300+ hours of work, distilled into making a 1:34s video.
A thread on how we are expanding our IO IP into kids' content - by creating delightful and imaginative content that encourages creativity & learning.
We are proud to announce the launch of Imaginary Junior - a digitally native brand focusing on interactive kids' content.
Introducing IO's very own rendition of the classic children's song - The Wheels on the Bus.
👇🏻 More on our creation process:
We first analyzed hundreds of children's songs, and measured their virality based on YouTube & social metrics.
Our goal was to identify the most popular children's song that appeals to kids.
3 songs were shortlisted.
Interesting fact: The top song had over 4.2b views (wow)
From the 3 songs, we extracted the lyrics and found that some songs were more challenging to enunciate and articulate.
We wanted a song that kids of all ages could relate to.
1 song eventually stood out to us - The Wheels on the Bus song!
Our illustration team then went through 5 iterations of 2D character design exploration via mockups, sketches, and illustrations.
Visually, we wanted to bring out each character's personality as much as possible.
aim? For children to connect with these characters.
We wanted our 2D characters to retain the iconic bubble/balls design from our 3D collection.
By doing so, we hope to go beyond the web 3.0 space and to grow this brand and IP across the web 2.0 space, bringing value to all IO holders.
The design exploration phase for the bus & environment was complex - took us 4 rounds to finalize the visuals.
-> The bus had to look whimsical, fitting our characters' circular theme
-> The environment needed to complement our characters and not take attention away
We also added a bit of "science" into the color theme of the animation.
From our research, kids prefer red, yellow, blue, green, orange, & purple colors.
These became our main colors.
We made multiple mood boards to ensure that the colors were complimentary in each scene.
Style framing involves creating sketches of the characters and backgrounds before the animation is created.
This saves a lot of time and effort, as it can be difficult to make changes to animation.
We had 3 different style frames to ensure solid visual consistency.
IO is all about happiness, and we wanted the song to reflect that. We explored TONS of musical instruments.
Our final picks?
2. Pop Drum
These 3 are the easiest to play, and they produce a wide range of sounds that young kids can easily recognize.
We put our spin on the "The Wheels On The Bus" song:
1. Multiple beats and tempos for different stanzas
2. Using rhythmic percussion instruments to give off a high-energy feel that children love
End result? A fun, upbeat, and catchy tune that will get stuck in your head.
The vocalist played a critical role.
After screening 10 vocalists, we chose one that could express a sense of happiness and fun through her tonality.
This was an important factor in our decision because we wanted the music to reflect the personality of IOs.
And lastly, the actual animation to tie all of these elements together - was the most time-consuming process.
A full complete round of animation took us 7 hours, and we did 5 rounds before our final version.
The animation is made loopable - to keep kids mesmerized in a continuous motion and rhythm.
We hope that kids will enjoy our content for hours! And have lots of awesome fun while singing and dancing to it.