When it comes to scientific and medical animation, only specific teams with the respective niche background can handle the task of producing one. The expertise in such type of media assets is an underlying factor for selecting a team to hire in the first place. Find below 5 key tips on Medical Animation Production by the Creative Team.Apart from that, however, your team of experts should also be skilled in some fundamental animated production aspects. In particular, it should be able to:
- Settle with the fundamental aspects of future animation (feature-length, overall visual style, & manner of delivery to the public);
- Conduct research on the particular topic of the feature & write a script based on the gathered info;
- Provide eye-grabbing visual design;
- Produce high-quality animation assets;
- Handle basic audio elements (music, voiceover, etc.).
Before getting to work, you and the team should compose a project plan highlighting certain checkpoints at which you are to review work in progress, as well as the assets, are done. Regular reviews are important for achieving precisely the desired results. They also let you discuss and leave notes on the stretches of work done, which is like adding major bricks of your opinion and desire to the whole foundation of your future video. A truly professional team should also be able to clarify every detail, so don’t be shy asking your hired specialists about every other unclear nuance.
1. Prep stage
The usual way to start things off with your scientific animation project is by forming and discussing a Creative Brief where your primary task reference, project goals, and desires are specified. All the initial nuances can be addressed either during a live conference or a call-up. You can also add a summarizing questionnaire at the end of your Brief. All the important clarifications that appear during your communication with the team or further workflow should also be added to the Brief and task reference.
Even if you don’t have strict deadlines for the publication of the end product, project deadlines should still be set for a clearly-structured, subsequent workflow. You can set deadlines for major chunks of the project – e.g., story, design, sound mixing, etc. A well-planned project schedule is required for regular discussions and clarifications, which may also include briefs with stakeholders. Make sure never to rush artists, however. Giving them some creative space may result in the best end product possible.
Your medical animation script is the foundation of your full-length animated feature. You need to see if all the major points of the video are delivered in a clear, thorough, and engaging way. The most widely-used method of composing a script is via an A/V table where the script itself and notes to it are specified in one column, and the matching parts of the scientific animation are described in the other. Every other expert scriptwriter in a creative team starts with a newly-crafted story, around which all other details and major informative points are centered. Basically, any storyline consists of three consistent parts:
- Introduction – the fundamental problem or the gist of the whole video is introduced;
- Story centerpiece – the solution to the problem is thoroughly described & the main flow of information is delivered;
- Ending – the solution is achieved & the eventual outcomes are described as an engaging finishing touch.
It’s great when you have a clear picture of the main hero of your feature – the one that comes across the problem and look for its solution in the video. It can be either a customer, a representative of the specific niche at which the feature is oriented, or any other related character. The main thing here is to make a proper impact – your target audience should be able to relate to the character in some way or recognize their authority if it’s about sharing valuable expertise.
As an option, you can separate the visual content and main flow if info, delivering the major storyline visually while the voiceover translates all the “raw” information or vice versa.
4. Visual design & animation
Scientific animation production teams may use various approaches to visual design and animation itself. Some of the most widely employed methods of keeping everything structured and clear to a client include:
- Storyboard – visual sketches or raw text descriptions and notes of actions or storyline twists are made up frame by frame. 4-6 such frames per page should be a good storyboard format;
- Moodboard – a compilation of visual assets (images, color palettes, etc.) that help form an overall visual direction of the feature;
- Character design – if it is decided that your medical animation feature should have the main hero of some sort, the design of this character is also one of the basic and primary aspects to handle;
- Style frame – single static frames which are as close to the final design as possible and indicate the major points of the feature are implemented;
- Animatic – this approach allows setting the timing of your future video by timing storyboard frames in accordance with a voiceover;
- Layout animatic – a visual layout where most essential design parts are implemented while the layout is yet to be animated;
- Sketch animation – a rough flow of animation that needs to be polished and completed for launching the final feature.
5. Client notes & clarifications
As a client, not only should you stay in touch and up to date as to all the specifics and nuances of the production. You should also provide your input and give notes on certain aspects of the creative team’s work to expect exactly the results you have in mind. There are several efficient ways you can specify corrections:
- Assign a responsible person. It’s good to have a manager who would help you communicate your notes and ideas to a whole team of medical animation creators. Delivering all such important info all by yourself may create problems in efficiently getting certain details across to particular members of the team, as there are at least a couple of them.
- Give both soft & hard notes. When it comes to scientific animation, most notes and corrections you will be providing will be of essential importance. However, it’s a good practice to alternate between soft notes – a “accept it or leave it” kind of corrections – and hard notes – points that should be strictly taken into account. Thus, you can go soft when you wish to set the general direction for the creative team performance and go hard when you know for sure that a specific correction must be made.
- Highlight ALL of your ideas. No matter which aspect we are talking about – a general message or the visual style of the feature – never hold back any thoughts you have. You are the one who is most knowledgeable about the message your feature needs to deliver. As for the visual part, keep in mind that you are working with experienced creative specialists who, nonetheless, may not be thoroughly familiar with your particular TA or corporate style – that’s where none of the ideas should be kept back as well.
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