How ILBE Studios Creates Animation

Welcome to the magical world of animation. Explore this page to learn how an animated project is created in our studio and just how many different stages and departments are part of our production process or "pipeline". Just like with anything that is worthwhile doing, we begin from scratch - with an idea.

We kick things off with a unique concept for which we do extensive research and think about the way the story should unfold and where we want it to arrive. What do our characters look like? Where do they live? What is their purpose? We pitch ideas as our designers think about the look and feel of the series. Concept art and design are defined, key points are agreed, and the creative process is underway.

Our journey begins with scriptwriting.

Our Animation Production Process: Step by Step

  • Scriptwriting
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    We begin our animation process exploration with the process of scriptwriting. A step that produces the blueprint of every movie or series you have ever seen – the script. But what do scriptwriters here at ILBES exactly do?

    Scriptwriters create a written document, called the script, which outlines the story, characters, and dialogue for the various projects we create at our studio. This involves crafting a detailed plan for the entire animated project, including the plot, setting, characters, and overall tone. Our scriptwriters guide the production process and work closely with other members of the production team to ensure that the final product meets the studio's creative vision.

  • Design
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    We continue our journey and dive deeper into the animation process, and arrive at the intriguing stop of Design, an aspect that adds another layer of depth and creativity to our work. Design plays a crucial role in animation as it encompasses the creation and visual representation of characters, settings, props, and overall aesthetics, enhancing the storytelling aspect of our animated works. Our design department is responsible for creating all 2d visual materials which are to be included in our animated project.

    These elements are fully detailed to provide the proper look and usage to the asset development team who will then realize the designs in 3d. Our designers and artists take into consideration not only the visual appeal of the assets but also their practicality and functionality within the specific episodes they will be featured in.

  • Storyboard
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    This is where the alchemy of turning a written script into an animated episode first happens. It starts with our Storyboard Artists interpreting the script with a series of simplified drawings, called: storyboards.

    Storyboards are simplified 2D illustrations generated by storyboard artists, placed in sequential order to convey a gag or theme and story. Very simplistic in nature, storyboards are detailed enough to convey the characters’ motivation, the general camera angle, as well as any performances that are needed to tell the events of the script.

  • 2d Animatic
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    Next stop – the 2d Animatic stage. In contrast to live-action production, where this stage is part of post-production, animation initiates this editing process early on. The purpose of the 2d Animatic is to provide a comprehensive overview of the entire production, determining the amount of animation content required for the final version of the episode.

    At the 2D animatic stage of our animation process, important directing decisions are made regarding composition, camera angles, structure, and rhythm. The storyboards are expanded into 2d animatics, which include rough animation, camera movements, precise timing, and working versions of voices, folie, and music.

    This stage creates a detailed outline for the final episode's cinematography, direction, animation, and editing.

  • Modeling
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    During the Modeling stage, our modelers make sure that the illustration and design of an object are given their three-dimensional shape. Even if some part of the object is not visible in the illustration, if the modeler understands the vision correctly, they can imagine how it should look and thus make the object appear convincing and real.

    Our modeling department is responsible for creating any and all digital assets that will be incorporated into a specific animated work. It constitutes one of three larger divisions (the other two being rigging and texturing) that collectively make up the Asset Development Department.

    The end result of the modeling stage is a digital sculpt of a character, a digital set or a digital prop that will later be used in our animated projects.

  • Texturing
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    Also known as surfacing, Texturing is a subset of the Asset Development department, and a process in which we give the model its history through colors. This process can be understood as "dressing up" our 3D models with 2D images and determining how light will affect it.

    Artists responsible for texturing assign colors and surface characteristics to our 3D models, such as wrinkles, imperfections, fractures, and bumps. Elements of texturing can be performed procedurally while some require the artist to digitally hand paint the individual textures and patterns.

    With textures, we want to give a realistic picture of the external influences the model has gone through and to clearly show this to our audience.

  • Rigging
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    Rigging is an essential phase of every animation process, as it enables animators to give the 3D character the illusion of life-like movement and behavior. Without rigging, animating a character would be incredibly difficult and time-consuming, and the resulting animation would be stiff and unrealistic.

    During the rigging process, the 3d character is given a hierarchical structure of joints and bones, much like a real-life skeleton. The rigger creates and places the skeletal system within the digital character or prop, allowing manipulations for movement.

    Rigging also creates additional tools within the 3d application to have a combination of controls and create specific poses or expressions as a one-click operation.


  • Layout
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    The pre-production stages of our production process are behind us as we enter the first production stage, called Layout.

    The layout stage generates a 3D representation of our 2d animatics with simplified character and camera movements. All complex camera moves that are not fully realized in the storyboard and 2d animatic stages become the layout department’s responsibility to map out.

    The layout department also informs the rest of the production team exactly how many assets will be necessary for a specific episode.

  • Animation
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    During this phase, our animators create character movement in a 3D environment to add performance to the animated scenes and sequences.

    In general, the animation phase builds upon the work done in the asset department by utilizing the modeled characters and their corresponding controls. This allows our animators to manipulate the digital puppet and create the desired movements.

    Once the initial rough animation pass is finished and approved, the animation team can proceed to fine-tune more intricate aspects, such as facial expressions and subtle nuances.

  • VFX / CHF
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    Once a movie or show is approved for its look, style, and duration, the final visual element, VFX, is added. Each shot is carefully analyzed to determine what needs to be added or removed to enhance clarity.

    encompasses various elements, from natural phenomena like smoke, water, and fire to action-enhancing effects such as laser beams, explosions, and inter-dimensional portals. It also includes imaginative creations like monsters, spaceships, and alien landscapes.

    The second part of this stage is CHF, which stands for Cloth/Hair/Fur. In the CHF stage, artists focus on creating and simulating realistic cloth, hair, and fur for the characters or objects. Specialized tools and techniques are required to achieve natural movement, dynamics, and textures for these elements.

  • Lighting
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    Our scenes now have all their final assets and environments, as well as any and all VFX/CHF, compiled into a master file. Under the lead of the Lighting Technical Director, our artists skillfully combine light sources to highlight focal points, create atmospheric tones, and set the overall mood of each scene.

    During the lighting stage, our artists add space and depth to the environment. Lighting includes shadows from objects and the reflection of light that bounces back form an object in the animation.

    There are a number of lighting techniques in animation, including point light, directional light, spotlight, and ambient light. It can take several lighting effects to illuminate a 3D scene.

    In 3d animation, lighting plays a pivotal role in bringing out intricate details, setting the emotional tone and mood, which can ultimately determine the success of a movie.

  • Rendering
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    After all the previous stages in our production process or pipeline, our animation is now ready for Rendering. The rendering stage is a step where the computer-generated images and scenes are transformed into their final, polished form.

    This is the point where all the components of an animated scene (characters, props, environments, vfx, chf) are lit and shaded into the final frame. These components are sent to the render farm for each frame to be rendered and processed for the compositing department.

    The scene renders are distributed across the render farm and managed by an internal render manager built within the pipeline. Once the rendering process is complete, the individual frames or image sequences are produced.



  • Compositing
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    We’re almost at the finish line on our animation process journey as we move on to the Compositing stage. Various visual elements, such as rendered frames, visual effects, and additional graphics, are combined in this phase to create the final composite or image sequence.

    Compositing involves layering and blending different elements together, adjusting their color, contrast, brightness, and other attributes to fine-tune the overall look and feel of the animation. Our artists also utilize render passes such as diffuse, reflection, shadow, and ambient occlusion, which allow them to tweak specific details and aspects without re-rendering the entire scene.

    Once the compositing work is completed, the final composite is rendered out as a high-resolution image sequence or video file, ready for the post-processing stages.

  • Sound Design
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    Welcome to the first post-production stage – Sound Design. In this phase of creating animated movies and series, the audio, including the musical score, sound effects, foley, and dialogue, or in the case of "Puffins Impossible" - character vocalizations - are arranged at this phase.

    When deciding on the sound for an animation film, it is very important to understand the overarching atmosphere of the animation and complement its visual storytelling. This will add depth, realism, and emotional impact to the final product, creating a more immersive and engaging viewer experience.

    Sound designers and audio engineers then combine all the sound elements into a final audio track to accompany the animated content in the most entertaining way possible.

  • Final Editorial
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    Here, our animation takes its final shape. Feedback is gathered, and any necessary revisions or adjustments are made to enhance specific moments or add stylistic elements.

    The final exported scenes and sequences are combined back together and small adjustments are refined in the final editorial process. This includes sequence assembly, timing and pacing adjustments, as well as transitions and effects.

    Any additional transitions or post camera movements are added during this stage before moving forward in the post-production process.

  • Color Correct
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    We have arrived at the penultimate animation stage - Color Correction - which plays a vital role in post-production. It involves altering and enhancing the color of both moving and still images. This technical process is essential for improving the overall visual quality of our work and achieving the desired aesthetic.

    The color correct phase involves adjusting and fine-tuning the colors, contrast, exposure, white balance, and overall visual appearance of the animation. By utilizing powerful software and tools during this process, we aim to stay visually consistent with the genre of the animation, while addressing any imperfections.

    Colors have the power to effectively convey emotions and sentiments, which is why this stage can drastically enhance the storytelling elements of our animated projects.

  • Packaging & Delivery
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    As the final step, package/delivery involves preparing and delivering the completed animation in the appropriate format, optimizing file size and quality, adding metadata and documentation, and prover archiving. We perform quality control checks, consider all technical requirements, and distribute the project to the designated platforms or channels for public release or presentation.

    Once this step is completed, our animated work is ready for public release, broadcasting, or any other form of presentation as intended by our animation studio or production team.

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