So, you’ve done your research and found that animated videos are great for enhancing your marketing strategy, and consistently delivering outstanding ROI. And naturally, you have decided it’s time to take the next step and create one for your brand. Well, not so fast!
The animation process behind every project – no matter how big or small – requires a fair bit of analysis, planning, and key choices, essential to get top-notch results. So much so that it can feel a bit overwhelming your first few times around. We even made a video to help people understand everything that goes into it!
Moreover, we also worked on this easy-peasy guide going into the animation process from start to finish, addressing a few of the usual questions on the matter.
By the time you are done reading, you’ll hopefully have a better understanding of how to make animated videos, and have a better idea of what to expect when it’s time to work on your own piece.
Let’s get to it, shall we?
Given that online audiences expect nothing but awesome content, it’s getting harder for brands to cut through the noise and “wow” them consistently – Which is precisely why animation became such a popular marketing tool.
Done right, these videos are quick to hook viewers with eye-catching, interesting visuals, and further your branding via fun and entertaining content.
Through animation, you get to tell any kind of story, no matter how complex, delicate, or out of this world it may be! You want your characters to fly to the moon, build a house there, and then come back? Fine, done deal.
Moreover, animation keeps viewers engaged because it can easily appeal to the audience’s emotions, resonating with them while your message is delivered. Above all, animation helps you form deeper connections with your audience, and makes it easier for them to want to do business with you!
Let’s start by laying some foundation! We’ve brought you some useful tips that come in handy for any kind of video production, animated or not. Take a look!
If you want to craft an animated video that really strikes a chord with your target audience, you must be familiar with their characteristics and interests. That information will help you create relatable characters, scenarios, and situations.
Why is that so important? Because it will make your viewers feel identified with your video’s story. That way, they will be more likely to see themselves using your product or service as a solution to their pain points.
Your color scheme speaks volumes about your brand’s style and attitude, and we guess you don’t want to send mixed signals to your audience!
So, in order to convey a consistent message about your brand, your animated video should display the same colors as your website, social media accounts, newsletters, and so on.
A custom video animation process usually takes from 8 to 10 weeks, although some video companies – like ourselves – can adapt the production timeline to your specific needs.
Another way of getting your animated video faster is by resorting to templates. However, the words “top quality” and “quickly made” don’t usually go hand in hand, so this method is hardly ever a good idea. It’s likely to result in a poorly-made or generic video.
I know you will possibly leave your video’s animation process in a professional company’s hands, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get involved in the project!
On the contrary, providing feedback is an opportunity that you can’t miss out on. After all, nobody knows your products, services, and (hopefully) your customers better than you. So, pay close attention to anything that doesn’t seem to match your brand’s identity, and don’t be shy to say it out loud! Any video production company worth its weight in salt will be open to hear your opinion and tweak the animated piece accordingly.
Pro tip: We have no doubt that you are an expert in everything regarding your brand! But when it comes to the animation process, you probably aren’t as savvy as the professionals in charge, so try not to comment on the technical aspects of the video.
Ok, now it’s time to take a peek behind the animation curtains and see how to make animated videos!
When it comes to animation, there are many different styles for you to choose from, and each one helps to accomplish some marketing goals better than others – Something that you should most definitely consider before starting to develop a video for your company.
That said, there are some fundamental stages shared by most animated marketing videos, and those are the ones we’ll be focusing on for now.
The foundation for creating an outstanding animated video – or any video, for that matter – is to fully understand the brand’s core values and identity.
To do so, video companies usually send a “creative brief” to have their clients answer some essential questions: What’s the video for? Which product do they want to promote? What’s the target audience? Things of that nature.
Project managers and scriptwriters are usually heavily involved at this stage of the animation process so they can start crafting the narrative for the piece. They work alongside the client and make sure they are on the same page about the direction, expectation, and creative focus for the project.
In our case, even before sitting down to brainstorm ideas, we want to make sure that we truly understand the brand’s unique message and goals. And we achieve that by putting our client’s needs first in the list of priorities.
We also know that no two companies are the same, so we pay attention to find everything that makes our clients special and bring to life their voice in the piece. That’s why we make sure to carefully listen to our client’s feedback, which we use to inform the entire production and animation process.
This stage is all about the message you want to deliver to your audience.
Once the concept is born out of the creative brief and collaborative conversations between the video company and the brand, it’s time to sit down and write. As you can imagine, this is one of the most critical parts of the video production process; the scriptwriter has to transform the initial core message into an engaging story.
You can choose to go with a straightforward approach – for example, a presentation of the product or service and an explanation of its features or benefits; or you can go with a more empathetic alternative and showcase a “problem/solution” kind of scenario.
Regardless, the script has to be memorable and intriguing, as well as keep the information simple and understandable – especially when covering a complex topic!
If you want to learn more about scriptwriting, check out this free eBook and discover how to craft an extraordinary script for your explainer video!
Pro-Tip: Within the first 10 seconds, you should give your viewers a good reason to stay – that is to say, you have to hook them! Find a unique angle, a catchy line, or a compelling question that keeps them watching!
Great animated videos are beautiful, eye-catching, and custom-made. They have a particular and unique style that represents the brand’s visual identity.
That’s why the visual style design has to be in sync with the brand’s guidelines.
At this stage, the creative minds behind the project develop tailored images – or “style frames” – that showcase what the video is going to look like in the end and how the viewer will interact with it.
These images include everything related to the visual delivery, like illustrations, color palette, typography, icons, character design, angles, and points of view. By developing a strong direction of all these elements early on, you ensure the finished product will work cohesively once it’s finished.
Ok, now the video is starting to take shape.
A storyboard is the visual representation of every crucial moment described in the script. It looks a lot like a comic strip, and it’s used to provide a better idea of how the final piece is going to unfold combining the major elements: Visuals, script, animations, etc.
Through sketches and basic drawings, it also helps and directs the designer and animator to create and organize the scenes, transitions, and everything involved in the animation process.
And, even though its purpose is to help visualize the final output, it also serves as a medium to continue the adjustments and revisions – ensuring that the project is going in the right direction.
Deciding who’s going to tell the story is a crucial aspect of the animation production process – it’s what helps viewers connect on a more intimate level with your piece.
Whether your video has a laid-back approach or deals with a more technical or serious subject, it’s imperative to find a voice artist that, male or female, matches the brand’s personality and reflects the intended audience.
With the adequate tone, cadence, and pace, the narrator will not only add empathy and a “human touch” to the script but also will help you reinforce the message you are trying to convey and its credibility.
We can’t stress this enough: the right voice talent can make or break your video, so do everything you can to get it right! 😊
Before diving into the animation stage, though, you need to craft the elements you’ll be animating (shocking, I know.) And what that entails will depend on whether we are talking about a 2D or a 3D animation process. Let’s see what’s involved in each case!
Here’s when an illustrator or a graphic designer gets to work and draws every character, object, typography, and background of the animated video.
Unlike the storyboard and style frames, these illustrations aren’t preliminary versions of the elements on the screen. They will actually appear in the video, so they need to be crafted in great detail.
When it comes to 3D animation, crafting the video elements becomes a much more complicated affair. You see, instead of illustrating your characters, typefaces, and backgrounds, you’ll need to do the equivalent of sculpting them digitally.
These elements are modeled from a tridimensional mesh (a group of points distributed on width, height, and depth axes). Most times, 3D artists start by shaping the mesh into the most basic form of the object or subject in question, and then carve into its actual final form. Let’s say, for example, that you want to model a bottle. You would probably start creating a prism, and only after that, you would shape all the curves and details.
Once this stage is over, it’s time to hand your illustrations or 3D models to the animators, who will finally bring them to life.
By now, the video production process is well underway!
Whether we are talking whiteboard, 3D, traditional explainer video, or whatever style you end up choosing for your piece, this is the stage when the video comes alive. Animators roll up their sleeves and start the magic process of giving movement and dynamism to the illustrations and every graphic asset included.
Once the animation process is finished – and take notice that this part is time-consuming, so patience is key – it’s time to sync it with the voice-over and add sound effects. And speaking of which…
Now, animation and sound are brought and layered together in the editing room.
The audio editor takes the voice-over recording to cut, snip, and edit what’s needed, and then synchronize it with the animation. They also add the music and sound effects, like scrolls, pop-ups, or any other sound that can give an extra flair to the video.
Keep in mind that music sets the mood for the video, so if it suits perfectly, it can enhance the message you are conveying big time!
We made it!
After 6 to 7 weeks (on average), the animation process is finally finished!
This is when the client receives the finished piece for final approval. A few different pairs of eyes must take a look and check that nothing important is missing. If everything’s OK, this first version will also be the final one. But, truth be told, changes and final edits are not unheard of at this stage. You should compile them and send them to the production team.
Once the rounds of changes are done, be ready to share it and expect nothing but awesome results.
The final piece should be nothing short of a compelling, entertaining, and interesting video that brings your company’s branding to the forefront, and delivers your message in the best possible way!
As you can see, your role in the actual animation process will often be small, yet crucial. You’ll be making some major choices (such as the voice-over artist), sending feedback, and, most importantly, choosing the right video company to handle your project.
We can’t stress enough how critical that is. Every animation production house knows how to make animated videos, but not everyone does it in the same way! If you hand over the same concept to various video production companies, each of them will come up with a very different video in the end. You want to make the right choice and pick a talented video company that understands your firm’s needs and can craft a video that speaks directly to your target audience.
That’s what we, at Yum Yum Videos, strive to accomplish in every project.
Our client-oriented mindset, our keen eye for detail, and the passion we put into each video we work on set us apart from other video companies. And we are proud to say that those features are reflected in our work’s quality! Check our latest reel and see it for yourself! 😉
But that’s not all we bring to the table! There are several other aspects that distinguish us from other video production companies:
Need more reasons to give us a chance? Then you should know we have worked with internationally renowned firms, such as Fox, Wal-Mart, DocuSign, Red Bull, and McKesson, to great success. Just take a look at the next video and see what the folks at McKesson thought about our work!
So, if you need an animated custom video that resonates with your audience, don’t hesitate to contact us!
We’ll be more than happy to hear about what you need to accomplish and help you figure out an animation process that works for your marketing goals.
From start to finish, we have shown you a pretty comprehensive view of how to make animated videos. It involves a lot of time, planning, expertise, and creativity, right?
But don’t worry! When all it’s said and done, you’ll find that it was an endeavor worth taking. Play your cards right, and you’ll have a marketing piece that’s capable of connecting with your target audience while still conveying your brand’s identity. One that’s likely to be reflected on your bottom line! Good luck!