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3D Animation Process

Step 1.

Animation Storyboards

Our storyboards describe the action of every scene, showing the design and action of the characters and elements. We usually draw these out in pencil and ultimately these will be the guideline for the animators.

Step 2

Character Design

We always begin this process in pencil. Pencil offers flexibility and freedom that you just can’t get if you jump
to the computer right away. These designs will show different ideas for a character’s look. Once the client
selects a design that they like, then we’ll develop a more finished drawing in color. We’ll even show the
character from a few different angles.

Step 3

Character Modeling/Sculpting

Once the character has been selected and approved, we’ll begin building a 3D mesh of the character. The more
complicated the character, the more complicated the mesh.

Step 4

Character Rigging

Rigging is the process that prepares a character’s 3D mesh for animation. You might think of it as putting bones into the character that can be re-positioned to create almost any pose!

PLEASE NOTE: Once a character is rigged, a client may no longer request changes to the character design.

Step 5


This is a full-length video, but is very simplified and usually presented in black and white. The goal of this step is for the client to see the video's structure.

Step 7

Character Motion Capture

If a client chooses to use motion capture, the animation process can be greatly decreased, and the character's movements will look much more realistic and natural.

Step 6

Camera & Character Animation

The character and camera are now animated. The camera moves around creating a cinematic feeling, and the character is moved from one pose to another creating action in the video.

Step 8

Environment & Assets Design

As with other aspects of the design, the environment design begins in pencil before moving to 3D modeling, texturing, and shading. Texturing and shading are what give color to the mesh surfaces making them look like certain materials such as wood or stone.

Step 9

Environment Real-Time Lighting

In a real studio, we need to set up lights, and it’s the same in a virtual environment! A lighting expert will go through the animation and place lights that will cast shadows and give your video the perfect mood and atmosphere.

Step 10


This may include some added color correction or special effects. Also, if your animation is combined with live action footage, that will be added in at this stage.

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