Making an Impact with 3D Animation for Corporate Video

June 07, 2012 | Posted by Libby Black | Marketing, Video

Some things are simply too hard to videotape - the flow of air, an electronic signal, a microscopic chemical reaction, or how the inside of an engine works. Adding 3D animation as part of corporate video production is a way to demonstrate actions and processes like these that are hard to represent for an audience. If you really need to get a point across quickly, a demonstration in 3D video is an effective option. That’s why when a client needed to show the inner workings of an oil filter, Alteris Group suggested 3D animation as the way to go.

From the outside, a CNH MicroLoc oil filter looks like a black cylinder with little to indicate all that is happening inside. When sales reps and company personnel wanted to explain the product to potential customers, the original solution was to cut out part of an actual filter to show the internal components. But not only did the company have to destroy dozens of filters to make the props, but the personnel were still only able to show the parts of the filter. There was no way to show the filter in action or the microscopic processes taking place.

A 3D animation solved these problems and more in under a minute. Click below to view the actual CNH MicroLoc filter video.

The animation allowed Alteris Group to show the filter components from different angles, how fluid flows through the filter, how the MicroLoc synthetic media captures microscopic particles, and how the stacked-disc bypass media and venturi function.

“People really begin to understand how a filter works once they see it operating in 3D,” shares Jeff Holscher, account manager at Alteris Group. Holscher was involved with the project from the beginning and has been involved in 3D animation projects for several clients over the years. “With 3D animation you can get down to the microscopic view like we did here demonstrating the foreign particles getting trapped in the filter,” Holscher says.

CNH was so pleased with the MicroLoc 3D video that the company has used it at trade shows, in their web-based training on filters, in their instructor lead training on filters and products, on dealership showroom videos and on their ecommerce site.

10 Reasons to Consider 3D Animation

There are tons of ways 3D animation can make a corporate video more effective, but these are 10 cases where 3D is especially valuable.

1. To show the orientation of items. 3D can show where a part is located in a system.

2. To show the relationship of components. You can show where items sit in relation to one another and how parts come together and apart.

3. To see inside or behind something. Recently Alteris Group needed to show the inside of co-tubes, which are a tube inside of a tube where fluid in one flows left to right and the other flows right to left.

4. To rotate images. When you need to show a full 360 degree view, 3D animation can be a great option.

5. To fly over open environments. If you don’t quite have the budget for a helicopter, 3D animation provides a solid alternative for showing open environments from any angle such as city blocks or large buildings.

6. To fly over closed environments. 3D animation allows you to take an audience through the inside of a working engine or even a working heart.

7. To show the flow of fluid, air, current, electronic signals or other types of movement not visible to the human eye. The use of arrows, pulsing lines or rings can all be used in a 3D animation to communicate these hidden movements to your audience.

8. To show microscopic views of things like fibers, pores or chemical reactions. Maybe you have a scanning tunneling microscope on hand to film the truly tiny, but if not, you can create a similar effect with a 3D representation of a world smaller than the eye can see.

9. When it would be unsafe to demonstrate with live people. For a recent safety video, our client needed to show people getting hands trapped in machines, being hit by forklifts, getting electric shocks and more. It was much safer to show these events on 3D characters.

10. To impress. Let’s face it; most people enjoy the look of well-designed 3D animation.

3D Animation at Alteris Group

Alteris Group has created 3D animations for corporate videos for CHN, Visteon, Metaldyne, La-Z-Boy, and Air International Thermal Systems among others. Animations are built both from pre-existing CAD files or modeled using the components themselves. The 3D elements are then combined in our in-house edit suite to create the video. “We can create basically any kind of 3D video for our customers,” Holscher adds. “But what I really think is important is if you want that wow factor, consider 3D a viable solution. It’s cool to look at. It’s interesting. It’s memorable, and it’s fun.”