The seven stages of animation production


Do you want to make a successful animation production company? Well, it requires you to have a dedicated team and strategy to ensure that the episodes are completed on time. And in this guide, we’ll help you through each stage of the process, so your final product resonates with your audience.

Planning and Scriptwriting

You need to have an initial meeting with your animation production company. Together, your team will work on the episode’s detail based on the overall plot of the series set by the director or composer.

In this meeting, you also need to define how much of the source material should cover one episode or expand across multiple episodes. Based on this meeting, your writers can make a rough script for your episode, which includes dialogue and an outline of what will visually occur throughout the episode.


After a polished script is created, the director creates a storyboard – which is a visual representation of the script. The storyboard divides the episode into scenes and subpanels to help construct the scene.

Your director will determine the length of the script based on the show’s viewing time. It’s uncommon to see a storyboard have no pre-defined scenes and cuts. And it has identification numbers that are carried through the production process.

Note: Your entire storyboard has to be finalized before your team can complete more work. The remainder of the animation production process is based on the quality of your storyboard.


After the storyboards are created, the director gives the storyboard cuts to the key animators. On occasion, a storyboard will be given to one animator in mind, but usually, there are key animators that are given a sequence of cuts to animate.

Most of the animation cuts will be divided based on the talents of the animation teams. Some are skilled at animated explosions while others are skilled at animating fight scenes. After the cuts are assigned, the director will host an animation meeting to ensure that each animator knows what they are making and can have their questions answered based on the director’s orders.

The key animators make layouts or better-detailed versions of the storyboard images. Unlike the storyboards, the layouts are supposed to look like the final product. The layout then acts as a blueprint for the next stages of animation, showing how the scenery and characters are framed and the exact details of how they’re positioned.


In this stage, the director will review the artistic attributes of the layouts. Once they have made the necessary revisions, the animation team starts working on the original art displayed by the layouts.

Key Animations

In the key animation stage, the animation team has to define the key animations that are in the episode. It will have a key frame and a timing chart, to help the animation team depict the scene with ease. After this stage, the chief animator takes charge of managing the animation process.

In-Between Animation

After the key animations have been created, they are delivered to the in-between animators. The in-between animation artists then draw the missing frames that are dictated by the key animator.

Finalizing and Conclusion

Once this process is completed, the animation images will be sent to the finishing department. And this is where the backgrounds, effects and finishing touches are made. When making your animation production company, make sure they follow these steps to ensure that your animations are efficient and appealing to your potential audience.

Last Updated on February 3, 2021.


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