We are about cupcakes, not factory produced sausages.
For us, the animation is the cherry on the cake. What underpins that animation - the things that make it engaging, persuasive and memorable - that really matters to us. It is thousands of little things all working together and that is why we have a robust process to make sure everything fits and that we catch any problems as early as possible.
Discovery & Proposal
The stage on which we’ll play
The discovery phase is the process of gathering and assembling the stage on which the project will come to life.
Through conversations with you and our own research, we assemble a clear understanding of the project scope, objectives, target audience, competitors, company culture, brand personality, project budget, time scale and brand guidelines.
From all the gathered information, we will then produce a proposal that outlines the project objectives and scope, the creative idea that underpins the project and the estimated cost and development duration.
Schedules, resources and actors
Once you’re happy with the proposal we do all the project planning. This means scheduling the project, allocating resources and working out the various dependencies (e.g. you first need a script before you can do the voice recording).
We will also map out exactly what we need from you and when. This will include any source material, branding guidelines, logos and existing icons and reference material.
Let there be light
In the concept development phase, we expand on the ideas we outlined in the proposal document, which include designing any new characters that might be needed.
We also develop the visual style, or what we like to call the ‘look and feel’, of the animation. This includes colour usage, style of the graphics, typography, icons, backgrounds or sets and the animation style.
The soul of any animation
The script is the single most important part of the animation.
A bad script animated brilliantly will fail. A brilliant script badly animated is not ideal, but better. A brilliant script, brilliantly animated, is what you want.
In the script we look at:
the art and science of persuasion, so we can meet the project objectives,
how we will capture attention in the opening moments,
we implement techniques of holding onto that attention
we carefully plan the flow of information that will lead up to a moment of insight
we add emotional touchpoints to drive decision making
and we make sure the users are ready and prepared for the Call to Action
I hear voices, don't you?
The right voice plays a key part in creating a real, lasting emotional connection between your brand and your audience.
That is why we take great care in selecting the right voice talent.
For the animations, we look at things like tone of voice, range, accent and, especially for character-based animations, if they can capture in voice what the visual of the animation expresses. We then prepare the script. We mark words or sentences that should be emphasized, make notations about inflexion and pacing and insert pauses.
And then it’s off to the recording studio.
The first rehearsal
The storyboard is like a first rehearsal: you get to see how the animation will unfold but it’s not the final experience yet.
The storyboard helps to visualise what the animation will look like in terms of scene compositions, character behaviour, environments, camera angles and so on.
For some productions, we will produce drawings for the storyboard, but if there is high confidence in the script interpretation and the animation is not overly complicated, we will set the scenes up in 3D and render out the storyboard frames..
The second rehearsal
For the animatic, we combine the voice recording with the storyboard frames to create a video.
The animatic gives you a good sense of the pace and flow of information and events in the animation.
The animatic is there to tweak timings or scenes before going into final animation production..
In the 3D modelling phase, we create all the character, environment and prop assets needed for the animation.
This includes texturing and, in the case of characters, rigging the character with a bone structure for animation.
We would also purchase stock models where called for, set up the scenes and position the cameras and lights.
Bringing it all to life
We mostly use keyframe animation, which means we set up keys for the beginning and endpoint of each object that will change over time in position, form, colour or any other property.
The computer calculates all the frames in-between the keyframes, which means we don’t have to draw or set up each frame.
In the animation we give a lot of attention to how the motion or transitions feel, so it creates an engaging experience and tells the story as effectively as possible.
Music, sound effects, ACTION!
In this phase, we do all the audio production.
We do the final tweaks to the voice over, source music or get it composed and source or produce all the sound effects we need. This is all then edited into a single track for the final stage of the animation production.
Putting it all together
In the final stage, we bring everything together to create the final animation product.
This includes all the rendered animation frames, soundtracks, icons, graphics, text and logos. We would also create motion graphics, add any required 2D visual effects and do colour corrections where it is needed.
This is also the phase where we can re-edit the video into different formats and once we have done all the edits, the animation is rendered out to its final formats.