• Processes
  • 21 February 2023

Stages of CGI animation production

foto: Stages of CGI animation production

Animated videos may have different purposes. It’s all up to the client’s needs: some want to create a dynamic presentation for a new product, others want to visually express brand values or strengthen the brand’s credibility. Regardless of the task, the algorithm of work and the main steps remain the same: everything starts with a brief.

1. Brief

To understand each other better, we ask the client to fill out a short brief on the website. After that, we’ll set up a meeting or a phone call to discuss the Customer Journey Map and Jobs to be Done: why we are making this video, and what task it will fulfill. At the same time, we will agree on timing and budgeting.

2. Concept, references, style

First, we offer several creative concepts. What’s the main idea? How is it related to the purpose? How can it be visualized? To negotiate the style in general, we come up with specific examples, references. Those will help us during the further steps.

3. Screenplay and storyboard

As soon as we had come up with the idea and agreed on the visual style, we start working on the script. We discuss the logic of storytelling and make a storyboard to understand how the future story will look on the screen.


4. Photomatic

This funny term stands for 2D animation of the storyboard. It's a flat video with music and draft voice-over recording. At this stage, you can evaluate the dynamics, the combination of picture and sound, and the relevance of the text.

5. RnD (Research & development)

To quench both your and our curiosity, the art director creates several key visuals that will determine the mood and color scheme of the future CG video.

foto: Stages of CGI animation production

6. Stills and Animatic

At this stage, work divides into two processes: stills and animatic creation. Stills are static key frames of the final video. A “trailer” made of them will help evaluate the graphics and make necessary corrections quickly. Animatic is a 3D model of camera and objects movements. At this stage of production, we don’t add extra materials or lights. This way we can easily discuss the motion logic and make corrections quickly. The animatic looks grey, so we prepare the stills in advance: they will help us imagine the beautiful final result.

7. Draft rendering

We combine animatic and stills to evaluate the movement of elements: how realistic, smooth and correct it is. Be ready to see a blurry video of low quality. We approve the draft version of animation because it saves many days of production.

foto: Stages of CGI animation production

8. Sound design and mixing

Simultaneously with the previous stage, we finalize the sound design, final recording of the announcer, and sound mixing.

9. Finalization and mastering

Hooray! At this stage, you’ll see the final version in color and high quality. If there are any corrections to be made, they are tiny and simple: for example, we might need to change numbers or words in the text. After that, the work is done! 10. It’s done! Project delivery day is a true feast. We share video on social media and meditate to the flow of likes and reposts.

photo: Ekaterina Shmyreva
Ekaterina Shmyreva
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