School Messenger - 3D Explainer Video

School Messenger creates apps for school districts across the country that make it easier for administrators, parents, and students to stay connected and share important information. While many features are available in all of the apps, the UI and icons are custom designed for each school.

Goals and Challenges

When School Messenger came to us, they already had a video on their site, and while they were happy with the script, the visuals were (quite frankly) horrible. With an important trade show just around the corner they needed a video redesign that would do their service justice. 

They had several requirements that made it a bit challenging for us. First the existing script that they wanted to reuse was almost 2.5 minutes long, which is a lot of time to keep this type of video engaging. They also wanted us to feature as many of their real app designs as possible. Finally, the project needed to be fairly simple to fit with their budget, but still needed to look clean and professional. 


Our first step was to brainstorm on visual styles that would feature their app designs in a way that was cool without becoming really boring. We decided to blend a standard vector style for abstract sections with a realistic 3D phone interface for sections that talked specifically about their apps. Mixing styles is always a little risky as it can look unplanned if not executed carefully, but it was worth a shot.

Once the style idea was approved we jumped into storyboarding and spent quite a bit of time generating visual ideas that would keep things interesting, and also making sure the two different styles would complement each other. The client signed off on our ideas with very few changes - always a big score! So we got to work.

After a few weeks of grinding away, we had a complete draft that included crisp 3D animation with elements created from their real app designs, as well as simple vector designs that helped bring life to their story. The client was blown away with the results. Mission accomplished.