The Whiteboard Animation Process
You might be wondering, how is a Whiteboard Animation put together. I shall share with you my method. Other people might do this differently, but this way I find works best organically and doesn’t hinder its development.
The most important thing is finding out as much as possible about the intention of the Whiteboard Animation. After collecting as much data as possible, I work with the client on the script. I have found from experience that it really needs to be the client who creates the body of the script, with me suggesting ideas and tweaks to their creation.
Once the script is finished, I start on the process of doing a simple storyboard with pencil and rubber on blank pieces of A4 paper. If you’ve read The Whiteboard Animation Storyboard – creative flow vs structure, you’ll know the method I choose and why. The script is the leader in this case, and I write out the first line of script, leaving space for me to sketch above or below where the image will be drawn in the script. When I choose eventually to combine many images, it is slightly more complicated, often for the complicated sketch to take the centre of the page. To show my client the work, I’ll scan the storyboard and replace the handwritten words with typed text.
I’ll gradually build it up often showing my client as it develops, or describing it to them on the phone so that they can get an idea of it, open to their suggestions or changes. Once finished I scan all the pages, make the text change and send it to the client to look over. As I explain to them, the sketches are rough and simple. The reason for this is partly is a test for the client to be able to follow the image by the text. If you applied this to 3D modelling, the first process is called blocking (basically creating a blocky figure) before further work. It’s important that they assess whether the blocky figure is correct for the scene and avoid getting distracted by too much detail.
Once my client is happy I work on the voiceover. I normally provide my client with a couple of different versions for them to choose the one that they prefer (normally differences in sound post production – reverb, etc).
Once the voiceover has been chosen, the exact fee can be worked out according to the number of minutes that the recorded script takes.
The Graphics, Animation and HD Video
At this point I work with the vector graphics gradually creating the images and working with the video intermittently as I build the video. I try and keep the client up to date with images finished and parts of the video as it develops. Once the video is finished and sent to my client they let me know of what changes they want. Most of these changes I can do, however, if there is a piece of work that has been signed off, I’ll warn them that they’ll have to pay extra for the work. However, I try and be flexible as regards this.
Once my client is happy with the Whiteboard Animation, I upload it as an unlisted YouTube video. I send my client the link to see, show their colleagues and use to their preference.