A Process to Tell Stories

An animation project is a complex combination of different skills and expertises, such as:

  • Creative Direction
  • Scripting
  • Illustration
  • Animation
  • Voice-over
  • Sound design

The process behind an animation is huge and it requires those experts to work on several steps until we reach the final animation. At MOWE, we like to divide our process into 3 main steps:

Crafting Ideas

Building an Experience

The Final Touch

Crafting Ideas

In order to have ideas we need context and information. This step starts on the first discussions about a project and it’s the main reason why we want to know so much about our clients.

The more and the best we know, the more ideas we can bring to the table.

The transparency of a client and a good communication between teams also allow us to make sure that the message of their brand is aligned with the concepts, the narrative, and the visual direction we’ll be taking on the next steps.

Our initial process is dense. After we understand what our client needs, our team discusses several ideas and possibilities until we define one as the best solution and the best opportunity we have to communicate their message through a good story.

Since the story is so important to guarantee a high-quality and effective final animation, being in control of those initial phases allow us a guarantee the high-standard animations MOWE is known for.

Building a Concept

Concepts are built based on the goals, needs and fears of our clients. Our brainstorming sessions aim for the right spot between informing and engaging, in order for it to be effective with the audience.

Turning ideas into stories

A script is more than just a text. It’s where Creative Direction and Narrative join their forces towards your goal and it’s where we do our best to guarantee your success. Also, the script is what defines the tone and style for the whole illustration and animation.

We focus on building a story first as they are responsible for success. The final animation is just a good development of a great idea.

Bringing Shape to a Story

Storyboards are the evolution of a script. Here, ideas convert into shapes, elements and start to build personality.

The script scenes are transformed into a series of sketches and drawings that will represent the sequence of events that will happen through the story.

Since storyboards are simplified illustrations with very few colors – if any, other than black, white, and grey – they allow us to pre-visualize an infinite number of details about the story:

  • The environment
  • Objects in each scene
  • Camera positioning
  • Lighting effects
  • Visual Continuity
  • Character’s personality and style
  • And the list goes on and on…

Building the Experience

If we have a story and we know what we’ll be showcasing in this story, it’s time to get our hands dirty. This is where everything gets a form and comes to life.

Animatic

Animatic is a sequence of images that are displayed in a video format with audio. The audio can be a Voice-over, sound effects or even a background music.

We work with animatic in several steps of our production. Depending on the project, we can use the Animatic right after the storyboard, to either help a Voice-over Artist or their voice to help the animatic construction.

An animatic can be compared to the wireframe of a website. It’ll help to guide animators, illustrators, Voice-over Artists, Musicians and Sound Designers.

An animatic is vital to prevent any errors or further adjustments on scenes during the animation phase.

Voice-over

Voices give personality to characters and stories. We always make sure to talk and provide our Voice-over partners with great references. This way, we can direct them and build an identity that will match the concept built for the video.

We always work with experienced artists able to deliver high-quality recordings. Their age, gender, tone, and style are chosen depending on what we defined at the concept phase and how the story is built.

Style Frames

At this point, illustration has been happening in the background for a while. Defining a style and creating an identity takes time, so illustrations usually start after we get the script done and they evolve together with the rest of the project’s development.

This step is where illustration’s evolution reach its peak. Style frames are images that represent a specific frame of a specific scene. We use them to visualize how the final animation will look like.

The visuals here are based on the Storyboard. Here we define the final color, style and details of every element of the scene

Every element in our videos is exclusive and created by us. We know every brand is unique and we design our animations according to its uniqueness.

This is the last step before animation and the elements present on the style frames are then exported to be animated.

Character Rigging

Sometimes our stories demand a character. When building a character we do more than create a body, we create bones and muscles too. We begin the animation process by building the mechanism that will control and move our characters.

Character animation is very time-consuming and a well-built rigging can not only help creating amazing movements but also can save a ton of development time.

Animation

This is where magic happens. Through animation we can give life to everything we have imagined and created so far.

Animation takes time and is a detail-driven work. We love to make our animations visually rich and entertaining. Every single aspect of it is animated individually. That’s why every detail matters.

This is the longest phase of the project and where we put our full hearts in.

 The Final Touch

Music and Sound Design are other secrets to a great and engaging animation. Music sets the mood, can trigger emotions and even stick on our head becoming memorable. Sound effects are usually seen as little details, but they do matter. They are responsible for the immersion and contextualization of the viewer inside the story.

Sound is really important to engage the audience. We match our animations with a detailed Sound Design bringing, even more, life to our stories.

We think that sound is really important to engage the audience, so we match our animation with a well designed sound design to achieve the best result we can.
And that’s it. A huge process and a lot of work to create a good story. This is how we do animation the right way, always trying to follow a good process based on quality, value and engagement.

That’s why we like to explain it to our clients. We want them to feel secure as they are talking with professionals who value their work power and optimize it in each and every way they can.

Good relationships between Client and Designer through collaboration and trust results in great projects.

Storytelling & Animation

The best way to communicate is through a good story. At MOWE, we focus on creating engaging and unique experiences for brands.

The union of a great story with a great animation can transform a simple message into a visual memory, which is easier to remember and allow any brand to create stronger emotional bonds with their customers.

We don’t simply tell stories. We create experiences to trigger emotions and establish a deeper connection with the audience.

People don’t remember what you’ve said,
they remember how they felt after hearing your story.2

The Key to Success

It’s a huge process and a lot of work behind the creating of a good story. This is how we do animation the right way, always following a good process based on quality, value, and engagement.

Success in a project isn’t magic, but a recipe that takes time, knowledge, research and a huge amount of work.

Besides a well-defined process, the key is clear communication. We make sure we are aligned with our clients before jumping into developing stories. This approach reflects on the quality and the success of the project.