Animation is a mesmerizing art form that transports us to fantastical worlds, evokes emotions, and sparks imagination. But have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes, long before the animation reaches our screens? The answer lies in the pre-production process, a crucial phase that lays the foundation for a successful animation project. In this article, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of animation pre-production, exploring the key stages that transform an idea into a visual masterpiece.

Concept Development

The journey begins with an idea, a spark that sets the creative wheels in motion. This is where the concept development stage comes into play. Writers, directors, and producers collaborate to brainstorm, researching and refining the concept until it takes shape. They ask themselves:

  • What’s the story’s core message?
  • Who are the main characters?
  • What’s the setting?
  • What themes will be explored?

This stage is all about experimentation, iteration, and creativity. The team sketches out rough storyboards, writes character descriptions, and develops a treatment that outlines the narrative’s key elements.


With a solid concept in place, the scriptwriting process commences. Screenwriters craft a compelling narrative, infusing it with dialogue, pacing, and emotional depth. They ensure that the story is engaging, well-structured, and true to the original concept. The script serves as the blueprint for the entire production, guiding the team’s creative decisions moving forward.

Character Design

As the script takes shape, the focus shifts to character design. Artists create concept art, exploring different styles, shapes, and personalities. They consider:

  • Character traits and backstories
  • Costume design and accessories
  • Expressions and body language

The goal is to craft characters that resonate with the audience, making them relatable and memorable.


The next step is storyboarding, a crucial stage that visualizes the narrative. Artists create a series of sketches, breaking down the script into individual shots and scenes. This process:

  • Defines camera angles and movements
  • Establishes pacing and timing
  • Helps plan camera placement and lighting

Storyboarding ensures everyone involved in the project is on the same page, providing a clear understanding of the animation’s flow and rhythm.

Location Design

In this stage, the team focuses on creating the world in which the story takes place. Location designers develop:

  • Environments and settings
  • Architecture and landscapes
  • Props and set dressing

Their goal is to build an immersive world that complements the characters and narrative.

Scheduling and Budgeting

With the creative elements in place, it’s time to get practical. The team creates a schedule and budget, outlining:

  • Production timelines and deadlines
  • Resource allocation and personnel needs
  • Financial projections and contingency plans

This stage ensures the project stays on track, meeting its creative and financial objectives.

Asset Creation

The final stage of pre-production involves creating the assets needed for the animation process. This includes:

  • 3D modeling and texturing
  • Rigging and animation testing
  • Special effects and compositing

The team prepares the necessary elements, ready to be brought to life during production.


The animation pre-production process is a complex, creative journey that sets the stage for a successful project. From concept development to asset creation, each stage builds upon the last, ensuring a cohesive vision that will captivate audiences worldwide. By understanding the intricacies of this process, we can appreciate the dedication, skill, and passion that goes into bringing animated stories to life. zalukaj