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Cardiff University

BRAINTRAIN

Animation, Explainer Videos

We were tasked by the Centre for Trials Research team to create an animated video to explain one of their main research projects.

BRAINTRAIN is a study into the technology and application of what’s known as neurofeedback training, whereby you see your own brain activity in real-time in the hope that you can self-regulate your behaviour. Kinda cool, right?

Not content with creating a bog-standard explainer video, our design and animation team were keen to create something a little different that would distil the information in a way that’s accessible to everyone. We were given complete creative control for this one (yeeeah boi) so we proposed an idea that would keep the vibe of the whole piece relaxed and informal as if it were a chat you were having with a mate down the pub—keeping it interesting from start to finish.

We had the main man himself, David Linden, pop into the office for a cuppa where we set up a few microphones and chatted for a while about the project. We cherry picked the best bits and crafted a nicely-flowing script that hit all the points we had on our list. He was an absolute natural who gave us more than what we needed to deliver the goods!

Our Head of Design, Alex Bull, put together a hand-drawn storyboard and developed a colour palette that stemmed from colours taken from actual MRI scans. We wanted the visuals to be led by the voiceover and for it not to feel particularly highbrow, so we kept them relatively simple, playful and easy to digest. We paired a hand-drawn illustration style with a low frame rate, producing a motion style that felt authentic and approachable. Finished off with a sprinkling of sound design and it really came alive.

From start to finish, this was just one of those dream jobs for our design department. Having the ability to flex our creative muscles and challenge the original brief meant we pushed our capabilities and consequently learnt a hell of a lot along the way that we can apply to future projects of this ilk!

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