Step-by-step guide to the animation production process

February 1, 2019 xplayer

Animation production process

And today we will talk about the main stages of the animation production process. If you have never dealt with this, it may be quite shadowy to you, so we decided to explain how it all works. Each project is different, but usually, the stages are the same. And everything is in the care of one of our project managers.

1. Start

The timing and duration of the project are agreed, now we can proceed to the brainstorming. The whole team is gathering and everyone expresses any of their ideas, even the craziest ones, even when they are on the wrong track. It does not matter at all, the main thing here that this is fun and cool! Everyone is involved and this brings the whole team together. 

To do this, we just need a concept, any information on the topic from the client or agency we are working with. If the client already has a ready script and VO, we should have it at this stage. Or if the client wants us to make some changes or we have to make a script, then we get down to work then.

Voiceover – Depending on your preferences and the target audience, you choose a professional speaker from our base, which can deliver the message of your brand.

Script – the client knows best about his product. We can edit the already obtained information, put everything together or create a script basing on the information we receive from our client.

2. Design

So, our geniuses, illustrators, start working. They search among many styles the one that emphasizes the individuality and uniqueness of this particular project.

  • There is no limit to their imagination! Inspire and work!
  • It is very useful to get the style examples you like so that the designer should focus on. This will definitely be helpful.
  • At this stage, the designers also cooperate with the animators, there is a mutual exchange, how to animate better this or that detail.
  • After that, we send for the review several examples of illustrations in different styles. The client chooses what he likes best and goes to the next step.
  • We can also use the prepared illustrations provided by the client.

3. Storyboard

  • Storyboard shows the main elements of the animation and gives an idea of ​​how the voiceover will match the visual part. 
  • Storyboard is used to explain the story. Imagine a schematic pencil drawing. 

As the animation process takes some time, storyboard helps the clients to see the process and to understand if we move in the right direction, thus avoiding delays in the future. But of course, the number of edits depends on the schedule and budget of the project.

4. Аnimatic

  • Animatic is a great way to get everything we have and create a draft video.
  • Its goal is to show time and pace with key moves and transitions. 
  • Animatic is just illustrations synchronized with music and voiceover.
  • The animation as it should be is still far away. 

For example, you will not see how the character freely walks in the park, in animatic, it will have a more static picture or a slight slip along the background image. At this stage, the voiceover is just so important for the motion designer to continue the animation.

5. Production

Here it is! The most important stage – animation! At this stage, we are doing what we know best: we embody a unique story that has to become something fascinating and charming. We devote a lot of time and attention to the previous steps to make sure everything is ready. Then we will be able to go to the animation itself. All the above steps must be agreed before we start working, since it’s hard to change something after that. Of course, we can change something at this stage, but this can affect the timing and budget for the client, so we try to avoid it as much as possible.

6. Feedback and approval

This step is applied throughout the process of working on the project and finishes with the agreement when we finish the video. At the agreed time, the client has the opportunity to view and send feedback. The number of reviews we can include at each stage depends on the schedule and budget agreed at the beginning of the project. Quick feedback is important to ensure that we continue the workflow and that is why it is perfect when the client first indicates the priority changes that should be done immediately and the other, which can wait for a little.

7. Render and final delivery

The finish is almost here! Creation and final delivery! With agreed changes, we send the mp4 file to the sound design, and the sound designer adds his cherry on the cake, sound effects, which completes and highlights your piece of art. After the sound design, we give the full version of the video in Full HD, as well as other formats on request of the client. Any changes that the client wants to make at this stage are quite possible but will incur additional costs and delay of the entire project. The render and sending to the client may take some time, it depends on the size and nature of the files, so we always inform our customers about it. Well, finally, the project is over. On the computer screen, you see your video, worthy of all that efforts and expectations, and now ready to conquer the world!