Explainer Videos – Behind the Screens

So, let’s gear up for a ride because here we go!

The world of animation explainer video might seem all hush-hush to an outsider. It might look like a black box where customer requirement goes in and an explainer video comes out.
But there’s so much more to it.

The whole process behind creating an explainer video is by no means, a haphazard exercise. In fact, our methods are detailed and well-thought. So, let’s see how we go about a project.

Creative Brief:

This is the very first step. It is sort of a ‘making connection’ with the client. Once a request comes in, we gather up for a call with the client over the phone, Skype or even in person. We ask a set of questions which help us get a very good idea about the needs and requirements of the client regarding the video. So, who attends the meeting? Of course, all the creative people involved in the project! That includes the script writer, the creative director for the project, project manager, animator etc.

There is one reason why we love this step more than the rest. Any guesses? Okay, let me make it easier on you. You see, since most of our clients are start-up companies, these meetings usually involve talking with the entrepreneurs. So basically, the passion in their voices when they speak about their product or services is so palpable that you can almost touch it! And that my friend, is a reason enough to wake up early and scoot to the office, every single day! No wonder, we love our jobs so much…

Brainstorming:

Now, this is an important step in the process. We can go so far as to proudly say that this step is what differentiates Mypromovideos from the rest of the folks out there. Obviously, brainstorming involves sitting around as a team and well, brainstorming and discussing ideas. The entire team – including the Creative Director, Script Writer, Animator, Illustrator and Storyboard Artist – sit together and select one fine idea from plenty of good ideas that have been knocked around.

To make sure that we are using our time judiciously, we follow certain steps which get us the best results every time. And we are certainly not letting you in on our little secret this time! So, good luck with guessing!

Conceptualization:

From the point of view of the video, conceptualization is an important step. We discuss the concept and treatment of the video depending on various factors like client’s preference, suitability etc. The style of design, voice over modulation, approach and every important aspect of the video is decided and finalized in this step. Not only does this make the rest of the steps easier, it also ensures that the process flow is smooth and there are no nasty surprises later on.

Script:

Of course, script is the base on which the video stands, so definitely it has to be a strong one. The script is written based on the duration of the video and the concept decided in the earlier stages. The script, in the final video, is the words narrated by the voice over artist. We have to make sure that the narration flows smoothly and in logical order. It must include all the necessary pointers. We lay emphasis on making it simple so that even a layman can understand what we are trying to say. Usually, the script will be sent along with an explanation of visuals for easy visualization. Sounds easy? You must try your hand at it – to get the real picture!

Storyboarding:

Storyboard is an important step for a client to get a better idea of how the each scene will be animated out in the final product, visually. The storyboard artist creates hand drawn semi detailed thumbnails with a text that describes the movements (animation) in that scene. A storyboard will give the complete picture on each and every frame before even getting into the animation stage.

Style frames:

Each animation video is different. Every individual video is made unique because of the different styles it incorporates for example – colour palette, character set, BG’s, elements etc. The client, at this stage, gets a glimpse of a few scenes with all the details added to have a good idea of how exactly the final product will look.

Voice Over:

A video needs a good voice over. That’s like, a no-brainer right? So based on the requirements of the script, a suitable accent of voiceover is selected. The accent is mainly decided based on the market where the product is intended to be showcased. The male/female voiceover artists record the script in a specified tone; be it conversational, casual and professional or a booming radio voice. This is then taken as the base of the video and with this; the animation phase is given a green flag.

Animation:

This major step is kick-started with decision made on the animation style. Once all the stages above are created and Okayed by the client, the animation process begins. Each and every scene on the storyboard will be carefully animated to match the voiceover. The fluid transitions between one scene and the other is also added here. Frequent updates with short demo’s will be sent to the client and feedbacks will be implemented right away.
This step is the most time consuming one. The amount of detailing and complexity of animation that goes into the video defines the time, and if you think that it should be an easy process, think again!

BG Music and Sound effects:

Of course, who doesn’t love some background score in the video. If the explainer video is meant to be a music video, this step is usually the first step of the process. If not… well! It is the last one. After everything is done, including voiceover and animations, suitable sound effects are chosen and added to the video to bring in more liveliness to it. Some sound effects need to be custom created to match the scenes. After adding the sound effects, a music score is added which is either custom music or a royalty free music edit. The music is chosen based on the theme example – epic, motivational, soothing, traditional – you name it! Once this is added to the file, the work is finished! Phew!

Have a look at the same video now with sound effects and a background score. Feels complete eh?

And then finally, the client is sent the super awesome video and we get ourselves ready for some pat on our backs because after all these toiling and working hard, we know we totally deserve it! What do you think?

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