animation and motion design

Our Expertise

  • Motion graphics
  • 2D Vector Animation for Web & App
  • 2D Scene, Character & Asset Design
  • 2D Animation
  • 3D Scene, Character & Asset Modelling
  • 3D Animation
  • SFilm CGI and visual effectsEO
  • Sound Design

What is animation and motion design?

With many animation styles and mediums of animation on offer, it’s often difficult to explain animation as a whole. From 2D to 3D, stop-motion to claymation, animation in a nutshell, is a series of individually created images played rapidly, one after the other, to give a sense of motion. Much like a film camera takes 24 images per second, recording reality, animation is more about creating the things that can't be filmed, only imagined.

Why is animation and motion design Important?

In today's fast-paced world, people need more attention-grabbing content for marketing campaigns to be effective. With the access that we have to today's technology, coupled with digital media being today's largest form of visual communication, animation is the next best thing to lift brands and marketing campaigns to that level. Gone are the days of simply using static billboards and posters or newspapers and magazines, digital screens are what get the most visual attention, and using animation to take full advantage of that is the future of effective and successful marketing.

Our Process

Pre-production phase

  • Much like how good books get made into movies, most animations generally start with a written script or storyline. Unless a script is supplied by you, the client, we will internally assess the creative problem posed by your brief and brainstorm ideas to find the best creative solution for that problem. This part involves a large team of designers and animators, copywriters, and strategists, giving their best input for us to settle on a solid idea.
    • Set design:
    • Designing the sets and scenes using the approved storyboard as a guide (2D and 3D).

    • Character Design:
    • Designing character/s options for the client to choose from that work with the campaign (2D and 3D).

    • Rigging:
    • Building and applying the skeletal control structure needed to animate characters (2D and 3D).

    • Building textures/shaders:
    • Creating custom realistic materials to be applied to 3D models and characters (3D only).

    • Lighting and camera setup:
    • Setting up the lighting and camera motion is one of the most important parts of the process to get the best cinema-quality feel out of all the work put into production.

  • Once we have a signed-off script, it's time to start putting the ideas onto “paper”, so that you can have a visual representation of how the animation is planned. Storyboarding isn't very time-consuming, however, it’s an important part of the process to make sure that the production team and the client are all on the same page before going into full production.
  • For longer productions, we will generally create a prototype video of the planned timings for the animation by matching the storyboard scenes with the recorded voice-over. This gives a better indication of the visual flow of the script and storyline when compared to just a storyboard.

Production phase

    Asset Creation
  • This is the design part of the animation process. Unless the scenes, characters, and assets are provided or are sourced externally, we have a design team to design everything in-house, from 2D design to 3D modelling.
    Animating Assets
  • Once all of the scenes have been built and the characters have been modelled and rigged, it’s time to start bringing the scenes and characters to life. Colour and texture may still be being worked on at this stage, but as soon as we have usable models and rigs, animation can begin. This begins with using the rigs and controllers to articulate the rigged characters and objects into the key poses that we planned out in the storyboard phase. After this, we then refine and edit the motion style to match that of the chosen art style.
    3D Rendering (Production phase)
  • 3D rendering is a time-intensive process. It requires very powerful computers to process all the digital information and commands we’ve put into the animation software. Having it change all that digital binary into flat images will collectively become the animation sequence.
    • Final Render Review:
    • A few static test renders are made to ensure that all textures are applied to the correct objects that are performing visually, the lighting is all correctly set up, and the cameras are all focused on the correct area.

    • Final Render:
    • The final phase before going into post-production is rendering out the thousands of frames required to make up the final animated sequence. A single frame can take anywhere between 1 to 30 minutes to render, and when a 30-second animation at 30 frames per second consists of 900 frames, it gives an idea of how important it is to have everything in order before going ahead with the final render.

Post-Production phase

    Final composition
  • Compiling all separate frames and scenes that the animation team have produced separately and editing timings. Things like logo intros and lower thirds are also added at this phase.
    • Composition Setup:
    • For animations that will go live through different digital channels, different composition sizes and aspect ratios are needed (eg. 1080 x1080 or 1920 x 1080).

    • Final Colour Correction:
    • Final colour grading of the rendered 3D and/or filmed footage.

    • Applying 2D VFX:
    • Subtle effects such as smoke, blurs, film grain, or overlay effects. These can range from glitches, lower thirds, logo intro, and lens flares to many, many more.

    • Sound Design:
    • Both music and sound effects are applied at this stage to bring the footage and scenes to life.

    • Final 2D render:
    • Applying the client’s request before rendering the final file. For instance, a file needs to be below a certain file size or a certain file type (mp4, mov, avi etc).

Where the reviews speak
for themselves

Flume created a 3D animation for us based on Creative Park templates to showcase everything that can be found on the platform to download and print for free as part of a Christmas Campaign. The campaign was successful and we saw a great increase in Creative Park downloads compared to the previous season.

Geraldine Van Schalkwyk

Marketing Specialist, ITCG Digital Marketing

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