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May 13, 2022

The Dos and Don'ts of Video Animation

By Pat Somers 3 Minute Read



The world of marketing is becoming more and more competitive and innovative. Meaning that marketing tools like vlogs, memes, and video animations are taking over the internet. These not only help increase your reach but also helps better explain your business idea or product itself.

To get the perfect results from your video animation, there are some things an animator should do and some things that they shouldn’t do to make their work come to life and get the attention of the masses. So, here’s our list of dos and don’ts for video animation.

Do: Keep the Audience in mind.

Don’t: Forget the animation’s Purpose.

Your overall goal as an animator is to target your client’s intended audience and effectively get their attention. The problem is that you may not have the correct demographic for the intended audience right from the start. If that’s the case, the end results could be ineffective. Your solution? Research! Do some digging on your client’s audience to get an idea of the who, what, when, where, and why. This will help you decide on the key elements to emphasize in the animation to really hook their interest. Meaning, that the key to successfully fulfilling the purpose of the animation is to keep the audience in mind and know whom you’re targeting.

Do: Have a Written Storyboard.

Don’t: Get rid of Initial Rough Drafts.

Having different levels of storyboards, from rough comps to high-level comps is a great way to bring the “story” you’re trying to tell, to an understandable level for both production and end viewers. Some good questions to ask yourself when creating storyboards are: Does this make sense? Will it entertain? Will it educate? The storyline you’re creating the storyboard for should be able to answer “yes” to these questions and should be able to be visualized by yourself and the audience.

If a storyboard misses the mark, that’s okay! Just because it misses the mark, doesn’t mean the entire thing needs to be thrown out – instead, save it. You can refer back to these earlier drafts to see the progression of the story. In some cases, you may even revert back to original ideas or weave those existing ideas together into new concepts.

Do: Experiment with Styles.

Don’t: Use a Style that doesn’t Support the Storyline.

Experimenting with different styles will help to improve your flexibility as an animator. In addition, it’s fun to shake things up every once in a while so that storylines don’t always have a predictable ending. Sometimes our brains need predictability, but other times a surprising twist is necessary to catch the masses attention.

Each style of animation may suit a customer better or worse. An example of an ill-suited style of animation is using a comedic character for a serious-themed product or service. i.e. – A cartoon character in a funeral home commercial. On the contrary, another example can be having a serious tone set for a product or service that is actually light and fun. This is not to say things like this haven’t been done before. Sometimes, when you least expect it, an animator will throw a curveball by using a seemingly inappropriate style of animation to set it apart from the rest of the pack. Just beware that the same logic can get you into hot water if the content you produce is offensive. 

Do: Have a Plan.

Don’t: Bite off more than you can Chew.

There are a lot of things to take into account with animation projects. When it’s time for a new project to start up, you need to have the necessary pieces of information that will make the project successful. Getting that information requires having a conversation with your client about budget, quality, feasibility, timelines, etc. This will help you formulate a well-thought-out plan. Spoiler alert, the best pre-planned projects are usually the most successful.

However, making promises and attempting to do more work than you are able to, is a recipe for disaster. Perhaps you are already involved in too many other projects, or the client is asking for a style in which you don’t yet have the experience, or maybe the deadline they have in mind is too soon. Whatever the reason, it’s always best to set expectations with your client during that initial conversation. If you’re not a good fit for them – that’s okay! It’s better to be honest about your skills and availability than to bite off more than you can chew.

Producing a video animation can be a fun and rewarding experience but, as you can see, there are a lot of critical steps to producing a successful one. As with anything, planning is the key but it’s tough to do it alone. Reach out to us to learn more about enhancing your marketing mix with video animation.

Pat Somers
About the Author
Pat works in Video Production for Vendilli Digital Group. In his free time, he likes to play/record music, get out in nature, paint and sketch.

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