At work, I have been asked to create a series of animations for the Health Services to act as a value add for the Courseware I create. Won’t bore you with all the Blooms Taxonomy and all that, that can be another post. Sure, I can do that, as you all know, I used to eat, sleep, breathe animation. I thought, I should share my production pipeline for dealing with video and motion projects so that others may want to learn.
Preproduction is an extremely important phase that is often hastily dismissed or outright overlooked. Sometimes you will get a massive wave of inspiration and make you want to jump right into production to breathe life into your wonderful idea. Trust me, take a bit to just sit on it. When I first receive a project I do a quick sketch, draw, brain dump into a sketchbook to get all of my rough conceptual ideas out on paper. Paper is great because it just lends itself to the un-organized way ideas come out of your head. This dump will then lead to storyboarding and scripting.
Storyboards are a quick and easy way to plan the on screen action that the cameraman/animator will need to capture, whereas the script is the document that all of your vocal/acting talent will need to use. For me production logistics stands for all of the concerns that the Producer and Director will face, that the rest of the crew does not need to know. For my production pipeline I use a Shot List, Asset List and Cast/Crew List. Shot Lists make your life easier and help you systematically ensure that you get all the shots you need for your production. This piece of paper and together with your storyboard is one of the most important you will have. When making a shot list you do not need to be detailed, instead focus on the simple abstracts of the actions on screen as well as the actions the camera will take. Asset List is just an inventory of all the items you will need for that shot, this could be props or backgrounds, general items, all that stuff. And Cast/Crew List is self explanatory.
Then you go into the Production phase. This is your typical creation of content. These are all specialists in their own right and I do not want to write each persons job.
Then I go into Post production. This is my area of specialisation and have a few core Post Teams. There is the Editorial Team – They complete all of the editing to create the “Final Edit” which will be used for timing and context. Then the FX Team – They start when the final edit is complete, that’s the main area I have worked in as you all may know. So, all color corrections and special effects are applied to the footage. This is also where any Computer Graphics (CG) sequences are made to the final copy or “Final Grade” as we call it , which reflects the final visual timing and look of the film. An Audio Team – sometimes they can work in production and some are made in post. ADR and Sound Effects can be generated after editorial phases are completed since the VFX does not affect the timing of the film and within the Audio Team, the Music people – Generally they must wait for the “Final Grade” otherwise a change in the timing of the film can disrupt the composition. Anyways, sorry if this all bored the pants of you, as I said, this was just me sharing some stuff from work and hopefully will be useful for some people. But one of the biggest things to take away from this is simply the need for planning before you ever touch a camera. If anyone would like more information on any of these stages or substages, let me know and I may do a series of articles on this.