Olympics Medal Tracker for Bloomberg
Every time a medal was won in Rio during the Olympic Games 2016, a custom video was autonomously created in real time and automatically pushed to the Bloomberg social media team and Twitter channel in minutes. The video showcased the gold, silver and bronze winners, together with their nationality, and ended up with a medal recap of the gold winning country and its position in the global medal ranking. To achieve this we had to create custom color palettes for each country, along with bright illustrations for each sport category and geometric, minimal flags for all the +200 countries attending the games.
Sport stats for Serie A TIM
We worked with TIM, the telco company sponsoring the Italian Football League (Serie A), in telling the story of every single match of the tournament with short animated infographics. With tons of live data coming from the football fields, we developed 14 custom templates with beautiful illustrations and animations, each dedicated to a different topic: attack, defense, lack of fairplay, the goalkeeper saving the match, and so on… Our algorithm, that understands football, selects the best template to tell the story of the current match. The video creation process, then, runs autonomously in the cloud. Algo personalises the template with team logos, scores and all data about the match, select the a different colour palette, and then automatically render the video and upload it to the Serie A Tim app, where in less then two minutes it gets available to thousands of football fans.
S&P500 daily video recap for Bloomberg
This time we partnered with Bloomberg, that provides the financial data, and built for them a daily automated video recap of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. Each day, at market closure, we pull the fresh data about the best and worst 3 stocks in this index. The custom video template then gets personalised, picking for each stock the appropriate animated icon (we created more than 50!). Then the daily video gets rendered in the cloud in a couple of minutes, and becomes available into the Bloomberg infrastructure for publishing.
Why data-driven videos?
We think videos are the most powerful type of internet content, and that making videos speak with live data is the future of video creation. We picture a future where machines don’t take care of the video creation completely, but one where designers and animators do what they do best, and machines do what they do best as well, making videos more fresh and relevant than ever. We think companies like Facebook, Google or IBM are on the right path in developing great automated video campaigns. We want to be part of it as well.
Is Algo available for other animators / studios?
Not yet. At the moment we’re using it internally at ILLO. In the future we plan to open it to other selected studios / animators, but for the moment we still need to develop the project further, and most importantly, we need to show the world some of the interesting things that this technology makes possible through some great use cases before opening it to the public.
What kind of data can you use to make videos?
Any kind! Whether it’s an API, a json, a csv, anything. Every Algo project comes with customised data input coding.
How can I use the live videos?
The campaign video output, like its input, can vary a lot in function of the project. Being the video creation process completely automated, it might be interensting to make the publishing of the videos autonomous as well.
We currently have pre-built modules that can upload the videos to Facebook, Twitter, any other video upload API or to your FTP. If, instead, you prefer to have them shared privately, and then decide later which one to publish, we can easily send them to your inbox, or give you access to a dashboard where videos can be streamed and downloaded upon request.
How does Algo work?
We run After Effects in the cloud. We create one (or more) custom templates made of illustrations and animations. Then we deploy the template to the cloud infrastructure, where a script written in ExtendScript Toolkit customises the template and then renders the final video.
What’s the usual process to create a video campaign?
It all starts with a Brief, where we collect all info and see if we’re a good fit for your project. Next comes the Data Analysis, where we test the data. Then we build a Video Pilot, a first version of the video that gives you a clear idea of the final outputs. If you like our proposal, that’s great. We can move forward with the Data Automation, making so that the data are organised exactly how we need them. Next phase is Video Automation: that’s the most crucial phase where the video becomes a template ready to be personalised online. Then comes the Cloud Setup, where we setup your dedicated infrastructure in function of the project needs. Finally comes the testing phase: we run the first automated videos and check that everything runs smoothly. If so, that’s great. Your live video campaign can finally go live.
What’s the average timeframe for creating a project?
It really depends on a lot factors. We’ve done projects in 2 weeks and others in 2 months. So, be sure to get in touch with us at least 1 – 1.5 months in advance.
What about costs?
The pricing structure works through an initial setup cost that covers the template creation, project development and infrastructure setup, and a recurring monthly cost for server uptime. It requires an initial investment, but, in function of the number of videos produced, the final cost per video can go down to 5-50$ per rendered video.
Want to start small? No problem. Most of the time we can start by doing a video pilot first.