Not just another dam video project

When a new client asked us to deliver a promotional video in less than half the time we would normally allow, our design team rose to the challenge.

Binnies, a specialist water and environmental consultancy within the RSK group, wanted to create a short promotional video to launch its intelligent dam monitoring software (iDMS). The launch event was in three weeks, but a project of this type usually has a creative lead time of at least six weeks. A further complication was that, at the time of briefing, there was no visual content for the technology because the product was still under development.

After an initial meeting, the RSK Communication Services team generated a rough storyboard and explored ways to generate content. COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and the short timescale meant that content could not be filmed on-site. This, coupled with the lack of relevant stock film footage, prompted us to adopt a 3D software approach to generating all the content.

Once the client had decided on the type of dam to be featured, we used existing photographs of the dam and a “camera-mapping” technique that projects and maps a photograph onto a 3D geometry. This enabled the design team to create a 3D digital scene that we could navigate around to generate custom footage for the video. The camera-mapping technique was not a perfect solution and some of the details in the image were distorted. We addressed this by combining the camera-mapping technique with 3D models that we generated.

Using data provided by the client and referencing previous examples of Binnies software, we created a temporary interface design for the new software. Our examples of interface and content were well received by the client: “Your videos have been a source of inspiration for our styling of iDMS. I wish I could make it look more like your video, but time is not always on your side to make such changes. We should be making more videos like this of our other products.”

Using 3D software to generate footage enabled us to create tailored content that accurately represented the client’s workflow and allowed more creativity and flexibility in the production of content (camera angles, length and timing of the footage, etc.). By working weekends and a few late nights, and keeping the client fully informed throughout the project, we managed to meet the launch date deadline. The software has since featured in New Civil Engineer.

The client’s verdict: “We want to say a big thank-you for helping us achieve such a great video in such a short time! It is really immense what was achieved!”