Pipe Dream intros animatics in “5 days for $5,000”

Pipe Dreams’ animation for UK Comfort fabric softener UK

For advertising agencies that need to test ideas fast, Pipe Dreams has introduced a practical and economical solution.  “PD eXpress is ideal for last-minute projects,” says Rick Livingston, studio director of the Chicago branch of the London-based global animatics company.

The new “five days for $5,000” deal allows an agency to develop multiple ideas and scripts for the traditional cost of one high-end 3D animatic, in a frame shrunk from their typical 12-14 day schedule.

The company developed the new product to cope with rapid concept research turnaround and high volume-low cost budgets, he says. “The shortened time frame is possible due to our ability to harness our library tools and motion capture.”

Studio director Rick LivingstonPipe Dreams Chicago, the company’s only branch, operates out of a 1,100-sq. ft. West Loop studio.  Staff is comprised of production manager Adam Pierce, 3D modelers Rob Rice and Dan Bruce and Livingston. Matt Bucher of Obsidian is the Midwest rep.  A search is currently on for an internal business development manager.

Pipe Dreams opened its Chicago office five years ago to accommodate client Draftfcb’s desire for closer contact with its animatics supplier.

Current well-known agency clients are in the UK, Chicago and the Midwest, France, Germany and now also in Asia with recent broadcast films on air in Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand.

Since Pipe Dreams prides itself on being a virtual domain, it is impossible to see the join between the studio’s work and any generated in the London, where Pipe Dreams’ gyroscope-based motion capture capability is located. 


One of the first companies to create 3D animation  

Pipe Dreams founder Adam Attew, a former artist for gaming company Climax, innovated the use of video game technology for 3D animatics in the advertising industry, which was the springboard from which the Pipe Dreams portfolio blossomed.

“Pipe Dreams was one of the first companies to create 3D animatics using gaming technology with high-end rendering, to create an almost photo-real animatic,” Livingston says.

A “toon” animaticAt the time, “agencies were having a hard time with traditional animatics.”  But with Pipe Dreams’ 3D renderings, “the test audience was able to see the full, complete story.

“A concept which had failed research five times was given the then-PD3D treatment and the consequent success has seen client sales grow substantially since.”

“Within our advertising industry portfolio we can take concepts through from animatic, via development and modification, right up to full broadcast,” Livingston says.

“There’s very little wait on the agency end. They can work with one CGI studio through the whole process and re-use a lot of assets.”  

This combination of the latest technological capability with the delivery method having their CGI artists sit with the client’s team is the key to the Pipe Dreams advantage.

And quite likely, Pipe Dreams will add its new low-cost, quick turnaround “five days/$5,000” as another advantage.