About a year ago I wrote about our new animation software. Since then we have created 6 animations for clients, including one for our new office. As you might expect, with every rendering we do, we learn the software better and are able to make improvements on the last model. We also obsess over the process and are always researching what others have done. I recently learned that Pixar, the animation studio, uses a similar strategy with their films and techniques. Each Pixar movie begins with a “short” which is their method of trying new techniques. This led me to some parallels between us and filmmakers. Here are a few.

The first thing we do is create the movie sequence or storyboard. This technique allows us to create the order for the images in a way that best communicates the story we are telling. Interestingly enough, this process has made this movie aficionado start watching films differently. I now pay attention to the camera changes and how the shots progress from one to the next. By doing this, I’ve learned fun things like showing details before the whole picture to build excitement. It may also mean adjusting the initial sequence to best tell the story.

One of the other things we’ve learned is to carefully consider the camera angles. Because we use Revit, the entire model is imported for animation, but it has to be modified before we apply materials. Having the right camera angle is a time saver since we only model what the camera sees, just like a film set.

Another thing we have in common with the film industry is post-processing. This is when we add the special effects, adjust sequences to match the soundtrack and make people move. It takes almost as much time to do this as it did to create the model, but it’s well worth it. Below is a recent residential project with a side by side comparison of the movie with and without the effects.

MSB Architects enjoys telling our client’s stories in the work we do. Our animations now tell a visual story before the project is built. Visit our YouTube page and tell us which animation is your favorite.