, Blogger or TypePad provide the foundation for blogs, and blog commenting provides a fundamental aspect of the foundations of SEO for a website.

 

Blog Commenting For SEO & Why You Need It?

There are so many different reasons for you to get involved with blog commenting if you are looking to improve your SEO and drive additional traffic to your website. From an SEO perspective, blog commenting can be a simple and effective way of building backlinks, and for increasing your page authority, but it can also be a great way to show your knowledge and can also drive relevant traffic back to your website. Blog commenting really can play a key role in attracting traffic. It can also be used to create stronger relationships with your audience.

As I have already noted on several occasions blog commenting is conducted ultimately to generate new backlinks and to gain more traffic. We will now discuss each of these in more detail.

  • Backlinks :

    This is probably the number one reason that you should be engaging in blog commenting. If you think that your website is just not ranking like it should be an your not getting the online attention that you deserve the likely cause of this a low authority with search engines. Every time you comment on someone else’s blog posts you are creating a backlink for your website which can indirectly help you to get more traffic.

  • Traffic :

    Generally anyone who is commenting on a blog will typically tend to leave a backlink. This is a pretty good indication that this tactic can be useful for driving new additional traffic. Just make sure that you aren’t just picking random unrelated blogs to comment on otherwise it is probably unlikely to serve you to well. Comments need to be relevant to the content and the content needs to be relevant to your website.

  • Build Relationships : One of the best ways that you can create relationships is ultimately through Blog Commenting. Initially at the start building relationships might take a bit more time but once you get going and start doing it more regularly, you will start to notice a difference. Moreover, you will slowly begin to build relationships with different bloggers and site administrators.
  • Brand Recognition :

    Whether you are creating a blog post, or commenting on one, you should always stick to your niche so that you are driving relevant traffic to your website. Even if you aren’t getting comments on your blogs at the start it still creates an impression and perhaps that may lead to future engagements or even a conversion. At the end of the day that’s why you are trying to drive traffic in the first place.

 

 How Do You Do Blog Commenting For SEO?

It is rather simple and really not that difficult of a tactic to implement. All you have to do is post a comment underneath a blog post. The main thing to keep in mind here is that whatever you decide to post and where you decide to post needs to be relevant and actually make sense in relation to what you are trying to achieve or where you are trying to position yourself. Ideally it should draw some conclusion or offer some value. You don’t always have to be positive and you can disagree if you wish. You just need to think about how and when you want to take this sort of stance in a blog comment. It’s a good idea to create a list of different websites that are in your niche where you can find industry news and relevant blog posts to engage with.

And just remember you don’t need to worry too much about it. As long as you are creating links through relevant content that provides value to the blogs you are posting them on then you should be absolutely fine.

In Conclusion

When it comes to blog commenting for SEO it is a pretty essential practice if you are looking for your blog to stand out and begin to get noticed. However, without a solid strategy blog commenting is unlikely to be as effective as its potential. It can be a useful tactic to give your SEO a strategy a boost and it is a good way of building relationships with other blog writers. Blog commenting can be an amazingly easy way to grow your network so why not give it a go?

what is 3D animation

What Is 3D Animation?

By | Animation | No Comments

WHAT IS 3D ANIMATION?

Before we even go getting into 3D animation, we need to understand and admire the art of animation itself. The art of animation has most certainly come a long way today. In this modern day and age, most animations are done through computer technology. Famously known as CGI (computer-generated imagery). But the important detail to notice here is that It wasn’t always such a tech-savvy process back then.

Back in the days, the word ‘animation’ reminded people traditionally of hand-drawn and painted images – that were then photographed and showcased afterward. Celluloid was developed in 1913; and bam! The rest is history.

The next big thing in animation was the development of 3D Animation, thanks to the designers Edwin Catmull and Frederic Parke. Until then, 2D animation was the only real animation style available to animators. These two designers changed the two-dimensional animation world forever. From paper to digital to 3D, animation has risen to a whole new level. In Today’s world: 3D Animation is the peak of animation technology.

In this article, we will talk about What is 3D Animation, 3D animation evolvements, 3D Animation techniques with an explanation of 3D Animation, and much more.

WHAT IS ANIMATION?

This is the art of manipulating pictures to appear as moving images. This process includes designing, drawing, creating layouts and then preparing photographic sequences. From the cartoons of the 60’s to the Avengers End Game type of movies you may have seen this 2020, animation has definitely come a long way; And It still has the potential to go much much further.

SO WHAT IS 3D ANIMATION?

3D Animation is the process of animating/moving objects in a digital Three-dimensional space. These 3D models or objects can be moved and rotated like real objects using the art of motion. This is the peak of animation right now, at least at the time of writing this article anyway.

3D animation is currently used in TV shows, films, games and it forms the heart of virtual reality. It may also be used in presentation graphics as well. As a whole, 3D Animation is used in a lot of visual related artworks of the modern-day world. Does anybody remember the movie Avatar (2012)? Arguably one of the reasons it was so damn popular was because it was the first-ever movie released in 3D. From Toy Story to a nickelodeon tv show like Jimmy Neutron – you just can’t feel anything but happiness and nostalgia for the evolution of animation technology.

3D Animation has 3 main sections:

  • Layouts –The process of layout is used in the positioning of objects.
  • Modeling – Generating process of 3D objects.
  • Rendering – Completed 3D Animation output creating process

These sections are followed by a 3D animator day in and day out.  It differentiates based on the Types of 3D Animation, although the process remains the same.

3D Animation can be divided into these types of animations as well:

  • 3D Video & Film:  Among all the well-known types of 3D animation, 3D video and film remain as the most widely known
  • Interactive 3D: This is a complete 3D production that features in a purely digital environment – created by using 3D software.
  • Virtual Reality 3D: Users are immersed yet capable of interacting with 3D objects in a 3D world where a computer creates a simulated environment.
  • Clay Motion: Also known as Stop motion animation
  • Digital 3D: This is a non-specific 3D standard where normally video games, films and television shows are presented using digital 3D technology. Fun fact: one of the first-ever studios to use this digital 3D technology was Walt Disney Pictures.
  • Cell-shaded Animation
  • Pixilation: Film or record movements of real people; To later edit them in a way that they seem to move and animate like artificial animations.
  • Typography : Also known as Motion Graphics
  • Stop Motion: This is a well-known animated filmmaking technique.
  • Pinscreen: Used in creating instant 3D avatars of people. These are personalized and user-generated avatars.
  • Paint-on-glass
what is 3d animation

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A 3D ANIMATOR AND A 2D ANIMATOR

In the field of animation, there are 2 main types of animators:  2D animators and 3D animators. Basically, they provide the same set of skills: Both of them find new ideas and then they undertake a considerable amount of research to ensure their ideas and thought processes are unique, original, and engaging. Then they render those ideas on paper or with the use of computer software. But, that’s where the similarities between the 2 animating types end.

Essentially, 2D animators design 2D flat images: They have width and height to contend with but obviously don’t have to worry about depth as much. 3D animation, on the other hand, is ultimately more realistic because of the significant addition of depth. Adding depth makes way for more life-like characters, and it is far easier for 3D animators to create changes to a specific scene because of the ability to move or transfer an object more comfortably. But in 2D animation, the animator has to draw the scenery all over again if any changes are needed.

On the other hand – People who work in the three-dimensional (3D) animation field develop visual effects and animated characters for video games, TV, and other electronic media. Many 3D animators work in the film and movie industry as well. 3D animators make moving images with the use of digital models. So, adding details to pictures, such as clothing, skin color or landscapes comes quite naturally as an alternate activity.  So basically, a 3D Animator generally holds a more advanced position in the industry, compared to a 2D animator. However there exceptions to everything.

A 3D ANIMATOR’S LIFE

A 3D Animation artist does have an advanced position in the industry. But as the saying goes: With great power, comes great responsibility.  A 3D animator indeed has lots of responsibilities at the working place. They may also have the job title of multimedia artists. In an ordinary day, they take on a variety of work and responsibilities for the purpose of planning, crafting, and developing their art. Some of the main duties of a 3D animator have:

  • Making animation and graphics with the use of computer-made illustrations and computer software programs.
  • Researching the project to find ideas and thought processes for animation.
  • Getting feedback from clients & the design staff: incorporating the responses from them into project edits.

3D Animation is indeed an interesting field; but as a 3D animator, you will have to be interested in different responsibilities as well.

REQUIREMENTS TO BECOME A 3D ANIMATOR

Education wise:

Successfully completing a bachelor’s degree in computer graphics, fine art, animation, and/or graphic design. Students must look into programs that focus on art and computer courses.

Most of the schools ask students to create and manage their portfolios online.

Some special items to include in a portfolio:  Prop and Location Designs, Original Character Designs, Life Drawings, and Other Original Work.

RELATED CAREERS FROM 3D ANIMATION

A 3D animator is not the only role you must follow through if you learn 3D animation. There are various animation-related careers based on your interests!

  • Graphic Designer – The main focus of a graphic designer is to follow the system of using visual communications and resolving issues through the use of photography, typography and illustrations.
  • Web Designer – Requires many different sets of skills and disciplines in the creation and maintenance of websites. The areas of web design mainly have designing of interfaces; designing of web graphics; including standardized code, authoring and proprietary software.
  • Web Developer – This is a person having knowledge in programming; who has special skills and is especially active in the development of Web applications; by using a client–server model. The used applications typically are HTML, C#, CSS, PHP, JavaScript or Java in the server.
  • Multimedia Designer- These are the creative minds behind informational videos, advertisements and other types of content you come across while watching television or while online.
  • 3D Modeler- This is a type of animator or multimedia artist who creates three-dimensional visuals or models of items by using a variety of computer software tools and programs.
  • Logo Designer- These are graphic designers that create distinctive branding for representing companies and/or products. They could be working for a design firm, advertising agency, publishing house or as a freelancing graphic artist.
  • Computer Animator– These people create and design 3D and 2D motion graphics for different platforms, including computer games, videos and mobile devices.
  • Video Game Designer- They do design of video game rules and content of video games in the stages before production. And then designing the story environment, gameplay, characters and storyline in the production stage.
  • UI UX Designer – They make sure a product makes sense to the individual using it; They do this by creating a path that flows from 1 step to another. A UI designer makes sure that each page visually connects the above-mentioned path.

CONCLUSION

Visual preferences of people always play a significant role in helping to decide the individual’s likings between 3D and 2D Animation. Anyway, there are some other important factors like target audience, timelines, and budgets: which also help an individual’s choice of animation. But at the end of the day, 3D animation is the future of animation. 3D animation will always be the base and core of evolving animation art.

Mastercard's Mobile AR App

Mastercard’s Mobile AR App Demonstrates Rewards To Their Cardholders

By | Augmented Reality | No Comments

Mastercard’s New Mobile AR App Will Virtually Demonstrate Rewards & Benefits To Their Cardholders

It’s always a fantastic sign for any new technology when a big household brand name adopts it for a big marketing push. It’s even better when the idea they are pushing is not just novel and gimmicky, but is genuinely interesting and also potentially solves a legitimate consumer problem.

So naturally when I saw that Mastercard, a brand so strong that they totally just dropped their name off their logo last year at CES, had decided to get in on AR with a mobile augmented reality app, you know that we are turning another corner with AR adoption. Don’t get me wrong there are still a shit load of turns in the road ahead but this is certainly a bit of a milestone for the industry.

At this year’s CES they dropped that they were going to be launching a new AR app that will give their cardholders the ability to experience and explore their rewards first hand through portal AR. Mastercard’s mobile AR app is just an inspired use of AR technology. I can only speak for myself on this, and to be fair the reward schemes on credit cards in Ireland tend to be pretty piss poor which may be skewing my judgement, but I never really even look at those rewards schemes anymore and if I do it’s a fleeting glance and I’m gone. I don’t feel a strong pull or a connection to them, certainly not enough for it to affect my purchasing decisions. And when so much effort goes into organising and distributing those offers and rewards, you really have to wonder is engaging in this type of marketing activity even worth it anymore?

This new AR application may just be the thing that was missing to bridge the gap, or else maybe it will just be another AR gimmick that doesn’t really solve any problem, but provides a novel experience for 5 seconds and a nice case study video for YouTube and online PR.

mastercard's Mobile AR app

Although they’ve said we aren’t going to have to wait too long to find out, as Mastercard’s mobile AR app is scheduled for launch in Q2 of this year. We probably are, as it’s only going to be released for iPhones in the US. I know, boo urns right. Well the good news at least is that they are planning to bring out an android version, and it will also be released at some stage this year. To add to all of this, Mastercard have actually opened up this AR experience as a white-label app for all of their various different partners.

mobile AR app

“At Mastercard, we’re using our technology and solutions to deliver multi-sensory experiences for consumers every day – whether they’re shopping, taking transit, or exploring the card benefits they care about,” highlighted Mastercard’s CMO, in a statement. The whole idea is to leverage intuitive AR design to allow cardholders to easily discover and also explore these benefits that are so often overlooked.

Mastercard's Mobile AR App

In order for a cardholder to try this AR experience, all they have to do is install the app and then scan their card using their smart phone camera. The AR app then creates 3 virtual portals within the user’s space. Every one of these portals will be linked to a specific benefit category and should instantly transport the users to a luxurious virtual scene that corresponds with the category. For instance, the Peace Of Mind portal transports users to a relaxing spa, the Every Day Value portal will take the user to a snazzy high end smart home and the Experiences portal will drop you right onto a private beach. See what I mean, the rewards on my card are an absolute flop in comparison.

MasterCard's mobile AR app

Once you have entered inside the VR environment, users can stroll around and can interact with different objects, these objects are meant to represent different card features.  Inside of the Experiences portal there is a set of golf clubs that when you interact with will provide more information on all the different golf related benefits that Mastercard offers their cardholders. Presumably they will have different offers squeezed into all their different portals. I just can’t help but wonder how you would represent a 3% cashback offer on your next online Swavorski purchase.

“Digital-first consumers are the first to explore and use technology-enabled touchpoints across the entire payments journey,” said Tim Sloane, VP of the Mercator Advisory Group. “With the new Mastercard benefits app, these cardholders will experience an immersive and truly unique environment where every tap delivers the value and benefits of their card in a fashion never experienced before.” I mean I’m sure we can all at the very least half agree with that.

mobile AR app

It’s worth mentioning that this isn’t Mastercard’s first AR rodeo. They were already dipping their toes in the waters as far back as 2017, when they partnered with Qualcomm to create an AR shopping idea that had iris authentication built in. Safe to say that didn’t really go anywhere, but they were way to early with it. It’s going to be a few years before we see an AR commerce concept that’s robust enough to be whole heartedly adopted by the market.

The world of banking is probably not the industry that I would be hanging my AR cap on, but they do have all the money, literally, that’s what they do, they “keep out money safe”. But this tech is going from strength to strength and is certainly proving its ability to solve long standing communication issues in a new and highly engaging way.

Just take a look at ABN AMRO, a Dutch bank who developed a full-on AR escape room game with the sole purpose of attracting new IT security nerds to apply for their new job openings. It’s no different to Mastercard’s consumer focused AR play. Both are founded upon the communication of company benefits to the user. It’s by taking these more every day and dare I say boring areas of a business, and jazzing them up, making them more interesting, interactive and immersive. This is really how AR is going to be able to carve a strong foothold in not just the banking industry, but in all of them.