Animation Production Brief Guide [+Template]

At Nibble, how animation works and how it’s made is second nature to us. However, if you’re new to animation, its creation can seem a bit like a dark art…

Lucky for you, we’ve created an animated video brief template which we’re going to break down section by section.

So to clear any confusion and get you up to speed on how the animation production process works here’s why we ask the questions we do, and how the answers lead to the most valuable briefs possible. By the end of this article, you’ll have all the tools you need to build a kick-ass brief for your animation partner!


What’s your full name/email/telephone number?

The basics. It goes without saying, but we’re going to need to get in touch to chat over your brief and start the creative process!


What’s your business website?

The first question on our brief which lets us learn a bit more about you. Giving our team the chance to click around your site to get a feel for who you are, how you present yourself, what you do and what your established branding and style is, the better.

If your aim is to post your video to your site, this is also a key piece of information for our team: knowing where your video is going to sit will inform our creative choices.


What type of video are you looking to produce?

We’re getting into it now. The first big question we ask of our clients is the type of video they want to produce.

Do you want to go for a snappy, versatile explainer video? Perhaps a product demo video for an app or a product launch? Or maybe you’re trying to go viral with a social media animation?


What challenge are you trying to solve with this video?

This one’s a little open ended, and deliberately so. What’s the goal here? What do you want the video to do for you and your brand? Drive impressions, attract prospects, boost engagement on social, shorten the sales cycle, enrich your internal comms, make training fun?

Video is an incredibly versatile tool which can apply itself to a range of challenges, so try to be as specific as possible.

We don’t need the full business case here (although that wouldn’t hurt!) but we want to hear the ‘what, so what, now what?’ of your project. Tell us about past struggles and false starts, tell us about your targets, tell us what ‘good’ looks like, tell us what metrics are important to you and how you ultimately hope to make the numbers go up. 

We’re here for the blue sky, north star goals, as well as the number-crunching nitty-gritty, so let us into your world, and animation becomes a much more seamless collaborative process!


Please select a desired duration of your video (in seconds)

The common problem that end-to-end creative studios like Nibble see with our clients is that they don’t have a proper brief when approaching agencies. That means production times often increase, and costs are dragged up with them.

This question is our hero when it comes to keeping costs realistic: how many seconds long is the video going to be?

As the note under this section in our brief kindly reminds: “you can expect (up to) a 50% drop-off rate after 60 seconds and (up to) a 75% drop-off rate after 90 seconds.” Wise words brief, wise words.

And we’re not just being needlessly fussy with our fixation on ‘seconds’. In animation production, more seconds means more frames, music, voice over, everything. Those each have costs, and whilst the difference between 60 and 70 seconds might not sound like much, it does add up, so keep a firm idea of how long you want your animated video to be at the briefing stage.

A range is fine too, we can work with that, but unplanned extensions later in the project are much harder to manage.


What’s your desired style treatment? 

No, we’re not talking about a trip to the hairdressers, this is animation style, and there’s probably a few more options than you were expecting!

  • 2D animation Characterful, impactful and fun, it’s the classic animation style loved the world over
  • 3D animation – More expensive and time-intensive but perceived as premium. Sometimes it’s only option if your animated ambitions take place in certain settings
  • Motion graphics – Slick, stylish and able to support data and figures effortlessly
  • Whiteboard video – The budget-friendly option that doesn’t compromise on quality, clarity and effectiveness
  • Hybrid – Another option that can be slightly cheaper. Use live action, stock footage, animated graphics and fonts to create an exciting, impactful video
  • Kinetic typography – Sometimes the audio is the star of the show and really needs underlining, that’s where this animated wording style comes in
  • Don’t know yet – Totally fine to not know yet, rely on our years of experience with similar brands and similar goals: we’ll work it out together


Do you have any references/examples of the videos you like? 

There’s a huge amount of value to be drawn from ‘inspiration’ or ‘benchmark’ video.

Do a bit of searching on Google, YouTube, Vimeo and social media to pull in as many sources of inspiration as you can. It’ll quickly show us what you like and what you don’t. 

This’ll take out some of the guesswork on the part of the agency, and get the ball rolling quickly in the following idea building stages.


Where will the video be shown?

As the brief builder says: this will help us determine any additional licensing costs that might apply. However, there’s more to it than that. Animation is versatile, so it can find a home in dozens of places on the web and out in the wild.

Knowing from the start what channels you’re planning on launching your animation through will inform all sorts of creative decisions. Not least of all is length, and we know how much impact that has on cost already!


Do you have a project deadline? / Do you have a project kick-off date?

Let’s talk timelines. The reason that a studio needs this information should be self-evident, really. For us, there are artists, scriptwriters, animators, voice over artists and more to align for each stage in the production process.

Is there a product launch, seasonal event or financial year end which you’re trying to align with? Let us know. We try to be flexible, but there are naturally plenty of moving parts (sorry) when it comes to animated video.


What’s your budget?

As it says in the brief builder: understanding your animation project budget range helps us to provide options which perfectly fit in around what’s affordable for you. 

If you’re not sure about it or just don’t wish to divulge your budget yet, that’s fine – the rest of your answers in the brief builder will give us enough to go on.

Now that you’ve got a bit of insight into why we need the information we do in our animation brief template, you should be able to go and complete it to its fullest. However, if you do still have any questions, our friendly team is always up for a chat, so contact us now!