Looking to produce your very own animated video?
Whether you are creating your own or looking to hire a video production company, it is essential to know the animation production process behind it. You can’t bake a pie without a recipe – well, you could try, but it may end up with a soggy bottom, and Mary Berry will not be impressed.
As usual, Animation Explainers have come to the rescue with a guide to show you the step-by-step animation process. While there isn’t an exact science, we believe in a pretty standard sequence of events.
Having successfully created over 250+ animated explainer videos using this very animation pipeline.
But, before we go any further, let’s begin with defining…
What is the Animation Process?
The 2D animation process creates the illusion of movement using still images in a two-dimensional space. It includes characters, storyboards, and backgrounds in the form of vector graphics. Once animated, the videos are usually combined with voiceover and backing music.
The Secret Recipe
Since an explainer video may be smack bang on your website’s homepage and the first thing your visitor’s experience, it’s imperative to nail it the first time.
At Animation Explainers, each process will differ slightly to fit the bespoke needs of the client, but there is a generic framework we tend to follow that has served us well for years.
Compared to live-action production, animation production tends to be far quicker, however this is still a lengthy process that you should familiarize yourself with before getting started.
If you do decide to go with this type of production, you should be fully prepared for the process. That’s why, in this blog post, we’ll disclose to you all the information you need in order to produce animated videos using a professional video company such as AE.
1. Kick-off call
We want to learn about you.
This is where the magic begins. A well-structured requirements call will consist of you meeting the team of creatives via Zoom, where they will work hard to gather all necessary information so that they can get to work on bringing your story to life. This will include key elements of information regarding your business and what you want from the video, along with your target audience and budget.
At Animation Explainers, our scriptwriters and project manager will guide you step-by-step through a list of questions associated with the purpose of your video. Don’t worry; we don’t need to know your criminal history or the last time you got heartbroken. If you need a chat, though – you can wear your heart on your sleeve with us.
Everything starts with a killer script. It’s simply the foundation for any good explainer video. At Animation Explainers, our commitment and passion for telling your brand’s story are at the heart of what we do. It’s simple: a poorly written script will never result in a quality video. It would be like building a house on sandy land.
The script is the video’s framework and should subsequently be drafted around your core message, audience, and ideas discussed in the initial requirements call, as well as additional research undertaken by the scriptwriter.
The script’s base idea can be abstract, character-driven, emotional, instructional, or conversational – whatever is best suited to your brand and purpose.
You may well be a budding Stephen Spielberg, or at least have a member on your team who thinks of themselves that way. However, part of our package is our offer of scriptwriting assistance. This consists of a script draft of what will be said in the VO, alongside instructions for the animation.
It is a collaborative process between the creative talent and the client. At Animation Explainers, we use Google Docs since it’s easy to get feedback and suggestions from all the various stakeholders and team members. You will always have the opportunity to steer, amend and finally sign off your script, and doing so will mark the first major sign-off point of the process.
Communicate Your Message
Once the concepts are agreed and approved by both parties, they form a base to create an engaging script that effectively communicates the intended message.
The less you say, the more people remember.
In as little as the first 8 seconds of a video, consumers will be able to decide whether they want to watch the entire video or switch off. It will most likely be the case that the first few seconds are enough to convince them to make a purchase.
You need to hit them over the head with a bunch of benefits demonstrating how and why your all-singing, all-dancing product is the best on the market.
An effective explainer video maximizes its impact by communicating with the audience on an emotional level as best it can and subsequently grasping their attention quickly. It should be an overview and nothing more; the “hook” gets people engaged immediately and encouraged to take the next step.
Explainer videos are also at their best when their style and tone match that of the brand’s, so keep that in mind when approaching your next project.
Of course, it is essential that, for this reason, the video remains as short as possible: concise and to the point.
3. Storyboard & style
We’ve worked on different styles of animation and have an extensive portfolio from which you can view examples of past projects.
Working in harmony with your existing brand guidelines and from your brief, we create a number of keyframes based on the script. In fact, put simply, this stage is pretty much a visual version of the script, from which you can get a sense for how the final animation will work. As a bonus, our team can iron out any errors and prevent future mistakes at more critical stages where they would be far more difficult to rectify.
We make sure that each illustration portrayed in the video’s aesthetic is delivered to match your brand’s identity.
Time to give the script life with the right narrator. We can help you find the perfect voice to not only complement your brand but your budget too.
You may already have your own voice artist in mind, and we are happy to accommodate this.
That said, we have a large pool of talented VO artists at our disposal, speaking in a range of languages and dialects from all over the world. From these, you can select your favorites: a decision that we will guide you through. This step is critical to represent your brand’s attitude and tone of voice.
Here it is… the most exciting part!
An animation explainer video needing top-quality animation? – thank you for clarifying AE!
Let’s get real, though. It may seem obvious, but please do not underestimate the importance of having sophisticated graphics. With every other element perfected, it would be a real shame to let the actual animation pipeline lower the quality of your final product.
Animation is not a fast process and this step may take several weeks to complete, depending on the length of the voice-over. This is why it’s essential we collaborate and sign off the previous elements.
It is the case that many businesses are likely to not be oozing in experience with animation, so it is often your best bet to outsource a professional team.
We’re just going to leave this here:
Our highly-skilled animation team begin their journey to bring the illustrations from the storyboard to life, magically injecting movement into the characters and other elements that appear on the screen with top of the range software.
You are probably aware, but this stage is one of the most complex parts of the animation process, so it can take a few weeks to perfect and complete.
We can assure you, though, that the finished product is 100% worth the wait.
6. Video Delivery
BOOM! The moment we’ve all been waiting for!
Finally, you will receive a beautifully crafted final product that you are 110% happy with. On-time and on budget!
At AE, we are wholly committed to meeting our clients goals, so, as part of the animation production pipeline, we’ll send you a finished product, and even at this late stage, you can let us know if you have any final tweaks.
Once all loose ends are tied, the top-quality video is yours to use as you wish!
Looking for some guidance on your next animation project? Animation Explainers’ proven formula will be sure to get you from A-Z as seamlessly as you could possibly hope for.
Contact us today so we can hear what you’ve got to say and begin our journey towards the perfect video together!