Harris Kalinka

Imagery + Animation Golf + Architecture

Wednesday 14th October 2015

What we need to create a golf course animation (Part 2: The crucial questions)

Key to creating a successful golf course animation is understanding the design. In part 1 of What we need to create a golf course animation, I listed the drawings, planning documents and technical specifications that we’d need from you to get started. We learn a lot from these, but as you know, a golf course cannot be captured by lists, examples and technical information alone.

Here are the 4 questions we always ask at the start of a project. To make the most of what we can do for you, you might want to think about the following questions.

1. What makes your golf course special?

You have spent many weeks, maybe months (or even years) on the design of your course, and now you need an animation. The very first thing you need to do is think about what makes your project special and what elements need to be the focus of the animation.

Is it a signature hole, a particular green complex, the views from the clubhouse, a particular course feature or an overview of the course? It’s very important that we understand this so that we can create the most compelling animation for your course.

This knowledge will help determine the camera angles, the style of lighting and the type of service you require. Choosing the right service could save or make you a lot of money.

Many of our clients know what aspect of the design they want to focus on, but, like a photographer who might take hours to set up the composition of a shot, it’s always worth exploring the possibilities after we’ve created the 3d model, looking for a view that will show the design to its fullest.

2. Who’s going to watch your animation?

Some companies will take your design and create a fantastic animation but without considering who will be looking at it and where. It’s no good having a fantastic animation if it isn’t appropriate for your purpose, your target audience or the context in which it will be viewed.

This question is relevant to all animations, whether you’re using them to market your golf course, raise investment or for use during a tournament.

You know more than us about your target audience. Do they have a short attention span: should the animation be dramatic from the start to grab their attention, or should it slowly build before reaching a climax? Or maybe it just needs to be simple and informative to complement other presentation materials.

Every project tells a story too. It might be about the client, the thinking behind the design, the lifestyle of a potential player, or the traditions and culture of the local area. What that story is depends very much on who is going to look at your animation. This doesn’t need to be complicated and it isn’t appropriate for every project, it could be quite simple and often achieved without incurring any additional costs.

3. Where and how will they watch it?

It’s also helpful to know the context in which the animation will be shown. Will it be projected onto a big screen, shown on a TV, watched on a computer or integrated into a mobile app?

This will help us to create animations that are appropriate for the context in which they are viewed. It will also help us to decide on the best formats and file sizes. An animation for a website, for example, will need to be streamed or downloaded, so the file will need to be smaller than an animation that will be played on a TV in the clubhouse. If you try and use the same version of an animation for multiple purposes then you might not get the best results. It won’t cost you more to have separate versions of the same animation, so if you let us know, we can give you exactly what you need.

4. What do you need your audience to get from the animation?

Do they need to be able to plan how they’re going to play a specific hole, or do you want them to buy a property or invest in your course? What do you want them to do, or to be able to do, after watching the animation? The answers to these questions dictate what type of animation is best for your project.

Depending on your goal, you might only need one animation showing an aerial flyover of the golf course. If you want to show the intricacies of each hole and focus on particular course features you could consider more than one animation.

Many of our clients start with an animation showing an overview of the course, or a flyover of a single hole, and then as the project develops they ask for a separate flyover animations for each hole.

Then there is real estate. If you’re hoping to sell real estate off plan we can create animations that are focused on individual houses, hotels or luxury villas. It might be enough to simply show them in the background of the golf course animations, or you might want to show a walkthrough of the interior and the views out across the golf course.

Let’s talk

We like discussing a new project before we begin work so that we can hear you talk about the design and get a feel for what you need. It isn’t always possible to sit down and talk, because each project is in a different part of the world, but Skype is a wonderful way to have a face-to-face conversation and introduce the project.

It’s also an opportunity for us to ask these key questions. If you do find yourself in the UK then you’re more than welcome to stop by our office for a chat. It’s always nice to know who you’re working with.

The questions don’t end here – unless you want them to

We’ve never sent a client a final animation without there being questions and discussion around tweaks and changes during the process, and I imagine we never will.

This isn’t because we can’t create great animations first time, it’s because we like to work collaboratively. We like to give you plenty of progress images throughout the process and get your thoughts on the details of the course, the lighting and camera positions. We know that you know your design better than anyone, so it’s important you have plenty of input so we can visualise your design in the best way.

Call us to see what animations we’d recommend for your next project