An overview of project stages and milestones.
We use a project management and production tracking platform trusted by world-leading studios to collaborate on and deliver successful creative projects. It connects team members and the client, simplifies workflows and increases studio efficiency.
From a production point of view, we use several layers of software to create the final product including; one for modelling, animation and camera motion; another for environments and textures; one for lighting, rendering and effects such as fluids and weather; a fourth for music, sound effects and voice over edits; one for character and vehicle rigging and animation; another for post production and look; the last for exporting the final file(s). Most of our software also utilises a range of plugins to extend our capabilities.
A significant benefit of our multi-layer process is real-time rendering. We can move fast! We make judgements on all visual elements – such as camera motion, textures, lighting and effects – in real-time. Once the visuals are tied down, we can render sequences for post production significantly faster than traditional rendering methods.
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By this point, we've probably already discussed the project in some depth. A short kick-off Zoom meeting is often useful.
Now the client provides a more complete set of reference materials. These typically include a 3D model of their product assembly or installation, technical references such as a parts list and material specifications, 2D drawings for checking primary dimensions, a brand guideline document defining the colour palette, font selection, tone of voice. Brand assets such as logo versions and common iconography are sent.
We’ll review the project guideline and available content, establish the principle goal(s) for the video and import and, where necessary, clean-up any CAD models.
Voice script (if applicable)
The spoken words used to relay your message to your audience. A good guide is 140 words per minute of animation. Often includes guidance on pronunciation and emphasis.
If we’re writing the script for you, we’ll delve deeper into your audience and message. If you’re providing the first draft or final copy of the script, we’re happy to help refine the message, making it more conversational or punchy to suit the anticipated visuals.
An AV (Audio Visual) script takes the voice script and breaks it down into scenes or shots with each shot numbered sequentially.
An AV script also includes written step-by-step guidance on the proposed animation and may include details of the graphics and/or text that should appear as an overlay. It may include snips to use as inspiration or to expand the guidance for each shot.
Milestone 1: Voice / AV script sign off
The voice over script and AV script are signed off. Later revisions may be chargeable.
Background music and sound effects play an often underestimated but important role in your video. Adding music can lift any video to another level of engagement so the previs. often comes with a rough cut of a proposed backing track.
Voice over production (if applicable)
We'll record, proof, edit and master the voice over directly from the script.
A previs. is simply a way of visualising complex scenes in a 3D animation before moving on to the more detailed and time consuming parts of the process. It allows us to experiment with different staging and art direction options, such as lighting, camera position and motion without having to incur the time costs of actual production.
A previs. is often initially presented as a greyscale render. This type of previs. is fast to export and, since no colours or materials are applied, helps separate the story from the style.
Usually follows a two stage approach; a) initial rough cut(s) that may use simplified, placeholder models and b) a clean version that includes final 3D models and camera/motion refinement.
Look development (look dev.)
A set of panels representing the proposed final look of the video. Includes material design, texturing and lighting.
Milestone 2: Previs. and look dev. sign off.
The previs. and look dev. processes are complete and signed off. Further revisions to style and animation are limited.
We convert the previs. to a high quality, fully textured version that closely matches the style established during the look development phase.
Post production involves the compositing of visual (renders) and audio elements to create the final video. We’ll apply a range of special effects including colour grading to fine tune the “look”, depth of field and motion blur and we may overlay an animated vignette to help focus the shot. It includes the final edit/mix of the sound track and sound effects (SFX) and the production of captioning / subtitles if applicable.
Milestone 3: proof sign off.
The proof is signed off and no further revisions are possible.
With the high quality renders approved (the proof), we’ll move on to produce a final set of maximum quality renders, integrate them into the project and export the final video.
The project is complete. We deliver the final video as a full HD 1080p 24fps MP4 file, through WeTransfer.