The following is an outline of the animation process from a clients perspective:
1.) Conveying your ideas and vision.
The first step in any 3D animation process is to convey your design, idea, development, invention or concept to the 3D animation company. You may choose to provide architectural drawings, plans, engineering plans, sketches, an architectural 3D model, an engineering 3D model, or a similar video or animation. The key is to clearly convey what you want the animation to showcase.
2.) 3D model preview.
The 3D animation company creates a few rendered images from the materials and brief you provided. These images are presented to you as either a series of stills or a storyboard to show you what the animation might entail. This step allows you to provide feedback prior to producing the animation.
Storyboarding is not always completely necessary. Depending on the complexity of the animation, your project may or may not require a storyboard. For example, architectural fly-throughs tend not to require storyboarding, since the path is usually linear from the perspective of a person walking from room to room. If you are envisioning a more dramatic cinematic experience, storyboarding can be very useful to ensure everyone’s visions are cohesive and to ensure the animation is directed effectively.
4.) Low-resolution drafts and refining.
The 3D animation company will send you low resolution drafts for feedback to refine the animation. The draft is rendered in low resolution to drastically cut down on the time it takes the computer to create the animation. Low resolution drafts will be provided to you that incorporate your feedback until you are satisfied with the animation.
5.) Full resolution final animation.
Once you have signed off on the low-resolution animation the full resolution final draft is computed. Generally, any changes needed at this point, other than issues that are made visible by the higher resolution draft, are considered a change of scope. Therefore, it is very important to make sure you are completely satisfied with the low resolution animation before signing off.