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Frame Work


Due to its many benefits, animation is becoming an increasingly popular means of online messaging. While this is great, it means that we at Gusto are constantly pushing ourselves to create unique solutions for our clients that help them stand out.

Animation has come a long way since the days of hand-drawn frames, with digital techniques now allowing stories to be created and shared faster than ever before. The downside of this is that the digital approach can mean that there is less of a human quality in a lot of today’s animations compared with those from the past.

There will always be a need for slick digital storytelling, especially when it comes to communicating a brand’s relevance in today’s world. But when it comes more human stories this aesthetic can sometimes feel a little disconnected from the viewer.

When Hospice New Zealand approached us to create an animation about the process of dying, we knew that an entirely digital approach was probably not going to possess the human quality required to tell this story. So we went back to the basics.

Wanting to move away from an overly polished look, we took to the good ol’ pencil and paper and using a lightbox created, essentially, a giant flipbook.

Over many days, each scene in the animation was hand-drawn, with the moving elements being individually created frame by frame. Each of these frames were then scanned and uploaded to our animation software where we put them into order, added colour, and synchronized them with the voiceover.

With over 300 separate drawings created, the process was considerably slower than if we created everything digitally. But the rewards were obvious when we saw everything come together in the way we had envisioned.

The technique meant that the animation wasn’t flawless, with little quirks and the odd mistake making it into the final product. But this only enhanced the human quality behind the animation and added to the overall aesthetic. The end result is a unique raw visual approach that succeeds in supporting a unique and important message.

The animation has received over 40,000 views and been shared over 600 times on social media, proving that traditional approaches still have a place in our increasingly digital world.