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How to Turn Concept Animation Into Reality

ben marvazi 2020

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"Concept animation is the playground where ideas take flight, enabling artists to visualize and iterate, ultimately shaping the future of animated storytelling."

Emily Thompson

Animation, a fascinating blend of art and technology, is a realm where creativity meets action. At the heart of this dynamic field is concept animation, which is the initial step in the animation process and sets the stage for everything that follows. So, how do you go about turning your concept animation into a tangible piece of art? This comprehensive guide is here to help.

Cover GIF by Walt Disney Animation Studios via GIPHY

Introduction to Concept Animation: The Birth of an Idea

light bulb with electricity going through it and lighting the bulb up with a warm yellow glow

GIF by Ampersand Advisory via GIPHY

Concept animation is the process of creating and designing the initial idea or concept for your animated project. 

This includes character design, environmental design, and the storyboard. It's like the blueprint of a building – a master plan that outlines every detail of the proposed animation, from the physical appearance of characters to their movements, emotions, and the world they inhabit.

But this concept is merely a dream unless it’s turned into a full-fledged animation. The journey from ideation to creation can seem daunting. It requires a deep understanding of the tools and techniques of the industry and a relentless commitment to your artistic vision. 

Whether you're just starting out or you're an animator struggling to get your project off the ground, we've got you covered.

Understanding the Importance of Concept Animation: Your Canvas to Creativity

person with shapes and colors coming out of their head as creative thinking for concept animation

GIF by InnovatorsBox via GIPHY

The importance of concept animation cannot be overstated. It’s the backbone of your animation project, laying the groundwork for the visual style, tone, and narrative structure. The concept is where you define your characters, their personalities, how they interact with their environment, and the story that unfolds around them.

But the journey from concept animation to the final product is not without its hurdles. Many budding animators find themselves at a standstill during this phase. They grapple with obstacles such as lack of knowledge, lack of resources, uncertainty, fear of failure, and even procrastination. That's where we, at the Business of Animation, come in.

Concept Animation: Diving Deeper into the Process

Embarking on the journey of transforming your concept animation into a full-fledged animation entails a deep dive into the process, understanding each step, and knowing how to navigate from one phase to another. This process is intricate, requiring careful planning and execution.

1. Initial Sketches: The Starting Point

boy lying down moving his feet in the air and drawing a dinosaur on a piece of paper with his pencil and his tongue sticking out

GIF by Corey Egbert via GIPHY

Turning concept animation into reality starts with initial sketches. This is where you visualize your concept on paper, drawing out characters, environments, and key scenes. This stage may involve numerous iterations and revisions as you fine-tune the visual representation of your concept.

2. Storyboarding: Visualizing the Narrative

storyboards of an animation concept to be turned into reality

GIF by Plot Devices™️ via GIPHY

Once the sketches are finalized, the next step is storyboarding. This process involves creating a series of drawings that depict the sequence of events in your animation. It's like a comic strip version of your animation, where each box represents a scene or shot. The storyboard helps you map out the narrative flow and provides a visual guide for the animation process.

3. Character Design: Breathing Life into Characters

a characters face morphing into different shapes with different facial features

GIF by Salvador Padilla via GIPHY

Character design is a critical aspect of the concept animation process. This step involves detailing the physical attributes of your characters, their costumes, expressions, and more. 

It's not just about how the characters look, but also about how they move, behave, and interact with the environment and other characters. It's about creating believable, engaging characters that audiences can connect with.

4. Environment Design: Building the World

a brunch of flowers blooming with the sun in the background and a bee lands on each one and then flies away

GIF by Studio AKA via GIPHY

Every animation needs a world where the story unfolds. Environment design involves creating the settings and backgrounds for your animation. From cityscapes to forests, outer space, or a fantasy land, your environment needs to be detailed and visually appealing, setting the right mood and atmosphere for the story.

The Role of Technology in Turning Concept Animation into Reality

Technology plays a crucial role in the transition from concept animation to the final product. Various software tools and platforms are available to animators, offering different features and capabilities that cater to different animation styles and techniques.

1. Choosing the Right Software

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GIF by Salesforce via GIPHY

Software selection depends on your animation style, budget, and skill level. Some popular choices include Adobe Animate, Maya, Blender, and Cinema 4D. These platforms offer a range of features for 2D and 3D animation, motion graphics, character rigging, texture mapping, and more.

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2. Learning the Ropes

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GIF by Learning the Ropes via GIPHY

While these tools can be complex, investing time in learning how to use them can significantly improve your animation process. Many online resources, tutorials, and courses are available to help you master these tools. Our Animation Business Accelerator program also offers on-demand video lessons on using these tools effectively.

The Journey from Concept Animation to Reality: Patience and Perseverance

a clock ticking around and around and the hour hand stays still on 12 with the text saying "be patient"

GIF by Nick via GIPHY

Turning concept animation into reality is a creative journey that requires patience and perseverance. There will be obstacles and challenges along the way, but with the right mindset, resources, and support, you can navigate through these challenges and bring your animation to life.

Your concept animation is the spark that ignites the creative process, and with each step, you take towards transforming it into a tangible animation, you are adding fuel to this creative fire. So keep going, keep creating, and remember that every challenge is an opportunity for growth and learning.

In the end, the journey from concept animation to reality is not just about creating an animation; it's about realizing your creative vision, telling your story, and leaving your mark in the exciting world of animation.

The Power and Potential of Concept Animation

girl with short black hair painting a model of herself and dipping her paint brush in a pot of ink

GIF by DaieneCliquetARTES via Tenor

Concept animation is much more than just an early stage in the animation process; it's the heart and soul of your project. It's where your ideas take shape, setting the tone and style for your animation. Understanding its importance and leveraging the right resources to help you transition from concept to reality is crucial for success in the animation industry.

Whether you're a seasoned animator or a newbie, transforming your concept animation into a compelling animated project is a journey filled with challenges and triumphs. It's a journey that demands creativity, commitment, and courage.

Don't let obstacles hinder your animation dreams. Take the first step towards a successful animation career by joining our Animation Business Accelerator program. To learn more about starting your own animation studio, do check out our blog post on "How to Start an Animation Studio"!

Remember, every great animation started with a concept. So embrace your concept of animation and let it be the foundation for your successful animation journey. Turn your animation dreams into reality. Because the world is waiting to see your stories come to life.

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