At Mile 80 we design and create a lot of 3d and 2d animation and design. While animation works great as an alternative to live action for any story, it excels in two main situations:
- It’s really difficult to capture the essence of the story on camera. Maybe you need a war scene, but we can’t find a place to launch our helicopters in front of the camera. Or maybe we need to express a globally distributed company, but you can’t fly around the world in time
- You know EXACTLY how to tell your story on camera, but you can’t afford it…yet. This time you found the helicopters for the war scene, but they’re too expensive. And - the private jet to fly all around the world just isn’t quite budget friendly.
These days, when we think brand storytelling and animation, we often think of the 'explainer'. This is the low budget 2D flat animation that nearly every startup does before they have a big enough budget to tell their story the way they’d like to. However, Apple is the most prolific company in size and scale of marketing and virtually all of their launch videos feature sexy 3D animation of their new product line.
Whether animation is a budget or creative decision, we never settle for anything but the best. And with that - here are the steps that a traditional animation project takes.
1. Introductory scope call
During this call we’ll meet each other, learn about the project, and aim to scope out budget and timeline. While we do still bid for projects, we find it’s best to offer solutions based on the budget available. If you’re unsure, we can offer ranges on the call based on our perception of the scope and then write up a bid. However, the benefit of offering the budget available is that we can back into the best way to service your storytelling needs. 2D and 3D animation have different timing and cost implications.
If you are looking for a bid - we offer those within 24 hours. If the bid is agreed upon we can send an SOW and sign any documentation you need to kick off the project.
3. Concept and script
Once the contract’s signed and everyone is on the same page about schedule and cost, we move into concept and script. It should be noted that this is the most common step in the process to be removed. That is because many clients come with concepts or even scripts already developed. The amount of concept and story work that our team needs to do has a direct impact on cost and scheduling, so make sure this is clearly stated during the introductory call.
Assuming we are crafting the concept and script, this is generally a two week process. We usually offer 3 concepts and then 2 rounds of notes on a script once the concept is chosen.
After the script is cleared, we move into a storyboard phase. This will include sketched images of all of our scenes. For both 2D and 3D animation there are generally 1-2 rounds of notes prior to moving into the art creation phase.
5. Art Creation
Once the storyboard is cleared, we move into the phase of the project where we create the art assets. Whether these are 2D or 3D assets, the art will be created at the highest fidelity possible, and with the most flexibility so that we can alter them easily during the animation phase.
This is where your project comes to life. Everything moves. Transitions take us from scene to scene, and the vision we set forth early on starts to reveal itself. This phase is generally 2-4 weeks for 60-90 second animations and traditionally includes 2 rounds of notes plus a final delivery.
Below you can check out select reels for both 2D and 3D animation
If you have any questions about how animation can help your brand tell its story, don’t hesitate to reach out!