10 things to keep in mind when making an animated video

Yeah! From scripting to visualising, from storyboarding to animation and making the graphics alive, creating an animated video isn’t a one-day job. It takes a whole lot of effort and the entire process is longer and more time-consuming than many people would imagine!

Here at BlueAnt, we have been producing animated GIFs, motion graphics, kinetic typography and many other kinds of animated videos over the years. From the experiences we had, we decided to put down our thoughts on few things that need to keep in our mind when we are working on animation.

1. The brand personality
The first step towards making an animated video for an organisation or brand is to understand the personality of that organisation or brand. This requires research, research, and more research. What is the product or service they offer? How do they talk about their work? What are their core messages and how do they get them across to their audiences? Keep on digging through the brand’s story until you get there.

2. The target audience

Your video will no doubt be targeted towards a particular audience – it may focus on youth, businessmen, stay-at-home parents, or academics and researchers. The audience you are reaching out to will not only determine the kind of ‘tone’ your video has but will also determine your video’s design and style including type of illustration, and choice of colours and fonts.

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3. The purpose of the video
Every commercial animated video has its own purpose, whether it is promoting the brand, selling a product, or sharing information. You can’t start work on your video’s visual identity until you’re absolutely clear about its purpose.

4. The publishing platform
There needs to be a clarity regarding the publishing platform i.ee where your video is going to be uploaded or used as. Your video may go up on Youtube, or be saved as a GIF/Webm for Websites or used for corporate presentation. Understanding the platform where the video will be hosted helps you decide the right dimension and format of the video.

5. The duration of the video

The length of the video defines your production timelinse. Make sure you have absolute clarity on what the duration of the video will be right from the outset. Even increments of a few seconds can result in days’ worth of delays to your deadlines.

6. A magic script!

You should always have a scriptwriter on hand when preparing a video who understands the nature of the video and its objectives. The script will be created based on specific information and client requires, and is the skeleton of your video. You will create your storyboard and time your voiceover, if any, to this script, so make sure it’s locked down to the T before you start visualising!

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7. A strong visual concept

After going through the final script and understanding the content- start developing thumbnail sketches of your visual concept or try interpreting the script visually from the start till the end. At this point, you’re not detailing every frame, but you are breaking the broad visual concept of the video into parts that help you see how your idea translates across scenes.

8. The right storyboard
Now the storyboard begins. This is the visual framework of your entire video. Read – Visualize – Discuss – Sketch – Repeat! Make sure you keep in mind the flow and transitions, the composition & framing, the lighting & camera direction of the video frame by frame. Describe what is happening in each frame with simple text, and even set durations for each scene. Your storyboard thus becomes your template and this makes your life a lot easier when it comes down to animation.

9. Maintaining the look and feel

Set up a look and feel, for example, for characters and their colour treatment, the style of the graphics and maintain it across the entire video. You should never mix different styles of graphics in one video! How do you maintain visual consistency? The solution is in the next next point.

10. Sticking to the style guide

So to avoid this mixing up of different graphic style or look and feel which makes the animation off-balance and unattractive. A style guide always helps in this situation. This is just a document which details the details of the video’s graphic style. Be sure to share this with your client to get their approval before you start work!

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*To know more about how to create a style guide, check out this post!

If you keep all these points in mind when you set out to create an animation, you can be sure to end up with a tantalisingly picture perfect video!

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