The goal was to briefly introduce potential developers and business partners to the Developer Program. We wanted to show users why they should invest time in creating an app for our Marketplace.
We created a brand new explainer video for the Developer Program landing page. The video was also used as an intro to live coding sessions in Social Media and articles (internal and external).
We bring more developers to Developer Program and increase the number of signups to the Console.
- Storyboard development
- Art direction
- Music research
- Motion Graphics
Where things went wrong
When I joined the project, a script was ready. I wasn’t convinced of the overall story. The amount of information and details the Developers Team wanted to tell was overwhelming. I was able to negotiate a slight shortening of the script, but still, it was too much for me.
So the production phase went on. Our videographer recorded shots of the working team in the office and voice-over with one of the developers. The graphic designer prepared graphics, and I was left to make animations.
When I prepared the first version of the video, I told my concerns about the overall quality of this project. The rest of the team understood why I was skeptical about this version of the script.
That wasn’t an easy decision, but we decided to make a video from the beginning.
And after that, we organized a retrospective meeting in Miro. We wrote down what we could improve, what went well, and our next steps.
As a Video&Motion team, we prepared an assessment file to fill in — the document with questions about general goals & KPIs, distribution plan, and technical aspects.
What surprised me was that answers about goals were different relative to the first idea for the video. I analyzed feedback and improvements from the iteration retrospective. This might seem intuitive, but it was a breakthrough because we finally had a clear vision of what we wanted to achieve.
We could fix all deficiencies and create an updated version, but I knew it wouldn’t be enough. So I decided to take ownership of this project as director and art director of the video.
This part was the most challenging for me because I had to tell the team that we won’t show most details of the previous concept.
Pitching + Story
The first thing I did was write the initial script of the new version of the video. I wrote the story based on the AIDA model.
Attention – Interest – Desire – Action
Then I prepared a rough storyboard in Figma software using reference graphics. I wanted to tell a story using the character of a developer. To make it more abstract and not obvious, I used a closing tag in the HTML code. It became a leitmotif of graphic style in future works.
Based on the first sentence of the script “You’re a developer” I created a compositional buckle. I wanted to end the animation with the phrase “From developers to developers.” I’m really proud of these two ideas. They marked the path we took in this project.
During the meeting on Google Meet, I presented my vision of the animation based on goals the team wanted to achieve.
My idea was received with great enthusiasm. We have agreed that the video will last 60 seconds, and we will hire a professional Voice-Over actor. To present the product, we will use the simplified view of Developers Console.
With a final script created by a copywriter, I started preparing look frames for the animation. I wanted to create them in a style that reflects the spirit of programming—math, symmetry, geometric objects, and grids.
While looking for the right graphic style, I decided to look for music that would reflect the nature of the developer program.
During graphic works, product designers from Developer Team decided to change the colors of the product from orange to blue. I made up my mind to create Complementary Color Palette based on the new blue look of the product and the orange logo of LiveChat.
Fibonacci + Animatic
With ready graphics, I started by creating an animatic. I used the Fibonacci sequence to make the right rhythm of the video and create an even more math-based project.
I divided parts of the timeline relative to the respective results. Using this technique, I was sure my AIDA story would last a precise amount of time for all four steps.
Animation or Math
The first thing I did in the animation phase was math. Obviously. I decided to add a phyllotaxis pattern in the background of the opening shot. Phyllotaxis is a classification of leaves on a plant stem. Phyllotactic spirals are based on the angle 137.508° (golden angle) approximated by Fibonacci numbers’ ratios. Thanks to that, I could create abstract and impressive sequences of circles.
I was afraid the final look of the animation would be too flat. I wanted to achieve an expressive dimension of all shots. My intuition told me I should use gradients. To minimize my assumptions, I tested different options in Adobe Illustrator. When I was happy with the results, I encountered a problem on my way. Freeform gradients are not available in After Effects. You can’t set the spread of a color stop in points. Since I wanted to have an animated background, I had to find a different solution. I built a custom rig based on twelve circles with color settings in one place. This setup allows me to use it in future projects.
Animation has its own rules. Everything should be clear on first viewing. I knew we didn’t have much time to explain the whole UI of the dashboard. To present it as intuitively as possible, I decided to use a simplified interface. Under my art direction, the graphic designer prepared excellent illustrations of the Developer Program Console and Discord channel. With such assets, I could focus on the clarity of the animation.
Instead of showing banknotes or coins to talk about the revenue stream, I decided to use a diamond—a symbol of wealth but also a geometric shape. Unfortunately, I wasn’t satisfied with the first attempts at this shot. I tried to animate it using shape layers with stroke. I could achieve a reasonable effect with rotation in the Y-axis, but rotating 90 degrees in the X-axis was too much. Details make projects memorable. I had to find a better solution. I switched from After Effects to Cinema4D to create a 3d model of the diamond. With ease, I could rotate an object without fearing time-consuming changes. I used a Sketch and Toon module for a line look of the model. That was a great improvement of the initial workflow that saved my time.
|Project Manager||Jan Białek|
|Art director||Bartłomiej Otłowski|
|Motion design||Bartłomiej Otłowski|
|Graphic design||Bartłomiej Otłowski,|