In its work for glasses brand, EyeBuy Direct, motion graphics studio ManvsMachine has nestled into a new area of animating: character design.
Known for its ability to craft buildings for Apple, trainers for Nike and websites for Squarespace into entirely animated worlds, ManvsMachine is a master of the rendering craft. However, this new campaign starring (the sweetest character) “EyeBuyGuy” sees the studio try its hand at adding expression and movement to a little glasses-wearing character.
Originally, EyeBuy Direct’s “EyeBuyGuy” was a “fun animated character who would pop up in the live action spots and give advice about glasses,” the studio tells It’s Nice That. Almost reminiscent of everyone’s favourite Microsoft Word office assistant Clippy, ManvsMachine decided to flesh out the character, going deeper into the design process and pitching for this little guy to have its own stand-alone series of animations.
With this decided, the studio then worked on how EyeBuyGuy could be used to “convey detailed pieces of campaign messaging, that otherwise would be fairly mundane, so it was essential that the character felt both fun and approachable.” The character design achieves this through immediately heartwarming features which pinpoint two dots for eyes (with glasses) and a concave smile.
Alongside the solo animations for little EyeBuyGuy, the studio also created live-action spots which would have to link back to the fully rendered spots. Keeping these consistent was key as “Even though they are separate pieces of communication, they’re both parts of the same campaign so it was vital to keep some consistency,” the studio explains. To tackle this, ManvsMachine stuck to the same colour palette and utilised certain material cues of different shapes. “We also used the product as a design feature within the character design. As you can see, his legs are actually made of the arms of the glasses.”
Introducing character-driven work into ManvsMachine’s creative outlet is a process the team hopes to continue. “We’ve been moving in this direction for a while now, basically taking advantage of some of the amazing skills that our team can bring to the table, but that ManvsMachine hasn’t necessarily been known for in the past,” the studio tells us. “Our last few character design/animation jobs have been a super fun process, designing the character and seeing him come to life. So, we can’t wait to get our teeth stuck into more illustration/character animation projects.”
It’s a common thread in the studio’s work that no project looks the same as the last, visualising how ManvsMachine is at its “happiest when we get to add new strings to our bow, so this is certainly an area that we foresee a lot more interesting work in future.”
About the Author
Lucy joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In October 2016 she became a staff writer on the editorial team and in January 2019 was made It’s Nice That’s deputy editor. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about new and upcoming creative projects or editorial ideas for the site.