Motion Graphics Video Production Process

by

What Steps are Involved in Creating a Motion Graphics Video?

Are you considering investing in a Motion Graphics Video for your business, but don’t know how long it takes to produce or what steps are required? To get a high-quality animation worthy of your business, it takes a lot of work and time. There are a bunch of places online that claim they can create something for you really quickly; but, those are often low quality, and won’t get you the results you want. In this article, we’re going to cover the production process for an Explainer Animation, from Pre-Production to Post-Production.

Pre-Production

Nobody wakes up one day, boots up their computer, mashes their keyboard, and creates a Motion Graphics Video. They require a good plan. This planning phase is known as Pre-Production, and is arguably the most important in the entire process. During Pre-Production, your team needs to determine the following:

    • Message: What are you trying to say? Are you telling a story? Explaining a concept? Demonstrating features of a product?
    • Target Audience: Who are you trying to connect with? Be specific! There’s a whole blog post about Target Audience narrowing here.
    • Script: How are you going to get your message across? What tone will your Motion Graphics Video have? How do you want people to feel after watching?
    • Visual Style: What will it look like? It should fit with your existing branding, appeal to your target audience, and not look like it was made 5 years ago.
    • Storyboards: What will be on screen over the course of your animation?
    • Budget: How much will your project cost? When will payments be due?
    • Deadlines: When does your animation need to be completed? Do you have buffer time in case of delays?
    • Team: Who is doing what?
    • Metrics for Success: How will you know if your project had the results you intended?

As with any project, the concept behind the following graphic applies. There are three options, Cost, Quality, and Time. You can pick two. If you want a high quality project done quickly, it’s going to be very expensive. If you don’t want to pay much for a fast turnaround time, your results are going to be poor. If you want a stunning result on the cheap, don’t expect it any time soon.

All of these combine to form the Scope of your animation. Once you set and agree on your project’s Scope, DO NOT CHANGE IT. If you change your Scope without adjusting the budget accordingly, thing fall out of balance. As any project manager worth their salt can tell you. Scope creep kills projects. Once you know your Scope, then the next phase can begin!

Production

Alright! You’ve got your Scope set, budget allocated, team ready, and vision focused. It’s time to start Production! There are usually four distinct steps in the production of a Motion Graphics Video.

The first is to create all the assets. These include characters, props, settings, icons, and anything else the audience is going to see… or hear! This is when you’d record the Voice Over, secure background music, and find any sound effects you’ll use. Having the Voice Over is key to starting the next phase because it dictates the timing of your animation.

The next step is when animating begins, and is called Blocking. The animator, or animators, rough out the key poses and events of your script. Now is the best time to identify and fix issues with timing, sequencing of events, and any other major problems. Once Blocking is done, Production continues to…

Breakdowns! This is when the tone and emotional oomph of your animation start to emerge. The animation become more detailed and you can see how the assets interact with each other to convey your message. Done properly, an animation after the Breakdowns step might seem finished, but it’s missing a key step…

Polishing. The difference between a good animation and a great animation is often the last 10% of effort applied to it. Tiny tweaks, subtle adjustments, and almost imperceptible nudges make each movement snap, slide, slam, or smack more effectively. The polished effects reinforce the idea that your business is high quality and worth listening to.

And that’s it! Your animation is completed, so you’re done, right? Nope! Now you have to get it in front of your target audience.

Post-Production

Thanks to the Internet, it’s easy for you to post content online. The trouble is, so can everybody else! So, you want to post your content where your target audience is likely to see it, and tell as many people as you can that it’s there. Sound’s easy, right? It’s not. Don’t despair though. There are people who can help you.

First, you should post your video on a site like YouTube or Vimeo. Both are free, and have the bandwidth to make sure your video will play smoothly for most people.

Then, using the tools from either site, embed your video onto your website’s landing page, your business’s Facebook page, your LinkedIn page, and any other social media you use. You can even put it in your email signature! Not all email clients will play it, but they’ll take you to the site where you hosted it and play it there.

Once it’s posted, regularly check the analytics these sites provide to see how many people are watching it, for how long, and other information the sites provide you.

You might be thinking, “This seems like a lot of work! I don’t have time to do this myself!” Then don’t! There are very skilled website and social media experts out there who can help you get your content in front of the right eyeballs. If you’re interested in finding a good one, get in touch! I’d be happy to connect you.

And that’s it! For real this time. You’ve produced a great Motion Graphics Video that is helping you website convert visitors into customers! However, posting one video for your business isn’t likely going to be enough to hold your audience’s attention for a long time on social media. For that you’d need a series of animations, but that’ll have to wait for another blog post.

If you’re interested in learning more about other ways to improve your marketing, check out these other blog posts!

If you’re interested in creating a custom, engaging animation for your business or organization, click here to schedule a free 1 hour consultation!

Karl Pontau - Animated Video & Motion Graphic Artist

Karl Pontau

Motion Graphic Artist
Owner of Squash & Stretch Productions

Connect with Karl

Our Team

Squash and Stretch Production’s team consists of numerous local writers, graphic and visual designers, other animated video artists and designers, voice over artists, and audio designers. We can put together a team to fit almost any project, working in almost any visual style. If you have an idea for a motion graphics video, odds are we can make for you on time and on budget.

You’ll love the results!