What’s a typical process when creating an explainer video?

The creative process tends to follow a set pattern with well defined milestones for review and feedback. The workflow and terminology for 3D animation can be a little different to 2D but the process follows a very similar set of tasks split into phases.

Since animating is a particularly time consuming process, it is deliberately delayed until late in the process after the foundations of script, style and story have been tied down and signed off.

Each project poses its own challenges with its own set of tasks. Some of the most common steps in the production process are summarised below.

  • Set goals – establish the principle goal(s) for the video.
  • Discovery – your animation company needs to understand your product or service.
  • Scripting – telling your story with the right tone of voice.
  • AV (audio visual) script.
  • Mood board creation.
  • Storyboarding.
  • Creating style frames.
  • Voice over – selecting, recording, proofing, editing and mastering.
  • Backing track selection and mixing.
  • Animatic (called a previsualisation for 3D animation).
  • Graphics production (or lighting and materials for 3D).
  • Animation.
  • Compositing and colour grading.
  • Sound effects.
  • Captioning/subtitles.
  • Delivery.

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Since every scene of the animation will be closely timed to the voice recording, the voice over cannot be delayed once the script and storyboard have been approved. Even minor changes to the script and the voice recording later in the process often leads to extra work and, therefore, may have both timeline and cost implications.