THE PRICE OF IN­NO­VA­TION

DE­CID­ING WHAT TO CHARGE IS TRICKY WHEN YOU’RE DO­ING SOME­THING NEW, SAYS TER­RI­TORY’S DAVID SHEL­DON-HICKS

Computer Arts - - Money Guide -

“Of­ten the most chal­leng­ing projects to price up at studio level are the ones where in­no­va­tion is in­volved,” says Ter­ri­tory founder David Shel­donHicks. “The ones where you don’t have a prior ex­am­ple of that kind of project, be­cause it just hasn’t been done be­fore.”

Ter­ri­tory of­fers clients ev­ery­thing from graphic de­sign to dig­i­tal prod­ucts to VR, mo­tion cap­ture and VFX. “What­ever goes into the mix, ul­ti­mately we’re pro­vid­ing a cre­ative so­lu­tion,” he says. “And some­times you can get to that so­lu­tion re­ally quickly and on other oc­ca­sions it takes more time. You don’t want to give a price at the out­set, and then later have to go and ask for ad­di­tional funds to com­plete a project. So it has to be an it­er­a­tive process in con­sul­ta­tion with the client.”

He of­fers the ex­am­ple of Ter­ri­tory’s col­lab­o­ra­tion with cre­ative agency Hay­garth on a project for Clar­ins. The brief in­volved the cre­ation of an­i­mated con­tent for a ground­break­ing real-time pro­jec­tion map­ping in­stal­la­tion, one that took cus­tomers on a jour­ney of ‘a day in the life of your skin’, and gave each vis­i­tor a per­son­alised sense of how daily en­vi­ron­men­tal stresses af­fect them.

“We de­signed and an­i­mated a se­ries of beau­ti­ful sur­face tex­tures that il­lus­trate var­i­ous en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors – such as UV light, pol­lu­tion and cli­mate – which are pro­jected onto an in­di­vid­ual’s fa­cial con­tours us­ing in­frared depth cam­eras, adap­tive fa­cial track­ing and dy­namic pro­jec­tion map­ping tech­nol­ogy,” ex­plains Shel­don-Hicks. “This was the kind of project that’s par­tic­u­larly hard to price up, es­pe­cially as it was the other agency who were do­ing more of the in­no­va­tion side.”

Be­cause there were many pos­si­ble ways the project could have gone, Hay­garth and Ter­ri­tory had to put a lot of time into con­sid­er­ing all the op­tions, he says. “We put in the brain-hours to think, ‘Okay, if this doesn’t work then we’ll do this, and if we test this and this doesn’t work, then we’ll have to do this.’ And we kind of built out this en­tire con­tin­gency plan.

“I think be­cause we’d taken the time to con­sider all the even­tu­al­i­ties, and we’d given our­selves a re­al­is­tic sched­ule, then it all worked re­ally well, and most im­por­tantly, the client was happy with what we cre­ated for them, and the price we charged for it.”

Ter­ri­tory worked closely with cre­ative agency Hay­garth on this in­no­va­tive pro­jec­tion-map­ping project for Clar­ins.

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