Animation flow chart

The story

Its very purpose for which the film exists and everything in and about the project revolves around it. If an idea is a seed a story is its fruit.

The script

This script is a structured and more detailed rendition of the story. It chronicles the precise progression, dialogue, feel, and content of the whole story shot by shot.

Visual development

As the story is being developed, visual development team works closely with the writers to provide a visual representation of the contents of the story. This way the characters and environments are gradually refined until the story is finally signed off. This division is made up of character development and environment concept artists.

Storyboards

The contents of the script is then laid out in panels with texts of dialogue, camera action and shot description.

In this form, it’s more comprehensive for the layout artists and animators to work with as opposed to having to read many pages of text.

Voice acting

Unlike God, the characters we create would be unable to speak. Since filming is about sounds and sight, we must employ the services of voice actors.

Color script

The color script defines the lighting and visual mood of each shot. It’s also an aid for the writer to better visualise and improve upon the story.

Asset creation

Here the word is made flesh (or mesh) and sometimes a drawing. The output of the visual development process all the characters and props ( buildings, weapons, vehicles, etc) will be created in 3D and made ready for the artists and animators to use.

Animatic

The animatic is like the yam before the pounded yam.

The storyboard panels are roughly animated in 2D with test voice overs and some sound effects to give a closer representation of the final film.

This stage is vital so we can review the story with respect to time.

Layout

The characters, props and cameras are arranged to match the storyboards description as closely as possible in 3D.

Previz. (3d animatic)

Once the layout is completed, again the cameras props and characters are roughly animated to see what’s the animatic looks like in a 3D space.

Animation

The animators then make the characters live and the props move as described by The Script. It is the visual presentation of the content of the script and must convey the exact idea the writer intended.

Effects

Splashes, cloth simulatios, explosions, dust, water simulation, Wind, Fire and so on

Lighting

We need lights.The lighting artists light (obviously) each shot based on the color script done earlier.

Sometimes the only difference between a good and bad film could be lighting.

Rendering

Here, all the shots are given to the computer to meditate on and then spit out a sequence of images from the 3D file.

Depending on the complexity of the shots and the rendering machine, a single frame could take anywhere from a fraction of a second to a whole day or even more to render.

Mistakes discovered at this stage are extremely costly.

Compositing

Color grading, Depth of Field, lens flares, camera distortion e.t.c The frames from the render are brought in and the editor can tweak the various shots to make them consistent and more pleasing to the eyes.

Sound editing/score

The voice overs a finally mixed in with the video along with a musical score/soundtrack, sound effects and background music.

Final editing

The film may need to go through one last editing pass.