City Signs is Worcester's leading signage and display specialist. They have produced professional signage for more than sixty years. City Signs is known and trusted by both large and small businesses across the Midlands.
City Signs asked WAKSTER to produce a sales and marketing animation to help the company secure additional high-quality clients. The animation had to attract attention, persuade prospective clients of the value a City Signs product offers them and make the brand memorable.
The theme we suggested was Contrast: what does the world look like with and without a City Signs product.
We portrayed the world without a City Signs product as a desaturated place where people are unresponsive, and businesses go unnoticed. The world with a City Signs product, on the other hand, is colourful, people are happy to be engaged, and companies get noticed and do more business.
To create the script and storyboard we applied the WAKSTER process for creating Persuasive Sense-making animations. This means we weave four distinct narratives together to create an engaging animation experience that produces results.
The rational narrative.
This narrative forms the easy-to-follow rational pathway that connects the dots to create an 'A-ha' moment.
The emotional narrative.
We know that all decision making is driven by emotions. We, therefore, structure the rational narrative to trigger a flow of crucial emotions that work together to encourage positive action.
The visual narrative.
In our animation, the visual element doesn't just replicate what the verbal communication conveys but augments it. Here we used elements such as facial expressions, camera angles and colour to strengthen the rational and emotional narratives
The booster narrative.
This narrative puts in place ideas and impressions that prepare the ground, mostly in the preconscious mind, for the rational narrative to be more easily accepted and the emotional narrative to be more intensely experienced.
The process of planning and weaving the four distinct narratives together is both an art and a science. It ultimately results in a final Script and Storyboard.
Once the script and storyboard were finalised, we commissioned the brilliant Kerry Hutchison to do the voice-over for us. Kerry recorded the audio and then we produced the Animatic. This is basically an animated storyboard to give a sense of the finished project before we start the animation production process.
Modelling, Lights, Cameras and Animation
Once we were all happy with the Animatic, we started the process of modelling, texturing and lighting all the environments and placing the characters where they needed to go, ready to be animated. We used our Humbers character collection, which meant the characters were already rigged and ready to act their parts.
We also had to design a logo, signage and some graphics for the fictitious XYZ Company we used throughout the animation.
Then the animation process started in earnest. We brought the City Signs world to life using keyframe animation – people, cars, bricks, and flying logos.
We first rendered out preview animations for each animation sequence to check everything was OK before rendering the 25 frames per second in high-resolution detail. 2865 rendered images later, the animation process was complete.
Once The last step in the process is called Post Production. This is where we pull all the elements together – rendered frames, voice-over and music. We then edit the transitions between scenes, do colour corrections, create special effects and create motion graphic elements such as the logo reveal and Call To Action information.
Then we compile the animation (well, many times to be honest) and ta-dah!
The animation is done.
But there was one more step: we also rendered out 28 static images of the animation scenes that City Signs will use for social media posts to generate awareness.
Some comments during the project
Looking amazing Philippe - thanks.
We love this!
Seriously clever stuff! We love it :-)
This is looking awesome….
We love, love, love it...
Amazing!!! Thanks so much again Philippe for all your efforts on this and getting it turned around so quickly. We are really, really, pleased with it :-)