We offer to create whiteboard style animations, simple moving images, sequential images for you.
Especially Universities, Research Institutes, Public engagement projects, as well as museums benefit from short animations.
Animations are an easy way for new audiences to engage with their science.
Why you might need Animations
Engaging with an audience and leaving a lasting impression can be difficult. Limited attention spans mean that publics might not want to engage with your work as a long written article, but they may want to watch an elevator pitch animation or listen to an interview or discussion about the work with animated elements. Moving graphics often have more engagement on social media, and shorter formats can get your points across in a more concise manner. Depending on the audiences that you’re attempting to reach, animation could be a good fit.
How we can help with Animations
Here at Vivid Biology, we understand the science underpinning technical figures. We’re also adept at creating great designs that intuitively guide readers through a process.
We can redraw data plots and figures to journal guidelines, either from original data or tracing vector files from images. We can also take previously published figures that you’ve got permission to reproduce, and redraw them as publication-ready vector files. If you need a graphical abstract or table of contents figure to go with a manuscript, we can take a pencil sketch or powerpoint mock-up and create a crisp, uniformly styled schematic that will help you stand out.
How it works
We ask for an overview of your goals and budget. This is so that we can suggest the best fit for you in terms of animation style, length and complexity. We can work with all kinds of budgets.
Sometimes it turns out that a sequence of images is a better fit for a project than an animation. We usually recommend this for presentations as images can easily be flicked between with a laser pointer. This makes it much easier to match narrative to visuals, and avoids issues trying to load, pause and rewind a video within Powerpoint at Vivid Biology, we understand the science underpinning technical figures. We’re also adept at creating great designs that intuitively guide readers through a process.
The script tells us how long the animation will be, and helps us put a ballpark figure on the animation costing.
Generally every 125 words will take a minute to say.
We recommend that you write the speech, although we have some templates that you can use to write one minute and two minute elevator pitches. The script is also useful to pin down if you want to add subtitles to the animation later.
We recommend that you narrate and record the audio in animations. Enthusiasm and expertise tend to come through more when it’s the scientists who did the research doing the narration. Voices are memorable, so it’s a nice reminder for when viewers meet you in person.
If you don’t have audio recording facilities, or you don’t want to record your own audio, we have text-to-speech programmes that we can use to generate the audio for you. We’ve created audio versions of most of our blog posts if you want to try out a sample of this. The advantage is that you can make minor edits to the script without having to re-record the entire thing.
Once the script is decided on, we’ll have a discussion about how many scenes you want, and how detailed these need to be. Often we’ll recommend one image every 10 seconds for shorter animations. For longer animations you might want to vary the pace, particularly if you think a large portion of your audience may only watch an executive summary in the first minute.
Once we’ve worked how to distribute scenes, we’ll get sketching to work out what sort of imagery should be showing for each point on the audio. We expect there to be a few rounds of back and forth with this so that we can get everything just right. It’s much better to iron out any issues at this stage as it’s harder to fix them later on.
Once the storyboard is approved we’ll start on the artwork. Depending on your budget we can work to different levels of complexity here. We’ll create pencil sketches for each image, and then send these over to you to double-check. If you’re happy with them then we’ll ink them up. Sometimes we’ll draw multiple parts of an image as different pieces as it makes them easier to assemble in the final illustration.
Once the artwork is inked we’ll add any colour accents that you want. Please request them at this stage, or when we’re doing the storyboard, as it’s harder to add them in later. If you require a more complicated animation that involves images moving on the screen rather than being drawn, please contact us directly for more information.
Once we’ve created all the image assets, we’ll start assembling them into a composition. We’ll do this based on the timestamps of different lines in the audio file, so please make sure that you’ve got your final version ready by now. We’ll create a draft version with static image transitions. Once you’ve approved this, we’ll start animating the images so that they look like they’re being drawn during the animation.
We’ll export the video in different file formats if you require it. Normally we export in MP4 format, which works
for Vimeo and Youtube. We can also send you the images used in the animation if you need these for other uses.