We have a pretty good guide to how things move along when creating an animated explainer video, but in truth, every project is unique. In some cases, the client asks for a rush job so tasks like storyboarding or creating animatics either get scrapped altogether to buy us more production time or they get simplified. Sometimes clients increase or decrease the workload which then alters the timeline and oftentimes we need to rearrange what happens when. So no one guide is going to outline exactly how things will go…with that in mind I decided that a blog post outlining a random project from start to finish might be a good idea…so here it is:
We’ve been working with Innoviafilms for about a year now on a series of animated marketing videos, this one, ‘Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene speciality films’, would be the fourth.
The initial conversation
The marketing dept. at Innovia had given us a lot of creative freedom on the previous videos and on this one, we had one request: that we create a professor character to tell the story of the product. In particular, a few members of the staff remembered really liking a Disney cartoon that featured a professor. I googled ‘Disney professor’ and this is what I found…
So I drew a few sketches and put together a character for review…
Innovia loved the character so we wrote a script based around the existing B.O.P.P promotional materials and submitted it for review. Version 1 of the script was off the mark and on top of that, Innovia had changed their initial vision of what they wanted the video to put across to viewers. We drafted a second version and this time it was on the money. After a couple of tweaks and back-and-forths we got the sign off.
Voice-over and character tests
After sharing somewhere around 10 voice-over samples, Innovia chose Tim Dawson who was perfect for the part. The first take wasn’t as ‘animated’ as we’d have liked but we used it to let the client see an animated example of the professor speaking. Below is the third and final character test. Tim nailed the narration on the second go.
Storyboarding and animatic
As previously mentioned, this was the fourth in the series so we’d built up a level of trust and since we were short on time, we all agreed to forego the boards and move on to production. What we did instead was to submit a series of early production stills so that Innovia still had a good idea of what everything would look like.
At this point, the client got to put their feet up as we worked through the timeline, putting everything together. Adobe After Effects and Maxon’s Cinema 4D are the software packages we use to create our animated marketing videos. We used After Effects for 90% of the video but there was a scene that needed the 3D/cell shader treatment so we ducked out of After Effects and created the production line seen below in C4D.
We finished it up after a week of solid editing and then reviewed what we had internally. We gathered a list of feedback that included about 10 needed alterations that ranged from additional eye movements and animated hair for the professor to timing issues and a spelling mistake.
After making the adjustments, we rendered out the finished file for client review.
“The more we watch this, the more we like it”
We received a relatively short list of requests that were mostly centered around text alterations/additions and changing two words in the voice-over. The new file was rendered and uploaded for review.
They loved it, everyone was happy and just in time to start a new set of Innovia explainer videos.
If you’d like to talk about having your own explainer video produced, shoot us an email: