University of Hertfordshire

University of Hertfordshire
Zeppelin above cuffley 2D animation

Our Client

University of Hertfordshire logo

‘The University of Hertfordshire commissioned Elstree Film Design for support on a major documentary project at short notice to support the internal production and creative teams with image and animation support and creative input. The work involved EFD liaising with a range of UH team members, and producing, to a tight time scale, both initial concepts and full treatments. At all stages of the project, the EDF team responded in a highly professional and responsive manner and their contributions were material to final success of the project from the perspectives of both the internal team and the commissioning client. I would commend fully commend both their creative output and their client interface.”

Chris McIntyre, Dean of Cultural Affairs, Director of UHArts – University of Hertfordshire

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To commemorate the centenary of the First World War The Queen commissioned the production of a film (Hertfordshire, A County At War) to be shown in schools to detail the involvement of Hertfordshire during the conflict. In turn we were commissioned by The University of Hertfordshire to create a series of motion graphic maps to be used to link different sections of the film together. Freelance Director Howard Guard was leading the project and Peter Richardson from the University was Producer. We had two main challenges. Firstly to develop a creative and technical approach to creating the maps and secondly to work successfully as part of a larger team of project partners.


Initially we spent time with the Producer to plan the logistics of production and delivery. We then worked closely with the Director to develop a series of mood boards and pre-vis tests so that we could lock down the visual style before progressing. This included a series of overlays (dust, grain and Pathé style news reel footage) that we would later pass onto the editor who could use these assets throughout the film.


During our R&D phase we found a way to import geo terrain data directly from satellite images into cinema 4D which allowed us to create an accurate 3D map of Hertfordshire. We also designed a series of graphical assets (nurses, crosses and military regiments) which we used to bring the maps to life. We also animated a series of archive stills to create exciting moments like when pilot Leefe Robinson shot down a Zeppelin over Cuffley. The motion graphic sequences worked brilliantly to bring the maps to life. Recreating the original 1907 OS  map in 3D brought the story of World War I right up to the present day. The animated stills provided our young audience with a new interpretation of old archive stills. The film is being premiered at The Rex cinema in Berkhamsted on August 4th 2014.

Are you looking for a creative video solution at the last minute? Contact us or call 020 8819 2652 and we will be happy to help.

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