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                              A brief look into an animation-making kitchen

                              If you have been reading our blog for a long time, you can say you’re familiar with a variety of topics that somehow touches animation. We wrote a few philosophical pieces on animation, described why animation can be a lead generation tool and talked about the spider-verse. And more curious stuff is on its way to you. 

                              However, recently we noticed that in the whirl of themes we touched never was an article about the animated kitchen. How a client’s intention becomes an animated video. Kinda an important one, right?

                              Every animation studio handles the process of communication with the client differently. There are studios that don’t want to hear your ideas about your own request, those who support you on each stage, and studios that need only one thing from you: to tell you what you want, and they will do it in the best possible fashion. As many more are not alike.

                              We are not like these. The way we approach and work with clients is different. Actually, this article is intended to tell you that we work in our animation kitchen and what to expect when you hire us, and how other studios handle clients. It is going to be fun, I am telling you.

                              But let’s get to the basics first. 

                              Animation production requires a set of specialized tech skills and specific software. Animation studios have the necessary technology and experienced specialists who produce animation in commercial volumes. In simplest terms, animation studios are companies that produce all kinds of animated media.

                              Some studios create and release their own branded products like animated films or games and hold the copyright for their characters and technology. Other studios design animated content for clients on a contract-based agreement and do not hold the copyright for digital merchandise.

                              Most animation studios perform work associated with animated characters and animated web graphics creation. Other areas of their expertise include:

                              • Game design
                              • Feature film production
                              • Animated commercials’ creation
                              • Design of websites, title sequences, TV series, and short films
                              • A variety of multimedia creations.
                              • Most renowned animation studios also establish collaborative partnerships with film production companies to enrich modern films with realistic special effects and animation features

                              Just like that.

                              How we start a typical day

                              It is morning time. Most of the members of our team are looking for a cup of coffee. There are exceptions though: our scriptwriters drink tea which is a huge attack on cliché in this area. Isn’t it?

                              Someone said the first lesson of getting creative is to sip a cup of coffee. Or just hot liquid.

                              People get into small talk, some might tell a joke, and others still feel like in-between worlds: the sleep and the day-wise.

                              Once our tea and coffee are ready, we get on a schedule. We take a look at our task manager and start doing work.

                              What happens after you request an animated video?

                              Now, when our day has started, let’s proceed to the process of working on an animated video even though we can’t do it in just one day.

                              Imagine that you need an animated video. Maybe it is an explainer video for your project, maybe just a short commercial or even a series of videos. You are looking for a studio, contacting them, trying to find the best possible option.

                              Once you contact us and say your preferences, we invite you to talk about your business needs and objectives.

                              In our experience understanding goals is crucial for the right positioning of the accents in the video. Without mulling it over it is going to be very hard to actually do it right.

                              So…

                              First of all, we have to understand why you need this video – what function exactly must it perform? Then we need to know how (and where) you plan to use it.

                              This is important because you are looking to present something, maybe you want to improve brand awareness or just put a video on your landing page.

                              We would also like to know more about your company: where do you see your benefits, your strong sides, what do you bring to the world and intend to give to your clients?

                              Next: the mood. 

                              The tone of voice you want to cling to in the future video — how fun, formal or funny it should be?

                              For our part, we will also try to figure out what type of animated video will be the best for your project. The tips on the tone of voice are our guiding lights;)

                              Our designers will ask you about your main competitors or even brands you find inspiring. It will help us better understand what kind of video you need; to set a context for ourselves.

                              How can animated studios reply overall? Let’s take a look at that.

                              There are actually more approaches than you think.

                              Many studios will ask you to connect in real-time – on Zoom or GoogleMeet to talk about details. It is maybe the most similar fact that unites many studios from different countries, including Darvideo animated studio.

                              Most of the studios did not respond immediately. They take some time to answer, usually, it takes a day or two. Sometimes – but extremely rarely –  you can get a direct answer from a real person. We always prefer person-to-person communication, so our approach never changes.

                              Some studios tend to refuse requests, because “this is too small an order for them”. Yeah, alas, there are some companies that find such a way an appropriate one.

                              The script

                              The second step is the fundamental one. What’s the message you wish the video to convey?

                              We will define the core message of the whole video, an idea that needs “meat” around it. But first, we get to write it down in the script.

                              Script | WriterBy Tatiana

                              No matter how hard the concept is —  we develop a simple script that will transform the idea into an animated video. 

                              This phase is one of the most important for every animation studio. Yes, animation studios may answer differently, but this is a crucial part for all.

                              The script will be the foundation for what comes next and a defining moment for the quality of a video. 

                              Storyboard

                              So, we talked about the script, and if you are satisfied with it, we are ready to move further. In case you don’t, we rearrange our discussion and redo it.

                              The clients are different: some feel like participating in the process of creating pre-video materials, and some just want to get the results. We feel like informing a client on each step, and discussing if it fits the idea.

                              Okay, storyboard. What is that?

                              StoryboardBy Alek Chmura // Zante.design

                              We transform the script into visual frames first. Like a comic book that is about to become a video.

                              The storyboard is a script for our animators.

                              Besides, it is the tool that helps our clients realize and check how the video will look. Again, if there are some possible changes you see as a client, we will be ready to remake these frames.

                              In most companies, this process and this stage are quite similar. Of course, the tools or approaches might be different, but the essence of this part remains the same.

                              Looking for a visual style

                              Besides a type of animation — 3D, 2D, motion, character, simple, — there is the importance of setting the video’s aesthetic.

                              At this point, we try to figure out how everything is going to look on the screen. We choose specific colors, a color palette, fonts, and the design of specific details. 

                              Why do we need this part? Your brand identity in the specific video will depend not only on the main subject of the video but also on the variety of details. And it is better if they are well-crafted.

                              Voice-over and music

                              Some studios send offers where a separate point is music. For some reason, music in the background will cost extremely high – up to 2000 $. Well… that’s overpricing, for sure. Considering the fact that such a video will cost only 2000 $ as a whole.

                              We include music in the price of the first stage of working with a client. Speaking of the voice-over artist, you are all set.

                              Among many other functions, voice-over carries emblematic meaning. It is a representation of the audience to which the voice is directed. Pretty often, clients would ask a video company to find a voice-over artist that will be understandable to the targeted audience. Not merely understandable, but the one that has the same pronunciation as the audience. To identify yourself with something we need a marker, and native pronunciation is definitely it.

                              We have a big base of contacts all over the world with more than 200 voice-over artists that can be reached to make a specific product “talk”. 

                              Of course, there are videos that work well without a character’s voice. For example, if you are shooting a commercial with a delivery service, the delivery man is better to be silent – no words will show the essence of his work or the quality of the service better than the image. But the background voice would undoubtedly provide a good job.

                              The age of voice-over talent includes more meaning than you may think. First of all, he/she has a connection with the audience. Naturally, the kid’s voice would be more appropriate for the young audience. When we start a collaboration with a voice-over we always check if the age is appropriate for the goals of a video.

                              The meaning of the message could be distorted if we chose the wrong voice – too young or too old, for example.

                              We find this part extremely important because you can make a fairly good video fail if the voice won’t be fitting.

                              Voice-overBy Anton Fritsler (kit8)

                              Animation is coming!

                              The definitive moment: once we have done all the previous animation phases, finally the time has come to work on its majesty, animation.

                              This is probably the longest part that can take weeks. Sometimes months, depending on the video’s duration.

                              All you need at this point is to wait for our team to make everything we discussed a successful case.

                              Where to look for animated videos and what are the differences?

                              We already told you that studios manage client requests sometimes way more different. But let’s take a look at studios regarding regions, and everything that comes from it.

                              United Kingdom – one of the most expensive locations in terms of “price for an animated video“. That is hardly surprising considering that the UK has always been on top of prices when it comes to video production.

                              The range of prices: from 750$ to 13 400$. Between these numbers, you can request a video for 2 670, 4500 and 6000 $ – these are the most popular prices.

                              The length of production is another vital question and it is never the same. It depends on a variety of factors including the focus of a studio (what we mentioned before in this article), a team and the general ability to work fast. Besides, a studio should “allow” itself to work at one speed or another.

                              The U.S. – the studios from the New World are beating up the rest of the world with their prices because no one would charge you 60 000$ for a single short video. That is true! We stumbled upon this studio that wanted background music at the same price as for the entire video.

                              The range of prices: 2,800 to 85 000$. Between these numbers, you can request a video for 5 000, 10 000, 15 000 and 33 000$ – these are the most popular prices.

                              The length of production in the U. S. is a bit different than in the United Kingdom – from 13 to 38 days. The average numbers are 23 and 35.

                              As you can see – and probably expected – animated companies in the U.S are quite expensive. It would be hard to name every reason, but the main ones are obvious: a very competitive market, clients that need high-scaled solutions and the scale of companies.

                              In Europe, you can see quite a handful of companies that provide you with only animation services.

                              The range of prices: from 1000 to 12 500 $.  Between these numbers, you can request a video for 2 000, 5 500, and 8000 $ – these are the most popular prices.

                              The length of production in Europe lasts from 15 to 50 days.

                              Eastern Europe or SIC – here you can find plenty of studios that are concentrated entirely on animation. Just like we are. :

                              The range of prices: 390 to 5500 $.  Between these numbers, you can request a video for 2500, 3500 and 4000$ – these are the most popular prices.

                              Besides, the production cycle in these countries is the shortest we know about – it is 8 days. However, there is only one studio that can offer such a thing.

                              The length of production ranges from 8 to 45 days. The average numbers are 20, 25 and 30 days per video.

                              The studios in Eastern Europe are more directed toward animation. Meaning: here you can see many top-notch studios that concentrate only on animation. Unlike the U.S. and Europe where basically every studio has traditional video production at hand. The prices are higher than in Asia, however, the economy affects how much these studios can charge, even though their works are not conceded to American studios.

                              Asia – is the cheapest region where you can request an average-quality video. Lately, the studios from India and Malaysia become better and the level of their services increases over time.

                              The range of prices: 200 to 7600$. Between these numbers, you can request a video for 2000, 3200 and 4000$ – these are the most popular prices.

                              A production cycle in these countries can be incredibly short – 5 days only! It is hard to say whether it says something about the capacity, a team or enthusiasm.

                              The length of production ranges from 5 to 32 days. The average numbers are 11, 17 and 25 days per one video.

                              Conclusion

                              The animation kitchens look different even though the process of handling the whole production technically is similar.

                              What distinguishes is a country, or, speaking more broadly and somehow specifically at the same time, the region.

                              But what is defining is the approach. 

                              Here’s something interesting for you: almost all animation studios are ready to bargain. If you disagree with their offer (expensive), they bargain and knock down 50% of the cost. A note: always look for a studio with stable prices that don’t consider the option of a bargain.

                              We believe that our approach is built upon the desire to make everything perfect for our client. For you.

                              If you want to shape your idea into something beautiful — like an animated video, you know how to reach us, right?

                              You may also be interested in:

                              Four Stages Of Creating An Animated Explainer Video

                              How do we create great animated explainer videos at Darvideo

                              Animation In Darvideo Animation Studio

                               
                               
                               
                               

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