How do we bring your animations to life?
We’re often asked how animations are brought to life, so in this blog we explain the various stages of the process once the idea and basic content outline for an animation have been agreed (don’t worry – we’ve spared the really technical details).
Whatever your message, to convey it correctly it’s important to get the script right. We can either support you and your marketing team to define the message, tell the story and develop the script, alternatively our writer, Daniel Tatarsky, and our team of animators, Neil, Sean, Claudia and Tony, can script the animation for you. We’re experienced in tackling all kinds of stories, and Daniel is great at lightening the feel of even the most serious of subjects.
If you’re unsure of how long in minutes a draft script will take to voice there are some useful tools that can guide you – Words to time and Speech in minutes. Scripts always take longer to voice than you anticipate so it’s good to do a quick test.
Once the script has been completed, the illustrator/animator will create a static step-by-step overview of the story in pictures; this may be a series of pencil sketches or rough coloured illustrations. Lines from the script will be added to the illustrations so it’s clear which image goes with what text to tell your story.
It’s good to define the style of the animation at the same time as the storyboard, so at this stage we’ll provide some suggested style samples to discuss with you. These styles will be based on the script and the overall message of the animation.
Title screen and credits
It’s really useful to think about which logos will need to be featured and who needs to be credited on the film early in the development process. This often takes a while to be agreed upon, so thinking about it as early as possible prevents unnecessary delays at the end of production.
Draft or final voice recording
Creating the tone that complements the script is an important feature that will influence the overall effect of the animation, so we work with a number of voiceover artists and sound studios to make sure we find the right fit. The final voiceover can’t be recorded until the script is agreed, so we often record a draft version to use in the animatic.
The timing of the animation is determined by the pace of the voiceover. Two voiceover artists can record the same script in very different ways and the length of the final animation can change by up to 30 seconds for what is intended to be a four-minute animation.
TIP: It’s worth noting that if a draft voiceover is used at this stage, it may take longer to produce the animation. Also bear in mind that the animator may need to add pauses to the voiceover to allow the viewer to take in the on-screen animation, so the length of the voiceover file may not be the length of the final animation itself.
During the animatic stage, the images from the storyboard are combined with a draft (or final) voiceover to set the pace and sequence of the film. This is the first opportunity to see the animation as a rudimentary film and to feedback to the animator on any changes required on the script or the images. Films are shared via Vimeo Review so all stakeholders can add their feedback along the animation timeline. This means all comments are collated in one place and reviewers don’t need to add timecodes to hundreds of emails!
TIP: Once the animatic has been agreed the final voiceover will be recorded and the animation will begin so be aware that any changes after this stage could incur delays and additional costs.
Once the animatic has been agreed, the production process can begin, this involves animating the film as well as adding music and sound effects. The animation is usually created using a mixture of Adobe Animate and Adobe After Effects.
When we’re close to having the final version of the film available we will share it with you via Vimeo Review for final comment and minor tweaks. Any larger updates such as changes to the previously agreed action could create a delay to the schedule and possibly extra costs.
When all the stakeholders are happy with the film and that the brief has been fully met, the animation will be shared via WeTransfer or Vimeo, with .mp4 downloads for HD, SD and Mobile. We can also deliver animation clips as GIF files for use on Twitter and other social media platforms.
So that’s the animation process explained in simple terms. If you’re thinking of creating an animation for your business, or would like to speak to us about exploring animation options we’d love to hear from you.
Want to find out more?
We’ve been doing this for 20 years, working with international clients including BBC, Cambridge University Press, News UK, Medical Aid Films and Friend. Your creative projects will be in good hands with Alternative View Studios.