Animation or video: which to use and when?

Eoin Dowdall
Creative Director

Whilst we would not be so bold has to lay down the law on this question, we can are confident about offering advice on this, based on our experience and brilliance (! Yes we are a little bold) in both formats. The truth of the matter is that with some creative thinking and confidence to push the boundaries, then a video concept and design shouldn’t necessarily be bound by one or other of these formats. Instead, it is worthwhile considering the potential and matching it to your objectives.

Style: The world of animation is boundless. Its limits are only those of your imagination, and therefore it offers a potential for engaging the audience with wonderful, memorable stories. You can create any character or being, any situation or alternate universe, and make the impossible possible.

The danger with this is that it can’t replace the reality of video. It will always represent an imagined world: and therefore will portray a different feel for the audience. If for instance you are trying to touch a nerve, or engage your audience in a story of human interest, that they may be able to relate more closely to video representation of real people, situations and captured emotions.

Cost: Animation takes time. And potentially a fair amount of design work. So it is always a matter of balancing out the potential cost of the design versus what may be achieved on a video shoot – be it studio-based or on location. Do you need actors, narrators, specific sets to help tell your story. Because with the endless possibility of animation, then the cost of these resources may be subsumed in the land of make believe.

Objectives: Actually, although listed last, we would start with this when planning. What do you need to achieve with your piece of digital film? Is it didactic, motivational, stylistic (or all three)? We at Kartoffel have produced a lot of animation and rich media for educational projects. Especially for Health and Safety pieces, (the drastic and potentially bloody outcome of an accident can be effectively remastered in cartoon form.) Similarly we have used film for educational and human interest stories.

And some of our most effective work will combine the two.

Come and talk to us about what you can achieve. We will work on the best style and format for you. We love video in all format! Luckily.

Above you will find some work we recently completed for Trinity College.

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