A Super Spot for the Superbowl

We are always proud of our work, especially when it plays on the Superbowl! The TV Commercial we produced for Hunter Steel has played during both playoff games and will air during the Superbowl this Sunday January 28th. Look for our Hunter Steel ad during the Superbowl broadcast. It was a fun project to do and will get your attention. Enjoy the game!

 

Hunter Steel

Is there an App for that?

Everyone has heard the term “There’s an App for that” but you and I know the one app that you really need to make your job or business easier, more efficient, and organized has not been developed yet. It probably needs to be created specifically for you or your business. Don’t be caught up in the hype about how expensive apps are to create. That is not the case for many ideas.
We all carry mobile devices and use them daily for communication, whether its surfing the net, organizing and improving our lives, or just plain having fun. Many tasks in business these days are better done on the spot, and done better and quicker than waiting until you are back in front of your desktop screen. Consider how your business can utilize this mobile technology to improve your job and life.

Our current App portfolio carries business apps for quoting, equipment rental, pet adoption, scheduling, insurance reporting and landscaping to name a few. All these apps have one thing in common. They take a complicated set of actions and streamline them into an easy to understand and use portable app!

If your looking to make your business easier, more efficient and organized give us a call. You’ll be glad you did.

Why VR will change business to business marketing

Virtual Reality is not just for games, it can also be an important tool for business

For example; Waxworks has a long term client who expressed a pending problem to us. They were committed to attending their industry’s major trade show in Europe and they needed to display their products.

The problem is their machines are 3 stories high and could fill a warehouse.
To transport and set-up a working machine to the show would have cost around 800K. That’s a lot of money and resources for a 2 week trade show!

Their major competitors did spend the money and moved complete operating machines to the show. Our client, not having deep pockets like their major competitors, needed a solution. We suggested one. Soon after they contracted Waxworks to create a 3D 360 VR of their machine for them. It featured 5 viewing positions.The VR actually made the tour of the machine more effective and compelling than having the real thing there.
The VR allowed potential customers to view the inner workings of their machine from angles and areas where no human could go for safety reasons.

What a buzz they created at their booth, and the VR made them a “must-see” at the show.
“have you seen the VR yet”
“don’t miss the VR at the … booth”
“cool VR over there, you should check it out”
“I’ve never been that close inside a machine like that before”

What a great way to demo such a large product. Essentially they upstaged their competitors at a wee fraction of the cost. And of course they now have the VR to send out to potential customers world-wide. It’s a tour that can happen almost instantly.

VR is still developing in interest and has mostly focused on gaming. Wait until businesses start discovering the awesome marketing and training potential of this new tool. It will never be the same again.

Why would you ever call a company Waxworks

I can’t count the number of times I have been asked why we named our company Waxworks. Here’s why.

In the seventies when we were trying to decide what name to use we were only in the audio recording studio business. Someone suggested that, since the original records were on wax cylinders, and since we were in St. Jacobs (an old-fashioned kind of place) we should be called Waxworks. I scoffed and said that was terrible name,. After all, we were a high-tech studio, progressive in every way. But that night I went home  and looked up Wax in the dictionary.

Yes I found the noun wax candles, wax seals, etc but I was also reminded of wax the verb meaning on the rise, growing toward fulfillment, as in the waxing moon or waxing prophetic. Yes “growing gradually larger” is a good name for our company, and Waxworks was born. So now you know, we are a verb!

Connecting the dots, the birth of Motion Capture

Sometimes the best ideas come when you are not looking for them. Case in point. In 1995 I was visiting a company interested in having us produce a marketing video for them. They made precision measurement equipment for the medical and aerospace industries. They showed me their stuff, led markers they placed on an object and sub-millimetrically measured their positions in 3D space. They took these measurements at a high and variable frame rate to measure movement. OK. That’s interesting.

So I asked them if I could glue these markers onto a human being? They didn’t see any problem other than discomfort. So now my mind raced ahead knowing that the most difficult and time-consuming animations to produce were human motion, facial expressions, delicate hand motions, the familiar and subtle nuances of human expression.

I raced back to the office and asked my 3D animator if I gave him 3D coordinate data, X, Y and Z for a particular point at 30 times a second, could he attach that data to an animation wire-frame model. He said he could write a little program to do that and move the animation with the data. I quickly borrowed the measurement equipment, wired the hands of a stand up comedian/piano player friend of mine with a few dozen markers and every joint in his hands, set it all up and asked him to ad lib some piano playing. I insisted he make mistakes, fool around, do stuff that was out of the ordinary and recorded both the data and the audio of the piano and gave it all to my animator and left for the night.

The next morning I came in and asked if he had got anything from the overnight render. He suggested I sit down and played the video. Good thing I was sitting. I swear I actually levitated as I watched these goofy looking cartoon hands playing the piano exactly like a human would. We recorded in real time what would have taken a skilled animator several weeks to produce only a close similarity to the nuances of the human hand.

Today this is called Motion Capture. It is big in the movie industry with producers like Lucas film, Ron Howard, etc. Back then I thought we had invented it, only to later discover that mere handful of companies around the world were also experimenting different technologies for this purpose. We were certainly the first in Canada to make it work.

My point to this blog is look around, be observant, and don’t stop with the manufacturer’s intended purpose. Imagine how you can connect the dots and combine things to create something new. It works. Who knows, you might discover the next big thing.