Over the past few years we’ve been producing interactive Christmas E-cards for a bit of festive fun. It’s always a nice to produce something a little different and hopefully helps to get us and our clients into the Christmas spirit!
Our first attempt started off with Rob volunteering to produce one as an alternative to the regular physical Christmas cards we’d been sending. Sadly, that version has been lost to the mists of time and can’t be found anywhere. It involved cartoon versions of the team giving a Christmas message. Thankfully we started getting a little bit more sophisticated after that and in 2007 we started incorporating what we do best into our E-cards, CGIs.
The freedom of our software allowed us to imagine pretty much whatever we wanted, and it was a nice change to be able show a season other than summer in one of our images. Over the years we’ve moved from externals to internals, and building houses to pretty much attempting to shake them apart, all the while trying to go one better than the last years. All the E-cards have been interactive and allowed the user to immerse themselves in the holiday spirit, if only for a few minutes!
The below image was from the 2007 E-card and was the first to feature a CGI. A combination of photographic samples of snow mixed with a basic CGI. The Christmas images tend to have more post production than any of our normal CGI work.
Below is our first internal Christmas E-card from 2008. Notice the house from the 2007 E-card in the picture frame. You can also see Rob in a photo within the display cabinet. Back in 2008 this scene was particularly difficult to render, some of the elements were re-used for the 2013 card, but thankfully our systems had had an upgrade by then.
2009 brought us something along the same lines but with more functionality. We got to play with building a house from foundations up, until the house was complete and we could start a Christmas party inside.
The house built up in layers until complete like the image below and people could then be seen dancing through the windows. The idea was ‘borrowed’ from the movie Home Alone, when Kevin throws the fake silhouette party.
We took a break for a couple of years which allowed the software upgrades to come flooding in. Our scenes could be more detailed and our effects more advanced. We were also able to include video for the first time in the form of electricity and explosions. (Who doesn’t like a good Christmas explosion!).
From one extreme, to the next:
Whilst most of our Christmas scenes always looked very classy we tried to do the opposite in 2012. We wanted as many colourful tacky objects as possible. The user would build it up bit by bit until the transformer just couldn’t take it any more!
You never know, Christmas 2014 may just bring something completely new to scene.