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How 2D and 3D Animation is made at an Animation Studio – Part 2

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How 2D and 3D Animation is made at an Animation Studio – Part 2

Our Team at Austin Visuals 3D Animation Studio feels it is very important to educate the community, clients, and anyone that is curious about how Animation is made or over what exactly goes on behind the scenes in a 3D or 2D Animated Production. This knowledge will not only explain how we do what we do, but it also helps everyone appreciate the service we provide, helps people better collaborate with us, and helps us manage people’s expectations throughout the 3D or 2D Animation process.


There are some people that watch Animated cartoons on TV or see the 3D hit movie Avatar and enjoy it but have no idea how many steps, it takes, who does it, how many people does it take, who are the people that make it, or what’s involved in the process. As Animators, we can often forget that the general public doesn’t have a degree in Animation like most of us working at Studios do, so we feel it’s time to shed some light on the subject and educate as well as entertain you about what it takes to create a 2D or 3D Animation at a Studio. This will be Part 1 of a series we will create on this subject, so stay tuned for all of the series. We will be walking you through step by step in a rare behind the scenes look at what it takes us to build those Film FX, Cartoons, Commercials, and anything Animated you may have seen around. Enjoy.

As one of Austin, TX’s Premier 3D Animation Companies, we serve our clients locally and globally. Established in 2007, Austin Visuals has produced many Animated Commercials, Cartoons for YouTube, Architectural Animation, Visualizations for the Oil and Gas Industry, Animation for The University of Texas (UT, Austin, TX), and even Animation and Graphics for NASA.


 Here are some of the topics we will be covering in this series. 

Do it in 2D? Or 3D?

What is 3D Animation?

What is Our 3D Animation Process? ( <—Covered in this Article )

Step 1: What are your needs? ( <—Covered in this Article )

Step 2: Concept and Storyboards

Step 3: 3D Modeling

Step 4: Texturing

Step 5: Rigging

And more…

Our 3D Animation Production Process


Here’s a quick overview of the entire Animation Production Process. The Animation process is broken up into 4 major phases which are :

1. Development

2. Pre-Production

3. Shot Production

4. Post-Production


In the development phase, our clients refine their message or ideas at this phase until what they want to communicate to their audience becomes very clear and to the point. During this phase both Austin Visuals and our clients work at coming up with a “blueprint” of what the Animation should look like before any major Animation work begins. Pre-Production is where we start to see our first visuals created based on the development phase. Shot Production is the phase where most of the good looking animation you’re used to seeing on television or film gets created. Once our clients get to the Shot Production Phase, the resulting Animation delivered to our clients is often around 80% of what the final product will look like. Post-Production is known as the last phase where any loose ends are tied up or anything that didn’t happen correctly in the earlier phases can often be cleaned up here. Small details can be corrected in this phase, cutting scenes out that aren’t needed happen here as well as adding text overlays and finishing touches on music and sound effects. Even though this process has many steps and phases of development, you can see that the best Animation created on the market today always starts with a carefully planned story or idea. All of these phases and steps are necessary in order to produce a high quality final product that is delivered on-time and is a final product that speaks to your audience.
Step 1 – What are your needs?


This is the step where you the client get to be a movie producer, and this step is almost always the first step for all of our animations no matter what kind of business you do with us. Our product is your vision. We want to make you happy, and we have a team of experts that exist to help you bring your ideas to life. Whether it’s for the trade show, for investors, the courtroom, or even entertaining the kiddos, our team of experts need as much information as you can tell us to make sure that we create the idea and vision that is in your head. Here, it’s important for us to gather as much information as possible about what you want your Animation to look like as a final product. This is where we get a lot of reference material from you. Do you have any images or YouTube links that are similar to what you want us to produce for you? What is the purpose of this Animation? Is it instructional, informative, entertaining, etc.? What is the visual style of this Animation?





Should it look like an illustrated cartoon when it’s done or should it look real, like a photograph? What is the mood, and the tone? Where will it be displayed after we are finished delivering our Animated Video to you? If the production is narrated, what should the narrator’s voice sound like? Do you want a Male or a Female voice, etc…? We may ask you a lot more questions than these in this first step of the Animation Process, but this is done just to get a clear understanding of what our Client is requesting and what they expect of our Animation Studio to deliver to them as a final product.
Don’t worry if this is your first Animation project, we know the kinds of questions to ask at this step to ensure that your production is a Blockbuster! That’s all for now, join us next time for another post in our series. To find all the posts, visit our blog at Austin Visuals


At Austin Visuals 3D Animation Studio we specialize in providing the following 3D Animation and Video Services:

  • 3D Animation, FX, and 3D Renderings
  • Animation, Video Production, and Graphics from concept-to-completion

Contact us at Austin Visuals if you need help structuring your 3d animation needs, and we can help you save time and many headaches of getting your project off the ground and best of all we bring your ideas to life.