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      Lost your marbles?

      They could have made their way in our new 3D animated film!

      We worked with MAXIS Global Benefits Network, a network of insurance companies in markets all over the world combining local expertise with global insight.

      Our brief was to create a series of animations to communicate the highlights of the Maxis Solutions which involved taking complex information and clearly presenting it in a 90-second film. It was initially suggested that it could be presented as infogram slides with text and graphics to illustrate the client's message in bitesized form. Due to the complex subject matter we agreed with our client not to over-visualise and risk losing the viewers' engagement.
      Our thinking was to visually present a voiceover using marbles along a track. They're engaging and fun to watch! When the voiceover suggests a challenge in their field, we would show the marbles facing an obstacle; and when the voiceover described they can help their customers, we then showed a marble representing Maxis enabling the other marbles to follow the correct path.
      We built and animated the scene with Cinema 4D (3D software), using realistic textures and soft camera focal depths to achieve near photoreal results. Animating each marble by hand would have been a challenge and too time-consuming, so instead we used the software's physics simulation engine to animate each of the balls. Inputting the size and weights of the marbles and the track they were to run along meant we could literally let the marbles go and they would realistically run along the paths that we have set up to guide them along, rendering each frame as they went! Unconventionally in this animation we rendered at 60 frames per second, rather than the traditional 24 or 30, increasing the framerate as high as this gave the marbles an extra fluid look, increased realism and visually more alluring.

      For a final touch, we sourced the sound effects using foley techniques, purchasing many marbles and plastic tracks. Taking us back to our childhoods we built tracks and stunts for our marbles to follow, recording the sounds they made along the way.
      With the first animation now delivered we are looking forward to developing ideas for the next Maxis marble adventures!