If you think the process of creating a high-quality animation is complicated, you’re right. There’s a lot that goes into getting the look and feel just right, and the process involves a great deal of collaboration between our creative team and the client’s team. Here’s how we do it.
By the time you’ve made the decision to have an animation produced for your business, you more than likely already have an idea of what you’re looking for. These details are documented in what we call the client brainstorming process. It sounds intense, but it’s really just a brain dump form that asks questions to better help us understand your animation needs, including deadlines.
During this time, we also ask for any supplemental materials that you may have (links to videos that are similar to what you’re looking for, style sheets for video characters, scripts, etc). The client brainstorming period is important because it gives us a broad overview of the project.
After we’ve had a chance to review your material and brainstorm sheet, we schedule a discovery call to talk about the details and work out the kinks. This initial call is very important and should involve all key players in the project. On the client end, this would include the project manager, and any staff members who will have a final say in the design and scrip details.
During this call we discuss a number of details, including:
- Intended Audience
- Animation Style
On our end, we typically include the project manager, marketing staff (if needed) and a member of the creative team. We try to include someone from each group that will be working on the project. Having the core team on the discovery call ensures that we ask all the right questions and gather pertinent information about your project. After we’ve discussed the details, we immediately begin working on the script. This process typically takes about one week to complete. The script is then sent over to you (the client) to approve.
*Please note that we require that the client’s team fully and aggressively vet the script before we’ll consider it approved, as an unapproved script being used in later phases of an animation will almost certainly lead to costly reworks down the line.
Pre-Production (Storyboarding and Voiceover)
Once you’re happy with the script, then it’s off to pre-production. During this process, there are a few things that take place.
- The client chooses a voice actor/actors for the approved script, and that actor records the voiceover.
- We provide a few animation style samples based on the information we collected during the discovery process. The client-selected sample is then sent over to our illustrators to create a scene from the script.
- The client reviews the illustrated scene and approves it, or requests revisions.
- Upon approval of the initial illustrated scene, our artists will then draft the full storyboard, which shows every single scene in static imagery before the animation is done.
- We provide the client with a PDF document to flip through, and request revisions if necessary.
When the pre-production process is over, you will have a full, static prototype of your animation and know exactly what each scene will entail.
The production process is where the magic happens. This is when we bring all the elements together to create your masterpiece. Music and sound effects are added to make the animation custom and engaging. The voiceover and animation are timed exactly to create the perfect experience.
Fact: It takes 45 minutes to one hour to create a single second of finished animation. Because of this, project completion times vary based on the length of the production.
After the final elements are added, we send the completed animation over for client approval. It is typically delivered as a .mp4 file, as this is the post compatible format for online and offline viewing.
So there you have it, our animation process all wrapped up and easy to follow. Are there times when we deviate from the plan? Rarely. We try to stick with a process that works, and this is it for us. There may be instances when we need to do additional revisions, or put in a few extra hours to complete a project, but overall, this is what you can expect when working with us.