Adrian Peter Tse
Mar 30, 2015

Make the most of animatics in the pre-campaign phase

ASIA-PACIFIC - Are animators just cogs in the wheel or is animatic production a crucial part of creative planning? Arvin Sanchez, managing director of Animated Storyboards, sheds light on processes and best practices for both sides of the equation.

Lifelike animatics are close to the final product
Lifelike animatics are close to the final product

A fact that everyone knows: Big brands and agencies invest millions in mass commercials and content. But an area that’s less talked about is how they pay to get it right.

On the one hand animatic production is about risk mitigation—put a high-quality animation that resembles a final TVC in front of a focus group and measure against the desired results—on the other it’s about fleshing out creative details and making iterative improvements before full production is given the go-ahead.

According to Sanchez, who has also worked agency-side, animatics is a growing industry as brands and agencies in Asia Pacific outsource their animatic work during the early stages of campaign planning and production. Consulting and working closely with animatic production companies is crucial during this creative phase.

“We started in New York and we just opened in Shanghai,” said Bangkok-based Sanchez. Animated Storyboards also has offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Sao Paulo, Tel Aviv and Düsseldorf. The company employs hundreds of production professionals around the world, catering mainly to agencies.


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“The style of animatic we produce depends on what the agency gives us,” said Sanchez. These range from stillomatic (a basic animation highlighting scenes with still frames) to boardomatics (animations that illustrate graphical movements) and finally, full-fledged animations that are lifelike and closely resemble the final product.

“However, we also advise agencies and clients on how they could develop their concept and we help put those details in,” said Sanchez. “Sometimes an agency will ask us to create a 31-year-old Indian for a character in an ad, but that’s too generic, so we will try to get more details into the character and development.”

Beyond just animators, the animatic industry hires film directors, producers, sound engineers and other creative people in its ranks to ensure it remains “relevant to clients” who aren’t just paying for an animation, put also an informed opinion.  


Sanchez’s advice for making the most of animatics:

  • Use animatics to test your content or TVCs on users; it’s a chance to discover opportunities that can take your production to the next level or go in a different direction you didn’t consider beforehand.
  • Use animatics as an opportunity to flesh out details and bring depth to a creative execution. It’s an exercise in creative development.
  • Using an animatics company will force you to look harder at your storyboard, script or idea even before you hand it over for animatic production. Make the most of this iterative process.


Skittles - Web from Animated Storyboards

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