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The Animation Process – A 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.

Yes – animated videos 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!

That said, you may have also heard that animated videos take time. Although the animation production workflow is generally faster than a live-action production, it’s still a long process that you need to get acquainted with before you dive into it.

If you decide to go with this type of production, we want you to be fully prepared for the animation steps ahead of you. So, in this article, we’ll tell you all about how to create animated videos with the help of a professional video company like our own.

Let’s begin!

Types of Animation in a Nutshell

Before diving into how to create animated videos, it’s often useful to take a quick look at the main types of animation productions. Just so we are all in the same page moving forward!

  • 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.

FlipCause | Explainer Video by Yum Yum Videos

  • Motion Graphics

The ultimate animation style 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.

Able | Explainer Video by Yum Yum Videos

  • 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 on 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.

Lily Allen | Somewhere Only We Know (John Lewis Christmas Advert)

  • 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 showing the inner workings of a mechanical product or offering viewers an immersive visual experience. That said, 3D animation phases are often highly expensive.

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What Are the Steps of An Animation Production Process?

This process usually consists of seven animation phases:

  1. Researching.
  2. Defining the concept and script.
  3. Creating the storyboard.
  4. Deciding the visual style.
  5. Recording the voiceover narration.
  6. Animating the illustrations.
  7. Adding sound effects.

We’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 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. Defining the Concept and Script

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. Creating the Storyboard

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

Put simply, that’s like a visual version of the script. Following a comic book-like format, we illustrate the main frames of the 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 of 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. 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 key frames of the video.

Thanks to this animation phase, our clients can envisage their video’s look and vibe. Needless to say, we pay special attention to deliver 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. Animating the Illustrations.

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.

Catan | Explainer Video by Yum Yum Videos

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 get 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 then you have it! A custom 2D animated video of the highest quality 😉

Yum Yum Videos’ Flavor of the Animation Process

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

For starters, our endless dedication to meet 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!

Explainer Video Reel 2020 | Yum Yum Videos

We also provide our clients with:

  • One of the highest animation qualities in the market.
  • A fully customized video from beginning to end.
  • A flexible motion graphics and 2D animation process.
  • The best price-quality guarantee.
  • A smooth communication flow – no leaving you in the dark during any of the animation phases!

On top of that, we have racked up years of experience working with companies from over 20 countries around the globe. Among our most memorable clients, you can find Fortune 500 companies like Wal-Mart, RedBull, McKesson, and DocuSign.

Speaking of our clients, take a look at what our friends at Phelps Agency thought about our animation production process and the results it brought about:

Phelps Agency - Testimonial Video

But enough about us! Let’s hear what you‘ve got to say. Tell us about your project, and let’s see how we can help you out.

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 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!

Ready to Start your Video? Get a custom Quote