Many organizations need to modify their marketing materials on a regular basis, to reflect continuous changes to products, delivery methods and pricing schemes. Regular changes to copy and images can be relatively inexpensive and quick because these marketing assets generally are not time consuming to produce. However, when it comes to video assets, this is usually not the case: changes to video assets are often expensive and time consuming, and so, we often see modifications to video dragging well behind changes to copy and images.
In this post I’d like to talk about the idea of producing video assets in a way that allows for faster and less expensive modifications. While I’m certainly not close to perfecting this way of doing things, I have been involved in projects in which there was significant reuse of video assets in the production of multiple videos (and other assets) for an organization.
I think the best way to explain my thinking, is through the review of examples from my work with clients. Below, I will profile two long-time clients of mine: Kids Kreations and Visibility Workflow.
Kids Kreations
Kids Kreations is an organization that helps schools and other organizations to raise money by selling products that feature children’s artwork.
When Kids Kreations first approached me, they knew they wanted to create three videos for their website: a video designed to provide a general overview of their process; a video aimed specifically at art teachers/fundraiser organizers; and a video designed to explain the process to kids. Because we knew from the beginning that we wanted to create three videos, we were easily able to storyboard the videos in a way that would maximize asset reuse.
Several of the settings used in each video were common to two or three videos. The following stills show the art room in each of the three videos we made for Kids Kreations.



This next set of stills show a "parent ordering" scene in each of the three videos. Each of these scenes has unique elements, but, we were able to reuse assets, such as the computer monitor, desk, and keyboard.




Adobe After Effects was used for final compositing of the videos. After Effects lends itself well to asset reuse because assets can simply be duplicated in the software. And, in addition to reuse of stills, After Effects allowed us to repurpose sequences. For example, the images below depict a sequence in which a piece of child’s art is wrapped around a mug. We created this sequence for Video 1, with the first piece of art (orange sky sailboat); we reused the mug wrapping sequence, as is, in Video 2. In Video 3, we wanted to show a different piece of art (blue sky sailboat) wrapping around the mug; and we were able to duplicate the sequence in After Effects and substitute the blue sky sailboat image for the orange sky sailboat image, without having to fully recreate the sequence. This is just one example of a number of sequences that were reused across Kids Kreations' videos.





Kids Kreations was also able to make use of some of the video assets on their website. For example, the caricatures of Kids Kreations’ founders, Melissa and Lance, were created for the videos, and then later used on their website, as shown below.




Visibility Workflow


Visibility Workflow is an organization that provides software and service to efficiently run the car reconditioning process of auto dealerships.


I produced two videos for Visibility. The first video was designed to provide a somewhat detailed explanation of Visibility’s offering. Once the first video was produced, Visibility decided they also wanted a shorter, promotional style video.


The promotional video required a fraction of the time and cost to produce, as compared to the original video, because we were able to rely on sequences produced for the first video, with little need for modification of sequences.


Further, as is the case with Kids Kreations, Visibility made use of video assets on their website, as shown below.




As the above examples demonstrate, there are definitely time and money gains to be had from reuse of video assets. Other gains of an asset reuse policy include consistency of design and maintenance of brand standards across media.





Asset Reuse in Animated Video Design and Planning

02 August 2021