10 stages of working on 2D animation-Project manager tips

More and more often, businesses come to tell about their company or product in the most accessible and interesting form. One of these ways is video. Better yet, an animated video.

Creating a 2D animation consists of 10 key steps. You can create one yourself using an online video editor or hire a team of professionals. And at every stage, the involvement of the project manager is just as important as that of other team members. In this article you will learn tips on how the client perceives the work done, and also whether the 2D animation will be completed, depends on the actions, decisions and words of the project manager.

1. Acquaintance with the client and his task

The first impression is to play so the principal role and influence on the result of the conversation. Your communication with a potential client can be both personal and over the phone, as well as via email or instant messengers – it doesn’t matter. The main thing is to interest the client and make him understand that it is you who will cope with his task as needed (if this is really the case).

2. Brief

If you can’t meet in person with a client to discuss a future video, then you can’t do without a brief. The brief solves several problems at once:

If the client has too vague understanding of the final result, then he will help him decide even for himself.

If the client is serious, then he can devote 15-30 minutes to fill out the document. Some clients may be scared off by the waste of time on a brief, because they are primarily interested only in cost. But why do you need to work with such?

3. Contract

Then we move on to one of the most important components of a successfully completed video. Advice to all freelancers and studios: ALWAYS sign a contract with a client. It doesn’t matter how well you know him.

It is imperative to prescribe in the contract:

  • type of work
  • what are you responsible for
  • what do you need to work from a client
  • amount and date of payment
  • fines in case of delay in delivery of the video or payment by the client

Each client and project is unique, so I do not recommend using template contracts from the network. It is better to hire a lawyer who will help you draw up a competent contract that will protect you in the event of an unscrupulous customer.

4. Research and planning

At this stage, we are completely immersed in the client’s task. The work begins with the research and planning of the work.

Another important factor is planning. Both the team and the client must understand how much time there is for specific tasks and when it will be possible to see some of the work done. The work plan for a video can be in any form: a Gantt chart, a calendar, a list of tasks with deadlines. The main thing is convenience, simplicity and compliance with real dates.

5. Concepts and scenario

Next, we offer the client the concept of the scenario. This is what the screenwriter is doing.

Concepts are a significant time-saver. Instead of writing a whole script that the client won’t take to work or will endlessly edit, it’s faster and more efficient to write 2-4 concepts. And after approval with the client, the scriptwriter will further develop them.

6. Storyboard

The next stage of work on the video is storyboarding. This is a draft of the key scenes. Here it becomes clear how the scenes in the video will look; the client has a vision of future illustrations.

Both a special person and an illustrator can work on the storyboard, who will draw the scenes of the future video.

7. Announcer

While we are working on the storyboard, we are simultaneously recording the narrator. Fortunately, now there is no need to meet personally with the announcer and go to the studio. There are many sites with a database of speakers in different languages.

First, we select demo recordings with the most suitable voices and approve the desired voice with the client. Then we send the script for the narration to the chosen speaker.

When ordering a speaker, it is important to indicate the correct pronunciation of the name of the company or product, as well as specific words, so as not to rewrite it several times.

8. Concepts and illustration rendering

After the storyboard is ready, let’s start with the illustrations.

First, we decide on the style and colors. To do this, we provide the client with 1-2 final frames of the video.

Since in the Remme video, according to the idea, there was a main character who was supposed to become the “face” of the future product campaign, we decided to start with the concept of the character.

9. Animatic and animation

While the illustrations are being drawn, start working on the animation. It is divided into several stages:

  • animatic from storyboard

It looks like a slideshow of static storyboard frames. Sometimes we can animate parts of it for clarity. The main function of this animatic is to understand whether the timing of the video is sagging somewhere. If we see that some scenes are too long or, on the contrary, there is no time to consider what is happening in the frame, then we correct the scenario. This is the last stage at which script edits are still allowed.

  • animatic from approved illustrations and animations

The general draft animation is already being thrown in here. The very first animatic looks almost static, but with each submission to the client, we polish more and more scenes.

10. Music and sound design

The work is almost finished. The client approved the animation, the final touch was left – the sound.

At the beginning of the project, we ask the client if he wants to use sound design and music. Music can be written specifically for a video or bought on an audio stock. Most often, customers choose the audio stock option because of its availability.

After that, we give the video and music to the sound designer for mixing and applying sound effects.

After that, the video can be considered ready.

Do not forget, after the approval of the video, to sign the acceptance certificate and receive payment for the work done 🙂

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