Canvas Immersive Studio
Discovery and Script Development
The first steps to any Explainer Animation is 'Discovery.' It's the stage where the I must first understand and grasp all the facets of the topic my client is wanting to convey. Who's the audience? Why them? Tell me more about the subject. Why is it important to communicate this? What is its use? On and on I'll drive at the questions until I have enough to start building a narrative. For me, I need to see all of the components at once: the key message and points, the goals, audience profile, etc. To do that for this project I chose to write it all out on a large newspaper paper. As the themes became clear it was a short hop from paper to refined script (plus a few revisions, of course).
As soon as the key message and script is approved, it's time to storyboard. Storyboarding is the process of developing the flow and content of imagery to accompany the spoken voiceover. I always generate these as rough sketches in mostly black and white to make certain the focus remains on conveying the message, not how something looks. In terms of brain-power, I find these sometimes to be just as difficult as pulling together the script. The images need to compliment or reinforce what the audience will hear. Storyboards also provide a visual reference to talk in some degree about the motion itself.
Generating the style and compositions is where things get buttoned down For this project, we knew we wanted simpler imagery to speed up the art and animation process without sacrificing what we needed to show. This style also made sense for the goals of the project, which was to get preliminary feedback from the potential audience. When creating the art, I like to start out by building 3-4 of the essential scene. (sometimes that's called styleframes). If those are approved, then I will go and build out the rest of the assets.