The Explainer Video Animation Process - Demo Duck

The Animation Process

You’re thinking about starting a project, or maybe you just took the plunge, and are wondering “what should I expect?” Here is a detailed overview of the explainer video animation process that we’ve created to give you a better understanding of how this thing works. For each of the stages we’ve added some basic information like what it is, what it looks like, and how long it takes, so you’ll feel confident at each and every step.

1. Creative Brief

What Is It?

The creative brief is a short questionnaire that helps us better understand your business and what you’re looking for in a video. It’s also an opportunity to think about your business at a high level and determine what is most important to share with viewers. All key stakeholders should sign off on the brief to ensure alignment from the beginning of the project.

2. Discovery Phase

What Is It?

We’ll assemble our core team for the project (typically they Producer, Lead Writer, Associate Creative Director, an Art Director, and our Director of Partnerships) to meet with your team to formally kick things off. During this phase, we’ll discuss the creative brief with your key stakeholders, and make sure that we’re all on the same page as we get the project rolling. This is our time to pick your brain and ask a bunch of questions. We want to make sure that we answer all of your questions,and that we fully understand your goals for the project.

3. Concept

What Is It?

The foundation of any great video is a solid visual concept with an engaging story. Without a creative foundation, the visuals are irrelevant. Using the Creative Brief as a guide, and adding our own research and discovery, our team will brainstorm a collection of ideas for your video and then narrow them down to the best and brightest. From there, we’ll present the ideas during a concept pitch meeting. After you’ve had a chance to review and digest, we’ll move forward based on the concept approved by all parties.

4. Timeline

What Is It?

Unless your project is on a tight timeline with a drop-dead delivery date, we’ll provide you with our standard production timeline once a concept is selected. This schedule details how long we need for each step of the project, including revisions from you and your team. From our experience, the most variable part of the timeline is the time it takes for your team to review and provide feedback. The sooner you can get us feedback (ideally within 24-48 hours), the faster we can get your video done. At the start of each new stage, we’ll let you know when you can expect the next deliverable.

5. Script

What Is It?

With hundreds of videos under our belt, we’ll write a script that effectively communicates your message and serves as the narration for the final video. We find that having our outsider’s perspective on your business can be invaluable for producing a simple, effective video script.

What Does It Look Like?

Here’s an example of a script from Breakthrough:

  This is East Garfield Park.
It’s home to thousands of kids like Joshua.
Statistics show that just under half of Joshua’s neighbors live in poverty…
One-fourth of adults in his community don’t have their high school diploma…
And the 40-block zone his family calls home is labeled a food desert.
But Joshua isn’t a statistic.
He’s a part of a change.
A change that Breakthrough is helping lead in the neighborhood.
A change you can be a part of.
By investing in Breakthrough, you’re making a lasting impact on Joshua and his community.
Where success is the norm and families have the resources to succeed.
Your investment creates an echo of impact throughout all of East Garfield Park.
It affects after school programs…
Giving Joshua and his friends access to educational support, college scholarships, and jobs and internships.
It supplies the Fresh Market…
Nourishing Joshua’s neighbors with fresh, healthy food.
And it powers Breakthrough’s adult programs.
Helping community members find housing, secure a job, and grow their income.
When you invest, that impact is matched by private and public d ollars, and amplified by hundreds of volunteers and dedicated staff members.
Everyday, Breakthrough is working to change the statistics for East Garfield Park.
Making new ones that give Joshua, and the next generation hope.
Are you ready to be a part of this change?
Join the Breakthrough family today.

6. Storyboard

What Is It?

Once a script is approved, we’ll create a storyboard that details the visuals for the video scene-by-scene, typically in a sketch style so that we can easily edit before creating the assets. This is where the video really starts to take shape. You’ll see how each scene is designed, the layout, and the progression of the story. It will also serve to direct the animator’s motion of those assets.

What Does It Look Like?



7. Style Frames

What Are They?

Your video should be unique to your business and accurately reflect your brand. That’s why we create every single animated video from scratch using custom illustration and design. A style frame is a single, full-color frame that accurately reflects the final aesthetic of your video. Typically we’ll pull a couple of approved frames from the storyboard, and fully illustrated them for your review. These frames may include factors like color palette options, character variations, and text treatment.

What Does It Look Like?




8. Voiceover

What Is It?

If you have an important message, you want to have the right person delivering it. From the humorous to the dramatic, tone and performance really matters when it comes to bringing a creative concept to life. After discussing the factors that play into a voice style, such as age, gender, and tone, we’ll assemble a curated selection of professional voice talent for you to choose from. Once you’ve made your selection, we’ll work with the voice talent to record the narration to be used in the animation.

9. Animation

What Is It?

This is the stage where all of the pieces come together, and also one of the longer stages in the process. After designing all of the illustration assets, we’ll begin to bring your video to life. Keep in mind, we’re adding precisely timed motion to each and every scene. Unless we need clarification or further explanation for the animators don’t be alarmed if we aren’t flooding your inbox with updates during this time. We’re just busy making animated video production magic.

What Does It Look Like?

10. Sound Design

What Is It?

It’s the little things that count, and when it comes to video, sound design makes all the difference. We’ll either pull together a few music options of licensed music for you to select from, or work with a composer to create an original backing track. Then, custom sound effects will be layered to really make your video stand out.

11. Delivery

What Is It?

That’s it, your video is complete! We’ll deliver it to you as an HD 1080p MOV or MP4 file, ready for download. If you need help figuring out how to host it, where to place it, or how to market it, we’re happy to point you in the right direction!

If you’d like more information on our process, let’s set up a time to chat!

Ready to talk?

Contact us!
Laura Irons
Director of Partnerships