Animated Video Production

Animated Explainer Video Process: The Process from A-Z

Shawn Forno 03.03.2017

Making an animated explainer video is different from other productions. Not because it’s tough to get the look and feel you want, but because it’s easy to get any look and any style you want.

2D, 3D, CGI, whiteboard animation, RSA style, traditional cell animation, stop-motion, claymation—there are dozens of animation options. But it goes beyond the look of the explainer video. Everything is negotiable in animation.

The way the characters look, the voices they have (or don’t have), the setting, the timing—even the rules of physics!—are all up to you. That level of control can be daunting for someone that just wants a simple explainer video to teach customers about their latest gadget or gizmo.

animated explainer video

To help you keep a handle on all the variables, here’s a look at some of the most important stages that can trip up even experienced video producers and project managers. Luckily, other people have made animated explainer videos before you. Learn from them.

Idea Blog Recap

Monday: Understanding YouTube Video Ads

Tuesday: The Animation Process: How A Video Gets Made

Wednesday: Making Your First Animated Explainer Video: NQF Interview

Pick of the Week: Interview with Mixed Media Wunderkinds: Tiny Inventions

ICYMI: Animated Mobile Video: Best Practices

The Key to a Great Animated Explainer Video: Spend Time on the Script

Ask any producer and they’ll tell you the hardest part of animation is getting the script right. It’s just a “few hundred words” — no longer than this blog post, but that length is all you get for a typical sixty second explainer video. Make it count.

When asked what the most important part of production was when they made their first animated explainer, Camille Espinoza from National Quality Forum, simply said, “Allow a lot of extra time, particularly for script development.” She continued, “The hardest part is packaging your story into a few minutes of video. To get it right, I considered who to bring into the process and at what stage. Bring people in too early, and the project stalls, too late and you make mistakes.”

Let the Animation Process Unfold

Animation is a lot more than a pen (or stylus) hitting the page. To tell your story right you need to put in the work. Identify your CTA, develop a script, get the voiceover just right, piece the animatic together, design design design, then animate the whole thing, add music, and release your animated explainer video into the world.

Animation is an involved process. Know what you’re getting into before you start and you’ll get even better results than you imagined.

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The future of animation is a constantly moving target. Stay tuned for more animation news, culture, and video marketing tips every week!

Shawn Forno

Shawn Forno is a massive Studio Ghibli fan who does content marketing. In that order. Find his other writing and extensive travel blogging here.

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