Introduction to Animated Video Production:
You have decided to add videos to your marketing strategy.
First of all, congratulations. Switching to videos has many benefits for your business. So, not using video can make your marketing campaign obsolete in the coming years.
But, you tried it and got fed up with the challenges of traditional videos. They are costly and hard to update.
This is where animated videos can be your solution.
When we compare animated video production to traditional video production, they are cheaper. But, making them is no joke. You may not need costly equipment or talented actors but you do need other skills.
To efficiently produce animated videos, you need skills on a different level. From writing the perfect script to being skilled with various software. Poor animated video production results in low-quality and glitchy videos. This can cause your business more harm than good. It will lose you the customers you already have.
Don’t worry, we will cover the process of animated video production in detail. Here’s a list of what’ll cover.
What are Animated Videos & Their Uses?
An animated marketing video can be defined as a short (2-3 minute) video that provides information to the viewer to achieve a marketing goal. Marketing goals can be of various kinds; introducing the product, promoting the product, getting a sale or explaining the product to an existing buyer.
Based on this there are many types of animated videos. All of them have different uses. Here are some of the benefits of animated video production.
Explaining the products:
For certain businesses like software or service, the use of their product doesn’t come naturally to the user. This is where an animated video that explains the benefits of your product or service becomes crucial to keep users happy.
Social Media Marketing:
Content is king. You can’t build an audience to sell to without giving free value. This blog is an example of free value. Animated video production can fulfil the goal of making educational content. This content is best suited for blogs and social media posts.
Web Pages can be complicated. To help solve this complication many brands switch to adding a video on their homepage. Such videos introduce the visitors to their brand, values and what their business is all about. Animated videos can serve this purpose on your homepage, making it easier for customers to get to know you better.
Let’s face the truth. Nobody likes to watch ads. Not you and not your customers. The best performing ads are the ones that don’t feel like an Ad. Animated video production can make your ad fun and engaging to watch.
Animated video production takes your band into account. These animated videos are consistent with your brand’s theme and values. This helps you solidify the brand in your audience’s mind.
SEO for your website:
Videos are favoured by the Google algorithm. They increase the time a person spends on your website. Adding your animated video to your website will increase its SEO and rankings.
Many types of companies can benefit from animated video production. However, it’s popular among some companies more than others. They are as follows.
- Software companies
- Finance companies
- E-commerce brands
- Manufacturing sectors
- Health & Wellness Industry
Process of Animated Video Production.
Just like everything in life and business, there are certain steps to animated video production. Some video-makers tend to be biased and give less attention to steps they think are not important.
However, doing this will ruin your overall video. Animated videos do contain animation. But if because of animation you ignore script, music or SFX, it will ruin your video.
With that in mind, here are the steps to animated video production.
Step 1: Preparation and Research.
Don’t be too hasty to contact a business or open your animation software. Before you jump into the details of your video, you need to be clear on the fundamentals.
What are the fundamentals? They are the reason you are making this video. The goal you expect it to accomplish. You need a clear image of the target viewer, as to what they like and don’t like. Animated videos for teens can be very different from animated videos for people in their old age.
We recommend that you spend some time on this step. You need to be clear on your marketing goals. Also, research and look for other videos that are similar to the ones you want to make. What can you do that they are not doing? This is where gold is found.
Step 2: Writing a Script.
Nobody will watch a video with great animation if the script doesn’t flow.
When writing a script you need to build upon the research done in the first step. It will help you decide the length, structure, and tone of the script. The best scripts are short and to the point.
They say more with fewer words, keeping in mind the target consumers. Here’s our blog that covers this process in detail.
Step 3: Storyboarding and designing style frames.
Storyboarding is a visual representation of how your animation will play out frame by frame. Once you have the script, it’s about transforming it into a visual format. It’s about letting people view your words, not just hearing them.
A storyboard contains squares with pictures that represent each frame with a description below that says what’s going to happen in each scene. Usually, they are made in a pencil sketch format.
Here’s an example of a storyboard we created.
This happens through various elements. Element is anything that is part of the video; trees, buildings, humans, dogs, roads, etc.
These pictures are designed using software like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator while keeping them consistent with your brand. Brand consistency means that the animators keep in mind your brand’s colour palette, and fonts and design an animation that fits with them.
Step 4: Voice Overs.
Once the storyboard is created, it’s time to decide the length of the animation before we get to creating it.
The timing of the animation is done in this step. It simply means, syncing the voice-over with the visuals of the animation created in the step above.
To have a good voice-over, you need a good voice.
Different types of voices do well in different situations. A politician’s voice and tone won’t do well in a therapist’s room. You need a softer and calmer voice.
The same goes for your video. Based on the type of your business and the message you are trying to deliver, your voice-over should be decided.
If you aren’t a skilled orator, it’s best to hire one. An inexperienced voice can give the impression that one is reading from a screen. That kills the whole vibe of the animation.
Step 5: Animation Production.
Up till now, everything was prepared for the process of animation. Once the storyboard is created and the voiceover is ready, it’s about animating them.
This is where all of the creativity and skills of the animator are needed. This is where life and motion are added to the life-less elements we created in our storyboard.
This step is the most time-consuming part of animated video production.
As effects, movements and transitions all are added frame by frame. One slip or error can ruin the whole animation.
Step 6: SFX and Music.
Have you ever watched a movie without background music or sound?
Let me answer that for you, NO. The age of videos without music is long gone. Even YouTube videos need music and SFX effects.
The background sound maintains and changes the intensity of the attention of the viewer. If used correctly, you can amplify certain parts of your message. You can make sure that viewers retain that particular music.
Having music and SFX that goes well with your video is crucial to the completion of the animated video production process. In any type of video, traditional or animation, audio has a 50% stake in determining the quality of the video. Poor audio leads to poor videos.
Tips to Outsource Animated Video Production.
The above section should give you a sense of what animation video production takes. However, not every business has the resources, time or skill to do animated video production. It’s a career in and of itself and low-quality animation will harm you more than they benefit you.
If that is the case for you, outsourcing makes sense. The benefit of outsourcing is that your business can be in any niche, and you will still get a quality animated video.
We have been doing animated video production for over 13 years. We have had clients come to us that they spent lots of money somewhere and still didn’t get the animation they wanted. Or, the animation they got was of poor quality and didn’t meet their goals.
After working with such clients and eventually fulfilling their needs, we have realised some best practices when it comes to outsourcing animated video production. There are some mistakes that businesses make when they try to outsource animation video production.
Here’s how to avoid them and follow the best practices.
Prepare and Prepare:
Most businesses skip the research and goal-setting part when it comes to animated video production. They either aren’t clear on their marketing goals or needs. Or don’t spend the necessary time with the animation business to set them.
Convey Your Goals:
Most good animation companies are busy. Making animation isn’t easy and they want to get to the process as soon as possible. But, it’s important that when you first sit with them to get a quote, you must convey your goals properly. Do you want a promotional video or introduction for a web page? Both are different, you can’t hope that the animation company will guess your goals.
Analyse Previous Work:
Look at the experience level of the company. You should know how much time they have spent in the industry and how many clients they have served. The best way to know if they’ll meet your needs is to look at their previous work samples. If they cover a wide range of animation types and have reputed clients, then you’re good to go. Here is a catalogue of all the videos we have made in our 13 years of animation.
Give Feedback Without Bothering:
One surefire way to ruin your animation video production is to have lots of people giving feedback to the company. When this happens, the animation company is bound to get overwhelmed and confused. This will reflect in the video. You should give feedback when you don’t like something. But, it should come from fewer sources. Ideally only 2-3 representatives should be involved in the animation video production process. Too much or too little communication will ruin your animation regardless of the company you hire.
Maintain Brand Consistency:
Every brand has a certain theme which makes up its colour palette, fonts, tone of voice, etc. This should be reflected in the final animation you get. The best animations are the ones that solidify your brand in the viewer’s memory, not alienate it. To accomplish this, you need to convey your brand’s theme and value to the company early on. Ideally, before script writing and storyboarding. The script and elements designed should be consistent with your brand image.
Get Multiple Quotes:
If you know nothing about animation video production and its pricing, then talking to multiple businesses is ideal. You should get 4-5 quotes. Then, evaluate which one has the best quality for the lowest price.
20% Retention Rate:
The purpose of an animation video is never to make the viewer memorise everything you say. People will forget 80% of your video the second they close it. And, that’s a good thing. You have to focus on 20% that they do remember. The more time you spend on a certain part of the message, the more likely people will remember it. Be clear on what those key takeaways are for your video.
Sweet & Short:
People’s attention rates are getting shorter and shorter. They want to consume information at a certain pace. That’s why good animated marketing videos are short. The ideal range is 1-2 minutes. Anything longer will not only be costly but also put the viewer off. That’s why saying more in fewer words is crucial.
Different Types of Animation Businesses Use.
There are many types of videos one can make in the animated video production process. This blog is too short to cover all the types of animation possible in videos.
But, we’ll cover the ones that brands use the most. We’ll also add relevant examples of the videos we have made so you can get a sense of what style will work best for you.
Here are the different types of animation videos:
2D Motion-Graphic Animation.
I know you are not a tech nerd. So, I’ll break down the term for you.
The term graphic signifies elements of animation like text, characters, objects, etc. And, motion means movement. In simple words, it’s when we add movement to graphics, frame by frame to make it into a video.
A lot of effort goes into animating such videos. The animator has to design each element and then add movement to them frame by frame. It’s very likely that if you are doing it for the first time, the animation will suck. Creating a good-quality motion graphic video takes years of practice and work. Doing it on your own isn’t always recommended.
2D animation is one type of motion graphic possible. It signifies the nature of the elements you will be designing. In the case of 2D, they will be flat, without depth.
Here is an example of the 2D animation we created for Kettle Lend.
3D Motion Graphic Video.
3D Motion graphics are similar to 2D. The only difference is that depth is added to the characters and elements that are designed. Instead of them appearing like a drawing, they appear like a movie.
Here’s an example of a 3D animation video we created for Stuck AI.
Character Animation Video.
Character animation is often a part of most of the animation video production process. It means animating characters and bringing them to life.
The characters can be 2D or 3D based on the type of animation. And this type of process adds a movement to these characters.
Here’s an example of character animation we made for the festival of Diwali.
Hybrid Animation Video.
Hybrid animation as the name suggests is the blending of 2D and 3D animation design. This blending process is quite challenging to achieve.
The idea is that the background elements are in 2D whereas the protagonist or main characters are animated in 3D. This is a style that has been used in some of the earlier Disney and Pixar movies.
Here’s an example of hybrid animation we made for Viral Beats.
Kinetic Typography Animated Video.
These types of videos are simpler. They don’t have complex characters but use text and numbers to convey the message.
In the animation, motion (kinetic) is added to text and numbers in various fonts and sizes. This motion creates an engaging experience for the viewers.
They are good for delivering information.
One way to think of them is as if a part of this blog was animated for you to consume.
Typography videos are much easier to make. They don’t require as much skill and time as a motion graphic. Also, they are cheaper.
Here is an example typography animation we did for Slice.
These types of videos replicate a whiteboard and a marker. They add information to every frame as if someone was writing them on a real board.
It is also a simpler animation compared to motion graphics. The key focus of such videos is their illustrations. The quality of the images and icons used on the screen decides the quality of the video.
They are best used for educational content. In which the attention of the viewer is needed for a longer time. And, you want the user to concentrate more on the information than the animation.
Animated video production is a career in and of itself. If you have the necessary talent and time, you can do this on your own. However, in most scenarios, it’s best to outsource this process to an experienced animated video production company.
Whether you outsource it or make it yourself, you need to know the basic steps in animated video production. Here are a few pointers on what we covered.
- Animated Videos have many benefits and are useful to businesses.
- From Research to Adding SFX & Music, there are a total of 6 steps in the animated video production process.
- Outsourcing animated video production can be a hassle, if not done properly. Make sure you are clear on your marketing goals.
- The key to effectively outsourcing animated video production is effective communication. Ideally, only 2-3 people should be in touch with the animation company.
- Many types of animated videos exist; with 2D and 3D motion graphics being the most popular ones.
I hope this gives you the information you need to move further in your animated video production process.