Switching to Animation? Jelly's Guide Will Teach You the Basics

Tips for stop motion, CGI and 2D

Given the current circumstances, a lot of agencies and clients are commissioning animated content for the first time. TV departments are seeing an increase in animated productions, and alongside this, print campaigns are also adding animation amongst their deliverables.

As a result, clients are now discovering that the various animation techniques and styles have individual technical processes and workflows, which can in turn affect budgets, schedules, WIP stages and client sign-off dates. 

To help you find your way through this landscape, we've put together a guide to animation styles, which gives an overview of the stages, workflows, processes and timelines of all the animation techniques that are commonly used in TV productions, plus a few of the more obscure ones.

The Jelly "Guide to Animation" takes an in-depth look at the different workflows of the three main techniques—stop motion, CGI and 2D—and is designed to give agencies some insight into what they can expect during an animation production. 

With the exception of a few slightly obscure techniques, most animation productions are variants of those three. No matter what the method or the look, all animation productions follow pretty much the same three initial stages, which are detailed at the beginning of the guide: design, story board and, most importantly, the animatic, which—unlike on a live-action production—is where almost all of the editing decisions are made. 

The animatic will usually look very different to the final visual look of the project, as there is no set rule for the format. Each director has their own favorite way of presenting the edit and timings of each of the shots, all of which must be accurate to the exact frame and then client approved, before actual animation can begin. The client will usually need some help to fully understand a) what they are viewing and b) the importance of signing off this stage as well as the consequence on both budget and schedule of any subsequent changes being made.

Once the animatic is signed off, things start to get a little interesting, and that's when the differences begin.

Throughout the guide, we share visual examples and animated clips to illustrate and compare what "work in progress" will look like at the various stages.

We also show examples to illustrate the different ways that each of the animation techniques can be used to communicate different meanings and emotions, with examples taken from the vast array of award-winning short films and advertising, from the past of animation right up to today.

The guide is intended as a presentation for agencies, and questions are invited throughout. Examples are embedded as links, so they can be seen during the presentation or later, as time permits. The presentation can therefore last as long or as short as the group has time for. Although approximately an hour for the main guide run-through is suggested, we can go on for two or three hours with some short films if you like. It is recommended for groups of four or more to get the most from the presentation.

The Jelly "Guide to Animation" techniques and workflows is now ready for presentation to individual or groups over Zoom.

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Sue Loughlin
Sue Loughlin is executive producer at Jelly London.

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