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OUTSTANDING 3D ANIMATION AND VISUALISATION

About the process, project stages and milestones.

PROCESS

Collaboration platform trusted by world-leading studios

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 with you, the client, simplifies workflows and increases studio efficiency.

Team Member
Team Member
Team Member
Team Member

Plan for success

Every successful project starts with a solid plan. We map out and schedule every aspect of your video production project from a bird’s eye view.

Schedule

Reviews are simple and intuitive

We upload media and share it for review. You simply follow a link to access a secure session, with no need to install additional software.

Review platform

Time-stamped annotations, notes and summary PDFs ensure clarity when communicating at each stage of the process.

Replace tangled email threads with centralised, frame-specific feedback. Communication stays in context: all comments and annotations are pinned to the frame and timecode you’re looking at.

Review platform
Illustrative timeline.

Projects typically run for 3-5 weeks for the most straightforward projects and 8-9 weeks for those with more complex requirements.

We can accelerate production if necessary and when we have capacity. We work to a fixed schedule where each milestone provides you 3 rounds of feedback. Our timeline assumes that each round of feedback will be provided within two business days.

We can start work immediately upon proposal signing, receipt of initial payment and all requested project guidance. Any delay in those items will delay the start of the project.

STAGES AND MILESTONES

Discovery.

Client provides a set of reference materials.

We’ll review the script and available content, establish the principle goal(s) for the video and import and cleanup 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.

AV script.

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.

Animatic (if applicable).

Animatics are a series of rough drawings, stills and/or short, simplified animation clips broken into scenes or shots that tell a story. Includes a dummy recording of the script so that messaging and timing issues can be resolved at an early stage.

Music selection.

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 animatic often comes with a proposed backing track.

Milestone 1: voice script sign off.

The voice over script is signed off. Further revisions to the voice script are chargeable.

Voice over production (if applicable).

We'll record, proof, edit and master the voice over directly from the script.

Previs.

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 and without committing to the long render times associated with 3D.

Usually follows a two stage approach;

  • 1.initial rough cut(s)
  • 2.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.

Production.

We convert the previs. to a fully textured version that closely matches the style established during the look development phase.

Post production.

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.

Rendering takes time. With 25 frames per second, or 1500 frames per minute of animation, and with each frame typically taking from 5 to 20 minutes, rendering can be a time consuming process. In addition, we often have to render multiple versions of the same frame to overlay and composite together to achieve the desired look, extending the total render time further.

Therefore, we take a two stage approach.

For stage 1, we output a sequence of low quality, grainy renders. They take less time to produce than a set of high quality renders (stage 2) but are of sufficient quality to show colours, textures, lighting, shadows, reflections and transparency. Graphics and/or textual overlays are added.

This is essentially a low quality proof of the final video.

Milestone 3: proof sign off.

The proof is signed off and no further revisions are possible.

Delivery.

With the low quality renders approved (the proof), we’ll move on to (stage 2) produce a set of final high quality renders (slow turnaround), integrate them into the proof and export the final video.

We deliver the final video as a full HD 1080p 25fps MP4 file, through WeTransfer.

3D preVisualisation
3D preVisualisation
What is a previs?

It’s the 3D equivalent of a storyboard.

A preVisualisation (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 and without committing to the long render times associated with 3D.

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 like the one shown here. This type of previs is fast to export and, since no colours or materials are applied, helps separate the story from the style.

Once the initial previs has been approved, the animation is refined and lighting and materials are applied. A low quality, grainy render is exported for review.

This low quality, grainy render can still take a significant time to export but is substantially faster than the time taken for the final render. This version is used to judge details such as lighting, colours, reflections and transparency. It is the final sign off stage of the project before delivery.