You may be interested in creating an animation explainer video, but you’re not sure what the process entails? Look no further, we have broken down the 4 important stages that we incorporate in to creating an animation so that you can see the overview of the steps that are involved.
Creating an animation isn’t like piecing together flat-pack furniture…and with good reason. It’s a time-consuming process that takes a lot of care, thought and creative thinking to devise the best piece of content for you.
Everyone’s process is a little different and varies typically depending upon the specific project in question. In this article, we discuss our own process for creating an animation explainer video…from scratch!
This process has been tried, tested and continuously developed over the last eight years, in hundreds of animated videos. So, let’s get stuck in.
Stage 1. Concept – What is your message?
This first stage is where we communicate and gather information about the client and their business. This allows us to have a better understanding of you and the thing we’re creating an animation for.
We want to know your objectives for the video, your target audience, your preferred style of animation and so on. This enables us to get a clear understanding of the purpose of the video and for us to set the right expectations for you. We’ll offer our input and expertise along the way to make creating an animation as fluid as possible.
We also send you a checklist of things we require from you to get started. These are typically things we end up chasing for during the project so now we just request it upfront to save you time when production is underway. This includes things such as your company logo, branding or any relevant graphics we may need.
After this, we start working on the Script and Story if they haven’t been provided.
Script for us means what will you hear in terms of narration? This is arguably THE most important step in the process, as everything else is built around this. A typical structure you may find is opening with the problem of your audience, introducing your solution and then expanding on the benefits to them.
The story is the visual outline of what you will see. Is there a character on the screen? How many? What are they doing? We draft this alongside the script so it’s easy for you to read how the animation will flow.
This is an example of what a Script and Story can looks like:
Note: Length of the script
The duration should entirely depend on your audience, the message you want to get across, as well as the locations the video, will be showcased.
Is Instagram the main location you are sharing the video? Well, 60 seconds is the cap for example. A lot of research suggests 60-90 seconds as a safe bet (which amounts to an average of 150 words), so we recommend to keep things short and sweet!
We have already written an article about this so if you are interested click on the link below to find out more:
When the script and story is fully signed-off we will get ready to progress to the #Design Stage.
Stage 2. Design – Coming up with the visual ideas and art styles
Once the foundation is in its place, we will develop the Concept Art and the Storyboard.
The Concept Art
The Concept Art allows us to explore a handful of art styles that may appeal to you and your audience, these are sent through for feedback to help us understand what style you like the most for your animation.
We will continue to refine until the art style is just right!
The storyboard connects the narrative to the visuals by creating sketches of how the script will play out scene by scene. This will allow the client to have an overview of how the animation will promote and enhance the script.
Creating an animation video takes time and effort, so we share the storyboard to ensure that the client is happy with the direction we are taking before we get into the time-intensive production stage. Here we are trying to lockdown the visuals as much as possible to prevent further changes down the line.
Once the storyboard has been signed-off we can move on to the #Audio Stage.
Stage 3. Audio – Piecing the visuals together with the voiceover and music
At the Audio Stage, we will professionally record your Script and find music to suit, editing both of these to the still frames of the Storyboard. This will create what we call an animatic.
The Voice Over
The script is professionally recorded by a voice-over artist.
We have worked closely with many voiceover artists over the years who we can source or recommend for your project.
We also source the right music for your project, whether this is royalty free music or a bespoke composition if required, we will find the perfect piece for you!
After the storyboard has taken its shape and the VO and music have been signed off, we can move on to the Animatics. Animatics are the fully timed out rough film of the storyboard. It showcases the timing, flow and the pace of the animation. ***Note, this is the rough version of the finished product so please don’t worry, this is to provide the clients with more visual aids to ensure that they are happy with how the animation is taking shape. The animatics are provided with perfectly timed VO and or soundtrack and sound effects.
Once again, we will seek client feedback and move towards sign-off to proceed to the #Production Stage.
Stage 4. Production- Animating all the assets to give them life
Finally, we are in the Production Stage!
During this stage, we will be bringing the story to life, frame by frame, continuing to enhance and polish up the animation.
The time devoted to the previous stages is to ensure that everything moves smoothly in the production stage. At this point, it’s harder to implement large changes to the design or structure of the animation. We still make a tonne of amendments here ensuring you get the perfect video, but added surprises or changes to the specification this late can be problematic to both the deadline and set budget.
Once the feedback is implemented and the final product is in place we will send it to the client for a final review. Please keep in mind, any changes that the client wish to make at this point will incur additional cost and may impact the delivery timeline.
When the animation receives a final sign-off, we will send the full quality file to the client.
And there we have it! These are the processes of the animation production line, we hope this information was insightful and beneficial.
If you would like animation videos made for your business or have any additional enquiries, please feel free to get in touch!
-A bit about us-
MIC Animation create bespoke and brand tailored #ExplainerVideos and #AnimatedContent that grab your audience’s attention.
Combining animation with a jargon-free philosophy delivers crystal clear messaging to the hearts of your audience. MIC creates content ranging from small internal HR animations all the way through to animated educational content for children. In their short history MIC have created content for your small local business all the way through to global brands such as GKN, Maritime Transport and Greene King.
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