Silver Lining Animation Title

How to make an Animation – Our Toolkit

We’ve already shared the workflow we use to make our fantastical animation here, but what specialist tools do we use to make them?  Let’s start with a quick look at our most important hardware at the time of writing (September 2022)

Animation Hardware

 

Workstations – These are custom built, and they are updated frequently so they keep up with the demanding software tools we use. Graphical power and plenty of RAM is the name of the game here to keep things running smoothly. 

computer-monitor

Monitors – Our primary monitors are from Viewsonic, and leave the factory professionally colour calibrated, ensuring our art looks exactly how it should! A 2k 27 inch screen gives us a plenty of room for all our animation layers!

Drawing tablets – We use a currently use a mixture of Wacom Intuos Pro and Huion Kamvas 16 drawing tablets, both allowing us to create every new masterpiece with accuracy and confidence.

drawing-tablet

With hardware out the way, let’s dive into the software tools!

Animation Software

Photoshop

We use Adobe’s Photoshop to draw everything from storyboards to hand painted vistas! For storyboards and concept art, we predominantly use the brush tool for a natural and pen on paper feel, as well as the pen tool for creating artwork with clean edges and graphic styling. A typical set piece for ne of videos can contains well over 100 layers! 

screenshot-of-photoshop

After Effects

After Effects is at the core of our workflow, it’s where we create character rigs, add video effects and set everything to motion! 

screenshot of after effects

The graph editor lets us fine tune the the movement and see an overview of how things move. We use third party plugins such as DUIK, and our own custom javascript code to create awesome character rigs that can be brought to life by the animators!

Premiere Pro

We use premiere for all of our video editing needs, not only putting together the final rendered animation frames (at 25 frames a second, 60s of animation is at least 1500 seperate images), but also for making animatics, and timing sound effects and voice overs.

screenshot of premiere pro

Word Processing

This is definitely a less glamorous animation tool, but important nonetheless! We use a combination of MS word and Google Docs to create and share video scripts.  Things are a little different when we’re working on a film project which needs a full screenplay, in these cases we like to use Studio Binder, as it has lots of helpful formatting tools.

Project Management Tools

Throughout all of these steps, we keep things running smoothly by tracking progress, sharing todo lists and giving feedback through a combination of clickup and google sheets. To keep our lines of communication open, we have a discord server to keep the team up to date.

Do you need an animated video?

If you need an animated video, whether it’s for training, e-learning, or marketing, you can get in touch for a free consultation! We’ve mastered the tools so you don’t have to!

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