If you have been in the Marketing space during the last few years, then you’re probably familiar with 2D Animation videos, especially for the science space. They help explain complex topics in an accessible way; they are versatile and cost-effective.
However, not everyone is aware of how these videos are made. Let’s say you have a new product launch and want to create an animated video explaining its improved features. You have sourced a great 3rd party to create this video for you - but what’s next? How much of your input is required, and what sort of deadline should you expect?
What is the process for creating a 2D Animation Video?
Although video projects come in many different shapes and sizes, the process of creating them will look very similar. Let’s take a look at our step-by-step process:
Once you have identified the topic you want to illustrate or have an idea of the story you want to communicate, we arrange a planning meeting to discuss the initial voiceover script. This will determine the content and the pacing of the animation and is also likely to be where a lot of the technical information is contained, so it's important that you review this and make sure everyone is happy before we move further down the process - even relatively small changes or additions to the core content/flow later on can lead to lots of work re-doing animation sequences and transitions. Setting this up in the early stages ensures a smoother project.
Additionally, we sometimes include wireframes, references from google images, or even hand-drawn sketches to demonstrate how we're planning to show each section of the script graphically. These will be very basic at this stage, but it is enough to get everyone on the same page about how to put across the information visually.
Once the voiceover script is nearly finalized and we know how each section will be illustrated, we can start drawing! The backgrounds, products, 2D characters, text styles, and more all get created, and we make a version of the storyboard with fully designed still frames as they will appear in the video - this gives you a chance to provide feedback on the overall look and feel of the video before we get into the animation process proper.
Sometimes, if the project is complex, we will produce just part of the visual storyboard (10-12 frames) to further cut down on potential wasted work, since we want your feedback on how we have represented the key elements of the video before we create the whole storyboard, which can be 20-30+ frames depending on the length of the video.
Stills and Animation:
The next step in the 2D animation process is creating the visual stills and selecting background music. During the draft process, we will collect all visual references and example images from settings and applications. This will help as inspiration for unique imagery.
Your company guidelines and brand elements will be incorporated to ensure everything is uniform to build a further environment in the animation.
We then use Adobe After Effects and other types of 2D animation software and animation tools, depending on the project, to produce the first draft of your animation video.
You can have up to two rounds of feedback and drafts (making it a total of three versions of the video, including the original draft) included in the price. This ensures that you are pleased with the product.
We hand over the final video mp4 file to be hosted on your own platforms. This way, you have complete control over where the video is displayed and ownership over the views, analytics, etc. The video views aren’t split between ourselves and you.
We keep all the project files in our archives so that they can be revisited later if needed. We can also share these with you for your own archives and if you have in-house capability to make edits.
Additionally, our digital sales and marketing team can help you build a unique promotional package that suits your needs and budget.
What’s the lead time for a 2D animation project?
Here is an example project timeline for a 2D campaign:
This is a sample timeline, and times can vary depending on the complexity and length of your project.
Why should I use 2d animation instead of other videos to promote my products?
Some of the situations where we find it is most beneficial to create animation are when it can be difficult to get live footage if the product doesn’t yet exist or is quite difficult to access. Sensitive areas that are difficult to access, such as pharmaceutical laboratories or aerospace, can easily be animated. There is a lot more flexibility in 2D animation.
This is also a benefit for products that you haven't launched yet. Where you haven't got a finished product, we can create a 2D animation from your prototype imagery.
There’s an option for 2D motion graphics animation, where we can create quicker animations using stock footage, existing product imagery, and branding to showcase that we can create a short presentation with animated elements rather than creating everything from scratch. It also cuts the time it takes to create 2D animations.
An abstracted drawing can also have more longevity in certain cases. For example, when your product has a regular change in design, specifics of the drawing can be smoothed over or simplified via animatics in a way that is limited with live video. This means you won't need a new video project each time there is a small update to a product.
Another point to consider is that 2D animation can help maintain consistency in branding and messaging, as the same characters and visual elements can be used across multiple marketing campaigns.
What are the best ways to use 2D Animation Videos?
2D animation lends itself to being included elsewhere, can be a part of product videos, snippets can be used to explain things as part of larger video projects, on the website homepage, social media… Embed it everywhere you can within product pages, application notes, or anywhere else relevant!
If you are thinking of creating a 2D animated video to tell your scientific stories, don’t hesitate to contact us and we can guide you through the process, as well as set out a full promotion plan with you.