Table of Contents
Everything starts with a good briefing. Here you (the client) and me discuss what we can expect from each other. We talk about all the phenomenal things we’re going to make together and how we’re going to accomplish them.
Everything starts with a good briefing.
I watch, read, listen and feel everything to do with the project. And I search for reference materials that might help us with the concept. All of this is gathered in one place for later use.
Concept (the creative part)
We come up with a concept, the good idea! Based on that concept a scenario and if needed voice-over copy is written. In collaboration with the client we revise and rework until we have a solid concept and a scenario to back it up.
We make an animatic. An animatic is a sequence of sketches that’s edited into a video. It can give us a primitive idea of what the video might look and feel like. Because an animatic works with quick sketches we can make changes fairly quickly. Making costly revisions at the end of the project unnecessary.
A storyboard is something like a comic book for your film. A visual representation of the scenario. Made out of a collection of sketches, finished illustrations or pictures that follow this scenario. The storyboard is not always a necessity and can vary at what stage of the project it is used.
Visual identity research
After everyone’s happy with the concept, scenario, voice-over and animatic. I start with something I like to call the visual identity. This is the common thread running through everything you see in the animation and general design of what we’re working on. I search for references, everything from pictures, illustrations, paintings, art to other animations. I gather them all in a style board which gives me and the client a good idea of the potential look of the animation.
Now that we have the style in which we’ll work, it’s time for artwork. Using the reference materials from before as inspiration we design the characters, backgrounds, colour pallet etc.. Depending on the project graphic design is added. Things like title design, typography, images, icons etc.. What you didn’t know about me is that I’m professionally schooled as a graphic designer and started my career doing just that. This experience with type, layout, reading order etc.. is a big advantage in making these visual identities.
The visual identity is the common thread running through everything you see in the project.
Pre animation & illustration check
Last changes are done to the imagery following client feedback. We take a last look at everything and I get a final go ahead on the style. This is an important step because from this point on, changes become more costly.
Scene illustration and design
Every scene is illustrated and designed following the visual identity. While other scenes are being worked on the finished scenes can be animated.
It’s time to start with what we came for, the animation! When we do motion graphics the animation is “what you see is what you get”, the imagery is imported and animated fully within one program. When we do cell animation though there’s a couple more steps. This starts with rough animation. (think moving sketches) On top of that rough a cleaner version of the animation is drawn, this has all the details. In turn on top of the clean animation the line drawings are done. Finally everything is coloured. This can take a long time. But the end result is smooth as butter.
Now we render! You can compare rendering with filter coffee, one drop at a time falls into your cup to make one cup of coffee. So like the drops, the frames of the video all put together make one video. And rendering is waiting for all the drops to fall.
The final animations are edited into a finished video. If there’s voice-over or characters talking we add this here or we already animated it onto this sound. We render some more..
We mix voice-over or character voices to make them sound crisp like a chip in the sun. Music and sound effects are added and everything is combined with the video. We now have our final vid.. Stop! We have to render first! (falls asleep next to computer) Okay, now we have our final video!