Animating with a whiteboard, pen and paper

By March 25, 2014Animation, Video
Stop motion animation elements

We recently finished work on a series of four stop motion paper animations for global payment and risk management specialist AFEX to help launch their brand new website. We were involved with all aspects of the creative process to produce these animations from script writing to colour grading. We used a whiteboard in all of the animations, both for it’s drawing surface and it’s neutral colour, as it complimented the brand colours, for which we used paper.

Stop motion paper animations

The orange and brown paper helped to create a distinctive look across all four animations. We designed, cut, glued and animated what felt like a million pieces of paper. Some of which was at risk of flying away at the slightest breeze (like walking past the animation table too quickly…) it was a delicate process, made more tricky because of the super slippery whiteboard. With the paper elements all made, whiteboard markers in hand and with the cameras and lights all set, we got stuck into producing the four animations:

  1. Overview (90 seconds)
  2. AFEX Direct – online global payments platform (80 seconds)
  3. Risk Management (30 seconds)
  4. Three easy steps to set up an account (30 seconds)

1. Overview

Placing dozens of strips of paper to create a world map This is a high-level promo introducing AFEX as we cover their history and main services – global payments, risk management and their online platform – AFEX Direct (the last two topics each had a dedicated animation). One scene in this animation has dozens of L-shaped pieces of paper that form a world map (representing their 17,000+ global clients). These paper shapes were prone to falling over causing a domino effect, so a small amount of glue helped keep this scene upright.

2. AFEX Direct

After working out how to roll a square in The Faculty animation, we used this technique to move a square through various mechanisms inside AFEX Direct before it gains a 3rd dimension as it turns it into a cube.

3. Risk Management

As a metaphor to help tell the story of AFEX’s Risk Management service, we used a car navigating through a complex road system. The protagonist in this animation is an orange car, who is helped along it’s way with a hand and paper to point the way. After two days of paper crafting, we had 12 cars, 2 busses, 2 trucks, 1 question mark, 1 arrow, and a warning triangle – ready for the animation to begin.

4. Three easy steps to set up an account

We had fun building the assets for all the animations, it’s great to see ideas materialised, and paper has a great aesthetic quality when photographed.

Watch on Vimeo or YouTube…

View the videos on our Vimeo page here or AFEX’s YouTube page here. I’m pleased to say normal breathing has now resumed in the studio – until the next paper animation. That said, we’re already gluing our next animation, hold your breath…

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