By Brandon Houston on December 1, 2016

All businesses are looking for successful ways to increase ROI on videos while developing unique marketing collateral for their companies. However, not all video content created for companies can last forever. A video created 10 years ago as marketing collateral may look horrendously outdated by today’s standards due to advancements in animation technology and rendering programs. Businesses will need to showcase up-to-date content that is relevant to their audience’s interests and desires. Without beautiful-looking animated company videos, a company will not see the ROI it desires on videos if the art style is outdated.

Much like fonts and graphic design, animation has its own set of trends. Here are six incredible and tech-defying animation trends that started in 2016 and are expected to continue into 2017. Consider incorporating them into your animated video content today:

1. Non-photorealistic rendering

Typically when an animator renders an animation in 3-D, they will use a render program and post-production effects specifically designed to make the material look realistic. This is particularly popular with 3-D product models of objects such as computers, cars, architecture and demo video production. Yet if you want your videos to stand out and look trendy, consider non-photorealistic rendering, or NPR.

According to Whistling Woods International Institute of Film, NPR is when a 3-D program is used to create a 2-D-looking animation that behaves more similarly to hand-drawn piece. This works by applying matte or painted textures to 3-D objects and shooting the camera from limited angles to make it seem 2-D. Many films have already started to adopt this trend including major advertising campaigns such as Airbnb’s “Wall and Chain” by Psyop. It is an evocative art form that will appeal to the emotional side of your viewers, increasing ROI and painting your brand as heartfelt.

2. 3-D printed models

Stop motion and claymation animators used to have the most strenuous of jobs: Constantly building scaleable models, developing new ones for production and tediously tracking each movement made and wasting materials. However, everything in stop motion changed when the 3-D printer arrived. 3-D printing is useful for production houses and your business because it lowers the cost of total materials used and ultimately lowers the cost of your video content. It also reduces waste for the studio while creating extremely accurate models to be used for animated commercials. According to Creative Bloq, this technique is already being used in major motion pictures such as “The Boxtrolls” by Laika studios.

3. Illustration to animation

An ultimately cost-reducing animation method, this is most commonly used to create moving GIFs that translate well to animated website backdrops. They also work well on website platforms and for short low-motion frames in an animated video. According to Internet Billboards, animators can quickly make the jump from illustration to animation by leaving many elements of the drawing still while only moving certain sections of it. This method is particularly popular with brands looking for an artistic and cozy feel and for those on a limited budget.

4. Isometric animation

Isometric animation is the equivalent of a top-down video game for animated content. This technique is developed using an Axonometric Projection technique. In actual human non-jargon talk, it’s known as projecting a 3-D object on a 2-D plane. This animation technique is extremely popular in the video game industry because it is simple to animate on and creates a highly stylized effect while lowering costs, according to Internet Billboards. It will be particularly useful for technology brands and computer-based companies interested in showcasing their abilities and content.

Matte graphics, such as these, are the gold standard in motion graphics today.Matte graphics, such as these, are the gold standard in motion graphics today.

5. Matte graphics

Remember the days before iOS 7 when everything was chrome and shiny? Unfortunately, we do, too. It was a nightmare for designers, and the trend created visual clutter on many web pages. Today, the ultimate animation and motion graphic trend is a matte finish look that is more similar to real life. These flat, matte graphics can be used in a variety of ways and colour schemes. The benefit of motion graphics is that they are low-cost to produce and typically take less time than full-blown character animation or 3-D rendering. Matte graphics also translate well to transparent surfaces and can be used in GIF format more easily than 3-D renderings.

6. Whiteboard animation

There’s something a little charming, endearing and clever about whiteboard video animation. The animation style helps viewers feel as if they are directly part of the action while lowering production costs for studios. This cost-effective video animation form is particularly useful for explainer videos and product run-down videos. This style has become particularly popular over the past few years, making it a hot commodity in the animation world. If you’d love to see an immediate ROI on your videos, consider using whiteboard animation today.

7. Virtual reality storytelling

2016 was the year that virtual reality and animated storytelling really started to become popular. Animation lends itself well to being programmed into VR environments and animated characters can be controlled and interacted with more easily than live action. This year we’ve seen impressive examples enter the market like Aardman’s 360 Google Spotlight Story project.

2017 will see more leaps in the advancement of VR and we’ll see more experimentation with animated storytelling. We might still be a few years out before the novelty of VR wears of and we find out how much the VR storytelling landscape will develop, but we’re sure to see some interesting experiments come out over the next 12 months. From short-form content to fully immersive experiences, 2017 is going to be an exciting year!

 

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