Artsy Rants

Animated Vignettes: Short, Punchy, and Affordable

  • June 16, 2016

Think it’s impossible to tell a story in around 10 seconds? You might be surprised. Most individual event promos or specific messages share a common attribute: focus.

When you have such an on-target message to share, one would expect you’d want the delivery to pack a punch; what better way to grab attention and improve retention than delivering it visually?

Animated CGI has a reputation for being rather expensive, and in many cases it is—but not in all cases. We predict you’d be pleasantly surprised at how affordably we can create a short (target length is 10 seconds but we’ve been known to bump that a couple of seconds depending on the project) animated vignette—even including a custom-designed set and/or characters.

Here’s a case study taken from a long-term client of ours, Van Auken’s Inne. They feature an historic speakeasy, called Wakely’s, and originally asked Spinland to clean up an old cracked, faded mural that was on the wall:

old mural

Old mural image cleaned up in Illustrator

They’d taken to calling the character “Wakely” after the name of the speakeasy (maybe historically it was the other way around; I don’t know that anyone’s sure), and had the great idea to bring him to life and make him the “spokesmodel” for various events and related promo spots.

That’s right in our wheelhouse!

The first step was to build Wakely as a 3D model, then add texturing and rigging:

While it’s true that such a custom build job is an extra fee apart from the actual animated pieces, that fee is a one-time charge and is, again, far less than you’d expect if you’ve been talking to some of “those other” modeling and animation companies. We pride ourselves not only on quality and fun, but affordability and we work with clients needing a custom character to design one to fit most any budget.

Once all the pieces are in place the fun can begin! Wakely’s main role is to pitch the monthly Prohibition Parties, in keeping with the speakeasy theme. Here is the first such spot where he was the star:

We went with a vintage film look, including lower frame rate, scratchy film, and a sepia tone finish. We also provide all voiceovers and music as part of the package.

Want to see another fun version? Check out this one:

Take that, you pesky sign!

For the most recent promo spot the client wanted to bring the leader of their house band into the mix, so we added a past-to-present transition and then featured a clip of his music:

As usual, the general theme is “Down with Prohibition!” and in this case we brought in a bit of a modern (well, future) touch.

In addition to promo spots, vignettes are great for short public service announcements. Since we’re using Wakely’s as our case study in this post let’s stay on that track. Here’s Wakely preaching responsible drinking and how the speakeasy staff is stepping up to help:

Testify, brother!

So, how about it? Ready to make your message focused, powerful, memorable, and fun? Click here to contact us and let’s talk!

Spinland Studios, LLC is a high-tech branding and marketing studio in the Mohawk Valley of Upstate New York. We leverage the power and magic of 3D modeling and animation to take your company’s image places you can only imagine. Defy conventional marketing and bring your brand to life! Visit for more information and examples—then hire us to boost your company’s marketing image into the 21st century!

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