In the script phase, you are planning your message. The well-written script should establish the problem, the need, or the question, and then proceed to explain why you or your conclusion is the best answer to this question. If there is a voice-over planned, this will be shown along side a description of the action for each scene.
Milestone: Script approval
After crafting a solid message, it's time to conceptualize what this will look like. We sharpen our pencils and sketch out the major moments alongside the text of the script. We'll block out where things will go on screen and establish how to best illustrate our metaphors. We like this stage to be as "un-pretty" as possible--oftentimes only pencil or black ink. This helps us prioritize where things will go, and what we'll show, before moving to colors and design style. Rough sketches also give us the ability to make notes, draw little arrows describing movements, or make quick revisions with a very low impact on budget.
Milestone: Storyboard Approval
At this stage, we take any references and ideas you've shared and begin to establish the look and feel of the illustrations. This is a great opportunity for you to show us other references that have inspired your ideas, from sketches on napkins to YouTube videos you like. We'll create and propose an art style that seems most appropriate for your message, incorporating it into one or more of your key moments from the approved storyboards.
Milestone: Design Style approval
Once we've established the intended look with a sample illustration in our Design Style phase, we'll proceed to illustrate all of the key scenes. Following the storyboard, we'll create all of the necessary artwork in a format that can be animated. When we're finished, you'll have a series of images accompanying script, illustrating your entire story.
Milestone: Illustration approval
With all illustration approved, we're ready to dive into Primary Animation. This is arguably the longest part of our process, which we prefer to start by brewing a large pot of coffee. We'll dive into creating the basic movements and scene transitions for all of the illustrations. It's at this point that we'll usually record the final voice-over and select the final music. What you'll see for this approval milestone is the entire basic animation from start to finish, with the music selection and voice-over.
Milestone: Primary Animation approval
We're nearly there! After you've approved the basic animation, we'll go back through and all all the elements that make it special. We like to call it the "glitter" pass. This includes finalizing voice-over, tightening up the music edit, and adding the extra animated elements that keep scenes interesting and transitions dynamic.
Milestone: Final Approval