The Animation Process – Complete Step by Step Guide

You have probably heard about the perks of investing in an animated video and the results it can bring about, but you might not know much about what the actual animation process entails.

Yes – animated videos, like video explainers and whiteboard animations, allow you to transmit your company’s message with ease and simplicity, even if your product or service is super complex to understand at first sight. With animation, the story isn’t restricted by the limits of reality like in a live-action production – you can let your imagination fly and find the best way to attract and convert viewers! But how, exactly is that done!?

I want you to be fully prepared for the animation steps ahead of you. So, in this article, I’ll tell you all about how to create animated videos with the help of a professional video company, like us, at Yum Yum Videos.

Let’s begin!


Table of Contents

  • What Are the Steps of An Animation Production Process?

    What Are the Steps of An Animation Production Process?

    This process usually consists of seven animation phases:

    I’ll go over these animation steps one by one, giving you a detailed overview of what each of them entails in our video company.


    1. Researching

    First off, we learn as much as possible about your brand and your product and service.

    How? We send clients a brief with questions about their brand’s values, identity, and target audience. We also ask about the video’s goals and the tone it should have. Here’s a downloadable version of our brief in case you want to have a better idea of what it involves.

    Once you’ve fulfilled the document, we will hold an online meeting to learn more about your brand.

    We take it from here: with all your information in mind, we put our heads together and start working on the following stage of the 2D animation process.


    2. Script: Defining the Concept

    What’s the message you wish the video to transmit? That’s what the second animation step is all about: defining the core message of your piece and writing a cohesive script around it.

    No matter which concept we are working on, we develop a simple and understandable script that lets your message shine through.

    We can’t stress enough how critical this animation phase is. The script will be the foundation for the rest of your video, and there are no two ways about it: a poor script can never result in a quality piece.


    3. Storyboard

    The third step of the animation production process is crafting the storyboard.

    Put simply, that’s like a visual version of the script. Following a comic book-like format, we illustrate the keyframes of your future video. We also add a caption of the script under each image to use as a reference.

    The storyboard is one of the most valuable tools in our animation production workflow as it not only helps clients realize and check how the video will look – it also helps us prevent mistakes.


    Animation process


    4. Art Direction: Deciding the Visual Style

    In this stage of the 2D animation process, we focus on your videos’ style frames.

    These are illustrations that portray the video’s aesthetic. They include the art design of every important element that appears on screen: the characters, product, color palette, typography, and the keyframes of the video.

    Thanks to this animation phase, our clients can visualize their video’s look and vibe. Needless to say, we pay special attention to delivering style frames that match your brand’s identity.

    Animation process

    Animation process

    5. Recording the Voice-over Narration

    It’s time to bring the script to life with the help of the right narrator.

    In this phase of the animation production process, you’ll listen to our pool of talented voiceover artists and select your favorite one.

    This is, hands down, one of the most impactful (and fun!) animation steps, as the voiceover talent you pick will help set the tone for the video. That’s why it’s critical to choose an actor that delivers the script in a style that represents your brand’s attitude.


    6. Illustration and Animation 

    The moment we were all waiting for! Once we got your approval on all the previous animation phases, our skilled animation artists set out to bring the illustrations to life. Using sophisticated software, they give movement to the characters and other elements that appear on the screen.

    To no one’s surprise, this stage is one of the most complex parts of the 2D animation process, so it can take some time to complete it.


    7. Adding Sound Effects

    We are almost there! The visual part of the video is over and done with now, so it’s time to buckle down and focus on the audio.

    In this step of the animation production process, we edit and synchronize the voiceover recording, sound effects, and music with the visual counterpart.

    We are well aware that the music and audio quality can make or break your animated video, so we pay close attention to getting the best result possible.

    Finally! The animation process is over. All we have left to do now is adjust the video to your liking.

    We are committed to satisfying our clients to the fullest, so, as part of the animation production workflow, we’ll send you a deliverable, and you’ll let us know what you’d like to change.

    Including the round of changes, the animation steps can take up from seven to nine weeks in total.

    And there you have it! A custom 2D animated video of the highest quality 😉.


    Extra Bonus: Types of Animation (in a Nutshell)

    After diving into how to create animated videos, it’s often useful to take a quick look at the main types of animation productions you can go for.

    1. 2D Animation

    Two-dimensional animation consists of flat characters, objects, and scenarios – flat being the keyword here.

    This is the most popular animation style in video marketing, so we’ll use it as a reference to explain the overall animation process. Don’t worry: the steps don’t vary much in other production styles, and you can find more examples in our portfolio.


    2. Motion Graphics

    This is the ultimate animation style if you want to give movement to text, numbers, charts, and symbols. It’s the go-to option to communicate hard data in a clear and dynamic way or create overlays for live-action videos.


    3. Stop Motion

    As part of the animation production workflow, the stop motion artists place elements in front of the camera, take a picture, move the pieces a tiny bit, take another photo, and so on. Each picture represents a frame, so when you place them in a sequence, you obtain the illusion of continual movement.

    This beautiful effect gives an artistic feel to marketing videos, but the stop motion animation steps can be tedious, costly, and slow.


    4. 3D Animation

    In a 3D animated video, the elements on the screen have not only height and width but also depth. Unlike a 2D animation process, 3D characters and objects are modeled from a digital mesh instead of illustrated.

    This is the ideal style for product videos; they are useful for showing the inner workings of a mechanical product or offering viewers an immersive visual experience. That said, 3D animation phases are often highly expensive.


    A Bit More about Yum Yum Videos’ Animation Process

    Our animation production workflow might not differ much from other top video marketing companies in the market. However, there are many other aspects related to it that set us apart.

    For starters, our endless dedication to meeting our clients’ needs and expectations. We believe that truly listening and understanding what they need is the main ingredient of a successfully customized animated video.

    Our animation process is also distinguished for our close attention to detail. We can’t help it! We are hardcore perfectionists who work on all the animation steps with a detail-oriented mindset. We firmly believe this is the only way to deliver top-notch results. Watch our reel and see our work’s quality for yourself!

    We also provide our clients with:

    But don’t just take us at our word! You can check our reviews at Google, Clutch, and FixThePhoto for more details on what it is like to work with our team.

    So, if you want a hand with your animation project, don’t hesitate to drop us a line! We’ll be happy to embark with you on this new adventure 😄!


    Frequently Asked Questions about the Animation Process

    Learning about how to make animations might’ve left you with some questions. Hopefully, my mind-reading powers will work, and I’ll be able to guess what’s in your mind right now 😛.


    1. How important is planning in the animation process? 

    I know that planning might be boring and tedious, and you want to get to the juicy part and actually create an animation video. However, planning is a crucial step in the animation process because if you don’t create a blueprint for your video, you’ll most likely end up facing serious setbacks and delays during production.

    Minor issues, such as the script being slightly longer than it should be, can be fixed on the spot, but if you choose the wrong video type for your goals, you’ll be facing a big waste of time and resources. In the worst-case scenario, you’ll end up with a piece that can’t accomplish the goals you set out for your campaign. To avoid that, it’s best to take the time to do your due research and plan your video.


    2. How much does animation cost?

    If you’re thinking about entrusting your project to a video production company, you’ll naturally want to know what you can expect to be charged for their services. While this will vary greatly depending on the type of video you want to make and the company’s expertise, you’ll find that an average custom 2D animated video typically costs between $7000 to $20000 per minute.


    3. How long does it take to animate 1 minute of video?

    This is an incredibly hard question to answer because there are many factors that come into play, such as the number of characters, the actions they perform, and the animation style you choose. Regardless of that, leaving aside the time devoted to all the previous stages and to post-production, and if you already know how to make an animation, it can take anywhere between 12 days and two weeks to just animate 1 minute of video.


    4. How long does the animation process take to complete? 

    Depending on the complexity of the piece, the whole animated video production process can take a professional company between eight and nine weeks of hard work from the start to the final delivery. Our usual production cycle at Yum Yum Videos typically requires six weeks, plus however long it takes to integrate your feedback and make the necessary changes to your video.


    5. Is the animation process flexible?

    If you’re making a silent video, you can (and you will) skip recording the voice-over narration and adding sound effects. But in general terms, the process doesn’t allow for much flexibility because each stage is important to making a great animation video.

    With most professional companies, you do have some wiggle room for customizing the timeframes and giving feedback, though. For example, at Yum Yum Videos, you can ask us to speed up the production process and even request more revision rounds. However, you do need to bear in mind that working toward faster deliveries will always translate into a price increase to accommodate the increased production effort necessary to meet tight deadlines.


    Wrapping Up

    Rome wasn’t built in a day – and neither was any great animated video out there!

    To create awesome explainer videos, we put plenty of time and care into them and strive to get the best results for our clients. Not to mention there are many people involved in any worthy animation process, namely a director, scriptwriter, illustrator, animators, voiceover artists, and more. No wonder why the production can take weeks!

    But don’t despair: once all the animation steps are completed, and you have an awesome video in your hands, you’ll see the waiting will pay off big time!

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