Animation Production Process

Animation Production Process


Animation: As we all know animation is a process in which some motion is provided to the computer based graphics or we can say to computer graphics.

Any type of movement provided to any computer graphic be it a text, photograph, vector character, clay model or any object created using graphic creating tools in the computer system if provided any movement to it using animation software is known as animation.

Film: Film is a complete story created using some story concepts. In this a film or a movie we can say is create by thinking about the concept of the story its script is written, actions are designed and the time frame for the film scene is then set. The time frame is the estimation of the particular scene start time and the end time. The time completed or time taken to complete a particular scene is considered the scene duration.

Production: The key stages involved in the production process of an animated film are:

  1. Pre-production
  2. Production
  3. Post Production

Now let us go further deep down into each of the above-mentioned steps.

1. Pre-Production: The first stage in the field of animation filmmaking comes to the pre-production stage. The pre-production is basically the main story planning process in this the story has to be finalized with the script, actions and camera angles are planned.

Then comes the main process of pre-production stage which includes:

A. Storyboarding
B. Layouts
C. Model sheets
D. Animatics

A. Storyboarding: Storyboarding is the very important level in the stage of pre-production as it finalizes the starting and ending process of animation film stage. The storyboard is made up of drawings in the form of a comic so that the idea of the story could be communicated easily. The action in the scene or the camera’s angle in the scene is explained in the form of text and the dialogues are written in the storyboard naming it as the script. After the action and script are completed the time is evaluated at the scene and is written in form of text in the storyboard with the heading named as time, so we can see that the storyboard also has sub-actions like script, action and time. The storyboard actually helps in visualizing the story concept when working in a team.


B. Layout: Layout is the process in which the environment and the costumes of the character are finally designed. The environment the location and costumes are designed for the characters.

C. Model Sheets : This sheet created for the modeling department basically in this stage the expression and the possible posture of the character are designed, so that the modeling department can make the same expression and posture of the character as in the team, who are responsible for designing model can create the exact model as been provided on the model sheet.

D. Animatic: Animatics are the small sample created for the scenes and expressions and also VFX effects which are the Visual effects created to give a small view of the film final shot.

2. Production: The production stage is the next to stage after the level of pre-production is approved finally. Production stage also has levels which are:

A. Layout
B. Modeling
C. Texturing
D. Lighting
E. Rigging
F. Animation

Let’s have a look into details of all the above-mentioned levels of production stages.

A. Layout: Layout in the production stage is the 3D modeling which takes place by 3D modeling team, so that the environment, location, and costumes of the scene is modeled using 3D software.

B. Modeling: Now comes the modeling, in this characters are modeled and also the architectural background of the scene is also modeled. This also includes the vehicles, props, weapons etc.

C. Texturing: The texturing artists work on the texture of the scene like the texture of the walls of the building, the surface or the floor texture, the texture of the character’s skin or the texture of its costumes. The props used in the scene also have some texture on it so this is how the texturing artist work and create different types of texture for the different scene, object, props or characters.

D. Lighting: The lighting is the most responsible work for the complete film production process. As the lighter will have to consider everything, the different type of light for all different type of scene, the light intensity to make that scene brighter or contrast also, the lighting has to be considered according to the texture in that scene, the shadow plays the most important role in this complete lighting process. A lighter have the greatest responsibility during the production process as the lighting artist, the lighter has to work very hard keeping in mind all the minute concepts of the scene. There are 3 main types of light used which are mentioned and discussed in brief below.

Key light: It is the main light on the object its light intensity can vary according to the scene requirement.
Fill Light: It is used to soften the hard edges of the key and ultimately balances the light of the scene.
Backlight: Backlight is placed behind the orbit which creates separation from the background.

E. Rigging: Rigging is the process where the bones are placed in the character. The bones are important to place as it defines the movement of the character. The rigging process is done to make the character move perfectly in a believable manner even the rigging is done for all the objects used in the scene including the cloth so that the cloth of the character on the cloth in the scene can move in a natural manner giving a realistic feel.

F. Animation: Now comes the animation process, in this, the character movement is planned frame by frame by using the animation software. The action or the movement is keyframed and the animation is carried out. In this, the 3D model is animated using some basic principles of animation will be explained in our post. There are 12 principles of the animation which are to be followed for animation

3. Post Production: This is the final stage includes:
1. Editing the raw footage
2. Inserting effect
3. Voice Editing and a few more test to get the refined output.

There are 3 main levels of post production to carry out the above process

1. Compositing
2. Sound editing
3. Video editing

1. Compositing: In this, the 3D elements are prepared to get the final rendered image ready for the movie or the film.
2. Sound editing: The sound which is been recorded is prepared for the final film by sound mixing and by adding all the sound effects required for that scene.

3. Video editing: Video editing includes removal of unwanted scenes and footage, keeping in mind that the video flow remains the same.

Conclusion: The animated filmmaking process is the combination of all the three mentioned stages the Pre-production, Production, and Post-production which completes the filmmaking process providing the best of refined output.

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