How We Work
First of all, assign a minimum. production timeline of 10 days per 2-minute animation. A 5 minute animation will take at least two weeks. A production using lip-synched characters would need an additional 5 days per character for character development and puppet rigging.
There are several rounds of edits that involve getting feedback, so it is important to get edits back quickly. If you know in advance that your project will involve lengthy committees of editing, make sure you add plenty of time to include their feedback.
If you don't have a script we can help you sculpt one. The golden number is 2 minutes in length. I produce many more animations for larger agencies, and they all stick to a 2 minute maximum. The script may or may not include visual directions.
From the script, I produce the first storyboard. It is usually quite loose, using just a black sharpie-like pen. I draw each scene based on the narrated text and any visual directions. This storyboard sketch will cover the overall scope of the project and help shape the script if it needs it.
You then provide feedback for another round of edits to the storyboard. Once the sketched storyboard is approved, I produce the final storyboard in the finished illustration or graphic style. This is the part of the project that takes the most time. Edits to the content or script, after the voice over and animation are produced, are considerably more costly to make than catching every potential edit in the storyboard phase. In my 30 years experience, catching the edits in the storyboard is always best. The storyboard is drawn in Adobe Illustrator.
Once the final storyboard is fully approved, then the voice over is recorded. I can do this myself for no additional cost, but I only have the one BBC reporter voice. I use my own voice over pros and www.voice123.com to audition scripts for free. Once the talent is selected, it usually costs $300 for a great narration of 2-5 minutes.
The narration sets the tone and pace for the animation.
Using the voice over narration as a the timing guide, and the final storyboard as the art to animate from, I then begin the process of animation in Adobe Animate or Adobe After Effects. This usually takes 2-3 days, after which I post the HD animated video to an unlisted Youtube link. For lip-synched character animation, I use Adobe Character Animator.
Once you see it, there are usually only a few timing edits and perhaps last minute edits to the final "Call to Action" scene with contact info and links. If there are further edits to the content or script, this would involve re-recording voice over and animation edits that are very time consuming. Output to video itself, takes up to two hours after an edit is made, as the whole video has to be re-rendered.
The final approved HD video file is Dropboxed to you.