Superb motion graphics and animations require careful planning and a talented creative team. They are the two secret ingredients for successful productions.
Even for a simple explainer video, there are a number of critical steps that must be followed in sequence to assure a successful product.
Here we describe the bare minimum that will ensure you get maximum value for the price you pay. Naturally, more production stages can take place, and different producers may have additional steps, but this will keep you on the right track.
Step #1 – Research and References
We usually ask lots of questions to bottom out your requirements and the identity you want to project. The more information we have, the better the final result will match what you want.
What is really useful at this stage are any visual references, examples of other people’s work that you like, anything that has inspired you that you’d like to use in your project. Alternatively, we can search for possible references based on your industry, subject or brief.
Step #2 – A written storyline for your video
Next it’s essential to have a copy (script or storyline) written for the video, regardless of whether this will be displayed as a written text on the screen during the animation or be spoken as a voiceover.
Our client usually provides this as you know your customer and audience best, but we’re here to help if you need it. The main thing is that it has to present the message you want to express.
Step #3 – Storyboard and creating key visuals
By now we have analysed your brief and discussed the concept with you but one look is worth a thousand words. We do that by creating a storyboard that visually ties key scenes together in a graphic representation showing how your animation will unfold.
While building the storyboard we also draw the initial illustrations. Normally this involves drawing the main characters (if any) or the main elements. This is where we get the first glimpse of how the final video may end up looking.
Depending on the complexity of your video we may skip some of these stages and go straight into Step #4.
Step #4 – An animatic
We also produce an animatic from the storyboard, which is a rough first draft like a slideshow of static storyboard frames or a very basic draft version of the animation. This could also be accompanied by a draft voiceover. It helps to present the flow of the story and detect places where the timing might be too slow or too fast.
Step #5 – Your first sign-off
At this point we need your sign off on the look of the illustrations and the animatic or storyboard before we continue with the work.
This is a crucial step because it highlights misunderstandings at an early stage. It is always easier and faster to rework things before they progress into the production phase. This is your opportunity to steer your project in the direction you want.
Step #6 – Recording the voiceover (optional)
If there is going to be a voiceover in your video, this is the time to record it as we’ll be timing the animation to your audio.
If there will be no voiceover, we can skip this step.
Step #7 – Finalizing all illustrations
After you have approved the initial imagery we’ll continue working on the rest of the visuals using approved characters and other elements.
Step #8 – Video animation
We can start working on the animation while the remaining illustrations are being drawn.
With each iteration and review, more scenes are added until we eventually finalize the entire product.
It’s up to you how much you would like to be involved in this part of the process. We can send you regular updates on where we are at or alternatively we can send you the final animation once everything is complete.
Step #9 – Music and sound design
There are plenty of options available to license a great music track for your video or we can involve someone who can write you an original score.
In fact, writing an original score is usually the best option as a music producer can match the mood, the flow and the dynamic of the video.
Adding sound effects and music can enhance the impact of the video’s message and add emotion, drama, or depth to underline your message.
Step #10 – You review the product and provide final approval
The finished animation should not be a surprise if you have been involved in reviewing the interim phases of production. It is a nice feeling to sit back and see the entire production – your concept brought to life.
Taking the first step
Speak with us today to set the ball rolling with an initial no-commitment discussion about what you want to achieve. We will guide you through the first steps.
Call on +44(0)2038824109 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your project with us.