Hopefully you’ve seen the new video we published at BugHerd.com:
Our aim was to clearly explain what BugHerd does by focusing on a single use case. In this video it’s managing client feedback.
We’ve had some great feedback on the video, so we thought we’d share the steps it took to make:
1. Find an animator
Creating a professional looking animated video requires an experienced animator. You may be able to create a basic version yourself, but an animator is going to add that professional touch. For this video we worked with Simon Westlake from tinyloud.com.
2. Create a brief
Before doing anything else it’s important you create a clear brief for the project. Our brief outlined what we wanted to communicate and why. We also included examples of other videos we liked and what we liked about them, to give Simon some inspiration.
3. Write a script
Writing a text only script for every scene you want animated is a good way to get everyone to agree on the all important main points, copy and language before time is wasted animating the wrong thing.
4. Agree on a style
Style is a very personal thing and being a design focused company we all had different ideas. Simon did a great job of preparing a style sheet from our random suggestions. The style sheet gave us some options for things like characters, colours, props and backgrounds.
5. Finalise the character designs
We got caught up on this step briefly. We all loved Simon’s style sheet ideas but deciding on a final character design was more involved than expected. Small details like whether the characters should wear clothes had a big impact on the final look. In the end we were really happy with the final character design and it saved us from raising these concerns at the last minute.
6. Prepare a storyboard
A storyboard is just a series of still images that show what we’ll see at each stage of the script. Style and colour are not important at this stage. The point is to make sure our ideas for the animation and the script we’ve agreed on make sense.
7. Record the voice over
Stop. Before you start this step go back and double check your storyboard and script. Once the voice over is recorded there’s no turning back – your words are set in stone. The voice over is done first so it directs the animation. We had planned to use a professional ‘voice’, so we did a practice run with our Co-Founder Matt first. We decided Matt should be the voice of BugHerd, much to his protest, and the rest is history.
8. Combine the storyboard & voice over
This step is called an animatic. It’s basically just the voice over and storyboard combined. It proved an important step for us as we realised some of our storyboard ideas didn’t make total sense when combined with our words. Although we couldn’t change the voice over, it did allow us to make some last minute tweaks to the storyboard.
9. Animate a sample frame
Now Simon picked a frame from the animatic and went ahead and animated it. It gave us a chance to see what the real thing would look before the whole thing was animated.
10. Animate the keyframes
Next Simon animated all the keyframes so we’d see what the whole movie would look like. This step is called blocked animation, because it blocks out the key moments of animation. We made a few minor animation changes at this stage.
Finally Simon could go nuts and polish the animation off. In his words he added ‘overlap, anticipation, all the extra little details that bring objects to life’. The only thing we were still discussing at this stage was the ending. Here’s how it could have turned out:
So that’s it, 11 steps and you’ll have your own animated video. Simple as that.