Creating a story through Cinematic animation

Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today – Robert McKee

Storytelling is becoming more prominent in almost every industry globally. The need to convey a message in a manner an audience can relate to has always been a primary goal in the entertainment industry, but in recent years, this concept has spread into other sectors too. Virtual architects are rapidly becoming the world’s newest storytellers, communicating the future in a way clients can finally understand.

Since animations entered the scene, architects and designers have used it to improve the relationship with their clients drastically. While this is highly beneficial to the development process, it is not the only benefit that animation has reaped. The ability to invoke emotion within light, space and dimensions has echoed sentiment into its audience.

While similar digital animation technology has been used in both cinematic and architectural animation, the method of capturing engagement from an audience distinguishes the two from each other. Architecture can now create a completely immersive story built around an environment of cinematographic elements, and threads of emotional connections. Transforming the style of animation to suit this industry has encouraged designers to experiment with different engagement techniques which have translated into new design concepts like motion stills, PBH and many more.

Architectural animation can be divided into four genres: narrative, documentary, pure design and intuitive animation. Narrative animation occurs most often in the industry and represents the story in a linear and logical format. The story is the hero of the animations, with computed images, sounds and narrations superimposed to emphasise the message presented. Documentary animation presents factual information and is often used to educate and enlighten an audience about historical, political, technical or scientific notations. This type of architectural animation has the power to alter an audience’s perception of the topic through special effects and editing techniques.

Pure design architectural animation focuses on presenting the development of conceptual aspects of designs. This is the most prominent type of cinematic animation style architects use because it conveys the entire design process through an emotive, compelling and calculated process. Finally, the intuitive architectural animation style stems from pure observation and is not created through any strict structures or linear reasoning. While this is seldom used in the industry, this style can create incredibly emotive works, if the designer captures the message accurately.

To create a story through any one of these styles is dependent on the designer. The designer can control the message and emotion they want the clients to explore. While feeling or sense of space can influence a person, consciously or unconsciously, cinematic animation conveys more than just a simple message. While the style is essential, architectural animation is a frame that needs life, colour and emotion to ensure the content effectively reaches an audience. It is vital to focus on the cinematic depth, incorporating cinematic techniques and styles.

To effectively create a story through cinematic animation, a designer or architect will need to merge the entertainment and architectural industries within their animation. By capturing the best of both worlds, the final product will convey a deeper understanding of the audience, fitting the purpose of the film and demonstrating a connection to the project.

Architects are the future storytellers of this era and incorporating a message in architectural animation will take your designs to new heights with engagement that is unparalleled to that of the past.


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