Characters take time.

We always start with basic mock-ups of characters and don’t move on until the image itself is approved. “We would never animate a character before the look is approved,” states SLM Art Director Mike Petrik. “It takes time to build the characters and then rig them, so the first thing we need to conquer is the character’s appearance, such as body type, clothing, hair, etc. Then the rigging and animation beings.” We realize it’s natural to want to see all character options animated, but animating characters that don’t make the video eats up too much time and budget.

Environments take time.

Just like characters, environments need to be discussed thoroughly so they don’t take weeks to develop. Every element in your environment has to be created from scratch, from a tree to an office building, so having a good idea of the environments will help the Graphics Artists. Of course, it is the Artist’s job to make recommendations based on the script and characters, so having an open mind when it comes to animated videos will make your production that much better.

There really are no "simple" changes.

You’d be surprised what all goes into building, rigging, and animating characters, objects, and environments. We’re talking layers upon layers of different elements moving in a precise space and time. This is why you need to say something as soon as you want it changed — in the early stages of pre-production — before all of the animating has been completed. Wanting to go back after you’ve approved something can put huge brakes on the project. “Even changing the color of your on-screen text after animation can take a whole day of work,” states Petrik. So instead of back-tracking and mentioning a change weeks after you knew you wanted it, speak up to the team as soon as you see something you’re not quite sure of.

Stick to the process

Ahh yes, time for the process talk. One of the biggest things you have to remember is that the video production company you’re working with does this every day, and they have a process in place for a reason. Without that process, there would be no clear distinction of what a client should expect and when. On the other hand, the production company would be expected to make major changes that can delay delivery dates and increase the project’s overall budget. So just remember to listen to the production company, ask questions if you need clarification, and speak up immediately if you see something you don’t like in the design. We promise we can take it!

To learn more about SoidLine’s production process, click here.

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