How to Create an Effective Animation Brief

One thing all successful animation projects have in common is a carefully considered animation brief.

What is an animation brief and why do I need one?

A carefully written animated video brief provides a structured way of communicating all the important information about your animated video to ensure your project deliverables are exactly as you envisioned. It includes the purpose, objectives, deliverables, timelines, style references, and any other information that will help communicate your ideas and requirements to your video production company. This helps to ensure everyone is on the same page before any design work starts. An animation brief is the most effective way to achieve a successful outcome and can be provided to your video production company, or can be created in collaboration with them.

What do I need to include in my animation brief?

The more detailed you can be, and the more information you can add, the better. Below are the key elements of a brief that we will discuss in more detail. We’ll also provide you with an animation brief template to kick-start your next animated video project!

Key elements to include in your animation brief:

  • Overview – the all-important basics
  • Brand – key brand guidelines and assets to abide by
  • Objectives & target audience
  • Style / tone references

1. Overview

  • Purpose
    Describe the purpose of the project – consider what the vision for the project is and what problem the project solves.
  • Project deliverables
    What are the specific outputs you require? E.g. 1 x 30-second video to be used on YouTube (16:9) and Instagram (9:16).
  • Voice over
    Are you using a voice over artist or do you need help sourcing one?
  • Storyboard & script
    If you have a storyboard and script, include it here. If you want input from the animation team or you need to create one with them, let them know here.
  • Illustration/design files
    If you are supplying design/illustration files, what format will they be in? (e.g. PSD, AI, etc) and will they be layered and ready for animation?
  • What dates do you need your project to follow, including the completion date?

2. Brand

  • Brand assets
    Send your animation company any brand assets that will be needed within the video output, including your brand colours.
  • Brand personality
    What brand personality traits should your animation embody? What is the brand tone of voice (TOV) that should be followed? It is worth sharing your entire brand guidelines if you can.

3. Objectives & Target Audience

  • Key messages
    What do you want your animation to communicate? Is there a specific message you want to get across?
  • Key emotive takeaways
    After watching the animation, what do you want your audience to think and feel?
  • Target audience
    Describe your target audience and what’s important and inspirational to them. For example:
    Gender split:
    Favoured social media channels:
  • Distribution channels
    What channel(s) is the animation going to be shared over?

4. Style / Tone References

The most powerful way to get your vision across is often by showing other animated video examples of what you like and don’t like with a little explanation of what exactly it is that makes you love or hate it. In this section, you could also add images, music, video, and GIFs – anything that helps you to communicate the style, look and feel, and creative direction that you want to go in. Your animation team will find it really useful to see what you like and also how the ideas have evolved for your animation.

Your free animation brief template

If you want to utilise our free animation brief template, you can build it step by step by downloading our Animated Video Brief Template.

How should I use my animation brief?

Once your animation brief is as complete as possible, share it with your animation company. This will help them to accurately quote for your project and it will also give them a foundation to kick off the project and further develop the brief with you if needed. Together you will be able to collaborate to get the key information, assets, and defined deliverables and timelines within the plan so everyone is on the same page throughout the project.

While it might seem like a lot of work, animation briefs are one of the most effective ways to ensure the finished animated video is exactly as you envisioned. If you need a hand with your next animation project and you like the sound of a transparent, streamlined, and digital approach to content creation, get in touch with us, we’d love to work with you.

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