• Client
  • Ansible
  •  
  • Project Type
  • Animation
  •  
  • Roles
  • Design
  • Modeling
  • Lighting
  • Animation
  •  
  • Partners
  • Tim Kiernan
  • New Kind

Ansible Tower



Ansible is a leader in open source automation software. When they launched their new flagship product, Ansible Tower, they wanted an entirely new set of visuals to help portray their brand. Partnering with Tim Kiernan and New Kind, we created a set of videos and motion standards that Ansible could use on their homepage and in other video content. This eventually led to a redesigned homepage based on my custom 3D visuals.

Automation is intrinsically non-human and figuring out how to give Ansible Tower a "human" feel was a fun challenge. We explored different visual approaches, both 2D and 3D in nature, until we ended up with the empty office. The idea was to create an office that felt very personal and alive without showing people working at their computers.

  • Design
  • Modeling
  • Lighting
  • Animation

Ansible is in the business of making complex tasks easy to manage. The visual needed to be inviting and friendly but while reminding the viewer that Tower is an enterprise-level product.

They knew that they wanted the video to be set in an office environment. Instead of shooting live action footage, we decided that we needed the control of an illustrative approach. These were some of the first 3D mockups I presented to the client.

I wanted every item in the office to have a unified and minimal look so I opted to do the modeling myself. This way, I had precise control over the level of detail in the models.

My workflow involved creating comps in 3D with a live GPU preview turned on while screensharing with the client so I could implement feedback in real time.

Originally, a building wasn't part of the scene in order to help the environment feel more open and inviting. However, without a building with windows to create shadows, it was difficult to portray the dynamic lighting at dusk / dawn. I added a big box around the entire scene and poked holes in a couple of the sides. Done.

This resulted in more interesting lighting for a few key shots.

One of the main themes in the video is solving a problem, so we needed a way to visualize that. I researched some puzzle visuals and came across a math text with some cool 3x3x3 cube puzzles. I went with the cube style because it felt very modular, much like Ansible Tower.

The entire cube rig was procedurally animated using shader and delay effectors in Cinema 4D.

All of the 2D animation was done by taking screenshots of the interface then animating the important bits.

My favorite part of this project is how the visual style took on a life of its own after the video was finished and is now influencing other areas of Ansible's marketing.

Behind the scenes.

About Me

I'm a visual designer, sort of. I specialize in 3D motion design, but leaving my comfort zone and learning new skills is my passion. Throughout my career I've found myself working on a range of different projects like creating an employment branding strategy for a global brand to filming medieval vikings in the snowy mountains of Utah.

These days, I'm busy hanging out with my daughter and making animations from my home studio in Raleigh, North Carolina.