Monica Ip
May 16, 2022
2 min read

Our frame-by-frame production pipeline

(Heads up! This post assumes you’ve read our post about what frame-by-frame animation is and how it works.)

The ‘Normal’ Animation Pipeline

Scripting, making style frames, storyboarding and animation is still quite a linear process for animation whether it’s frame-by-frame or motion graphics. But – there are some areas where it’s similar to other forms of non-hand drawn animation, and some places where it’s different.

Understanding Our Frame-by-frame Pipeline

So with the different techniques and considerations frame-by-frame requires, how does it affect the pipeline when you’re working with us to create an animation?

The main difference boils down to parts of the design review process.

The Review Process

If you’ve worked with us before, you know that we like to share your animation with you at different stages to make sure we’re ticking all the boxes. Because of the way animations via motion graphics are created using computer-generated processes, they can be more easily edited and tweaked throughout the whole animation process using computers.

But because frame-by-frame is created by drawing each frame by hand, any alterations would have to be done by hand. And that could mean erasing days of work to redo something. Think about what the process would be if you have a spreadsheet with ten columns of numbers. Editing three columns of numbers can be done on the computer by editing the spreadsheet formulas, or copying and pasting new numbers, or deleting columns altogether. However if you have already printed five copies of this spreadsheet and notice a mistake, you have to grab your whiteout, and manually write in the new number for each copy you’ve printed out. It can be pretty painstaking.

Get Involved in the Creative Decisions Before We Start Drawing

Therefore, a way to not run into trouble later in the frame-by-frame pipeline process, is for the check-in points of reviewing an animation to be more focused at the start of the pipeline. We want your involvement in helping to make those creative decisions before the figurative paint has already dried.

Beyond that consideration, the pipeline is pretty much the same!

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