As many readers will know, one of my roles here at Sketch Group is as a graphic recorder. I’m one of a team of illustrators whose job it is to take visual notes at events—conferences, workshops, panel discussions, and so on. It’s stimulating, rewarding, creative work, and we're regularly humbled by just how fundamentally this work can change the dynamic of an event.
Attendees are fascinated by watching a large canvas come to life, and event organisers love having something different to engage delegates at their event—not to mention the value of having a large, colourful, visual summary of the content to photograph and share after the event is over.
Usually our canvas is a large sheet of paper, positioned to the side of the main stage, so that attendees can watch it come to life throughout the event. Graphic recorders are required to listen, synthesise, and capture the content that they hear.
Last week, the organisers of Web Directions Summit 2017 engaged me to graphically record the keynote sessions at their conference. However, this time I wasn’t drawing on paper—in fact, I didn’t even have a canvas to draw on, and there were no markers in my tool belt.
On this occasion, I was drawing in 3D space, using an HTC Vive virtual reality headset. In what I believe might just be a world-first (I don’t know of anyone else using the tool in this way before, so I’m claiming it!) I sketched the presentations in virtual space, in real-time, using a tool called Google Tilt Brush.
The idea of taking VR Sketchnotes (that’s what I’m calling them, unless a better name comes along; sculpt-noting, anyone?) came to me earlier this year, when I attended the International Forum of Visual Practitioners conference, in Decatur, Georgia. I was attending as a delegate (the only one in attendance from Australia) and saw a demonstration in the Exhibitor’s Hall of a 3D mind map that had been created by the wonderful folks at Lizard Brain Solutions. I was curious to learn more about how it had been created, and exchanged a series of emails with the team after returning to Australia. When I learned that the mind map had in fact not been created on the fly (it comprised a series of text nodes that had been imported from Adobe Illustrator, and then positioned afterwards) I realised there was potential to explore how sketching in VR in a real-time environment could add a new element to the experience of attending an event, much like graphic recording does already.
When I saw the amazing promotional video for Tilt Brush, the dots were connected; I was determined to ensure that the device I purchased would be one that ran this app. A week later, with a sizeable hole in my pocket, I'd purchased my headset and set it up at home. My foray into the world of VR had begun.
As you can imagine, there were more than a few hurdles to overcome in order to sketch a conference presentation in 3D. Here are a few that come to mind:
Due to my travel commitments at the moment, I haven’t had a chance to process all of the sketches from the conference properly yet. However, I have uploaded some stills, videos, and 3D sketches that you can browse on your computer, your phone, or with your own VR headset, if you have one.
I’ll update this post and fill in the blanks next week after I’ve had a chance to process all of the files from the sketches. In the meantime, though here are a few samples for you to explore.
The VRdict ...
VR Sketchnoting is a new and innovative way to visualise content in real-time. Capturing content in virtual space has the potential to add to an attendee's experience of an event in new and unique ways. In addition to the increased engagement of watching a VR sketchnote be created in the moment, having 3D digital sketches of content can empower attendees to explore and reflect on the content after an event in a number of ways, via a range of digital channels. This digital collateral can also be repurposed as promotional content by event organisers and speakers after the event.
Creating a VR sketchnote at an event comes with its challenges; there are some logistics involved that require one to be organised, and the concept may be met with resistance by some folks, who may consider it too different or new. However, the upsides that I've listed above suggest that this is an area worthy of further exploration, even if it's not yet clear exactly what role it will play and what form it will take. Meanwhile, the goal posts continue to move as technology evolves. We'll keep you updated as we continue to explore this emerging field.
Browse some of the Web Directions Summit 2017 sketches on Google Poly:
We recently worked with the fabulous team at Steply.io
to create a video showcasing how they make managing your digital workflow easy and seamless.
They work to simplify the complex (just like us) so we were a perfect fit.
We worked with them to write a script explaining how best to help arrange change management at your pace, then crafted a visual look that was unique and showed off the message of growing your digital transformation organically. Not all at once, but step by step.
Check it out here.
Happy International Accounting Day!
Yes, it's a thing.
And it’s today!
To celebrate we’d love to share with you this video we made with CPA Australia.
It’s all about Blockchain.
Blockchain is a technology game-changer, set to transform accounting, audit and banking.
So, together with CPA we made a video to answer the question -
how does it work?
The answer is waiting for you here.
It's October 2017 and we’ve just re-branded.
There's a good reason....
In the five years since Matt made his very first Sketch Video in his next door neighbours' living room, Sketch Videos has grown so much (you can see the original video here).
We’ve added to the team more talented illustrators, researched the science behind why drawing is such a powerful tool, learnt new techniques for illustration, and changed the way we shoot and edit our videos.
But more than that, we now sketch more than videos.
We sketch posters and live events. We graphic facilitate and visualise with pen in hand. We sketch postcards, book bindings and notepads.
We’ve grown into a team that are devoted to making whatever you want sketched, the best sketch possible.
We’re more than videos.
We’re a Sketch Group.
Committed communicators helping you get your message out there.
So, we sketched ourselves a new name.
New Name. Same Great Idea.
Simple, smart sketches that bring your story to life - on film, on paper or live at your event.
Sketch Group - we look forward to doing business with you.
At Sketch Videos HQ, we’re always delighted to chat with people when they’re just starting to plan a work conference or event.
There are so many ways we can work together to add clarity and sparkle to your well-planned day. Listening to your ideas, adding our own, and together working out the best way to value-add to your conference. - perhaps with live sketching, pre-created content or after-conference collateral based on the discussions of the day.
We’re always happy to try and work within your budget to come up with a bespoke plan that really sets your event apart.
We have a great team of professional live sketchers who can stand alongside speakers on stage and clarify their messages with visual zings. And we have graphic recorders that work with you to really best capture panel discussions. Or perhaps a sketcher to draw in the foyer when your conference attendees are milling about and discussing the ideas of the day.
It’s all possible.
Sketch Videos recently worked with researcher Joseph Tighe to create a compelling video about the important eHealth app iBobbly.
iBobbly is the world’s first suicide prevention app designed especially for use by Indigenous Australians.
The name iBobbly comes from a Kimberley greeting, the region where the iBobbly trial first took place.
We worked with Joe to script and visualise a video that helps explain the reasons, the research and the very encouraging results for the iBobbly app.
We’re very proud to be involved in a small way with this project and to help showcase the iBobbly app. We hope it makes a real difference.
Have a look at the finished video here.
This August, Sketch Videos hits a very important milestone.
We’re turning FIVE.
That’s five years of sketchy goodness.
Five years of scripting, shooting and sound mixing.
Five years of developing and refining our processes.
Five years of creativity and crafting.
And it keeps getting better.
In five years, we’ve grown our team from two, to a number in the tweens.
We’ve finessed our expertise and experience in co-creating great videos with our fabulous clients, and introduced new sketchy things too. We draw posters and postcards, and live sketching – an aspect of the business that has grown in leaps and bounds this past year.
Sketch Videos now has a talented and energetic graphic recording and graphic facilitation team, and it’s continuing to grow.
So to everyone we’ve worked with, thankyou.
It’s been a wonderful journey so far. We really have enjoyed it all.
And we look forward to many more sketchy times together in the future
Did you know that multicultural youth make up 25 percent of Australia’s young people? Their opinions are going to help shape our future and it’s high time their voices are heard.
So Multicultural Youth Australia (who have the very fabulous abbreviation of MY Australia) are conducting a huge survey – asking over 10 thousand young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds about the issues on their minds.
The information will be used to help organisations and decision makers develop better policies and programs.
Sketch Videos was excited to be involved in creating a video to help promote the survey, and encourage as many eligible young people as possible to have their voices heard.
To fill out the survey, head here but first, why not watch the video?
We’ve recently had a great opportunity to work with researchers at the Monash BDI Metabolic Disease and Obesity Program to craft a video that helps explain the multiple causes of obesity.
We worked closely with their passionate experts to create a video that exposes the factors that contribute to the global epidemic of obesity. And the research may just surprise you.
It’s such important work the Monash BDI researchers are doing, and we’re really proud to have played a part in getting their message out there.
We’d love you to take a look.
Matt is Chief Doodler at Sketch Group. He likes swimming, LEGO, and chocolate lemon curd cake—but then, who doesn't?