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Does anyone know how those ultra-high pixel dense Google commercials are made?
August 12, 2012 8:14 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone know how those ultra-high pixel dense Google commercials are made?

Example

You can see that the screen is very zoomed in, yet, you still don't see the individual pixels. Texts and UI elements are sharp and crisp.

I feel like it could be done in two ways. First, they could record via ultra high resolution, so that texts are still sharp after cropped and enlarged. Second, they could have made everything via Flash instead of recorded a screencast. But that might be too much work.

What do you think?
posted by Thisispiggy to Media & Arts (12 answers total)
 
Yeah, I would have thought it's some sort of animation. But your reasoning about pixels does not seem to be valid to me. If you press ctrl-plus and ctrl-minus to zoom your browser, on all the browsers I've used at least I don't get any pixellation of anything other than embedded raster images. Fonts and UI things like buttons are vector graphics.
posted by XMLicious at 8:23 PM on August 12, 2012


Doesn't look at all like a recorded screencast to me...
posted by Exchequer at 8:23 PM on August 12, 2012


It would probably be a lot easier to do this in flash or something than to actually get all the timing to work out the way you want with the actual app.
posted by aubilenon at 8:27 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


But it does not seem to be a ctrl-plus zoom. Everything on the page still looks the same proportion. I think I would agree with animation more.
posted by Thisispiggy at 8:31 PM on August 12, 2012


If I had to take a wild guess, I'd say that it was probably done in flash initially, then exported into After Effects to finish it up and export it to video.
posted by Oktober at 8:33 PM on August 12, 2012


But it does not seem to be a ctrl-plus zoom. Everything on the page still looks the same proportion.

I'm just saying that the bit about a screencast needing to be enlarged after being cropped isn't necessarily true. As aubilenon says, it would be easier and make much more sense to create it as an animation and thus have control over every aspect.
posted by XMLicious at 8:41 PM on August 12, 2012


Second, they could have made everything via Flash instead of recorded a screencast. But that might be too much work.

Making everything from scratch means you can control every single aspect of the animation, making minor improvements to the interface. I took a screenshot of Google docs now, vs the Google Docs in the video, enlarged the screenshot of the real display by 250%, then laid that over the video screenshot: see here. The font is a bit wider, and the ruler bar is a bit different. The real thing looks a bit chunky in direct comparison.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:47 PM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


filthy light thief, you are awesome. That's some very detailed observation. However, don't you think the slight difference would be because of video rendering stretching everything horizontally?

But it would be a lot of work still to create an animation.
posted by Thisispiggy at 9:31 PM on August 12, 2012


I think it's probably done with photoshop and after effects instead of flash.
posted by pwally at 9:44 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's only a 1min10s animation, with not very complex movements. It could easily be a straight-up rendering (animation).

Yes, grabbing screencasts and editing them together is more honest and would be easier for a techy person who's not familiar with animation, but for an artist making a commercial? Just animate it. Then they have full control over everything.

Otherwise you have to coordinate all the real-actions of the software perfectly to make your screencasts, and then splice it together. Later when the artistic director/marketer/whoever wants you to change that one part, you have to re-create all the live action work again. An animator would just open their storyboards and change it - done!
posted by jpeacock at 10:58 PM on August 12, 2012


It's definitely made from scratch to look like the online product, sans the annoying pixelization. That's how tv commercials are made. All those webcam inserts? High-quality recordings. Probably not done in Flash, either. Flash is a web tool, and not particularly good for broadcast quality work. Honestly, though, it's a pretty simple bit of animation. Not complex at all.

You know all those cool smartphone and tablet commercials you see where all kinds of cool things are happening on the screens? The screen animations are not actual stuff. With very rare exceptions (mostly Apple's stuff) it's all simulated.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:36 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


One more give-away: the pace of typing, especially with collaboration between about 10 individuals jumping in at exactly the right moment. If it's a screen-cap, it could be automated typing, but then the capture pans down just right, then segues into another scene.

In short, there's a lot of detail in a professionally made simple "screencap" video like this.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:31 PM on August 13, 2012


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