Invisible Intelligence Product Demo

In March of this year, I was approached by a talented electrician, software developer and inventor with a request to make a sales/intro video. His product was a software/hardware package that tracks airport usage and records radio transmissions. Having been given only a very basic, home-made PowerPoint file and some blurry product photos, I had my work cut out for me. First and foremost, I wrote up a script and we fine-tuned it to project his message. From there, we had a professional voice-over done.

To capture the look and feel of the piece, I created a polished 5-second span of animation. After this was approved, knowing I was on the right track, the next step was creating a roughly-made conceptual video for approval. The purpose of this was to show ideas without investing a lot of time. This helps weed out ideas or imagery that doesn’t quite match the client’s vision. For example, I had depicted passenger jets in the rough draft, but we switched these out with single engine planes and private jets, since the product is made for small (or “general aviation”) airports.

Rough Draft Drawing and Finished

Example of one of the rough draft drawings and a finished frame.

After the concepts were nailed, I created all the imagery – text, icons, photo backgrounds, diagrams, etc. and set them to the voice over. This was approved and I began animating each scene to completion.

To depict the hardware, I created a 3d model in StudioMax. This was beneficial for three reasons: We didn’t need to rely on an expense photographer, the product can now be viewed from any angle and it can be enlarged for very high resolutions.

Actual Product on left and 3D model on right.

Actual Product on left and 3D model on right.

To give the video added interest, I used AfterEffects instead of Flash. Instead of flat graphics that can only be panned and zoomed, AfterEffects can create 2d planes within 3d space, so that the camera can rotate around objects, making the piece much more dynamic. To give an example, Flash animations are like looking at tropical fish swimming on a flat-screen tv. AfterEffects allows the camera to move in 3d space, so it’s more like being inside an actual fish tank and being able to look around.

The video has been out for some time now and definitely adds a lot of “Wow!” factor to my client’s introductory meetings. It’s an ice-breaker, a sales-tool and a great introduction for those completely unfamiliar with the concept. With sales escalating and a lot of possibilities unfolding, the video has already paid for itself. You can watch the completed demo below.

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