About 20 years ago, creating animated movies was considered a major project consisting of several departments working in tandem until the final production. Now, you can create your short film using a minute budget and minimal staff. Thinking of creating your animated movie? These are the three steps you need to follow;
This is the conceptual part of the animation process, where your ideas and concepts are specified and formulated into a feasible, actionable plan. There are five(5) processes involved in this step, including;
- Brainstorming: This involves getting together with your team to discuss and develop ideas for the story. It includes churning out all sorts of ideas, good or bad, sifting through to find the gems, and deciding on improving or combining them.
- Scripting: Usually referred to as ‘Screenwriting,’ this is the part where an outline is created for all the events about to unravel on your animated film. These include dialogue, scenery, sound effects, and other important details of the movie.
- Concept art: This is where the film producers and directors work together with a concept artist to transform abstract ideas into more concrete descriptions. It is design-centric involving idea iteration and figures.
- Storyboarding: Making use of a storyboard is essential to finalize the development of your storyline and concept art, functioning as the backbone of your animation process. It is usually done by plotting scenes in the form of a comic script.
- Pre-visualization: Also called ‘pre-vis,’ this is where the film’s visual plan is formulated to help address the director’s intent. An array of stills and other important details are laid out for film sequences to give everyone a unanimous idea of the proposed production.
The production phase is where the major work is done after your ideas have been solidified. It involves eight key processes, including;
- Layout: Layout design is the conceptualizing process that is focused on your environment’s nature based on the story of your animated movie. This is then adapted to the film’s stylistic choices by a layout artist who sets the stage for your animation.
- Voiceover: After sporting out the characters, the next thing to do is get them talking. That’s where voiceover actors come in. According to this guide to hiring voice actors, in order to bring your script to life, you should hire voice actors that represent your characters best. You should also consider how much you are willing to pay them.
- Modeling: This is the process where 2-D animated features are transformed into 3-D characters. The modelers will need to work closely with the directors to ensure strict adherence to your animated movie’s visual style.
- Texturing: Texturing is a procedure that is intended to stimulate and engage your viewers’ sense of touch without the help of physical contact. Texture artists achieve this by the use of features like fur, mud, wrinkles, etc.
- Lighting: Without the help of virtual lights, animated films will appear very flat because light helps support the story’s emotion and improve its realistic features. Here light artists aim to direct viewers’ eyes, set the mood, and enhance the animation’s beauty.
- Rigging: This is the process of representing your 3-D characters with the help of jointed digital bones that move and work all individual components of your model as a single object. This helps make animating them easier.
- Animation: This is where the drawn images are made to mimic motion. These days, the use of CGI(Computer Generated Imagery) has made this process of breathing life into your characters a whole lot simpler and time-intensive.
- Rendering: Rendering is a fine-tuning process that converts models into usable images using specialist 3-D software. It helps you prepare both pixelated base frames and sequenced rendered images.
This is the finishing phase of Animation production. It consists of three major processes, they are;
- Composting: Composting is a polishing process that helps create a final, life-like illusion. Every visual effect seen in movies is borne from composting, which uses several techniques to create a completely virtual world.
- Sound Editing: Also called sound design, all sounds picked up while watching a movie are decided. Here the sound editor chooses the effects and audio balance to create an aural landscape from scratch.
- Video editing: This is the final process which involves reviewing and skimming through hours of recordings to skillfully tell your story while including all vital details. They are the final gatekeepers and notorious problem solvers.
Animation can be a delightful or daunting process depending on how it is approached and your commitment to it being completed. This is a rundown of the fundamental process involved in producing an animated film, and as you can see, it is a long, complicated process. But if you are passionate about having your voice heard and sending a message, you will savor every aspect.