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Grumo Student Explainer: Wayki – Alarm Clock Toothbrush

Created by British entrepreneur David Hawkins, Wayki is the world's first alarm clock toothbrush.
David needed an effective way to promote his unique product and decided to produce an elaborate animated explanation video all by himself.
After doing a lot of research online he stumbled upon our animation course and ended up creating this cool demo video:

David shared with us how was the process of creating his first demo video:

How long did it take to put together?
It took around 3 months in all.
Here's roughly how I spent my time:

Month 1:
I went through the Grumo course on month one, recreating the awesome baby animation project to get the basics.

Months 2 and 3: 
In month 2 I realized my poor laptop wasn't going to cut it, so I purchased a cheap gaming desktop with a powerful CPU from Ebay. After doing some research I learnt that graphics, to my surprise, weren't overly important for After Effects and video animation generally. If you want a powerful but affordable rig for animation I would recommend the following:

  • Quad-core CPU (Latest generation, whatever you can afford, they are all great for animation)
  • Minimum 8gb of RAM - but the more, the better generally. (I went for 16gb as desktop RAM is quite a cheap upgrade - unlike laptops.)
  • Graphics aren't the most important area, as noted, but I would still recommend getting 'dedicated' as opposed to 'shared' otherwise you may see some stuttering.

Buy the best you can afford, but I would prioritize the first two components. After I had rendered the animation I threw the PC straight back onto Ebay. It cost me about £50 in all.

In months 2 and 3 I was binging on YouTube tutorials. Quite frankly, the Adobe fan-base on YouTube is phenomenal - whatever Adobe product you're searching for. Whenever I had a question there were usually a selection of videos to watch. Such a great resource.

I also spent the time watching tonnes of explainer videos to identify cool transitions and effects. So I watched most of the Grumo Media videos, and then other channels on YouTube with explainer videos which you can find easily enough.

For the record, I had dabbled in After Effects before, but never made anything I would show in public. Once you have grasped the idea of layers and keyframes it's fairly intuitive from my standpoint. And if you're familiar with Photoshop at all, that will be helpful.

Lastly, I started free-trials on some other Adobe programs I had been introduced to through watching tutorials. All in all I used the following programs at a basic level: (With a couple of YT tutorials behind you, they are all quite easy to get into at the basic level I assure you.)

  • Illustrator
  • After effects
  • Premiere
  • Flash
  • Audition

To make things more coherent and manageable I'd recommend you take notes. While watching animation videos, I would draw out certain transitions I liked with pen and paper (in rough, child-like outlines so you can just about make it out and keep up with watching fast-paced videos) and then YouTube them later to figure out how it was done. I'm also a big fan of Google Docs, so I would copy/paste stuff that I found interesting - YouTube explainer videos/tutorials, screen grabs, my script which I continually iterated, to-do lists.

How did you create/buy those beautiful illustrations?
Illustrations mainly came from the following 3 places:
- Istockphoto. (Very expensive but great quality - this is where I got the outside scenes.)
- Graphic River. (Really cheap and great quality - recommended)
- Free DLs through Google. (Judge quality case-by-case - search for 'item' + vector)
I decided to spend money on artwork to compensate for my inexperience as an animator. :)

How did you record the voice over?
I did plan to record the audio through the old 'iPhone + Blanket trick', but I wanted it just a little sharper. I purchased the Snowball mic and used the blanket to get pretty good sound for my budget. If I had done anything differently I would have increased the volume of the voice over in the final render. I could have made the changes and re-rendered but I sold the computer as soon as I had rendered the video the first time, so I couldn't go back by the time I realized the levels were a little out. Bootstrapping indeed.

What was the hardest part?
Hmm, I would probably say that getting the script right was the toughest part - lost count of how many times I rewrote sections of it. Also, as I'm not an animator I had to work the script around the artwork I could find. Once you've got the framework it's just a case of step-by-step, and breaking down tricks that you haven't yet learnt how to do in Ae.
I'll also mention audio - getting the right tone of voice and consistency was more difficult than I thought it would be. (And not screwing up  one out of 1,000 words in a single take!)

What was the simplest part?
Rendering the video probably.

Where did you find the music?
I found the music on Audio Jungle, a sister-site of Graphic River. Once again, cheap but great quality work. I was actually really lucky with the track I went with, as the timing went nicely. That was a bit of a fluke to be frank.
If you are still early on with your animation, listening to music can be a great source of inspiration as it has a big impact on the 'feel' of your entire video.
Here are some tracks that I considered if you're after something similar:
http://audiojungle.net/item/a-fresh-start/1370524
http://audiojungle.net/item/troublemaker/111283?no_signin=true
http://audiojungle.net/item/clapping-ukulele/409141?sso?WT.ac=search_item&WT.seg_1=search_item&WT.z_author=jhunger
http://audiojungle.net/item/beautiful-day-joy-and-happy-motivations/26843
http://audiojungle.net/item/positive-thinking/94451
http://audiojungle.net/item/feel-good-trip/2409381
http://audiojungle.net/item/camp-nights/2865761
http://audiojungle.net/item/carefree-happiness/2871864
http://audiojungle.net/item/feeling-groovy/81480
http://audiojungle.net/item/live-my-life/224500
http://audiojungle.net/item/your-little-planet-corp/1324901
http://audiojungle.net/item/positive-thinking/94451?sso?WT.ac=search_item&WT.seg_1=search_item&WT.z_author=BeatheBeat
http://audiojungle.net/user/metrolightmusic/portfolio?utf8=%E2%9C%93&sort_by=sales_count
http://audiojungle.net/user/MusicPremium/portfolio?utf8=%E2%9C%93&sort_by=sales_count

How did the Grumo course help you? 
I didn't know where to start. If I had started at YouTube I would have been overwhelmed as content isn't contained and there's usually some viral video of an ice-skating kitten or something in the sidebar to distract you. The Grumo course allowed me to sit down, with pen, paper and After Effects, and lay the foundation without distraction.

What other places online have helped you learn to put together this demo video?
YouTube.

As a last piece of advice I would say that once you've plotted out the story/script you're 80% there. Get the basics covered in a dedicated course, get a script you're happy with and then spend a few weeks on YouTube with every question that pops into your head.

P.S If you have a physical product and want to animate it like I did with mine, check out Andrew Kramer and his Element 3D plugin for After Effects. He has some great tutorials on YouTube if you want to find out what it's about.


Related:
Check out many more Grumo student demo videos at: http://grumomedia.com/category/grumo-course/student-demo-videos/
Subscribe to the Grumo Animation Course at: http://grumoschool.com

Wayki, Wayki! brush your teeth or you'll become a toothless mounstro!

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