We’ve had several people getting in touch with us recently to ask about animated corporate videos. It seems the more we do them, the more people want them (so we must be doing something right), but the most common question is “What’s the process for bringing my film to life?”
We therefore thought it might be useful if we give a bit of a run through of the process so people can know what needs to be done, where the time-consuming bits are and what they can think about in advance.
DISCLAIMER: This is just how we go about doing it as this is what works best for others. Other companies may do it differently. We’re not saying we’re right, we just find this the most time and cost-efficient.
We’re splitting the process into 4 parts, just to make it as simple as possible (we like simple).
Part 1 – Pre-Production Planning
This covers everything before we actually starting to put the proverbial pen to paper.
Once we’ve agreed to go ahead, through meetings and calls we ensure we know:
- Your key messages.
- Your audience – who are they, plus when and where will they be watching this. Where are they in your sales funnel and what do you want them to do and feel after watching this animation?
- Who are your competition and what video content have they put out? Do you like or dislike it, and in both instances, why?
- Away from your competition, are there any examples of animation out there that you like or don’t like? Again, why?
- What tone do you want your animation to have? Formal, laid-back, approachable, relaxed, professional, fun, humorous, start-up, established etc? Often the other elements of this section will feed into the required tone.
- What existing design assets do you have in your business and do you want your animation to be consistent with these?
- Do you have a colour-palette that the animation needs to follow?
- Do you want a voice-over or to have your narrative driven by on-screen copy? If voiceover, do you want male or female?
Part 2 – Design and Scripting
Having been through all of the above in Stage 1, this now feeds into how we start to pull the initial assets together.
Script and Written Storyboard
Our copywriters will gather together all of the information from stage 1 and create a written script (for either the voiceover or on-screen copy) as well a scene descriptions that illustrate the narrative progression of the animation. If needs be, we can deliver multiple options and ideas for this part, but it may affect the next element in this section which is
We’re going to let you into a little secret here; one of the reasons we’re able to offer such competitively-priced animations is because we often start by sourcing lots of different ‘stock’ vector ideas to act as ideas for our designs. The benefit to you of this is we can give you lots of different ideas and choices, but you don’t have to pay for our designer’s time to come up with them all for you, the vast majority of which you won’t use.
We will usually end up adapting the source designs anyway, plus adding additional elements and environments in the same style, but to suit our required script. Of course if you want us to design options for you from scratch, we can do this and will usually suggest we take your creative guidance and come up with 3-5 styles for you to choose from if this is the way you want to do it.
In an ideal world we would get the script finalised before the design as we can then pick one scene from the script and work up 2-3 different designs specific to a scene from your film. This way you can see the design ideas being applied to a relevant scene.
Both the Script/Storyboard and the designs will usually have 2-3 rounds of amendments to ensure you’re 100% happy with them before we progress (our favourite line of feedback from a client so far – “Can you make the house look less like Peppa Pig’s house?”).
Part 3 – Storyboards
This is where we combine the script and the design template and create a static storyboard of exactly how your animated film will play out. We would normally provide it to you to review with the scene description and on-screen copy or voiceover script next to each other so you can clearly see how the storyboard relates to what’s been discussed previously.
Again, there will be 2-3 rounds of amendments at this stage to ensure you’re happy with the design of all of the scenes. This stage can sometimes be hard to get your head around, as often there will be all of the elements from one scene included in the storyboard, but in practice, the animation will mean different things come in or move around at different times.
Part 4 – Animation and Delivery
If the other stages have been done properly, this stage will still be time-consuming (that’s just part and parcel of creating animation) but it should be straight forward. It’s also the most fun part as it’s where we bring everything together.
We record the voiceover, make sure we have the music and then get our animators to mix this all together. We adjust the pace and the timing so that the movement of the animation fits to the music and the nuances of the voiceover as we always want the end result to flow as smoothly as possible.
As with all other stages there is scope for 2-3 rounds of amendments usually in this so we can adjust things to make it look the way YOU want it to be.
And then all that’s left to do is to deliver it to you. We provide an online delivery method whereby you can download files at the quality and size you need depending on where it’s then going to go.
Hopefully this has helped you understand a little more about the process of creating animated corporate films but if you need any more details or have any feedback on the above, we would love to hear from you.