Some things in life you can do without planning; like going for a walk with a dog or making a toasted sandwich.
Creating an animated video is not the same. Starting without a plan would be like building a house without drawings.
Animation requires extensive planning in the beginning to make sure the product that is delivered is what the client wanted. This is achieved with mood boards, style frames and storyboards. Now, you might be wondering what are these and why are they so important?
Moodboard: A Moodboard, as the name suggests, helps set the mood or visual theme for the animation. It is a combination of images, type explorations, colours and textures that define the style of a specific project. It’s a visual kick starter to a job and helps to get the visual direction defined before diving into the design. A moodboard is essentially a collage, allowing the designer to better communicate the design concepts.
Style frames: These are the next step in the design process, where things get more detailed and specific. These are the visual solution to the clients brief, where designs are created to give the client a glimpse at the visual direction. Style frames contain compositional styles, colour palettes, typography and movement. They give the client an overview of the directions and visual styles.
Storyboards: A storyboard is a graphic organizer that consists of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualising a motion picture, animation or motion graphics. This is where we define each scene in sequence, with notes defining what happens each scene. This is like the road map defining how the animation will unfold.
Having worked in the creative industry for years, I have mastered the best process of taking a project from the initial brief to development, and eventually through to the final product. You can browse through some examples of my Storyboards and Style frames below: