This is a big deal! Ultimaker is one of Europe’s top 3D Printing companies and they’re making their way to North America with their amazing Ultimaker 3D Printers. For this big launch event, we’ve given their branding some omph for their big announcement. See what we did, and why we did it and how we were able to do this whole campaign with only 3 weeks of total production time!
First, a teaser for the pre-launch, the official launch announcement and finally a big product launch lots of loyal customers had been waiting for.
I’ve been watching 3D printer ads and reviews for as long as I’ve been interested in 3D printing so I already had a mental list of marketing gripes right from the start. Across the board, almost all 3d printing videos I’ve seen tend to be slow, sterile and bright featuring the same things.
We wanted to see (and make) drastically more interesting videos, with more experimentation and art. Adding abstract concepts and beauty shots that were more daring, fun and fast. We were glad Ultimaker was fully on board with some brand experimentation and straying from the norm.
Since Ultimaker was launching their North America campaign. We thought it fitting to make a big shiny logo. (We do sports graphics, we like our shiney logos)
Among other things, we were tasked to make a few teasers. We wanted to keep it mysterious looking and focus on the beauty of the machine then ramp up the excitement with the edit and sound design. Each teaser had a theme, a specific colour grade, and a clue. We were really excited to see how people would pick up on the cues.
Unlike most 3D printer videos, we wanted to get in really close, abstract, and fast. We didn’t want to give too much away during the teasers so we showed glimpses of the print as the ‘clue’ in various stages of completion. This was difficult to time since we couldn’t just shoot the whole thing all at once. We’d have to shoot in the beginning of the print, middle, and catch the end. The prints usually took around 3-5 hours so we’d have to split up our shoot times accordingly. Luckily the time estimations on Cura are quite precise and the reliability of the UM2 is spot on. No failed prints and more importantly, no disruption in photography.
Each one of the teasers had their own colour scheme and theme to differentiate themselves from each other while sharing a common formula. They progressively showed more and more of the print so it would become more and more obvious what it was trying to convey. Encouraging viewers to go back to look at the previous teaser to solve the mystery.
One of the interesting things about this set of videos is that we had 3 different styles for 3 different videos. The North American announcement video had a lot more information to convey than the teasers so we had the opportunity to make it quite different.
It is half animation, and half live action. The animation allowed us to convey hard to visualize concepts such as going from the Netherlands to the US, and allowed us inject some Ultimaker signature colours. The style was a mix of icon style graphics and 3D rendered pseudo real materials. This is so that it’s clear in the information and rich in the production value.
We coordinated a jib move with the printer finishing a print for the final shot. This was tricky. We created a custom profile that would extrude 0% at room temperature (to avoid the heating and cooling process) but still do the motions of printing the top layer of the ‘now available’ model (which we printed the day before). It would then run it’s finishing sequence, move the buildplate down as the Jib moved into position for a satisfying end. Even still, this took a lot of takes.
There’s a polandball and a US flag in the Launch video that appears in the teaser. Did you catch that? It’s all about the subtle themes that help place these spots in the right frame of mind.
The UMO+ video was the most unique. Our creative team came up with the idea to use a shadow person to ‘upgrade’ the UMO into the UMO+ as it printed ‘now available’ in timelapse. There is a LOT going on in this spot. A timelapse printer, realtime shadows, and graphical line drawing animations in the background. The things that needed to go right on this spot was mindboggling, VFX keying, timelapse photography, shadow lighting and filming, background animations and even printer operations. And it all came together in time for launch!
The UMO+ was shot on green screen in timelapse. It was then keyed out. The shadow person was shot as a shadow on white in real time. It is challenging to have a shadow look like how you intend it because details get obliterated.
We had a lot of fun making these and our experience with the Ultimakers was essential in the production process. We’re happy with how they turned out and hope you enjoyed tem too!