When it comes to creating an animated marketing video, it isn’t always as simple as taking the client brief, whipping up an animated masterpiece and delivering it before putting our feet up with a comforting brew in hand. There are a number of steps that need to be taken to ensure not only that the work matches the client’s vision, but also that it meets our own high standards.

The process begins with the initial brief being written into a script that both matches the clients tone of voice, and covers all of the content’s most vital components and key messages. After it has been decided that the script has hit all the right notes and it’s signed off, it’s transformed into visual style frames to visualise some options to the client of what the final animation could look like. Once a style direction is chosen, it’s then intricately worked into a storyboard that shows each of the story beats from the script alongside the bespoke designed assets. After this comes the magical part… we transform all of this into an animated video that will grab your audience’s attention (for all the right reasons).

Here you can see one of the style frames we created for a project with Signify Digital. Style Frames are a process that is both thoroughly enjoyable and utterly challenging, as we transform projects from an early concept into a finished video marketing product. It is of course important to walk clients through the process from A to Z so that we can portray exactly what is going on and there are no surprises once things start to move on the screen.  However, when we explain this process to new clients there is one question that pops up more frequently than others – what is a style frame? What am I going to see?

Here is what we tell them…

What is A Style Frame?

The style frame is a key stage in the animation production process. It is the first piece of visual content that is created, taking written word and shaping it into an identity on the screen. Once the script has been written, we have a more vivid idea of what our client is expecting in terms of their vision and messaging. However, at this stage there are multiple different avenues that we could go down visually, so this visual direction needs to be fully agreed upon to ensure that the end product ticks all the right boxes. This is where the style frame comes in.

Once at this stage, we create a few different styles based on the client’s brief and the early scoping out process that has been done before production begins. These may vary in terms of colour palette, animation style, the audience for the marketing video or, in some circumstances, whether the video will be a 2D or 3D Animation, or maybe a mix of both! Here you can see an example of a second Style Frame we created for the Signify Digital project.

What the Style Frame does is create a clear impression of how the final product will look and ensure that everyone is on the same page and happy before proceeding with the next steps. This way everyone can look ahead to the final video with confidence at every stage.

It is important to bear in mind that this is essentially one of the final stages before we turn all the messaging into a full blown attention-grabbing animation. So, it’s important that the client and their team of decision makers submit any amends or comments to avoid an incredibly awkward scenario once the finished product is sent over, and ensure that the final video does exactly what it needs to, and more.

Some things you may consider having a closer look at include; the overall feel of the images and style, textures and brushstrokes used in the scene, the colour palette or the typography (if your video is using it). Even the smallest adjustment or tweak can turn a good video into a fantastic one. However, if such changes need to be made further down the line it has the potential to delay the process and is more difficult to rectify.

How do style frames help speed up the process?

The answer to this is relatively simple – it ensures that both we and our client are firmly on the same page before we delve too deeply into the project. Agreeing upon an aesthetic early on prevents there being any need for changes further down the line once more time has been dedicated to the project in question.

By keeping in regular contact with you and fully understanding the fundamental requirements and niche quirks of your project, our team becomes an extension of your own. The most important thing at this stage is to consider anything that you may want adjusting or things to bear in mind going into storyboarding. As flattered as we would be for a client to state that the style frame is perfect in every way, constructive comments will help your original vision come to life. Therefore getting the style frame just right not only improves the animated video quality but also makes for a slicker production process and having your shiny new video sent to you as soon as possible.

If you are looking to create a new animated marketing video or are still pondering over the intricacies of what a style frame is or what it provides, please email our wonderful team at wecanhelp@theanimationguys.com or call us on +44 (0) 207 2886 319.