Pinot: Vine Superstar Shares His Tips on Creating Stunning Animations [Interview]

Pinot: Vine Superstar Shares His Tips on Creating Stunning Animations [Interview]

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Vine is a very unique video platform that could have easily stayed under the radar if not for the backing of Twitter. A year on, it’s a vital part of the video marketing mix for a huge number of brands who use their alloted 6 seconds to create some memorable videos around their products or services. But what about the creatives behind those videos? Vine is a weird and wonderful medium to work with and those who excel find themselves not only with a loyal and active following, but in demand by those who need the magic they create. Stop-motion animation is nothing new, but combining that very specialist skill with a kaleidoscopic imagination and a firm grasp of social media has pushed the cream of these artists to the very top.

One such “Vineographer” is Pinot, an Indonesian-born, Kuwait-based motion graphic designer who has worked with Disney, the BBC, and Virgin on their Vine campaigns. We talked to him about his creative process and how brands need to join him in his playground if they want to work with him.

Vine: How Shortform-content is Changing Online Video

ReelSEO: Vine is now a year old – how do you think it has changed the online video landscape and how has it changed you as a creator?

Pinot: Before Vine, online video was another regular video format for another regular medium like TV. Screen wise, it uses HD or a wide-screen format. Vine absolutely changed the landscape. It’s a 6- second, square-screen format & bandwidth friendly for less than 1MB per video. It’s more portable than any other video service.

Making animated video is my hobby. Whether it’s a documentation or a creative video like animation or stop-motion. And this hobby requires time & space, which is a bit difficult for me as a family man. Vine makes it more feasible than before. I can make stop-motion video at the office, at the weekend or after the kids go to sleep, in just a matter of a couple of hours. There is always time & space for Vine thanks to its duration & small format.

ReelSEO: You are considered one of the best “Vineographers” around today. Tell us a little bit about your professional background and why you have embraced Vine with such a passion?

Pinot: I’m a motion graphic designer in a TV station, but I’ve also done some video & animation. At the beginning, I thought Vine was the perfect medium to do some basic cinematography & traditional animation – because you can’t upload any pre-recorded footage. Using Vine is like going back to the era when animation or special effects were done without CGI special effects. My father taught me about making movie & animation in the traditional way and Vine brings me back to those old days. In turn, I use Vine to teach that traditional technique to my own children.

ReelSEO: Who else do you admire on Vine? Can you show us an example of their work?

Pinot: Without a doubt it has to be Ian Padgham. He can make a Vine wherever he is. Sometimes, doesn’t even require any equipment, just big ideas & tiny tripod! Like this one he from Westminster Bridge, London:

I’m also a huge fan of this Vine from Ian – fantastic stop-motion recording on the spot.

ReelSEO: What do you like about Vine?

Pinot: Its limitation is a big challenge. It’s the opportunity to do something beyond digital or back to analog. And it only takes 6 seconds for people to watch & receive the visual message. Looping can also enhance or reinforce that message. Thanks to its simplicity & short duration, I can teach my children about storytelling in video, creating short movies & animation with them and for them. Vine is our family playground.

ReelSEO: Tell us about your creative process when making Vines.

Pinot: I usually get the initial ideas from my children. They think & see things that adults can often miss. Once I have an idea, I translate that into a 6-second story with many possible animation techniques. If I think it will work well on Vine, I prepare the material. The whole thing usually takes 2-3 days, depending on the animation technique I use.

For instance, I got the idea for this Vine when I saw my son looking down into a puddle when we were in London. He told me he saw Double Decker buses & Big Ben under his feet. Discussing the creative process with my children keeps my imagination active.

ReelSEO: What tools do you use?

Pinot: Mostly I use a tripod as part of my standard equipment. We have a small table in our living room, and that’s really my studio. Some animation techniques require equipment like a transparent clipboard or an iPhone holder with suction cup. Sometimes I use children’s toys as to help me. You can see a glimpse of my desk here:

ReelSEO: What advice do you have for other animators who want to start use Vine?

Pinot: Vine is fantastic medium for animators and I would offer the following advice to anyone looking to create great 6-second stop motion films;

  • Vine has its limitations – use those as an opportunity. 
  • Traditional animation is a best way to make an animation. 
  • Don’t upload edited, pre-made video & hack it into Vine. 
  • Want to upload pre-made animation video? Use other services like Instagram or YouTube. 
  • Watch for ideas. 
  • Follow @AllNaturalVines on Vine for creative videos done inside the app. 
  • Patience is a great virtue.  
  • Embrace the imperfection of Vine app as animation tool. Vine captures the beauty of human mistakes & provides space for error. 
  • Don’t forget to give a surprise at the ending before loop. 

ReelSEO: What do you think about Instagram video?

Pinot: Once they opened up the option to import clips from your device library, it became another YouTube service in square format. Most of the creative videos there were done in computer with wide-screen or HD composition. For me, it’s not right. Making video in wide-screen composition is different with square-screen composition. And basically, we cannot just crop the HD video or put cinemascope frame on Instagram video. It’s just not the nature of square video. It also became another YouTube service in term of users number. It’s bigger, more popular & crowded than Vine. But it’s not unique.

ReelSEO: Can you tell us about some of the brands you have worked with on Vine?

Pinot: As I wrote in my blog, my Vine is my playground. When brands hire me, they’re playing together in my playground.

ReelSEO: What is the vine you are most proud of?

Pinot: I’m most proud of the following Vines because I worked with my family on them, we worked as a team. My 8 year old daughter helped me with the storyboarding & the animation. My children also learn how to act while they are making them!

We’d like to thank Pinot for his time. You can follow him on Twitter and at his Vine account.


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