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The 5 Stages of Design Process for Animators

ben marvazi 2020

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The design process for animators is like a thrilling adventure, full of twists and turns, with a big payout at the end. And just like any great adventure, it's made up of different stages that build on each other to create a memorable experience. So buckle up and get ready to join us on a journey through the five stages of the design process for animators! 

From the spark of inspiration to the final product, each stage is a crucial piece of the puzzle, taking the animator one step closer to creating a work of art that will have audiences on the edge of their seats. So let's set out on our adventure, and discover what it takes to bring an animated masterpiece to life!

The 5 Stages of Design Process: Getting Inspiration

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The first stage of the design process is getting inspiration. The importance of this step cannot be understated, as it can make or break your final product. Your job as an animator is to take inspiration from other sources and transform it into something new and exciting.

There are many ways to find inspiration, but the most important thing is not where you look for it but how well you absorb what you see. 

For example: if a client wants you to draw them a picture of their dog sitting on top of Mount Everest, you’re going to need more than just a single photo before you start. You’ll probably want some historical context and background information about dogs being able to climb mountains in general (or why this particular dog would want/be able to). 

This doesn't mean that every piece of visual material needs context - sometimes all we need is just one image - but getting into the habit of absorbing everything around us before starting our projects helps us create better results overall!

The 5 Stages of Design Process: Understanding The Problem

One of the 5 stages of design process: understanding the problem, man opens his laptop and then closes it

GIF by Pluralsight via GIPHY

The second stage of the 5 stages of design process is where the fun really starts to heat up! This is the stage where you get to flex your problem-solving muscles and determine what you're up against. 

It's like solving a mystery, but instead of a crime, you're uncovering the problem that needs to be tackled. This step is crucial because it helps you figure out what you're trying to achieve and why it's so important for you as an animator. It's also a great time to get everyone on the same page, so all the creative minds in your team can work together to bring the solution to life.

The 5 Stages of Design Process: Create a Prototype

a strange looking pink unicorn saying I'm a prototype

GIF by masoncarr2244 via Tenor

The third stage is to create a prototype of your design. A prototype is an example of your design that can be physical or digital. It allows you to test and refine your ideas before investing in production.

A physical representation could be something like making clay models or cardboard cutouts, while a digital representation might be using software like Maya or Cinema 4D (or even PowerPoint). The point is that this stage helps you see how the final product will work in real life - not just on paper!

The 5 Stages of Design Process: Refine Prototype

Another one of the 5 stages of design process is refining the prototype like this character marking on paper

GIF by Cartoon Hangover via GIPHY

The fourth stage of the design process is to refine your prototype. This step is where you use feedback from your target audience and adjust your design based on what they say. The goal here is to make sure that the prototype is effective and easy to use so that users can easily understand what they're supposed to do with it.

Make sure it's not too complicated: The more complicated something is, the less likely people are going to want to use it - and even if they do try out your product or service once or twice, chances are good that they'll give up after a while because of how difficult it was (or wasn't) for them at first glance. 

If possible, keep things simple while still maintaining effectiveness in terms of functionality and usability; this will keep users coming back again and again!

The 5 Stages of Design Process: Testing

a woman and a man sitting at a desk working on their laptops

GIF by Scaler via GIPHY

The last stage of the 5 stages of design process is all about testing. Once you've completed your design, it's time to test it with a small group of people. Generally, animators will use their target audience as their test subjects. This can be a mix of different types of people who have similar interests or demographics as the animator.

As the animator, it is important that you are not present during this process and let your work speak for itself! You may find yourself wanting to defend or explain why certain decisions were made and if that happens then stop yourself from doing so because this will only skew results in either direction (positive or negative).

Have a Good Design Process To Reach Your Goals

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Following the 5 stages of design process will help you achieve your goals more effectively. The five stages of the design process are: inspiration, understanding the problem, creating a prototype, refining the prototype, and testing with a target audience.

As an animator or designer, you may have come across many different problems in your work before. However, sometimes it can be easy to forget about some important aspects of a project which could make all of the difference when trying out different ideas for solving those problems! Use this guide as a way to make sure that doesn't happen again by making sure that every stage is covered before moving on to another one.

The 5 Stages of Design Process

character sticking colorful post it notes to the wall

GIF by Perrine Land via GIPHY

A design process is an important tool for animators to use when creating their work. It can help you solve problems more effectively and efficiently, but it also allows you to better understand what your audience wants from your animation. 

By following these five steps and taking the time needed at each stage, you can create a great piece of art that connects with people on an emotional level while also fulfilling its purpose in life: entertaining them!

For more information about the 5 stages of design process, as well as answers to any other questions you might have, be sure to follow our blogs, check out our free masterclass, and our Animation Business Accelerator Program, download a copy of our free marketing handbook, and check out our blog on “How to Start an Animation Studio”!

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