Wee Bit Studios was formed in 2012 after Russell Boyd decided to become a full-time animation and video producer. Now he has a diverse range of clients and jobs from all over the world making custom animation videos, educational work and regular outsourced editing jobs. The business is now growing with an upcoming demand for explainer videos.
Delivering Cost-effective Animation and Videos
Q: Wee Bit Studios offers cost-effective animation services for a wide range of businesses and applications. Could you elaborate more on your studio and your services?
I launched my business in 2012 after I decided to become a full-time animation and video producer. I had been making Machinima as a hobby since 2005 using flight sims, then in 2009 I started working part-time with a studio in New York (PookyMedia) making commercial animations using Second Life. I realised there was potential to create even more opportunities using all the advantages of iClone and CrazyTalk Animator so I left my full-time job in a Glasgow college to start up my own business.
The clients that I target now are those who really want animation work done but have a limited budget, and this is where iClone and CrazyTalk Animator have the edge.
Q: Online explainer videos seem increasingly relevant in today's business environment. How do these types of animated videos can help promote a company, institution or service.
Video is one of the most powerful forms of social media content. If you're not sharing video but your competitor is, then they have a persuasion tool that you don't. Internet users today practically expect to see video instead of static text and images, so if your site doesn't have video then there is a much higher chance of users clicking away from your site. Also, by explaining your services in a concise and clear video you can boost conversion rates significantly.
Q: Besides explainer videos your studio has also created a Cast Study Animation on the Liability for Stress at Work. What kind of clients would request these types of videos? Could you name some?Mainly legal firms and colleges - I remember when I was a manager at a College and we had to go through days of pretty boring courses about employment law. These were delivered from books and we had to read through many case studies. So I thought, this would have had much more of an impact if we could watch a video that summarized the cases. Of course, it would have been far too expensive for a live shoot so my offer was to show the same thing but far more cost effectively in animation.
Q:You have also created royalty-free game mock-up videos that could easily be taken for any current first person shooter video game. Do you think iClone has the capability to create real in-game graphics?
This was a fun little project especially as I do also love playing FPS games! It was for a Romanian short film, Sthorzina, that needed to show some boys playing a WW2 shooter but of course they could not use any real games in the film. So iClone's license deal was perfect and there were some great WW2 assets available in the Reallusion Content store. The action was all scripted, not interactive, as I had to follow a specified storyboard. But of course, the sets and models could certainly be exported into a game development kit like Unity. The models are already optimized for low polygon count to run in iClone's real time environment so they would work well in game engines.
Q: Is there a reason why your company chooses to use CrazyTalk Animator and iClone software in its production? Are there any other animation tools you use?
I got into animation as a hobby, using game engines and then began using some real time animation programs and iClone was an eye opener for me. It was reasonably priced for an amateur and with a great array of tools to really make good looking videos. And, it really is more straightforward to use and learn than other high-end applications. When I was planning how to run my business I looked at other programs but quickly realised that they would be a major investment in cash and learning time. And also, as I was targeting customers who had limited budgets and did not really need the highest quality animation work, I decided to stick with iClone and CrazyTalk Animator. My production time, and therefore profit margin, is much more efficient and it is still possible to put out some decent looking work.