Learning about the process of creating anime can be both interesting and insightful. It’s the quintessential tour of the sausage factory. You might have loved anime for any number of reasons. It might have been the cool characters, or the overall story, or the graphics. Whatever it was, you can bet that it’s because someone in the production team did a really good job. The mere fact that different people love animations for different reasons means that the teams behind them are trying hard to make these things masterpieces in all aspects. The sound, the graphics, the story, the characters, even the colors are often crafted with such attention to detail as to rival any other work of art you can imagine.
That it takes talent to make a great anime is no secret, but I’m sure you want to know the details. What is the process of creating anime like, and how long does it take? I was also interested in these details, and so I decided to do some research, then write about it.
How long does an anime take to produce?
This is, generally speaking, a function of complexity. The more complex the design of the anime, and the level of detail, the longer it is likely to take. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a high quality anime isn’t made in one either.
For a simple animation, without any animated characters and very few details, you can expect total production time to be less than a week. More demanding scenes that involve moving characters and intense activity, such as fights, could take weeks, months, or even years. You’re definitely not going to make Naruto in a couple weeks!
As a general rule, a 60-90 second anime will take about 6 weeks to produce on average. This depends on the style of animation used. Complexity rules the day, as mentioned earlier.
The standard timeline for an animation, especially the short and simple ones, will go through the following stages:
- A briefing
- A brainstorming session
- Script writing
- Creating the concept art
- The Illustration phase
- The animation phase
- The sound design phase
Each of these stages is important in its own right for creating anime, and is crucial to the success of the whole project. The whole point of the process is to turn that thing in your mind (or your favorite manga) into a moving, fluid reality.
Over a 6-week period, you should dedicate the first week to the first four stages. The next 1 or 3 weeks should be spent on storyboarding and creating anime illustrations. The rest of the time should be spent on animation and sound design. By the end, you will have a high quality 60-90 second animation.
The main assumption here is that you’re doing everything either by yourself or with a small team. Of course, things can be done much quicker, but that will take up more resources. You will need to hire more talent, and use production grade tools. However, given the bare minimum resources, and time and interest on your side, you should be able to complete things in 6 weeks. Below is a brief breakdown of each of the stages involved.
The briefing stage
In this stage, you will create a well-defined creative brief to help everyone understand what the vision of the project is. You should include a description of the stylistic elements you expect by the end. Since this stage involves a lot of writing, you can hire the best essay writers to write a clear brief for you. It’s important to do this stage right, as it opens the way for a more streamlined and cohesive project.
The brainstorming and script writing stage
Once you’re done with the brief, you need to brainstorm on how to bring the brief to life. This process will involve the writers, who have to work together with the directors to figure out the tone and style of the anime.
Once brainstorming is done, it’s time to write the script. Again, this stage will heavily involve the writers, so get good ones. Best Essay Writers UK is a good option here. They have lots of experience writing for films and animations. The script is the very soul of the animation, as it determines the emotions the animation will evoke in the target audience. With the right script, you can get the intended reaction out of the audience.
Once the script is ready, it’s time to pass it on to the voice artists to do their magic. The sooner you record them the better, as it will give you an opportunity to plan the rhythm and length of the visual aspects of the animation based on that.
Preparing the concept art
Once you’re set on the message of the animation you can begin to visualize it with the concept art. This will necessarily be a rough visualization, as you’re still trying to feel out what the final product will look like. The illustrators will collaborate with the art directors to create a cohesive artistic scheme for the anime.
The storyboarding stage
In this stage, you will build the storyboard in detail, using your script and concept art to build up the video, scene by scene. It will be an excellent opportunity to decide on the structure of the animation, and how to use the scenes to advance the story.
The illustration stage
In this stage, you will draw detailed illustrations, specifying aspects of character design and features of different scenes.
The animation stage
In this stage, you will use your illustrations and storyboards to create the animated scenes. Animation software will be employed heavily here to bring things to life, and there will be plenty of reviewing, scene by scene, to make sure everything is smooth.
In this stage, you will add sound effects and voice overs to your animation. Adding audio to the animation is a design challenge in itself, as everything needs to mesh smoothly together, so this might take a while. It’s about more than just the voice overs and sound effects. You will also want to add the right music to set the mood. It’s highly technical, but it’s also loads of fun!
As you can see, creating anime isn’t a walk in the park. It is, however, a fun hike through the mountains. While it does take time, involve different areas of expertise, and pose its own set of creative and technical challenges, anime creation is a deeply satisfying and rewarding experience that you will love. At the very least, even if you don’t undertake such a project yourself, you will definitely appreciate the work that went into your favorite anime the next time your binge-watch it.
Alice Jones is a journalist and writer offering professional essay writing services. She is from San Francisco, CA. She graduated from the University of San Francisco and got a Master’s Degree. Alice concentrated on such topics as marketing, business, and freelance.