The Firefighting Bear Explainer

Client

Morgan AFR

Client Link

www.neskcire.com

Timeline

Winter 2019

Services
  • 2D Animation
  • Illustration
  • Storyboarding

CREDITS

Art Direction
  • Jordan Lambrecht
  • Karley Johnson
Illustration
  • Josh Hoepner
  • Karley Johnson
  • Hannah Klemme
Animation
  • Jordan Lambrecht
  • Madeline Christensen
Account Manager
  • Elaina Dye

Project Brief

We never imagined we’d hear the words “Firefighting Robot Bear” strung together in one sentence, and then we met Morgan AFR, a robotic systems development company based in Fremont, Nebraska. They came to us needing an explainer video to show investors an in-the-works robot that could potentially help wildland firefighters in the field.

Working only from a blueprint model, we brought the Morgan AFR “Bear” to life in a 2D world, highlighting its features and how it would move alongside firefighters during a forest fire. We crafted a script to explain its complex machinery and AI technology in simpler terms, keeping the video to just over a minute long, without losing the “cool factor.”

Process

We took a problem/solution approach in creating this explainer video.

The problem: When wildland firefighters are headed into dangerous territory, there’s no telling what sort of equipment might be needed. The last thing they should worry about is how to carry it all in an effective way.

The solution: The Morgan AFR Bear system is specifically built with wildland firefighters in mind. An effective and beneficial way of carrying heavy equipment, it’s adaptable to any terrain, able to carry 600 pounds, and serves as an extension of the team.

Trying to explain a ground-based mobile robotic system that utilizes machine learning, AI, and GPS navigation isn’t an easy task. The animation needed to position the Morgan AFR Bear as the next generation of wildfire response robotics in a way that was easy to understand and visualize.

To do this, we imagined a beautiful forest at high noon that pans down to a spreading forest fire. We created four firefighters that would take on the fire, and carefully reconstructed a 3D model of the Bear in 2D form to walk alongside our humans.To break down the anatomy of the Bear, we pulled it into a blueprint setting, building its robotic form and calling out its moving joints and various details. Another scene focuses on the storage capabilities of the Bear, with more callouts to its D-Rings.

Even though an explainer video is traditionally straightforward and, well, explains things, we still wanted to give our characters personalities of their own. Even though they don’t get a word in edgewise, we were able to give the animation some extra oomph by playing with facial expressions and the way our firefighters carried themselves. In this way, we could still communicate a story while remaining educational, like your favorite after school special (but hopefully a tad cooler.)

Explainer Videos

Need help pitching an idea that doesn’t exactly exist in real life yet? Let us bring your idea to life with an animated explainer video. Explainer videos show your product or idea in a narrative form, helping to connect with your audience or demographic. Just give us the text, and we’ll take it from there.