How Animations Bring Stories to Life?
There are many different ways to tell a story. Television and film are two such examples of mediums used to bring stories to life, and there’s no denying that one engaging method of storytelling is through the use of animations or animated short stories.
When it comes to promoting a brand, product or service, communicating any message in general, or even just talking about something a person did in their life, storytelling is an engaging and effective way to do that.
Kobe Bryant’s “Dear Basketball”
Back in 2017, former American professional basketball player Kobe Bryant collaborated with the famed former Disney animator and illustrator, Glen Keane, to create a five-minute animated short film called Dear Basketball. The animation centres around a letter that Bryant had written to The Players’ Tribune in November 2015 that announced his retirement from basketball.
Released in April 2017, Dear Basketball shared the same title as Bryant’s retirement letter and went on to win a coveted Academy Award in 2018 as well as other awards. During a talk at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2017, Bryant explained that he wanted to create an animation to help inspire children and young athletes. He went on to explain that inspiring young minds through animations helps stories “sink in more” than with words alone.
Video Source: Dear Basketball (Facebook Watch).
The animated short story got narrated by Bryant himself and tells the tale of a child whose world revolved around his love for basketball, and how he dreamt of one day becoming a pro-basketballer. During his animated short story, Bryant also talks about what drove him to success and why he decided it was time to call it a day on his 20-year professional basketball tenure.
Bryant’s animation combines several techniques that he experimented with, such as animating sweat. In that example, he overlaid drawings with separate sheets of soft-layered graphite. He then used photographs from his smartphone, turning them into negatives and back again, giving the effect of sweat running down his face. He then used an eraser to create highlights and reveal the images underneath.
A story is only ever as good as the way it gets executed. It doesn’t matter which message must get communicated. Animation is an excellent storytelling medium that marketers can embrace.
However, even though the Kobe Bryant story was created with an older stop motion type of animation, we are now experiencing the digital era, with new animation techniques like SVG animation which brings new methods of storytelling to life.
Animation techniques in web design
In the digital era, there are a few different ways of animating content on web pages. For instance, CSS techniques can animate actions when hovering or clicking through content. Video animation is another example, using illustrations and animating them through various methods such as how Kobe Bryant did with his Dear Basketball short animated story.
The beauty of using SVG content instead of JPEG images, for instance, is that SVG graphics can get scaled to any size and still look crisp and sharp. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that such techniques in the post-Flash era of website animation help to engage website visitors.