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3D Explainer Videos

The benefits of combining 3D animation and graphics with the web/internet to distribute compelling marketing material world-wide, are well established. If you’re not doing so, you’re missing opportunity.

3D Explainer Animated Video:showcase your products and services in the universal language of visual intelligence.
3D Explainer Animated Video: Created for Munters as part of a larger animation project explaining their unique approach to cooling data centers.

3D explainer video is the latest term for something we’ve been doing for a long time. CraneDigital has nearly 30 years of experience combining advertising, marketing and publishing with 3D animation, graphics and video production to visualize and explain our client’s products and services in unique, compelling and entertaining ways. Yeh, that’s a pretty long sentence, but the search engines will love it.

Munters SyCool animated explainer video
3D explainer animated video
3D explainer animated video: Created for client to showcase unique industrial design benefits.
Radiate from Nutrien Ag Solutions. This video uses 3D animation to explain the benefits of Radiate from Nutrien Ag Solutions.

Explainer videos explain and showcase your products and services in a concise, unique presentation ready to deploy via the web to a world-wide audience. You’ve heard it a million times and it’s even more true today: a picture is worth a thousand words. How many more words is a short, precisely targeted animated explanation of your value proposition worth?

3D Animated Explainer Videos
Working closely with in-house video production team, CraneDigital provides high-quality 3D animation to showcase products in larger, corporate video projects.

The web-surfing public no longer wishes to be bothered by reading to understand information, especially complex, technical information. Instead we’d like to have it explained to us in easy to understand words, with moving pictures and a friendly voice and catchy music to set the tone. Strategically include your corporate-approved logos, fonts, colors, etc. to uphold the all important branding guidelines and you have something AI could never do.

Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization: Cleaning the air in a pandemic.
Created for Lohmiller & Associates during the height of Covid. This project explains how the air is cleaned with Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization.

Explainer videos can be as simple or elaborate as required. The goal is always concise, brief messaging that reaches the right ears and creates a response.

3D explainer video for Shell Oil
Created for Shell Oil, this project explains the complexities of an enormous underground engineering feat; a freeze wall acting as a barrier containing subsurface contaminates. Otherwise impossible to grasp by the general public, this project was designed to showcase the depths with which Shell is willing to go to in order to protect the environment. Everything was modeled by CraneDigital using on-site photographic reference.

Let CraneDigital put our nearly 30 years of design, communication, marketing and animation experience to work for you. A long list of happy clients is proof we’re exceptionally good at it. Give us a call. We can help.

Industrial Animation Case Study: Schneider Electric

Over the years we’ve had the privilege of working on some fun projects. One of them was a series of industrial animation created for industry giant Schneider Electric. The goal for these projects was to provide a high-level view of each industrial process where their products and solutions were applicable.

Three primary industries were spotlighted: Steel, Mining and Cement. We began with Steel, following a corporate approved style. Over the next several years the other two projects were created to match. As style evolved, each animation was updated to reflect consistency.

  • Industrial Animation: Schneider Electric, Solutions for Cement.
  • Industrial Animation: Schneider Electric, Solutions for Mining.
  • Industrial Animation: Schneider Electric, Solutions for Steel, Solutions for Mining.
A brief collection of out-takes from 3 different industrial animations created for Schneider Electric: Solutions for Cement, Solutions for Mining and Solutions for Steel.

These were challenging projects. Some of the challenges included identifying the correct pieces of machinery to include in the right locations. Each process was specific and required a good bit of research to accurately represent. It’s a delicate balance: the incorrect piece of equipment and too little detail conveys incomplete knowledge. Too much detail suggests undesirable specifics.

3d model of cement crusher for solutions for cement industrial animation
3d model of cement crusher for solutions for cement industrial animation

A significant challenge was modeling. Each piece of equipment was built from scratch to represent accurate, real world machines recognizable by industry insiders – but not directly promoting brands. Creating individual parts and pieces with real world motion in mind was important. Because the scenes were so large it was vital to create clean, efficient models requiring the least amount of overhead.

Industrial Animation modeling: simplifying complex objects into visually accurate, animatable 3D models is a specialty at CraneDigital.

One core strength at CraneDigital is using 3D CAD models when available. There are times however, this is not the right approach. Sometimes CAD models are not available. But more importantly, 3D CAD models require extensive optimization, given their size and complexity. Essentially, they’re not the most efficient models to work with – but they are the most technically accurate.

Industrial Animation modeling: simplifying complex objects into visually accurate, animatable 3D models is a specialty at CraneDigital.

Fortunately another core strength is building 3D models of anything – from scratch. Accurate 3D models may be created from nothing but reference material to represent any object with sufficient detail. These models are easier to manage and animate in large scenes. Often times for large projects this is a better approach.

Solutions for Steel Industrial AnimationSchneider Electric

Another challenge was camera movement. Not too fast or too slow; not too high or too low. Positioning the camera to dive and dip through complex scenes while not making the viewer nauseous, as if on a roller coaster.

Solutions for Cement Industrial Animation-Schneider Electric

One of the greatest challenges was particle systems. As the camera passed each conveyor belt moving material to the next station, the size and composition of the material needed to appear visibly different. Each process along the way altered the material essentially making it smaller and changing color until finally resulting in the end product. Because the camera moved close to each conveyor, detail needed to be accurate.

But perhaps the greatest challenge of these projects was the sheer file size and complexity of each scene. The Mining animation alone contained over 154 Models, nearly 5,000 separate objects, more than 1,200 different animated objects, and over 5 million polygons. Keeping track of this all required some attention to detail and good strategy.

One of the goals for these animations was a long shelf life because the processes don’t often change. For industries such as this, the ROI is very appealing.

Industrial Animation Case Study: Cahill Heating

At CraneDigital we get to work on some really fun projects, but sometimes aren’t able to share them right away. One thing is for sure: one of the greatest parts of this job is learning something about every industry that walks in the door. It’s an established fact that most communication happens at about an 8th grade level, so “talk to me like I’m in 8th grade” is my typical request to new clients explaining their business.

Not long ago we had the privilege of working with a new client, Cahill Heating, to introduce their revolutionary flameless, portable heating technology. It’s pretty impressive: essentially these guys figured out how to put a jet engine in a trailer, then transport that trailer to the coldest places on earth to use the heat from the engine to keep job sites warm.

Cahill Heating Jet Heat Micro Turbine

“CraneDigital did a fantastic job in a timely manner, on budget, creating a marketing video that perfectly captured our value propositions. It was clear that they did a lot of research on the industry and our business to create a unique and powerful marketing message. Throughout the project, John was very communicative and responsive and he was great to work with. We recommend Crane Digital to any specialty company trying to set themselves apart from their competitors.” – Cahill Heating Services

Comparing one Cahill heater to the competition illustrates how efficient the Cahill heating system is.

There were a few important aspects about Cahill’s value proposition it was important to make clear. One, it’s flameless. In combustible environments flameless heat is a must. Anything risking explosion or fire is a show stopper. The second – fuel consumption. In the rented heat business, fuel represents one of the most significant expenses. You have the cost of the rental unit itself, then the cost of the fuel on top for total project cost.

Industrial animation explains technical concepts in visually understandable terms

So whatever can be done to minimize fuel consumption saves money. One of the value-adds of the Cahill system is it burns less fuel. Cahill’s value prop was they could heat your work site safer, faster, more fuel efficiently and cost effectively, with fewer heaters and less equipment repositioning than anyone else. In fact, no one else was even close.

Cahill Heating portable trailers.
Whether you have CAD files or not, we can help. Only one of the above trailers leveraged available CAD data. The other needed to be modeled to round out the solution.

So how to get that across in a short, to-the-point video. That’s where CraneDigital comes in. Helping refine the message, then craft visuals explaining the process is our thing.

We set about working with the script generated to come up with shots supporting each idea. The shots were roughed out, approved, then moved to production. The net result was a final marketing message explaining the business, the value proposition, and the solution to some difficult problems. The process took about 6 weeks from start to finish.

Stylized approach to showing how Cahill Heaters heat construction sites.

Let CraneDigital help present your unique message to your target audience with compelling, informative media. We have a 24 year track record of intimate, client-focused listening, working hard to understand your business, then recommending and executing. Give us a call. We can help.