It has been an informative 2 weeks working at Iglu Media. Andrew Coyle, Kerry McCormick, Jonny Shields and I worked on two quick turnaround videos for the football Euros. The first video was an explainer style animation that explained the difference between Irish and Northern Irish football. That one was very successful with views as it very quickly got over 2,000,000 views on Facebook alone, then many extra on YouTube.
We then started the next one on Friday evening (June 10th) and managed to have it complete by Wednesday (June 15th). That one was more complicated as it involved character animation and lip syncing for the first time! This one is currently on around 200,000 views on Facebook. It’s interesting to see the difference in views between YouTube and Facebook.
Some reflection on what I’ve learned over the past two weeks:
- There’s a great advantage to everyone working together in an office space and keeping the same office hours. Everyone was in early in the morning, had a reasonable lunch and worked until 5 or 6.There was simply no time to be distracted during our set work hours. In the past I’ve felt guilty about having this expectancy of everyone in the team. I understand that some people like to stay up extremely late at night and then sleep as needed. However, after seeing how well a team can work when we keep regular office hours and be together to discuss ideas or troubleshoot problems (or just as happily work at our own desks), I would really love to see this happening in our final year team.
- When it comes to animating, having pre-recorded sound for timing is so priceless!
- Having a tight deadline really forced us to be efficient as individuals and as a team. Planning was greatly helped by having a locked down script or song to work from. We could immediately jump into the storyboard stage. We were forced to quickly decide on a simple style that the whole team could adapt to, for drawing and animating. Jonny Shields was a great organised force to work with and set up the initial assets list that let the team plough ahead.
- The presence of a ‘boss’ like figure also helped. There was that extra subconscious pressure not to be fluffing around or having unneeded tea breaks.
- I’ve discovered gaps in my knowledge, particularly around graphic design and typography. It would also have been useful to know how to use Illustrator for creating vector based graphics to animate. I ended up drawing with the pen tool in Photoshop for the first time but I’ve seen previews of Illustrator tools that would have made my life easier. Jonny Kane pointed out that this is a recurring area (Illustrator) that people passing through have said would be useful but lacked knowledge in.
- Jonny Shields pointed out and helped me fix poor typography layouts. Having a knowledgeable person as part of your team to learn from is a great plus! Andrew Coyle also pointed the way to expressions that I had now known about in After Effects. Having everyone around for immediate feedback, when I asked, was a great plus also.
- Usually I’m not afraid of failure but I found that this fear became a greater obstacle at the thought of other people having real dependencies on the outcome of my work. I came at this project with the thoughts that I knew absolutely nothing about football and I’d never created motion graphics like this in After Effects before. On top of that there was a crazy deadline. Looking back, it was a risk worth taking but I didn’t know that at the time. It was a relief when Andrew joined the project and then Kerry soon after. I couldn’t have asked for more reliable team mates. I still would have tried to tackle this by myself, even if that might not have been wise.