A Handy Guide to Develop an Animation
Creating an animation can be fun. Like any other film, animation needs a lot of time, more patience and a lot of planning to get it right. It is not as difficult as you might think. So if you really want to know about the development process of animation, then this post might be helpful for you.
The production pipeline of the animation is divided into three major stages and each stage has its own phases which are given below:
The first step in the animation process is pre-production. It is the most important step and starts with main concepts that later turn into a full story. Four major phases of the pre-production stage are:
Storyboard is one of the most important steps in the development of an animation. It is extremely helpful to complete the making of storyline and is in the form of a comic strip; used to communicate all the concepts and the visualization of the animation. Storyboard also details the scene and all the alteration in the animation. The text notes illustrate all the happening within the scene.
After the approval of storyboards, storyboards are delivered to the layout department. The layout team works together with the director in order to design the costumes and locations. After this, they start to stage each scene and displaying different characters’ positions in each and every shot.
Models sheets have the drawn sketches of the characters that display their all expressions. They are created to keep the structure of the characters uniform and for maintaining the details of the characters. In this phase the characters’ designs are approved so that when production begins their structure can be delivered to the modeling department. This department is responsible for developing the final character models.
The pre-visualization department has the core responsibility to develop the more simplified mock ups known as Animatics. This mockup is produced to deliver the great concept of motion and animation sequences. After that, director adds visual effects into the final shot.
After the completion of all pre-production procedures, the project goes into the next stage which is production. This is actually the stage where the real work begins, based on all the guidelines established in the pre-production stage.
Some major phases of production stage are:
This is the phase where the block geometry is used in the place of the final set and characters. Layout Artists develop the shot and forward the rough animation sketch to the animators. They then create the 3D version and the director finally approves the camera moves, composition of the models, and depth of the field.
In the modeling phase, two departments work together and modelers turn the 2D concept into 3D models. Then, they help the envelopers and technical animators. The model has a skeleton which is put in place and finally the skin is developed. This model may be handed over to the Modeler again in order to pave the way for any specific muscle tension or jiggle shape that might be needed.
After its finalization, it will be accessible to two different departments; one is the texture paint and second is rigging. The core responsibility of these departments is to finish the last stages in developing the model for rendering and animation.
The Texturing Artists create painting textures and writing shades as per the requirements of the scene. Then shading and surfing departments correspond with each other where the textures are painted to exactly match the approved concept of art and designs. All of these textures are developed in the form of maps that are further assigned to the model.
Lighting Artists work on different tasks. For instance, defining the light properties, interaction of lights with materials etc. Not only this, the creation of direct and reflected lighting of each and every shot is also done in this phase.
Here at this phase, rigging department is responsible to define the movement of mechanical objects. Also a test animation is made that displays the characters’ appearance.
Once the 3D character model is made, animators can create motion to act like a virtual puppet. In the animation phase, different elements are produced by the Effects department such as dust, water, smoke and explosion.
This is the final step of the development of animation. In this step, editing of the scenes, adding of transitional effects, dubbing, and editing of the scenes are few of the important tasks that should be executed. Post-production has three main phases:
Here in this phase, compositors finally develop the rendered image which is ready for the animation.
In this phase, the final sound is developed by assembling the sound recordings and is needed for the final film.
At this stage, all the scenes and footage that are unnecessary or unwanted are removed. Editing is an important step to ensure that the animation flows in such a way that it attains what is required.