How is an animated movie made?

Making a commercial-level animated movie is a complicated procedure, but if you have your hands on the right tools and skills, you can be amazing at the cinematics.

In the past few decades, animation was not this accessible, but modern technology has made it possible. Despite the acceptability, it requires a lot of effort by the developers and designers to bring an idea to life or a digestible story level.

The process of making an animated movie involves several stages, starting with inspiration and storyboarding. The storyboard is a crucial aspect of the process as it outlines the plot, character development, and overall visual style. This process includes designing characters, setting the background for appeal, and setting the right tone for the movie.

Developers and creators use multiple tools, skills, and 3D art techniques to instill emotions in the characters and turn them into a marvel.

This article is all about helping you understand storyboarding, designs, frames, emotions, rendering the designs on the render farm, and execution or editing. So, let’s begin!

Steps to make an animated movie

All of the complex processes, and some people only know animation as something that creators work on the computer. Just remember that animation is not simply tweaking and creating on a computer. It involves various technical aspects that require attention to detail, artistic skills, and creativity.

Therefore, always have a team of experts with different skill sets along with the right tools to deliver stellar quality animated movies. Start with the steps below:

Concept & Story

Decide the story you are trying to tell in a compelling way. The aim is to structure your narrative around the topic and have the characters grow in line with it.

At this stage, writers and creators come together to brainstorm as many ideas as possible to come up with a solid concept for a movie.

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It is a helpful technique for the creation of animation videos, particularly for creating and designing characters. In order to find the best answer or idea, brainstorming aims to produce as many ideas as possible without bias or criticism.

Character development and design

When it comes to character conception and design for animation videos, brainstorming can help generate ideas for the character’s appearance, personality, history, and motivations. Following these steps will help you use brainstorming for character creation and design:

  • Define the character’s purpose
  • Gather inspiration
  • Start generating ideas
  • Narrow down the ideas
  • Refine the ideas
  • Test the ideas


An animated film’s conceptualization phase is where we attempt to lay out all of the relevant details needed to tell the entire plot. The scripting process is initiated along with the shot positioning and camera angles that may work well with the scenes once the story has been finalized.

Scriptwriting and storyboarding

A sound and well-considered idea are crucial for a good animation.

It starts with a great premise, just like any other great story. The plot of your animated film will serve as the foundation for your animation project and serve as the “vision” of your film. The script is currently being written and developed by the creators.

Remember that this serves as the primary yardstick for all other aspects of the animation production process.

Creating animatics

The editorial team receives the finished storyboard and uses it to continue creating the animatic, which is the next stage of the animation process.

The editorial team will demonstrate the many rhythms of the story with rough timing while collaborating closely with the director.

The editorial team will produce an animation reel that features still or moving pictures of the storyboard along with lead voices, musical suggestions, and sound effects.

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As of now, the animatic serves as the main foundation for the film and will change as it progresses through the process of final animation production editing.


All past work must pay off and manifest during the production phase. The assigned teams and artists will now receive the visual components of the 3D animation. The team leaders ensure that the pre-production stage’s determined plan’s time frames, quality standards, and overall efficiency are met. The results of this stage influence the entire 3D animation.

Animation, Special Effects & Music

In order to maintain consistency, set the animated character layout with the scenario and camera angles now. Moreover, modeling entails designing a character in a 3-D program before enclosing the 3-D object in 2D to determine the architecture.

Not to mention changing the lighting to convey a particular mood, make objects appear realistic, indicate the time of day in the image, etc.

By defining their actions throughout the movie, this method gives the characters life.


A 3D character model is rigged to give it a bone structure and allows for puppet-like manipulation. Rigging primarily applies to characters, while it can also be utilized for mechanical items whose components move via hinges and whose various sections move in relation to one another.

The method, which is utilized in video games and films, enables the character to move appropriately in relation to each body part, accelerating the production process.


Every scene in a 3D animation is divided and divided into numerous layers through 3D rendering, including the objects, colors, backdrop, foreground, shadows, highlights, etc. In the post-production phase, the layers will be rejoined.


At the post-production step, several elements, such as animations, graphics, and backdrops, are stitched together. More special effects are utilized at this point to create a believable illusion.

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To create the final rendered image that is ready for the film, the compositing department combines all of the 3D elements created by the pipeline’s earlier departments.

The rendering of the various passes provided by a lighting department to create the final shot, paint fixes, rotoscoping (although compositors occasionally rely on mattes created by a dedicated rotoscoping department), the compositing of fx elements, and general color grading are all general compositing tasks.

Sound and video editing

A sound designer produces and assembles the sounds used in each scene. At this time, the background score is also incorporated to improve the mood of various sequences. After the sound has been restored, the video will be edited. It is used to assemble all of the materials of the film made up to this point, including sound and video clips of scenes, into the final output and convert it into an acceptable video format.

Color correction

A 3D animation production literally finishes with color correction. It is the technique by which the complete 3D animation project’s image sequence takes on a more seamless aspect. An animated film’s image coherence implies avoiding abrupt changes in the look of light or color.

Bottom line

Creating 3D animated movies is quite a task; it takes a huge chunk of your time. When small micro-delays at each stage are added together, the result could be delayed and the project as a whole could go to spiral into financial ruin. Hence it makes sense to use professional animation companies for a large number of 3D animations.

All you need is to make sure that each stage is measured properly and followed with a planned strategy. Rest is all on a render farm that is responsible for maintaining its high quality and efficient distribution for you.

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