Process Animation
Visual Explainers

Show How Things Work
Show How Things Change

We exist to tell the stories that we all need – to understand where we have come from and, therefore, where we are going.

We build Virtual Reality exhibits We build Interactive Timelapses We build 3D Model Presentations

Imagining the Future

For projects that can't be filmed, 3D modelling and animation lets you show partners what the future could be. For example, we helped Canadian National Railways present a proposed hub consultation before construction.

Building the Past

Animation is perfect to recreate a past that has vanished, and give a richer understanding to the present day. For example, the iconic railway bridge in Canmore has a more colorful history that is apparent.

Show How Things Change

Everything changes, but sometimes when we can see the full scope against time the changes are more powerful, even shocking. Here is the population growth of our little home town.

Show How Things Work

Animation is well suited to explaining complex processes and phenomena that can not be easily filmed or shown in still pictures. For example, here is an explainer on how tides work.

About Otago Computing

Launched in 1997 and focusing on making information understandable and accessible, we are a boutique animation studio working with corporate clients to show their future – visualizing the management of change, internal team training, external client explainers – and with museums to bring the past alive. We create standard animation, virtual and augmented reality, and interactive online apps as the material requires.

CN logo BlueEarth logo Brewster logo GPO logo KCP logo KODAK logo RIX logo CMAGS logo

If you are an existing client, log in to review works in progress.

About Jerry Auld

A native Albertan living in Canmore, Jerry took a degree in Computer Science in 1993 with a minor in History. Active in all mountain activities, Jerry is passionate about the stories that ground us in our sense of place; stories that we all need – to understand where we have come from and, therefore, where we are going. Jerry founded Otago Computing as a vehicle to provide information visualization services.

Why Animation?

If you find yourself repeatedly waving your arms explaining how a product or service will change a process or your client's lives, then you need an animation. Staff or clients can view it on their own computer as many times as they like – you can even track who hasn't watched. Save yourself the repetitive dog-and-pony show.

If you are describing to boardroom of 20 people how a project will enact a change from current state on Slide A to future state on Slide B, then you just had 20 different assumptions on how you got from A to B, and that will show up a problems months into the project. An animation will add the time element to your PowerPoint, showing the current state morph into the future, in ordered sequence, and lose nobody to assumptions. Animation is the perfect vehicle for describing events or settings in the past/future (i.e.: that no longer exist, do not yet exist).

In public presentations, if you find yourself knocking down basic misconceptions and never seem to get past square one and get the conversation started, then you need an animation that presents the basic offering and allows you to begin the conversation on the real issues with an already informed audience. Animations are cost-effective method of showing overview of large capital projects (since you do not need to hire helicopters and film crews to wait for the perfect day, or you can create explanatory footage of an installation that does not exist yet, or tour through spaces are too expensive, too small, or are too dangerous to do so with a live camera.

How We Work (Costs and Estimates)

Fast and light with a small footprint. We are small, but have access to teams of associates as needed (and only as needed) to get the job done. Our speciality is the 2-minute informative animation. Use it for staff training, client introductions, open-houses, trade show booths, project team orientation, etc… We provide weekly updates on project progress and hours spent, and believe in step-wise refinement (high client touch). In other words, you get to guide the sausage being made, not just see the finished product, to make sure it serves your needs exactly.

To give an general idea of costs, we present three different methods. Clients may pick their preferred method at the start (all initial numbers are for SD 540p deliverables, apply the multipliers for HD 1080p). Note that OCI reserves the right to limit the options if a project cannot be profitably delivered based on initial assessment. These numbers cover costs for discovery, blocking, modelling, materials and UV painting, texturing, staging, lighting, rigging, sequencing, compositing, rendering, post production effects, as well as software and hardware.

Per Hour:

For projects that are vague, are still-frame art, or need some examples developed before striking a project:

  • $50 for 2D (x2 for HD)
  • $100 for 3D (x1.5 for HD)
  • $150 for Character (x1.33 for HD)
Per Second:

Per second of final deliverable (that is, footage that I deliver, not what is in the final film cut). This includes two edit passes of the base models and two edit passes for the rigged scenes.

  • $50/sec for solids in non-complex scenes (under 20 moving objects). (x2 for HD)
  • $100/sec for fluids or boids or complex scenes (20 or more moving objects). (x2 for HD)
  • $150/sec for complex ray-tracing (central objects and lighting that use refractive or reflective materials) or mechanically complex scenes (objects with armatures of more than 10 bones). (x2 for HD)
  • +$25 per second for each edit pass other than the first two.

Minimum chargeable amount: 30 seconds.

Per Project:

Estimates can be prepared on a per project basis. This approach is dependent on:

  • Whether a clear decision path exists for sign-off (defined approval structure).
  • If a completed script exists (defined timing and subject).
  • If sufficient examples of technical or specific objects are available.

However, estimates need a discovery period to be created with accuracy. A flat rate of $1000 will be charged for any estimate that will be considered binding. Estimates are binding and will not exceed the maximum amount as long as the scope declared within that estimate is not broken. Any excess within scope will be absorbed by Otago.

Non-binding estimates are available for free, but they are ballpark figures that can only be used as a guideline and not a rule.

Other Notes
  • Deadlines must incorporate the time to do a final render, which can be multiple days if rendering at HD.
  • Costs do not include client rights over models, materials, or code. These are sole property of OCI, unless bought via a separate and specific agreement.
  • A base hourly rate will be charged for any re-work done after final sign-off.

Software, Languages, and Workflow

We create standard animation, virtual and augmented reality, and interactive on-line applications as your material requires. We are a generalist, end-to-end studio, which means we do not work on specialized games or movies, or focus on providing niche skills, but strive to build lower-cost colutions that suit your needs, from the concept and design right through to the maintenance and support.

This is our general workflow: from basic process flow animation, to complex 3D modelling and rendering, and whether the output is on a website or a distributed video, you can follow the toolsets, languages, filetypes, and deliverables via this diagram.

Otago Computing Workflow 2023

Success Stories

The Canmore Museum and Geoscience Centre (CMAGS) worked closely with Otago Computing to create a virtual reality (VR) exhibit for the museum. It was the first VR project the museum had undertaken. Stakes were high as the organization looked to create an experience that would appeal to a younger demographic, attract more visitors, and allow the museum to increase admission prices and generate higher revenues. Numerous submissions to the RFP were received from across Canada, the United States, and parts of Europe. After careful review, including qualifications and pricing, Otago Computing was chosen as the vendor. Jerry Auld poured himself into the project. He went beyond what was required during every step of the research, development, testing, and implementation stages. The final product, called Inside the Mine, provides an immersive, 360° experience that allowed CMAGs to share what it would have been like working in a Canmore coal mine in the 1920s. Every detail, from the voice of actual coal miners to the mechanics of the equipment, was intricately mastered by Jerry. Today, CMAGs has the first permanent VR experience in the Bow Valley. It has fundamentally altered how visitors experience the museum. I often hear kids remarking, “Wow, that was like a video game…so cool.” But perhaps the best compliment comes from the miners themselves when they tell say, “That’s exactly what the mine was like.” Without reservation, I wholly endorse Otago Consulting. They exceeded every expectation of the project scope. It was an absolute pleasure to work with Jerry Auld. Sincerely,
Executive Director
Jason Gariepy, MPA, MA

In May 2017, a nation-wide charity, Mito Canada, organized a team to run a linked marathon in Calgary to raise funds and awareness of mitochondrial disease and its research. You really can't get a better example of business processes than trying to get 150 people to run a synchronized marathon while tied together. Just think of the bathroom breaks! We were able to help get everyone on the same page and running in the same direction by visually outlining the techniques ahead of time. People tend to absorb information better visually, and when you add the time element (i.e. what separated diagrams from animations) you can really get them to understand in a few minutes what would take hours and hundreds of words otherwise.
We were successful: raising over $ 150,000 and earning a new Guinness World Record.

The Co-founder of Mito Canada, Blaine Penny, had this to say:

Jerry Auld is a visual animation wizard who has the rare ability to combine articulate communication skills applied to the most complex detail/logistics to be viewed in a simple on point animated manner. Team Mito just completed a Guinness World Record  for ’The most linked runners to complete a marathon’ on May 28, 2017. The success of the team and GWR attempt hinged on the preparation and readiness of the team/runners for the many logistics to be encountered throughout the race. As many runners were from out of town they didn’t have the opportunity to join for training runs. The animations provided the visual and detail to prepare our team for success. We couldn’t have pulled this off without Jerry and his phenomenal ‘How it works’  videos!

Blaine Penny
Team Mito Ambassador

Watch the full animation here.

One of western Canada's top residential solar installer found that they spent $ 50,000 in staff-hours explaining to potential customers the basics of the industry, but only enjoying a 2% conversion rate. They wanted to reduce the investment in this repetitive process, and start the conversation with clients who already had pre-qualified themselves based on the projected costs, physical restrictions, and realizable benefits.

Otago Computing worked with them to create a series of short animations which took over the job of explaining the fundamentals of the industry, which allowed them to focus their staff time with customers on their value-added service. These animation videos were hosted on their website, with a simple contact information required for entry, and a survey at the end.

Their costs within were reduced enough to eliminate their previous annual $ 50,000 outlay, and because they were only talking to customers whom had passed the basic hurdles and still qualified, their conversion rate jumped to 30%.

This project paid for itself within one month, and their employees are happier because they can engage with customers right away at a more interesting level: not at square one with basic solar facts, but at that of the customer's customizations.

Contact Us

For estimates, project scoping, more references or examples, or to set up a time to meet or talk on the phone, please email Jerry Auld at

We are based in Canmore, Alberta, and serve the Calgary and Southern Alberta business market directly, and international corporations online as animations are easily delivered, do not break, and run everywhere.

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