Our Process for Creating Animated VideosWritten by Tim Lewis on 12.20.18
Every video project is a little different, but over the years we have developed a tried and true process for creating animated videos. The following describes our process, including approval milestones and timing.
IDEATION AND ESTIMATION
Every project begins with ideation and estimation. This includes but is not limited to:
- Discovery meeting
- Creative Brief
- Production estimate
When this part of the process is done well, everything else falls into place smoothly. We start the discovery process by working with the client on a Creative Brief that outlines the project goals, priorities, audience, how it will be used, etc. as well as a Production Estimate.
If this budget, treatment and plan meets with your approval, we can kick off the project. The pre-production process can include:
- Refinement of the style frame "look and feel"
- Script refinement
- Voice talent auditions and selection
From here the Mastcom team dives deeper into the story, audience and content to allow us the background needed to develop and refine an appropriate concept and style for the overall look and feel of the video. This may also include Mood Boards or Inspirational Sample videos to demonstrate the concept along with sample script.
Once we have your approval on the style frame “look and feel” and the rough draft script, we will start to storyboard the entire video and finalize the script. At the same time, we’ll audition Voice Talent for your project and find 3-5 different voice artists we think will work well from our list of top talent. Then we’ll send you these for selection and approval, along with the First Draft Script and Storyboard before proceeding to the next phase.
In the production stage of an animated video project, we’ll begin assembling the approved elements and refining. This includes:
- Finalizing soundtrack
- Timing, animation and rendering
- Final assembly, previews and final revisions
By this stage of the process, you have already reviewed and approved the script, storyboard and voice samples. We can now send the final script to the chosen voice artist along with specific direction on the interpretation of the script. It usually takes a couple of days -- depending on their availability and the length of the script -- for the voice talent to send us files.
Next we can edit the voice track for timing and add a suggested Music Track. The music track will likely include an Audio Watermark -- usually a person’s voice repeating a simple phrase. If and when this music track is approved, we can purchase the track and this watermark will go away.
We recommend that any and all stakeholders weigh in at this point if they haven’t already including Legal Review if necessary. In many cases, this version is approved as is. If major changes in the direction of the content or look and feel are needed at this point, we may need to discuss additional resources for a Change Order.
After addressing any of your revisions, we’ll finalize the video. We expect this Second Draft Preview to be final, but occasionally there are a few minor tweaks needed. After addressing these minor tweaks, we can send you the Final Version of your video along with your final invoice. Preview links and final video are always delivered as web-ready MP4 files. Total time to project completion from kick off date is usually about six weeks.
Now you’re ready to use your video to tell the world your story. We’re happy to assist and consult on video hosting and streaming services, embedding your video and promoting your video on social media so your video gains the best return on your investment as possible.
Tim has been in the media production industry since his days as a U.S. Navy shipboard news anchor in the 1980s. Tim has a BA in Visual Communication from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He has been President of Mastcom since 2002.