Wednesday, August 8th, 2019 by Fred Pirat
Let's have a look at the world of commercial design today and let's hear tips and tricks, from the great Fred Pirat, on how to create a successful customer project. As a long-time RebusFarm user, Fred provides us with a step by step making of his project "Paperless", rendered at RebusFarm.
Now we will give the word to Fred to hear what he has to say about this unique project.
The original demand from the customer, Bouygues Immobilier, a major French real estate developer, was to support a change with a management issue. Thousands of real estate partners were using hundred-pages paper contracts in their daily business activity. The challenge was to switch to digital, a major change in the business process, generating doubts and fear. The message was “Changing your daily inhabits will be a benefit for all!”.
This is why I based 'Paperless' on a central character, the real estate salesperson, not convinced at all by the change, calling for empathy. The movie gets her comforted and demonstrates how the new procedure can help build a stronger relationship between a salesperson and her customers.
I proposed to make it with CGI, with a paper look, what I had already tried before and had some screenshots to show as a moodboard.
The first step was to write and validate the voice-over text, then I recorded it with some voluntary employees of my client. The voice-over is giving the rhythm and message content, so I drew a kind of draft storyboard, listening to the voice.
It was a 5-day budget, so I didn’t want to design original characters. I took two rigged low-poly characters from the CGTrader platform. In this project, we have 3 characters: a young saleswoman and the customers, a slightly older couple.
The first character from CGTrader was the young saleswoman. The second was the man. I slightly applied some modifications to the saleswoman polys to obtain the third one, as the customer woman; mainly changed her hairs and the torso shape. The characters were faceless. In order to keep this 'paper' look, I applied various facial expressions as materials onto their faces, simply drawn on a piece of paper with a wood pencil and scanned to the computer.
Afterwards, I made the decor texture, walls, furniture, ground and characters body, all drawn on a piece of paper and scanned. All the work was assembled and animated within Cinema4D R15, rendered with the built-in physical renderer with GI, to get a cinematographic look like a large sensor camera and depth of field.
For rapid renders, lighting was kept simple, mostly 3 spot sources and punctual backups when needed. All animated final shots were rendered with RebusFarm, after some partial tests locally, especially GI flickering.
Editing and color grading was made with Final Cut Pro X, finishing the image look by a touch of warm.
When shown to the central team of salespersons, the supposed fears turned into applause. The 'emotional' storytelling approach was the key to success.
Finally, HQ trainers went to all real estate branches in France in order to explain the new process, starting with this short movie. As an online support, a series of tutorials was also developed, starring a human filmed on a green screen, and placed in the same CGI paper-look decor, showing all details of the software-based actions.
'Paperless' is far from the front-line development we usually see here, but I’m proud to have made a charming little thing with a taste of emotion, for a minimal budget. The way this project fits in its constraints was something new.
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