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P R O C E S S

If a project is a journey from point A to point B, our process is a map and a set of tools for navigating the landscape. It allows everyone involved to know exactly where they are every step of the journey and it provides everyone involved a set of reliable tools for dealing with obstacles. We know no one wants to get stuck in the wilderness with an artist...

W H Y   D O E S   P R O C E S S   M A T T E R ?

There are a lot of talented artists out there, but when you're deciding who to trust with your money and your business, artistic talent only counts for so much. For most customers, it’s equally important to have confidence that the quality of work promised will be delivered on time and on budget, with clear and easy communication from beginning to end. This is why in order to make sure all projects run smoothly and all customers stay happy, we have a well-defined process for delivering projects from start to completion. Our process allows us to repeatedly and reliably deliver the high-quality work our customers expect. 

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T H E   M A P

 

While no two projects are identical, most 3D animation projects follow a similar path. Projects move forward in an iterative fashion, which in simple terms means that things start out rough and over time get more and more refined until, in the end, we have a finely polished piece of work everyone can be proud of. The stages of this journey fit into three main categories: pre-production, production, and post-production. Not every project will involve every stage, but the general map looks something like this:

* H O V E R   O V E R   A   S T A G E   F O R   M O R E   I N F O R M A T I O N

P R O D U C T I O N

P O S T - P R O D U C T I O N

R O U G H   C U T

2 D   V F X

C O M P O S I T I N G

C O L O R   C O R R E C T I O N

F I N A L   C U T

D E B R I E F

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  R & D

M O D E L I N G

T E X T U R I N G

R I G G I N G

A N I M A T I O N

L I G H T I N G

V F X

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R E N D E R I N G

I D E A T I O N

D I S C O V E R Y

T R E A T M E N T

S T O R Y B O A R D

P R E V I S

D E S I G N

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P R E - P R O D U C T I O N

For more complex projects we begin with the research and development that will make accomplishing more technically difficult shots possible. We develop the tools necessary for implementing VFX or simulations like hair & weather. If you need a post-apocalyptic monster to look like his artificial hair is blowing in the wind we look for references.

trumphair2.gif

This is just like the modeling Kendall Jenner does, except instead of getting our picture taken in expensive clothing we turn all the elements of your project into 3D geometry. Essentially we digitally sculpt all the project assets. If you want to take pictures of us for money though get in touch and we can probably work something out.

modell_1.gif

We add materials and surface properties to your models. Textures play a huge role in setting the overall look of the project. They can be simple and stylized or complex and realistic. Proper textures can be the difference between looking like sh!t and looking like a million bucks.

poopgold.gif

We add a digital skeleton to your models and tell them how to bend. If modeling is where we create digital sculptures, rigging is where we turn them into moveable digital puppets.

rig.gif

We make everything move. This can involve manually moving models, utilizing dynamic simulations, or even taking advantage of our in-studio motion capture equipment. 

animation.gif

We light the scenes just like we would on a physical film set. Light is an essential component in setting the tone and mood that was decided on in preproduction. Small changes in lighting can make a night & day difference.

let.gif

Effects and elements like fire, fluids, and hair that can’t be modeled and animated with traditional methods are added. This is where time spent in R&D pays off.

vfxx.gif

After all the hard work we finally get to hit the render button and export the digital video files. More often than not we export several different layers that we will later combine to create the final product. Depending on the scope of the project rendering can take hours, days, or even weeks, so we press enter and do our render dance because the end is near.

render.gif

We learn about your project, your brand, your target audience, your competition, and your underlying needs.  The key here is asking the right questions and listening deeply. Sometimes our expertise even allows us to identify needs that you didn’t know you had.

discovery.gif

With our proprietary technology, we translate your needs into inspired ideas. All the mediocre ideas get tossed aside and we only present the ones that are good enough to melt your face. We recommend wearing sufficiently strong sunscreen.

GoldReveal.gif

Once we have settled on an idea we flesh out the concept and direction in a treatment that’s clear and concise, but emotive and engaging enough to paint a picture [don’t worry, we include actual pictures as well]. This is where you start to get excited because you begin to visualize the final product.

treatment.gif

With rough 2D drawings we create a visual script that shows an early shot breakdown, with composition, characters, scenes, and all the other elements crudely represented. It might look like a comic book drawn by a child on a placemat, but remember this is just the beginning.

storyb.gif

We create a crude 3D animation called a previs [previsualization]. With no texturing or major modeling the emphasis here is on timing and composition. This is what some studios will pass off as a finished project, but try to see past the lack of refinement because we’re still in preproduction.

LBE2.gif

We finalize the look of the characters and the environment, which usually involves creating 2D illustrations that will be used as a blueprint for the 3D production. If you want a character to look like a mix of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Queen Elizabeth this is where we try to make that happen, you weirdo.

design.gif

Now that we have the raw materials we edit together everything into a sequence that begins to resemble the finished product.

fight.gif

We add 2D design elements like titles and callouts as well as visual effects like camera shake and lens flare that are easily achieved without 3D.

jj2.gif

We take all the different rendered layers and stack them on top of each other, digitally blending them to create a perfectly balanced final mix. This is not to be confused with composting, which we also do regularly.

composit.gif

We make any necessary changes to the overall color mix of your project, ensuring perfect continuity and tone. If you decide at the last minute that the project needs to be in high contrast black & white or look like it takes place inside the matrix this is where we make that happen.

neo.gif

After all the hard work we finally render the finished product. Because we have followed our tried and true process, by the time we reach the end we know the final cut will be a piece of high-quality work that everyone involved will be happy with.

perfection.gif

Instead of just running with your money, we take a moment to painlessly collect any feedback you might have on our performance. Because 90% of clients return for other projects, we want to know what worked well and what could work better the next time through. If you say it was "flawless" though we will understand.

rickroll.gif

T H E   T O O L   O F   A L L   T O O L S :

C O M M U N I C A T I O N

Ninety-nine out of 100 times, the issues that arise on a project stem from a lack of proper communication.  This is why communication plays such an important role in our process. We provide a clear picture of the project timeline and stages so that there are no surprises. We identify clear points on the timeline where deliverables and feedback are due. We also provide an easy and ready-to-use system for tracking and consolidating feedback so that all of our clients’ wishes are heard and dealt with in a way that leaves no room for surprises.

P U T   I T   T O   W O R K   F O R   Y O U 

 

Now that you understand the broad strokes of our process, get in touch with us today and let us work to bring your project to life. Whether you need a basic product animation or a full-length character-based  music video, we'll use our scalable process to deliver a high-quality piece of work.  Schedule a call with our studio manager or write us a short message tell and we'll take it from there.

*V I E W   O N   D E S K T O P   F O R 

O P T I M I Z E D  I N T E R A C T I V E   M A P

CHART2.png

T H E   S T A G E S

D I S C O V E R Y

We learn about your project, your brand, your target audience, your competition, and your underlying needs.  The key here is asking the right questions and listening deeply. Sometimes our expertise even allows us to identify needs that you didn’t know you had.

discovery.gif

I D E A T I O N

With our proprietary technology, we translate your needs into inspired ideas. All the mediocre ideas get tossed aside and we only present the ones that are good enough to melt your face. We recommend wearing sufficiently strong sunscreen.

GoldReveal.gif

T R E A T M E N T

Once we have settled on an idea we flesh out the concept and direction in a treatment that’s clear and concise, but emotive and engaging enough to paint a picture [don’t worry, we include actual pictures as well]. This is where you start to get excited because you begin to visualize the final product.

treatment.gif

S T O R Y B O A R D

With rough 2D drawings we create a visual script that shows an early shot breakdown, with composition, characters, scenes, and all the other elements crudely represented. It might look like a comic book drawn by a child on a placemat, but remember this is just the beginning.

storyb.gif

P R E V I S

We create a crude 3D animation called a previs [previsualization]. With no texturing or major modeling the emphasis here is on timing and composition. This is what some studios will pass off as a finished project, but try to see past the lack of refinement because we’re still in preproduction.

LBE2.gif

D E S I G N

We finalize the look of the characters and the environment, which usually involves creating 2D illustrations that will be used as a blueprint for the 3D production. If you want a character to look like a mix of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Queen Elizabeth this is where we try to make that happen, you weirdo.

design.gif

  R & D

For more complex projects we begin with the research and development that will make accomplishing more technically difficult shots possible. We develop the tools necessary for implementing VFX or simulations like hair & weather. If you need a post-apocalyptic monster to look like his artificial hair is blowing in the wind we look for references.

trumphair2.gif

M O D E L I N G

This is just like the modeling Kendall Jenner does, except instead of getting our picture taken in expensive clothing we turn all the elements of your project into 3D geometry. Essentially we digitally sculpt all the project assets. If you want to take pictures of us for money though get in touch and we can probably work something out.

modell_1.gif

We add materials and surface properties to your models. Textures play a huge role in setting the overall look of the project. They can be simple and stylized or complex and realistic. Proper textures can be the difference between looking like sh!t and looking like a million bucks.

poopgold.gif

T E X T U R I N G

R I G G I N G

We add a digital skeleton to your models and tell them how to bend. If modeling is where we create digital sculptures, rigging is where we turn them into moveable digital puppets.

rig.gif

A N I M A T I O N

We make everything move. This can involve manually moving models, utilizing dynamic simulations, or even taking advantage of our in-studio motion capture equipment. 

animation.gif

L I G H T I N G

We light the scenes just like we would on a physical film set. Light is an essential component in setting the tone and mood that was decided on in preproduction. Small changes in lighting can make a night & day difference.

let.gif

V F X

Effects and elements like fire, fluids, and hair that can’t be modeled and animated with traditional methods are added. This is where time spent in R&D pays off.

vfxx.gif

R E N D E R I N G

After all the hard work we finally get to hit the render button and export the digital video files. More often than not we export several different layers that we will later combine to create the final product. Depending on the scope of the project rendering can take hours, days, or even weeks, so we press enter and do our render dance because the end is near.

render.gif

R O U G H   C U T

Now that we have the raw materials we edit together everything into a sequence that begins to resemble the finished product.

fight.gif

2 D   V F X

We add 2D design elements like titles and callouts as well as visual effects like camera shake and lens flare that are easily achieved without 3D.

jj2.gif

C O M P O S I T I N G

We take all the different rendered layers and stack them on top of each other, digitally blending them to create a perfectly balanced final mix. This is not to be confused with composting, which we also do regularly.

composit.gif

C O L O R   C O R R E C T I O N

We make any necessary changes to the overall color mix of your project, ensuring perfect continuity and tone. If you decide at the last minute that the project needs to be in high contrast black & white or look like it takes place inside the matrix this is where we make that happen.

neo.gif

F I N A L   C U T

After all the hard work we finally render the finished product. Because we have followed our tried and true process, by the time we reach the end we know the final cut will be a piece of high-quality work that everyone involved will be happy with.

perfection.gif

D E B R I E F

Instead of just running with your money, we take a moment to painlessly collect any feedback you might have on our performance. Because 90% of clients return for other projects, we want to know what worked well and what could work better the next time through. If you say it was "flawless" though we will understand.

rickroll.gif