3D Animation Case Studies

7 Case Studies from Mike Efford Motion Design

The 7 brief marketing case studies here showcase the success of a broad range of companies who have used 3D technical animation to market everything from subway systems to sponges.
Case studies validate the use of this medium and point the way forward for marketers to take advantage of a proven, robust form of video media to make major sales.

Mike Efford Motion Design helps ramp up the revenues and marketing reach of technology companies through 3D animation videos. Since 1994 I have produced animated video sales presentations for companies ranging from the Fortune 500 to Edison-award-winning inventors. Here's a partial list of end clients I have worked with:

Thales Train Signaling Systems
General Motors
Toyota
Chalmers Suspensions
Imperial Oil

Thane Direct Marketing
The Shopping Channel
Elizabeth Grant International
Merck
3M

Bell International
IBM
Interbrew
Sarafinchin Engineering
Aecon Construction


Thales Canada
Transportation Services,

Toronto Canada

Alcatel train signaling technology

Alcatel (now Thales), a multinational technology firm, won a massive $650 million dollar contract with the London Underground Subway Lines to re - signal their subway tracks. A series of 3D animations demonstrated how Alcatel's systems would operate, showing each piece of gear operating at the right moment in a well - coordinated sequence of action. A difficult  challenge for print and other non-motion-based media was demonstrating precision timing, the very essence of signaling technology. No problem. Nothing shows detailed timing better than 3D animation.

Executives from the London Underground quickly understood the essence of the technology, and awarded them the contract. Soon after, the firm followed up with contracts in the range of $80 to $120 million, in Eastern Europe.

Key advantages of 3D animation here:

  • demonstrated intricate timing
  • showed the big picture, with long camera views of long stretches of subway tunnel
  • helped non-technical finance professionals visualize high technology quickly and easily

"Mike: Kudo...Last Friday Ron used the animation to explain to upper level managers and financiers of the Docklands Light Rail (London) City Airport Extension, which we are signaling. Ron found it very easy to use and was "blown away" with it. The audience was not only impressed by the quality of the animation, but more importantly quickly understood the essence of the technology. We left a very favourable impression."

Roger Fradgley  |  Marketing Manager, ALCATEL (now THALES) TRAIN SIGNALING SYSTEMS
Toronto, Canada

UV Pure Technologies,
Toronto Canada

UV Pure water purification product line

UV Pure markets one of the most effective ultraviolet water purification product lines in the world. This totally animated video begins by demonstrating the problems and shortcomings that conventional UV systems have in treating water. Then the UV Pure CrossFire technology is introduced, and the viewer is immersed in the inner workings of this innovative design. UV light ray distribution and highly reflective mirrored surfaces are a nightmare for other media but are what 3D animation was made for.

This video was translated into Spanish and French, and used to open up markets in Mexico, Columbia, and France. 3D animated videos can even bridge the language gap. By playing it at trade shows, English - speaking presenters were able to communicate perfectly. Press play...communicate in Spanish!

Key advantages of 3D animation here:

  • decisively demonstrated product superiority through comparison with conventional units
  • showed the invisible inner workings of a product that would actually be dangerous to view with the naked eye
  • bridged language barriers to open up new markets internationally

Clearas Water Recovery,
Missoula, Montana

Clearas Water Recovery bioreactor

The core of Clearas Water Recovery's innovative bioreactor technology: the vertical pond system. This animation is a flight through one of the hundreds of transparent/translucent pipes containing a bio-diverse mixture including algae, that utilizes biological activity and photosynthesis to recover then separate phosphorus, nitrogen and other contaminants, producing clean water and oxygen. Clearas raised critical funding for expansion.

Key advantages of 3D animation here:

  • allowed the audience to fly through a complex system and see microscopic detail, all inaccessible to the naked eye
  • show how the system is assembled
  • allowed the audience to see an "x-ray" view of the system installed in an urban setting

Chalmers Suspensions International,
Mississauga, Canada

Chalmers suspension system

Chalmers Truck Suspensions solved a difficult marketing problem with 3D animation, overcoming resistance to change in the conservative trucking industry. Their premier suspension system was innovative and unconventional. They produced a sales video with 3D animations that showed how all the moving parts of their system worked together, and became one of the most popular of all suspensions with truckers and fleets across North America.

Key advantages of 3D animation here:

  • showed in detail the innovative form of a new automotive innovation
  • demonstrated the system's smooth mechanical articulation unobstructed
  • highlighted individual components one by one for audiences to see clearly

Alert Innovations Inc.,
Boston, Massachussetts

Alert Innovations robotics

Edison-award-winning inventor John Lert of Alert Innovations had a paradigm-advancing design for a massive scale robotics system that revolutionizes warehousing. But showing the intricate, coordinated moves of hundreds of robots as they gathered product inventory and delivered it speedily was impossible with Powerpoint slides or any kind of static media. Plus the design was a work-in-progress, soliciting feedback from industry execs as it was developed. A series of 3D animations was more than up to the task, as presentations sought and won financing.

Key advantages of 3D animation here:

  • demonstrated what hasn't been built yet
  • animated ultra complex timing and speed across hundreds of robots
  • allowed multiple iterations of a design in progress to be visualized

"The animations that Mike created for me are absolutely first rate and have been extremely effective in my presentations. In almost every meeting, someone comments on how amazing the animations are, and no one seeing them has ever questioned the technical feasibility of the technologies depicted."

John Lert  |  Inventor, Entrepreneur, ALERT INNOVATIONS Inc.
Boston, Massachusetts

Elizabeth Grant Cosmetics,
Toronto, Canada

Elizabeth Grant "Gold in Cosmetics"

This animation takes consumers through a simulated laboratory used to infuse gold particles and nano-crystals into cosmetic creams, for Elizabeth Grant International's Torricelumn product lines. The sequence leads through a restricted access entrance into a lab full of processing equipment. An extreme zoom sequence takes viewers down through a microscope into a nano-scale world where gold and cosmetic compounds combine and fuse magically.

Key advantages of 3D animation here:

  • dramatized a laboratory in a fantasy-like interpretation, suitable for cosmetic TV ads
  • zoomed the audience in to the microscopic level
  • demonstrated subtle liquid action in an aesthetically exciting way, perfect for fashion-oriented audiences

Maverick Supervision Inc.,
Edmonton, Canada

EFRD Valve

Maverick Supervision Inc. demonstrated a design for an emergency flow restricting device, actually a huge valve, that would allow an oil pipeline to be shut down in the case of a leak. The innovation? This valve can be installed without shutting the pipeline down! No "outage". Seems impossible, but 3D animation shows how it's done, with ease. Profiling each individual component as it assembles is tailor-made for the medium of 3D animation. A manufacturing facility is being built to produce it. And the environment is now a little less at risk, thanks to the visualization power of 3D animation.

Key advantages of 3D animation here:

  • walked the audience through a step-by-step "build" sequence, without a physical prototype
  • highlighted innovative sub-components in action
  • proves out the feasibility of an unlikely but brilliant technical solution

"Verbally, it's like trying to explain the idea to my dog...that's why I called you in. The 3-D method is by far superior to anything else."

Bill Baker  |  President, MAVERICK OIL PIPELINE SUPERVISION Inc.
Calgary, Canada

What about your company?

Hope you found the case studies inspiring. You've read how others have used this medium, but based on long experience, I'm sure your company's product or technology has at least a few unique attributes that you'd like to address with this medium.

If so, let's talk. Shoot me an email through the contact form below, and let's see how your calendar shapes up for a chat.

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