You may have heard the word animation design when you think about your favourite Pixar or Disney film, and you may be curious about what an animation designer does. Aside from turning creative ideas to life, a career in animation design can bring you closer to a fulfilling career. Let’s find out what animation design is and things you can learn more about to start a career in this field.

Here's What You Need To Know About Animation Design

What is Animation Design?

Animation design is the process of developing animated scenes and other visual effects for various multimedia, such as video games, movies, and digital assets like websites and apps. These effects and animations can be 2D or 3D, and they can be as simple as a loading icon to show that work is in progress or as elaborate as an animated film. 

The work of an animation designer, however, goes well beyond simple drawing and animation. Let’s find out what an animator designer does.

What does an Animation Designer Do?

Animation designers have a wide range of tasks that require a variety of skill sets. Although they make up an important part of the job, an animation designer is also in charge of other tasks besides drawing and animating. 

Here are some of what an animation designer does.

1. Drawing

Drawings serve as the building blocks for the actual animations used in multimedia, whether they are produced digitally from the start or started on paper before being scanned into a computer for animation. As the animation methods used for each are somewhat different, animation designers frequently focus on either 2D (flat) animations or 3D (CGI) visual imagery.

2D animation is the art of moving into a two-dimensional space. This includes backgrounds, creatures, FX, and characters. Although this method is occasionally referred to as “traditional animation,” modern 2D production has advanced from pencil and paper hand drawing to the use of digital techniques with programs like Toon Boom Harmony or Adobe After Effects.

2D animation is a popular and versatile medium that is regaining popularity. It is frequently used in TV shows, video games, movies, commercials, mobile apps, and websites. This short film from McDonald’s Singapore produced by SuperPixel uses 2D cel animation. In entertainment, some of the popular shows that use 2D animation are Rick and Morty and The Simpsons.

The technique of making three-dimensional moving images and arranging them in a digital environment is referred to as 3D animation. These objects were created using 3D animation-specific software. This software supports 3D animators to produce the appearance of motion necessary to give objects life. There are more and more applications for 3D animation as its popularity advances. It provides more fascinating graphics and examples, which is why many companies use it for their presentations.

2. Conceptualising and Brainstorming

As an animation designer, you’ll need to develop your creative skills because you’ll be required to participate in brainstorming sessions to conceptualise ideas. For most animation designers, this is frequently one of the best aspects of their jobs and one that is needed to hone to effectively bring creative ways to the project.

Animation designers not only contribute ideas but also produce quick sketches and mock-ups based on ideas created throughout the meetings. These frequently have a quick turnaround time and are pitched to clients or stakeholders. Animation designers need to develop their time management and prioritisation skills because they frequently work under tight schedules.

3. Storyboarding

Storyboarding, which involves visually outlining an animation sequence in a series of sketches, is a common task for animation designers. Directors or clients frequently provide them with screenplays, or even basic concepts, which they must interpret creatively to come up with specific ideas for animations.

4. Animating

After the initial drawing (or model, in the case of 3D animation), animation designers begin the animation process. This calls for drawing each animation frame for 2D projects and mapping it to a distinct key frame in the animation program. To make the animation flow smoothly, the first thing to do is to divide it into key poses (like taking a step) and create them before filling in the blank frames.

On the other hand, 3D animation needs computer manipulation of a whole “rigged” model. 3D rigging is an important part as it helps in creating an invisible bone structure that simulates the movement in animation. Rigging is not only intended for human models but even for objects that require movement in animation.

5. Editing and Compositing

As an animation designer, you might work as part of a big team with other animators, writers, editors, UX designers, and a director. But there are other occasions when you might find yourself doing a lot of different things. It’s typical for animation designers to assist in editing the finished animations in response to the director and client’s feedback.

An animation designer may also be responsible for the compositing process. Compositors design the final version of a sequence, frame, or shot.

Also read: Things You Need To Know About Animation Showreel

A Look at the Behind The Scenes of an Animation Production

Now that we know what an animation designer does, working with an animation production company might be the next thing to look at as an animation designer will most likely work with a production team. 

And as a business, you’ve probably heard about the advantages of getting an animated video for the results it can produce. Yes, animated films can help you communicate your brand’s message clearly and easily, even if your product or service is hard to understand at first look. 

Examples include video explainers and animated ads. With animation, the story isn’t confined by the bounds of reality, unlike a live-action film. Instead, you may use your imagination to find the best approach to attract and eventually, convert them into paying consumers. You may also look at this behind the scene in making an animation trailer from one of SuperPixel’s latest projects with Ranger Buddies.

The Animation Production Process

Here is a detailed process of animation production in case you want to include it in your next marketing campaign.

1. Researching

The process starts by learning about the company, brand, and products and services they offer. Clients will be asked about their brand’s values, identity, and target market in a brief given to them. Animation studio companies also inquire about the intended audience and tone of the video. 

2. Conceptualisation

This stage should answer what the brand wants to convey and or what its core message is. It is also the visual representation of an idea and how the basic idea for the script is developed. A simple and understandable script will initially be produced to let the core message of the campaign stand out.

3. Storyboard

The next step in the animation production process is preparing the storyboard.

It is also the visual representation of the script that was initially created. An animation studio will help you by illustrating the key-frames that will consist of the future video. Captions of the script will also be included for each scene that serves as a reference.

With the help of a storyboard, it creates a cohesive approach to prevent lapses and miscommunication between the animation studio team and the client. This will help the client realise what they have in mind and will give an idea of how a video will look later on in the animation stage.

4. Style Frames

This stage focuses on the videos’ style frames. This will illustrate the overall look of what will happen in the video. The style frames include art design of key elements such as the characters, colour palette, typography, product, and key frames of the video.

This will help the client to identify if it matches their brand identity and feels the look and vibe of the video. This should make the client feel that it represents their brand values.

5. Voice Over Narration

It is now the time when the script comes to life through voice-over narration. This can be the most exciting part of the animation stage as it allows the client to choose the perfect tone and voice-over actor that matches their brand. A professional voice-over actor can have a huge impact to deliver the script in a way that represents the client’s attitude.

6. Illustration and Animation 

Once the previous stages were all approved, the animation designers will now use their creative minds and hands to bring the illustrations to life. With the help of advanced software in animation, they bring movement to each character and other elements that appear on the screen.

7. Sound Effects

This step includes editing and synchronizing the voice-over recording, sound effects, and music to give the visual a complete look. The music and audio quality play an important role to make the animated video seem more appealing targeting the right audience. This is why this step is meticulously done to achieve the best result.

Also read: Animation Process: 7 Steps To Create Quality Content

Why is Animation Design Important Today?

Over the years, animation design is used to entertain through films. In today’s world, animation was adapted to promote business, increase brand awareness or deliver compelling messages to the public. Producing amazing animated short films for your business will be easier so long as you can come up with a compelling storyline and interesting characters. 

This is why more businesses are adapting animation design as part of their marketing campaign. Here are more reasons why animation design is important in today’s modern world.

1. Bringing out different emotions in audiences

You can effectively communicate any emotion through animation design. And as we all know, the power of a brand to bring out certain emotions and make the audience happy is its most valuable quality. With animation, you may express your wide variety of ideas, concepts, and imaginations in different scenarios and formats, such as marketing, advertising, business, and more.

2. Making audiences feel more connected

Animation is important because it allows us to tell stories and express emotions and ideas in a creative, simple way that both young children and adults can relate to. Animation has helped in building strong connections when writing and live-action films sometimes can’t. Anyone can use a drawing tablet today to share their thoughts with the world. Drawings can be funny or can give a sad or serious scenario in a light-hearted, less intimidating vibe making it more relatable to the audience.

3. Grabbing viewer’s imaginations and attention

Simply said, animation has been used to create a heart-warming storyline that grabs your people’s imagination. People may develop stereotypes through live-action films based on an actor’s portrayal or a character’s appearance in real life. However, the animated character feels like their own being. And since it can represent any normal person, audiences feel more curious about what the animation video is.

What’s Next for Animation Designers in Business Today

As more businesses now realise the potential of animation in promoting brands and services, the need for animation designers also grows. An animation production company in Singapore like SuperPixel is always on the lookout for talented and aspiring animation designers that can bring ideas into reality.

SuperPixel strives to be the best in the animation industry offering 2D and 3D animations that will suit the needs of your business. We work with animation designers that have an eye for creativity, and passion to bring out strong emotions through animations that help businesses achieve their growth and success.

Contact us now and our team of talented and creative designers could be what you’re looking for to turn your ideas into reality.