3D Explainer Videos for The Cannabis Industry – How We Make it.

We created the entire explainer video based on a detailed storyboard.

Canalyte Laboratory 3d explainer video was full of eyecatching cartoony 3d characters, props, elements in each scene.

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Below you will see how we converted the story panels to 3d explainer videos following all the instructions provided by the client.


We used 3d cartoony characters for the entire explainer. We created a total of Eight characters for this explainer.

Six scientist characters have lab coats, protective glasses, face masks, and gloves to turn on or off, as per storyboard suggests.

Additionally, we created two consumer characters for page 3 of the storyboard.

All these characters are rigged with fully facial expressions and inimitable body mechanics.

Page 1

This page has seven mini elements to pop up as the voice-over pronounces the keyphrase.

We are starting with the planet and the hemp leaves. We used the SVG import plugin in Autodesk Maya to bring in vectors directly from Adobe Illustrator.

In Maya, you can add extrusion and bevel to the imported SVG and give it a neat 3d look.

For the planet, we used a cute 3d planet model consisting of three brand colors.

We used primitives like cylinders and boxes to create the factory. The smokes coming out from the factory have a jiggle deformer to create a loop animation.

We used the characters popping from the laboratory to show that they are part of the research. We posed each character and rendered out a cut.

We used a low poly cartoony truck and painted it yellow. Added a bit of vertical keyframe animation to give it a motion.

Finally, we created the cannabis dispensary having small elements like shade, open sign, overhead signboard, etc. All of these elements were animated while the dispensary popped out.

Page 2

We created one part of the Canalyte laboratory on this page, adding two scientists testing specimens.

As this page uses nine federal requirements to show up, we ensure to keep free space on the top of the shot in the final animation.

Page 3

This was one of the tricky top pages that we had to deal with. The challenge was to have two characters consume different forms of marijuana while exaggerating the fact untested variations can cause illness.

We had to play with the lungs part and develop a creative solution where the lungs will appear once the consumers start using them.

The cookie was animated so that as soon as the character takes a bite, it changes shape accordingly.

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Page 4

We used a bend modifier in Maya to add on top of the Certificate of Analysis. As this is the most crucial document for the business to produce, we kept it on the left with a small animation loop for making space for all the texts to pop up on the right.

Page 5

This is another tricky scene to undertake. Here we used a rigging system with joints on the hemp leaves to have a visual effect of wind blowing by.

We used bullet simulation on the gummy bears to collide with the ground plane and themselves, creating a realistic visual effect for the scene.

We used a popular after-effect plugin called "optical flare" for the scanning beams on the QR code on top of the smartphone screen.

In the second part of the animation, we used a scientist character to walk, holding the sign in stylized form using keyframe animation.

Page 6

Although the concept looks simple in this scene, many things are going under the hood.

The instruction was to make leaves fall on a see-through trash basket and turn them into dollar bills.

The challenge was the number of objects was too high for this shot. Luckily Maya has the powerful Mash tool, which allows you to manipulate a single entity on a grid in countless transformation variants.

Mash was used to laying out all the bills in a cylindrical grid inside the basket then used the same on the falling leaves.

We used the Bullet plugin for simulating leaves and converted Mash elements to rigid bodies while making the dollar bills as a passive collider.

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Page 7

We modeled cartoony Thermo Fisher machines to align well with the characters on the following part of the explainer video.

In the second part of this scene, we have animated two scientist characters doing experiments using protective gears, such as face masks, gloves, and glasses.

Page 8

We reused the rigged hemp leaf and added an animated twig on top of the dirt to show that it is growing on palms.

Later adding a sparkle effect added more appeal to the scene.

Page 9

This was another challenging scene where we had to tackle two different parts of the laboratory and, at the same time, bringing in all the benefits as text popups.

We animated each shot separately and merged in a whole scene on post-production, animating all four scientists in such was so that even after all the texts are visible on the screen, they remain clear to the audience.

Page 10

We used Mayas SVG import tool to bring in vector graphics created in Illustrator for the puzzle pieces.

For the ropes, we used a MEL script to rig the bands so that it is possible to animate fluidly.

We keyframe animated both scientists for the scene according to the storyboard.

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Page 11

In the first part of this scene, we mainly used character animation. The storyboard suggested having a scientist walk by, and the rest are looking at that character.

To make it more interesting, we improvised the scene and made all the scientists work on a specific station.

In the second part, we used many tiny elements to reinforce the script. Power keyphrases like "quality," "timely," and "educating" we visualized all with specific animation pieces.

We imported the Quality badge to Maya from vector design to create the 3d animation.

Similarly, we imported the speedy clock and rigged it using joints to have a tail deformation and animated the clock's hands.

Finally, we used the laptop animation with a couple of scientists pulling books out from the screen while the consumer is reading a book to get valuable information.

Page 12

This is the ending scene where we need to show two different shots, the first one is where someone is offering curated cannabis to the screen, and the second part is the call to action with all the scientists posing in one shot.

We did the first part by modeling cannabis buds, and then we layout the bunch on top of the hand. We used depth of field on the camera to give this shot a more exciting appeal.

In the very last frame, we did the character montage with all the scientists. We did this to make a close resemblance with the storyboard drawing.


3D explainer videos for the cannabis industry is increasing, and it was a fun but much intuitive experience to producing such animated video for Canalyte laboratories.

About the author

Shoeb Mohammad is an online entrepreneur, artist, and industry leader with 10+ years of experience in business development, marketing, and art. He was born in Tehran, raised in Dhaka, and went to pursue higher education in Ontario. Shoeb finished his diploma from SAE, Brisbane, focusing on animation. He has taught animation academically before a couple of global brands picked Shoeb to promote and market their services and develop digital growth.

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