The Best Animation Process

June 28, 2021 by The Bearded Team

The Best Animation Process

Commissioning an animation can be a nerve wracking experience. A badly managed process can mean missed deadlines, a poorly aligned creative, wasted budget and a breakdown of relationships. But, a well managed process can result in a leaner sales process, an improved marketing strategy, extra resources and a stronger, more creative team. So, how do you get it right? We’ve been creating animations in Manchester for over 10 years and believe we’ve nailed it. Take a read for our 4-step process as an animation agency.


How important is planning in the animation process?

Planning is of utmost importance in the creative animation process. It lays the groundwork for a well-executed and successful project, ensuring that all aspects of the animation are thoughtfully considered and organised. Without proper planning, the animation process can be prone to missed deadlines, creative inconsistencies, wasted resources and strained relationships; all situations which we want to avoid!

If you feel you’re a little stuck with the briefing step of a creative video, we suggest taking a read of our recent blog: How to Write the Perfect Brief for a Creative Video Agency.


Your 4-step guide to working with an award-winning animation agency

1 – The Discovery Phase

Define The Creative Brief

We work closely with our clients and stakeholders within the Manchester, London and surrounding areas to develop a detailed brief that clarifies the aims and vision for the animation. This helps us gain insights into the challenges, needs, target audience and positioning of the animation. We then delve into the personality of the brand and understand where this project sits in the overall marketing and business plan.

Commit To A Scheme of Work

We create a ‘scheme of work’ document which is a signed document between us and our client. This helps us to clarify all creative deliverables and makes sure everyone is on the same page. The document includes the outputs, timeframe and clarifies the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved. We book in feedback and sign-off sessions which builds trust and helps us to move forward as a team. Take a look at one of our projects for BBC Sounds for the perfect insight to this crucial step.

Facilitate Creative Collaboration

We run consultation sessions with stakeholders to review and challenge the creative ideas and to clarify the key messages they want us to focus on as a creative video studio in Manchester. This ensures that we create a transparent, open culture with stakeholders from the start and that everyone feels a sense of ownership.

We use ASANA to project manage each creative animation and we email clients regularly with an update on the progress of the production. We facilitate weekly 15 minute catch-up meetings which are mostly held via video call as this makes sure everyone is kept in the loop.


2 – The Narrative and Visual Phase


We start with the key messages to outline the story and start developing the script. We develop the pace and tone to meet the animation aims and we sign this off with the client and stakeholders. This is a very important part of the process and must always be done by an expert with understanding of animation script writing.

Written Storyboard

We turn the script into a written storyboard and break it down into frames for the client to read. As a video and animation studio in Manchester, it’s easy for us to know the key components of our work, but it’s not always obvious to others. That’s why we highlight the important sound, voice over, movement and transition factors so stakeholders can get a feel for the finished animation and can provide feedback.


We pull out key frames from the creative animation and we present these in a range of illustrative styles for the client to choose from. These are inspired by the clients brand guidelines and from the mood board that we will have created during the pitch process. The mood board will have explored textures, colours, shapes, style of characters, tone of voice and animation styles to suit the client’s brand and message. Take a look at this aspect of our work live in the flesh with our previous project for Flow Hospitality.

Visual Storyboard

We next create a storyboard which is a visual illustration of the written storyboard. This uses the exact design files that will be used in the creative animation so that everyone can see exactly how the animation will look, move and flow. We like to make sure all amendments are handled at this phase to avoid major changes after the animations draft.


3 – The Production Phase

Music/Sound Effects

We collate our favourite creative video music and Sound FX options and present these for the client to choose from. These options may include bespoke or licensed music/SFX options.

Voice Over

We source, audition and choose voice over artists. Voiceover is a crucial element of any animation production and must connect with the brand and target audience.


We now animate the assets and visual storyboard and create the full animation.


4 – The Post Production Phase

Final Edit

We share the creative animation draft with key stakeholders on an interactive Vimeo review page. This allows for easy and instant feedback and helps us to complete any final amends. There are not usually many edits at this stage because we have managed stakeholder feedback at key milestones throughout our robust process as a creative video and animation agency in Manchester and London.

There you have it. For a foolproof way of managing and creating unique video and animation, make sure you follow our simple four-step collaboration animation process. Not only does it allow for seamless collaboration and communication, but it also instills confidence in your stakeholder team.


How long does the animation process take to complete?

Efficient planning is the backbone of the creative animation process on a schedule, ensuring a smooth journey from start to finish. Timelines can vary, depending on the project, with each project, comes many stages. This can include: briefing, mapping out creative ideas, scriptwriting, casting if necessary, key illustration art, storyboard, animation and sound design. Each step plays a pivotal role in creating a successful animation that meets your vision and goals. However, we tend to find that most of our projects are complete within 6-8 weeks. Found this helpful? Why not check out our 3 must-haves for a successful brand video?

Do you want to discuss a project? Get in touch with us

What our clients say about us

"I was provided with a clear schedule, with regular check-in points, and provided with opportunity to flex where necessary. Deliverables arrived on time, every time, and were to an incredibly high standard with very little feedback from us."

- Ross Garner, Head of Learning Experience, Emerald Works

"Their work has been the driving force behind us redefining our brand within the marketplace. We now have a stronger social media presence, and our video performance has increased year-over-year."

- Senior Content Marketing Executive, Kaplan

"As a result of the new content, third-party clients have seen marked increases in ROI"

- Laura Murphy, Managing Director, NBE Digital

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