Net Neutrality Visual Design

The design goal for this series of videos is to create an animated conceptual space in which we can illustrate and explore the various arguments and technological facets of the net neutrality debate. This conceptual space must preserve a common stylistic sensibility throughout, while at the same time be capable of encompassing all of the following: the grand, macroscopic scale of the technologies and populations involved, the microscopic level of complexity of data packet flows, and abstract ideas such as laws and economic principles.

To meet this goal we are proposing a style that can be described as cell shaded, low-poly, mixed isometric and 2D flat perspective. 

The video below is visual reference for how we would illustrate concepts on the macroscopic scale:

Isometric macroscopic view, bright colors, brand logos

Isometric / flat perspective, cell shading, bright colors, low-poly, water visualization

Isometric / flat perspective, cell shading, bright colors, low-poly, water visualization

Isometric view & cell shading

Isometric view & cell shading

Isometric / flat perspective, cell shading, bright colors, low-poly

Isometric / flat perspective, cell shading, bright colors, low-poly

Isometric / flat perspective, cell shading, bright colors, low-poly

Isometric / flat perspective, cell shading, bright colors, low-poly

The Silicon Valley intro style enables us to explore large scale features of the debates, such as backbone vs last-mile connections, corporations vying for advantage, and metaphors such as traffic flows and toll roads.  

Sometimes we will need to be closer in (i.e. to accommodate the supermarket or parcel delivery metaphors). To work within the budget for the series, we need an efficient style that makes character animation as easy as possible. To achieve this we would switch to a two-dimensional perspective for this 'microscopic' view. Here's a sample of how this transition might look:

Proof of concept: transition from isometric macro view to 2D profile micro view

Proof of concept: transition from isometric macro view to 2D profile micro view

Once we are in this two dimensional view, we unlock all the efficiency benefits that entails, such as the ability to use 2D puppet animation instead of 3D character animation, which is much more complex both in terms of character animation and rendering times. In addition to ease of character animation, a two dimensional view also allows us to employ some tricks to decrease the need for complexity in the backgrounds without sacrificing visual interest, either through using a shallow depth of field to make the backgrounds out of focus, or using atmospheric effects to direct attention to the foreground.

Character design reference

Character design reference

Flat two-dimensional perspective, separate planes of action, atmospheric effects & shallow depth of field to minimize background detail

Flat two-dimensional perspective, separate planes of action, atmospheric effects & shallow depth of field to minimize background detail

Two-dimensional character reference, flat profile perspective, cell shading

Two-dimensional character reference, flat profile perspective, cell shading

Flat two-dimensional perspective, separate planes of action, atmospheric effects   & shallow depth of field to minimize background detail

Flat two-dimensional perspective, separate planes of action, atmospheric effects & shallow depth of field to minimize background detail

Additional stylistic references: 

Separate planes of action & flat  profile perspective

Internet data visualization

Internet data visualization

Character design reference, separate planes of action, minimized background detail, low-poly

Character design reference, separate planes of action, minimized background detail, low-poly

Internet data visualization

Internet data visualization

Flat two-dimensional profile perspective, stylized tech visualization

Flat two-dimensional profile perspective, stylized tech visualization