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The Creative Process – How We Make Your Animations – Part 2

Illustration - Cartoon

The Creative Process – How We Make Your Animations – Part 2
This is the second article of a three part series about the process Austin Visuals goes through when creating your animation. The 10rm Fitness animation will be used to illustrate our points during this series. You can see the first part HERE. The next stage of the animation process is revision.


After we have gotten feedback from our customer and the higher ups, we start working on making the animation more presentable. We make any changes to the script that was specified and we also start making the in-betweens. Then we come up with a list of assets we need to use in the animation like characters and objects. These assets are then given to animators who start the animation process. The animator is essentially the puppet master behind the assets which are like puppets. They do not create them, but they manipulate their movements. In-betweens are the frames/animation between the key poses found in the storyboard or animatic. This animation is much smoother. The previous rough animation was more like a choppy slideshow rather than an actual animation. All of the assets created for the animation have to be rigged and animated in the right way in order for the animation to run smoothly. Smooth and natural looking animation is much harder to produce than it looks without the characters and objects seeming robotic or “floaty” as if they have no weight. Our team must be careful of timing as well so every movement has the most impact at the right time. The revision will be more impressive and much closer to what the final product will look like. We usually just start with a short test animation of one scene then send it out for approval since it would be easier to change things at that early of a stage. The test animation will show us what the colors, textures, lighting, and animation look like all together and if the animation is correctly syncing up with the audio. Once it has been approved the rest of the scenes are made. Our team does not necessarily make all the scenes chronologically. The ones with finished assets get made first regardless of where they fall in the storyboard.

This stage is also where we add color and sound. Our team has to either find and buy some sound and music or make it themselves. During the brainstorming process the team usually comes up with several versions of a character regardless of how simple they seem.  The character designs are nailed down and decided between the different variations. This is a big part of color design in this particular project since all of the characters are all vividly colored. The setting or environment design is another aspect finalized in this stage. The background sets the tone and has great impact on any work so we pay careful attention when designing it. Our team puts hours and hours of work into this stage in order to get it in a presentable condition.

During this phase the project will also be presented first to the director and then to the customer again, to see if it meets their needs and that the changes made were exactly as they wanted. This will give customers a better idea of where their project is going and give them another chance to make more changes they want or need. This part of the process can repeat several times in order to get the animation just right and completely satisfies the customer. Once this stage of the project is done we move onto the next stage.

Have a project you’d like us to create for you? Give us a call so we can discuss how Austin Visuals Animation can create entertaining custom graphics and animation for your needs. Email us at [email protected] or call us 512-591-8024.