Our latest big name client is one to be excited about – Kayla Itsines, the global fitness guru. We made an animation for Kayla to celebrate the first birthday of the Sweat With Kayla app.
In just one year since the app’s release on the app store, over 15 million women have signed up for the Sweat with Kayla program. All up, this means that the participants have walked over 14,000,000 kilometres, and completed over 74 million burpees. Talk about a killer workout…! We’re also reeling in the numbers – Kayla shared our video on her Facebook page last week, and the video already has a quarter of a million views.
‘We were so excited to win the project – Kayla is huge in the health and fitness scene, so being able to work with her team was a fantastic opportunity,’ said Natalie, who produced the project. ‘The brief was focused around a celebration of women and their achievements – a positive and inspiring message that really gives back. And I mean, who wouldn’t be excited to work with a team that has empowered over 15 million women to be their best?’
We worked very closely with Kayla’s marketing team to develop the concept, and they gave us a great amount of room to refine the animation artistically.
‘Kayla and her team had a script, paired with some rough visual cues of things that they wanted to include. The colour palette and font choice came from the sweat with Kayla branding, as it was important that the overall look and feel fitted within the established brand – but apart from this, it was really up to Oz and I to figure out how to tie all of these visuals together, so the whole video would have one cohesive and upbeat flow,’ adds Kane, one of the animators who worked on the project.
This creative license paid off – giving Kane and Oz room to move artistically on the project allowed for some great techniques and ideas to be implemented.
‘Oz and I brainstormed some concepts and transitions for the animation, and decided that it would be cool if we could actually use 3D characters to allow for some more flexible character and camera moves,’ continues Kane. ‘However, we didn’t quite have the time to be able to model and animate different characters, so we used Adobe’s new Fuse software which allows you to build, rig and customise your own 3D characters really quickly. Then we ran them through a program called Mixamo, which has a huge library of motion captured animation that you can apply to your character rigs. This allowed us to add movements like the walk cycle and burpee to the characters really quickly, and for other scenes like the high five and forehead wipe we just animated these by hand using keyframes.
‘All of the 3D elements in the piece were done inside cinema 4D – then we exported these scenes and camera/tracking data into after effects where they were composited together with the final 2D and kinetic text animations.’
Phew… that sounds like a lot – but the animation was turned over in only ten days (all the while making sure that it would not only play well on YouTube, with a 16:9 ratio – but also Instagram, with a 1:1 ratio). It’s even inspired a few of us in the studio – Natalie and Elena are now taking on the Sweat with Kayla program themselves. It’s week two now, and they’re feeling great…. Perhaps we’ll feature their progress photos in Sweat With Kayla’s second birthday animation!
‘Having been a long term follower of Kayla on Instagram, along with watching this animation multiple times a day, you can’t help want to be involved,’ said Natalie. ‘We have a group of girls from the studio who have taken up the program and joined the BBG community. Very early days, but I have to say, “Sweat With Kayla” is empowering as it looks!’