Introducing Scenable: A New Platform for Bringing Communities Online.
Over the past week, I made an animation introducing Scenable: a new platform for local communities online (i.e. my job). This was my first experience animating to narration, so I thought I'd post some tips as well as the video.
Brainstorming the script and initial storyboarding
First of all, it's almost essential to have a whiteboard around.
Start by mapping out your introduction, main points, and conclusion. Then add a transition sentence between each section. This sounds pretty basic, but it's very helpful to decide on a structure and stick to it. For what it's worth, here's a partial shot of our whiteboard:
Next, start to storyboard. Take each element you've mapped out and illustrate it. Spend very little time on your drawings, focus on content.
Write the script word for word, including pauses
You might be tempted to keep working on the visuals, but I recommend diving into the script first. Finalize the wording, but also add any cues for pauses or emphasis - these are very important in the animation process. After you have the script finalized, start on a more detailed storyboard. Here's mine:
Record the script and record it well.
A teacher once told me that in animation, sound is 75% of the viewer's experience. In other words, when you record your script, don't skimp on quality. Don't use your computer's built in mic; borrow or buy a real one and learn how to use it. Or hire someone. And spend some time on the editing. Take out obvious breathing sounds, add or remove pauses as needed, and adjust the volume wherever words are to heavily or lightly accented.