The Animation Process | 10 Steps to Creating An Animated Video
What does it take to create an animated video?
Even though each project is vastly different (whether it be an explainer video, product video or a short film), here are the typical 10 steps to producing an animation piece from concept to execution.
If you have worked with a creative team, this is basically the creative/ project brief. It will start as a kickoff call where we get to know you and understand your project’s purpose, tone, target audience, and messaging.
Based on the brief, we will collaborate with you to write or you will provide a script that translates the key messaging into a story. This is a key stage of the animation process where the story is developed and the voiceover would be produced based on the script.
3. STYLE FRAMES
This is the process where we explore different design treatments of the animation. It can start off as a mood board/ image compilation of different visual references, but we will pick 3-5 main frames of the animation to help you visualize what the final look would be. We will explore what style is most appropriate for your story, yet still adhere to your branding guidelines.
We will find the voice that matches your brand, or if you already have a voiceover provided. Some stories can work without a voiceover if it’s a visual music or typography piece.
A storyboard is the perfect way to pre-visualize your story in the form of an image sequence. This is another crucial stage where we establish the visual story and how each scene/ shot looks. The storyboard will come with notes of the actions within a shot, camera movements, and/or voiceover/ sound effects details.
An animatic is basically an animated storyboard, where the storyboard frames are cut to the voiceover or soundtrack - so you get a better sense of the timing of the animation piece.
7. DESIGN & ILLUSTRATION
After the storyboard and style frames are approved, we will design the visual elements (e.g. background, infographic, characters, etc.) that are animation-ready.
We are finally ready to animate! This process will take a couple of weeks depending on the length of video. Animation is not a quick process - that’s why getting all the above steps approved is essential to save cost and prevent major revisions at this stage.
9. MUSIC & SOUND DESIGN
Animation and music go hand in hand. Great animation pieces are always complemented with the right music and sound effects to enhance the storytelling. We will add those final sound touches to make your animation extra relatable.
10. FILE DELIVERY
Whether this animation is a commercial, product training video or part of a social media campaign, we will export the according video file formats to make sure you are good to launch and share your piece.
This is a guide to a typical animation project, but not all projects follow this exact order. For example, if a piece is driven by music (e.g. music video), the music would be earlier in the development.
Still got questions? Here are some projects I have directed and designed from concept to execution with documented process, so you can see a step-by-step breakdown of how an animation project comes to life!