Animation series production – how long does it take to make one series?

Generally speaking, it depends on the animation style (2d animation or 3d animation), the level of details needed and the complexity of the story. So it can range from a few weeks to a few months to produce an simple animation series.

2D animations will be much faster than the 3d style. And if the scenes require more animation, more movements, and more props and characters in 3d-format animation, it by far could even take up to several years for a small studio to produce the animation series.

Animation series production – The traditional production stages

The standard animation production stages in traditional studios include 8 stages: Stage 1 – Script writing, Stage 2 – Concept art and Character Design, Stage 3 – Storyboard and Screenwriting, Stage 4 – Illustrations or Motion Design, Stage 5 – Animation and Stage 6 – Sound and other effect addition.

The overall goal of different stages is to produce animation series as carefully-planned scripts and storyboards.

Stage 1 – Script writing

Script is the heart and soul of the series production. Its main purpose is to outline a story, how the storytelling arouse a specific emotions for viewers/ audience. Basically, the script will play a large role in determining how well your animation story being received.

Stage 2 – Concept art and Character Design

Concept art will start to visualize the animation series before they are break into small scenes and be put into animation production stage. The creative team include animators, illustrators and art directors. They will be responsible for listing out stylistic and artistic choices for the animation series. And the next important thing is design characters’ looks for the series.

Stage 3 – Storyboard and Screenwriting

Once the script, concept art and character design have been sketched up and finalized for the animation series, the storyboards and screenwriting will be drawn up to as much detail as possible. This stage helps to outline the visual scene-to-scene of the animation series.

This stage will enable the production team to see how the overall storytelling goes, how the animation is structured, how the scenes has an impact to viewers’ emotion and whether the progression of the story is consistent with the plot, the script, the concept art. At this stage production team can see a skeleton of scene-to-scene.

Stage 4 – Illustrations or Motion Design

The next stage is illustrations (2d-format animation) or motion design (3D-format animation), when initial concept art sketches will be developed into further detail with color and full visual effect.

Stage 5 – Animation

This is the main part of the animation production process – the animation stage. At this point, the animation production studio will use earlier-created illustrations / motion design and storyboards to create animated scenes. The production studio will use animation software, specifically made for either 2d animation or 3d animation, to bring character designs and other models to life.

Stage 6 – Sound and other effect addition

The last stage is to add sound, music and other required effects to make the scene appear real and sets the right emotion as well as mood for the audience.

Animost – Vietnam 3D Animation Studio

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Reference Sources:

  1. Animation World Network: https://www.awn.com/
  2. Cartoon Brew – Technology: https://www.cartoonbrew.com/tech
  3. Befores & Afters – Visual effects and animation journalist: https://beforesandafters.com/
  4. Bloomberg News: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/
  5. Insider: https://www.insider.com/