When Projection Presentation Technologies came to us with an idea for the American Association of Pediatrics Annual Conference intro animation, they told us they wanted to do something different. Little did we know that “different” would evolve into perhaps the most complex animation we’ve ever created here at Blue Pony. As designers we’re always challenging ourselves to learn new techniques and to push the limits of our creative abilities. When the story idea was described, a baby who finds a tiny pine cone in the Redwood Forest and then grows throughout the years along with the tree, we knew we’d need to take a different approach to find a way to make his dream come to life.
We started with static storyboards and then moved to animatics (a moving storyboard) to work out camera angles and timing. After several rounds of revisions we had a solid concept that the client was excited about.
Now we just needed to figure out what kind of technique to use. Usually, we create content using existing assets like stock photography and design elements. Due to the complexity of the story and the need for our little baby to age throughout the animation, we decided to create all the elements ourselves. We hand drew everything, from the forest backgrounds to the baby. Then we imported the drawings into AfterEffects and created puppets that could be key frame animated. It was a time consuming and detailed process, but it was worth it. Creating everything ourselves allowed us to dream big.
When we had completed the animation, we added in music and sound effects to complete the effect. The clients loved the finished product and we were excited to have been able to work on a project that allowed us to flex our creative muscles.