June 28, 2021 by The Bearded Team
A good animation process is simple, expertly executed & involves true collaboration. Here’s our process that guarantees stakeholder satisfaction …..
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 for over 8 years and believe we’ve nailed it. Here’s our 4 phase process:
We work closely with clients and stakeholders 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 / business plan.
We create a ‘scheme of work’ document which is a signed document between us and our client. This helps us to clarify all 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.
We run consultation sessions with stakeholders to review and challenge the creative ideas and to clarify the key messages. 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 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.
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.
We turn the script into a written storyboard and break it down into frames for the client to read. 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 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.)
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 animation so that everyone can see exactly how the animation will look, move and flow. We like to make sure all amends are handled at this phase to avoid major changes after the animations draft.
We collate the music and Sound FX options and present these for the client to choose from. These options may include bespoke or licensed music/ SFX options.
We source, audition and choose voice over artists. Voiceover is a crucial element of any animation and must connect with the brand and target audience.
We now animate the assets and visual storyboard and create the full animation.
We share the 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 the process.
This is how we create a collaborative animation process that allows for seamless collaboration and a confident stakeholder team.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions regarding this animation processes we would love to hear them – just send us a message via our contact form.
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