Four Stages of Creating an Animated Explainer Video

29.03.2019

The main idea of an explainer video is to enhance the company’s marketing strategy. That is what makes them so unique and, ultimately, effective. But in order to be a success – the creating process should not only engage all the parties, but it should be transparent and clear as well.

Once a client has made a decision to create an animated explainer video – an action should start. The making process for this kind of service can often be ambiguous and engage unpredicted turn of events due to creativity issues. It includes the search of ideas, design style development, animation, script etc.

Sometimes the process can be full of interesting and unexpected solutions at any stage and sometimes it can come to a dead end. Due to the fact that animation making is teamwork – you can come across the human factor at any point. But our main task is to research the client’s message, understand its audience and explain to them what the company does and why they should care.

But if the in-house studio team has a definite step-by-step instruction and full understanding of the process, the client does not see the backstage and may have some incorrect or concise vision.

Very often it looks like this

Or this

Or even like this

But in reality, the whole creating process is very clear and organized.

It is not a secret that it took us a while to find a perfect working formula. At different times it counted 3,10 or even 15 stages. But at some point, after multiple cases and various types of work with our clients, we have come up with a simple and effective working scheme that could be both comfortable and understandable for all the parties involved.

Our transparent creating process includes 4 gradual stages for the team and the convenient option of supervision for the client.

About the 4 stages pipeline

So the 4 principal stages are:

  • Script Writing
  • Creating the Storyboard and Styleframe
  • Drawing the Illustrations and recording the audio
  • Animation

As long as the working process is clear, the creation will start ones we get all the information and a deep topic notion of the project. In order to successfully create all the above-mentioned stages, we need to know such details as:

  • What kind of explainer video it should be? (commercial, instructional, social etc)
  • What is the main purpose? (to attract, to educate, to inform etc)
  • What the video’s general mood should be like? (Dramatic, humorous, entertaining, intriguing etc)

These and other specifying questions are thoroughly discussed with a client.

The script is the heart and soul of the video and our job is to make it as efficient as possible. That is why we make sure the script focuses on the customer’s “pain points”, details possible solutions and shows all the benefits of working with the client’s company.

While making a script we stick to the following stages:

  • Search for ideas
  • Brainstorming
  • Creating the first draft
  • Discussion of the script with a client

It is important to emphasize, that there are several scriptwriters who are working on the ongoing script but in the end, we choose only one specialist who has maintained to describe the essence of the story with the utmost accuracy: problem, solution, how it works, and the call to action. It is important to outline, that video timing is the starting point for the script writing.

The Script is not just a plain text and its creation starts from deep project examination. We learn all the strong points of the product, what facts should be enlighted and what is the best way to present the final information to the client. Afterward, we decide on the general idea, genre and the pitch.

The video file format is discussed with the client and is based on his or her main points. Our job is to customize the video and to set up a strong emotional connection with the client’s audience. We are trying to make this video not only interesting to watch but we are showing the knowledge of the client’s problems and ways of solution.

Stage One includes not only the general script writing but a detailed explanation of the whole scene as well: what is going to be shown on the screen, what are the character’s actions, description of the graphics that will appear on the screen and the following animation etc.   

Stage 2. Storyboard and Styleframe 

At this point, we are creating a complete set of images describing the whole composition. To be more specific, it is a sequence of sketch-drawings with dialogues and subtitles representing the shots planned for a video.

This is an example of the first frame-by-frame draught a client sees on the Storyboarding Stage:

Next, we are developing a general graphic style, which is presented in the form of style frames (key images depicted in color and design). The designer is creating several variants of the key illustration in different styles that can be appropriate for the video so the client always has the options.

After checking the storyboard and the styleframe the client can make his own comments, adjustments and specify details. As soon as we apply them, we move to the next stage.

Stage 3. Illustrations and Sound

At this stage, the whole set of illustrations is carefully designed and is shown to the client in static form. We always strive to make the animation style free flowing and easy to grasp this way it’ll be easily memorized and remembered.

Along with illustrations, we come up with the options for the voice over. It is also an important stage that reflects the client’s brand and its general tone that should bring out positive emotions to the audience.

Our clients may choose among different newscasters and talents in order to customize the video as much as possible. We always get the voice over actors from the region the explainer video is targeted to and engage native speakers or accents the client requests. This way we can achieve the highest result for the client’s conversion. As soon as the voice over is done it is sent to the client for approval.

Stage 4. Animation

Some people say it is a stage where the magic happens. Motion designer makes the picture “come alive” and this is when all pieces of the video come together at one place: pictures are in motion, effects and music are added and the video gets its dynamic.

As a bonus item – we add a sound design or SFX. It’s incredible how a sound or music can change and fulfill the video: it evokes all types of emotions and sets the tone of the explainer.

Conclusion

Creating an explainer video is a time-consuming process. Once you want to get the video as soon as possible – prepare to get engaged in the process completely and collaborate with all the parties simultaneously.

There is no need to expand the video making process into multiple tasks and stages (at least more than 4). Every project is divided into accurate step-by-step actions that lead to progress and successful result.

Our exclusive 4 stage system allows both our team and our clients supervise creation process at any point and make adjustments in no time. In addition, I can say just one more working thing: the quicker the feedback, the better the result.

We have more that 5 years’ experience in animated explainer video production.
We produce creative and cutting edge solutions for any type of business.
We create video production with the utmost accuracy and efficient result.
If you need a high-quality product solution for your company, just contact us immediately.

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