Our Guide to the Animation Production Process
Whatever project you’re working on right now, there’s a good chance animation could be the answer. The world of 2D and 3D animation is beautiful and mysterious – entire worlds are created, and all from the comfort of a desktop. However, if you don’t have a guide, the pre-production animation process can be daunting.
Here at Pebble, we have a deep respect for the art of animation and we’re always happy to share our expertise. You might want to know how to animate a video or how animation works: while these are big, complex questions, we can certainly provide you a place to start. Let us give you a brief overview of the things you need to know about different aspects of the 2D animation process.
What is video animation?
Video animation is animation produced to be viewed on a small screen, like a computer, web browser or smartphone. Animated videos use 3D or, more often, 2D vector animation, and they are characterised by the relative speed of their production, their shareability and the short time they take to load online. Video animation is usually produced with the aim of conveying information to the widest possible audience.
What is 2D vector-based animation?
2D vector-based animation is what results when you marry the discipline of traditional hand-drawn animation with a computer’s processing power. Using vectors allows the animator a way of bringing their characters to life without having to re-draw for each new frame and it is what helps the 2D animation production process go a lot quicker. Once an animator has designed a character and created it in their chosen software, they can manipulate the character rig (a kind of 2D skeleton) so they don’t have to redraw everything for each new movement.
How does the editing process work in animation?
If you’ve ever wondered how to edit animated videos, you probably imagine the more well-known live action version of the process where acres of footage are shot and then the editor goes through everything, selecting and trimming footage. This is not how to make short animated videos, as the editing process is almost entirely the reverse of live action.
An animation editor does much of their work during the pre-production process, working with the script writer and director to plan the shots ahead of time and then creating a rough ‘scratch’ version of the final product using sketches and temporary music and voice tracks. This is why working with animated videos can be so satisfying – with the proper planning, you can make sure you get absolutely everything you need without any wastage.
If you’re looking to create an animation or are considering using animated material for your next project, download our free guide, which takes an in-depth look at the pre- and post-production processes in animation, and gives you top tips on how to create stunning animated work.