How To Write a Kick Ass Animation Brief

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Writing an animation brief is such an important driver as to what makes a great and effective video. But where do you even start?

Clients and agencies are often well versed in writing project briefs, but something as subjective as an animation can be hard to set out into a prescriptive list of wants, needs and parameters. This article will detail the essentials of a animation brief, to help you include all the important information and communicate this to your chosen production company. This can save time and costs further down the line, as well as help get as close as possible to the dream vision within your head.

There are probably questions you know the answer to, but haven’t asked yourself. See below for a checklist of points to consider.


What is the message?

The most important thing to consider is the message you want to get across, or the story you are trying to tell. You might have grand images in your head of exactly how you want it to look, or super cool ideas you’ve seen in a recent game trailer, but if your video isn’t communicating, it isn’t doing its job. Quite often we have clients asking us to create one video that tells everybody everything. Cramming all that information in will never be as effective as an animation which focuses on one key message to a clearly targeting audience and kills it. We always come back to this great video – Take and Tell. It’s so simple, yet  memorable and effective, and will have you singing it all day.



What would success look like for this campaign?

Don’t just think this means “go viral”; what does this video actually need to do for its viewers and for you? Setting a metric you will measure once released before you even brief the project is a great idea. It doesn’t matter if it changes throughout the project, but it’s good to have an idea in mind of what your target is. This could be views, hits to the website, sales or simply for it become a helpful tool when talking to leads and or clients to further their understanding.


How should it look and feel?

References are a really key part of a brief – finding styles which you’d like to emulate can really help us glean what you can see in your mind. Find as many as you can, and be as specific as you need. “I like the illustration style used in this“. “I like how the animation is cut to the music in the first ten seconds“. All of this helps. If you don’t know where to look, try having a search through Vimeo or 3D Total Galleries. As well as visual style – what mood are you after, and how do you want the audience to feel? We pick apart wording used in briefs, so use colourful language that gets the tone across.

3d total animation brief


What are your key dates?

Another crucial factor – and not just when you need to receive the final video by but also when you are ready to kick off. Do you have other assets that need to be created or decisions to make before we can start? Also here consider the feedback process which will form the schedule during the process. The more people who need to input and sign off, the more time we will need to ensure that everyone is happy. We find Gantt charts can be really helpful when scheduling the project.


Who are the decision makers?

As the person commissioning the animation, you may not be the only person signing it off. Often there are several stakeholders involved who want to ensure the branding and messaging of the video are correct. This is great, but make sure you allow time in the schedule to allow for sign off from several people.


What are your deliverables?

Do you have specific delivery requirements? Consider file types / resolutions / languages / cut downs and any other possibilities for your delivery needs. If you need videos going out over Social Media we can provide formats optimised for each platform. Clearly state everything you need to be delivered.


What is your budget?

Quite often an animation studio can be flexible to work within your budgets, offering one message told in different ways to suit different budgets. Specifying this early on helps give the company an idea of the scope you are looking at. If your budget is quite open, studios will likely provide a series of costing options – maybe three different scopes at varying price points for you to consider. If budget is still something you are lacking, take a look at this guide to funding options.


So there you go, some tips on nailing your animation brief . Brief or not, we are on hand ready to chat through any ideas you have and we provide all our quotes for free! Get in touch to kickstart your project.