The animation process

A step by step guide on the animation process and how animation is good for your company

Maddie Prior
Sales and Marketing executive
Animation

When making an animation there's many steps you need to go through before the animation comes together. Every process will differ slightly as different clients will have different visions and different size projects, the bigger the project the longer the animation will take to create. When creating animation you want to make sure you're engaging your audience but also driving the sales, this is where following an animation guide is important so you don't miss any vital steps. 

If your company is planning to create their own animated video or going to use an animation studio to create a video for you we have come up with a step by step guide on the animation process.

Briefing 

Before starting any animation you need to understand the goals and objectives of what your client is looking for, you have to listen to what the client wants and needs out of the animation. Communication between the client and animator is crucial at this point because you want to set the right expectations for the client's perfect video. 

As you are catering to the needs and vision of your client you want to be gathering the right information from the client as well as finding out as much information as you can about the industry and the type of customer they are buying from them. You want to be finding out what the competitors are doing and the kind of content they are producing for their target audience so you know what is already out there. It will help you find out the expectations customers have from the company as you are able to compare it to other content. 

Discussing the deadline and the budget will be done during the briefing process as well, you want to know the time frame the client has in mind and if it is possible to create something the time they are giving you. Budget is an important factor to look into, you need to know how your client wants to spend and if it's possible you can create something with the amount they want to spend. 


Scripting

As a client you are able to decide if you write your own script or if you have the animation studio write one up for you. If you decide the animation studio is going to do the script writing for you you'll still be able to have full control of what goes into it. You are able to amend it if there isn't anything you're not happy with and have full say in what you want in it, this is the first major sign off point. 

For the script you want to be making sure you are keeping the length of the video short, 1 - 2 minutes is the perfect length. This is important because audiences stay most engaged during these times, if you make it any longer you will lose the interest of your audience and they will forget the full meaning of the video. Likewise you want to avoid creating a wordy script, try keeping it as a visual experience for your team and easy to understand. Having a wordy script won't make it easy for anyone, you want to keep it simple as possible so your team and the animation team understand it. Once the script is signed off you can move onto the style frames and voice over recording.

Style frames

After finishing the script it is time to put words and visuals together by creating style frames. Working with the brand guidelines and from the brief that has been given to you, you are able to create a number of keyframes. This is basically a visual script, it helps see how the finished video will look. 

Style frames will help visualise how the script will play out, it will help describe the actions of characters and the storyline of your animation. At this point written treatment will be created as well, this can help describe exactly what will be animated in time with the voice over. It gives a better understanding of the flow of the animation and what it will include. 

The animator will design the scenes, transitions and the progression in the story, this will show how the video will look in a more creative way. During this phase is where everything begins to come together a bit more. The team and the client will be able to see the animation unfold and the animation will begin to come to life, making it easier for everyone to picture the end result. 

Voice over

When making the voice voice you want to make sure you are making the narrative impactful. You need to find a voice over artist that fits the brands requirements and someone who will make the voice over more effective on the audience. 

Making sure you have a vision for your ideal voice over artist is important, you want to choose someone who makes the character or characters come to life with the right tone, pitch and pace. A good voice over artist will stress the right words, have the correct pitch and will be someone who pauses in the right place, so when searching make sure you look for these things. 

Your animation company or production company can help you find your ideal voice over artist to match your brand and budget. As a company you will have full control who does your voice over and can either choose someone who does voice overs or you can choose someone from the company who can represent and be the voice of the brand. If you do decide to go with someone from your company it will give the video more of an organic approach as you are using someone who knows the brand and has a deeper connection with what is being spoken about.



Animation

Once all the processes above have been signed off it is time to start the actual animation process. Animation isn't a quick process, the steps creating the animation can take a few days or a few weeks, it all depends on the length of the voice over and the video. This is why it is essential that you go through all the processes before and sing these off as they will make the animators life a lot easier.

Now the animators are able to make the characters, objects and backgrounds come together while they are timing it perfectly with the voice over. This stage will require the most attention to detail as the animator wants to be creating the company's vision and make sure they are producing what the brief is telling them otherwise they won't be filling the needs of the company. 



Audio mix

Setting the mood of the video is important, whether you think your video needs more upbeat music, a calm melody or additional sound effects you need to be making sure you're adding the perfect sound to it. It’s key is to add music as this is something that will keep audiences engaged as it is a continuous noise playing in the background of the visuals they are seeing. The music you choose to put over your video will play over the entire piece, therefore you need to make sure you're 100% happy with it. 

Likewise you want to be adding any relevant sound effects now, and you want to be removing anything that is needed at this point as well. This phase of the animation process is key as it will help liven up the video and the video something more. If you have a higher end budget you can choose to pay a professional to compose this music for you, however if you haven't got this budget there are many other options of music that the team will be able to show to you. 

Sign off

Once the animation is completed and the animator is happy the video is exported and delivered. The animator will then wait for feedback and any final changes you need to be made to the video will be done after watching it. If you feel like something isn't right or you don't like something you will be able to make your changes now, these changes will be made and your animated video will be completed.

Why should you be using animation? 

Animation can help your company explain complex concepts in a simple message, it helps make your product or service look easier through the use of fun visuals and storytelling. Animation is also very versatile, it can be used anywhere, on your website, on social media or in email campaigns. People enjoy seeing fun new content so creating something that is visually pleasing and sharing it around will encourage potential companies to visit your pages and find out more about what you can offer then. 

Animation avoids the hard selling, more customers are going to choose to watch your animation as it is more interesting than watching a chatty video about the products or services you offer. As it's engaging less people will feel as if they are being sold to and this leads to animation then appealing to a wider audience. As it does not sell to you and it is appealing it opens up to audiences of all ages, this makes the chances higher that newer customers are going to buy from you as they will be more inclined to click on your animated video. 



Every step of the animation process is important, as you can't move onto the next step until you have completed the snaps before otherwise the process won't go smoothly and you will be missing key factors. The animation process varies in time depending on what you are asking for and how long you want your animation to be and different types of animation can take different amounts of time. 

However animation is great for all business types and can change the way your company sells to new customers. It is a much more interesting way of selling and it can build better connections with your clients as it will bring more energy and life into the personality of the brand.

Find out how we can help you by getting in touch with one of our team today.










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