The Animation Process
This week, while scrolling through Vimeo I was struck by Deekay’s Animator Creating Animation: a simple but poignant look at the skill and energy it takes to create an animation. For those unfamiliar with how an animation is built, Deekay’s video is also a helpful insight into the process and what it takes to put an image in motion.
This video inspired us to put together a step-by-step workflow to help streamline the process next time you produce an animation for your brand.
Animation can be a great way to tell a story without the need for actors, props, locations and special effects. It allows you to create things that otherwise would be expensive (or impossible!) to achieve. It’s a great option for an advert with a narrative arc or a solution for a product explainer video.
Writing a brief will help consolidate your objectives into a summary that you can send to your production company.
For the brief, it’s helpful to think about the purpose of the video and the message that you it want to convey. This will help to ensure that your animation communicates clearly and effectively.
You can also include example videos in a brief, such as previous branded content, animations that are in a similar format or style, or any videos that you’re using as inspiration.
A production company will work with you to create a concept for your animation. This is an important step to ensure that you’re both on the same page in terms of the deliverables and timelines. Your production company may send you a Scope of Work that summaries the project and objectives for you to sign off.
Your production company will then engage you in discussions about the narrative of your animation, with the view to create a script or storyline.
Scripts come in many different formats. If you’re producing an explainer video, you may want to have a voiceover that describes your product or service.
If your animation includes a storyline with characters, you may wish to include dialogue. Or perhaps your animation is silent and you just want music to play over the action.
Either way, creating a script builds an important foundation for the structure of your animation.
Your production company will then translate your script or storyline into a storyboard that maps the visual journey of your animation.
Much like a comic book, a storyboard includes a frame-by-frame breakdown of the visuals that runs in conjunction with sections of the script.
Your production company will work with you to ensure that the storyboard reflects your narrative
Once you’re happy with the storyboard and script, your animator will create some style frames for your approval. This is the best time to implement any adjustments to the visuals, as once it’s animated it’s very difficult to change.
These images will feature a potential character design, text, background, colour palette, icons and other supporting illustrations. Sometimes, a variety of animation styles will be offered to work out what best supports your project. At Bold Content, we normally propose two or three visual style options for the client to choose from.
Once everything has been agreed, it’s time to start animating! Your animator will use the agreed storyboard, script and style frames to bring your animation to life! As animating is a very time consuming process, careful planning beforehand is essential to ensure that you don’t go over budget or miss your deadline.
At Bold Content, we offer three rounds of amends. We believe this is an important way for clients to be involved with the creative process and ensure that they’re 100% happy. The first draft will be a rough cut to ensure that the animation is shaping up in the way that the client is expecting. The second round is where the animator implements any changes for feedback, and the third round is designed for finishing touches.
If your animation includes a voice over, you’ll need to find an actor! Your production company can help you find a suitable artist that suits the tone of your primary customer.
Music is essential in the portrayal of your message as it elevates the emotional response that your animation evokes. Other than setting a mood, music can reinforce the message of your animated video. For example, an informative marketing video such as a training or explainer video is more likely to reach its full potential when you add a score that carries the emotion but does not distract the viewer from the content. Your production company will select a track that will appeal to your target audience and compliment the tone of your video.
In this last phase, sound effects will need to be added to support any of the visuals. If your animator is working off of a temporary voiceover, a professionally recorded one will now be inserted along with any text to support your Call to Action. Don’t forget to send your production company any brand assets such as logos or text that you’d like to be included in your animation.
Once the animation is ready, it’s time to share it with your audiences! If you need any help with distribution strategies, Bold Content is here to help you, to ensure that your animation reaches its full potential and achieves your marketing goals.
Want to know how we can help you, or have any additional thoughts on this guide to the animation process? Feel free to contact us on 0203 637 1467.