THE 3 MAIN ANIMATION STYLES FOR YOUR MUSIC VIDEO
March 2021, Mar Exposito
A misconception with animation is that the more complex, the cooler it looks, thus the better. But even I, a fan of detailed designs, know that this far from reality.
It is the same as singing faster: It will give you more space to say more words but it may blur the message and possibly ruin the mood you actually want to communicate. So, to help the reader understand your message, you select the right elements, not necessarily a lot of them.
In the case of animated music videos, there are three leading styles of storytelling animation. They are often used mixed and have some pros and cons we will highlight.
This is the "minimalism" of animation. Sometimes it is so simple that is looks like images moving from one side to the other with barely a change, to such a point that some would not even know if labeling it as animation is correct.
It can be done faster than the other styles
More time to appreciate detailed drawings and perhaps to read some on-screen text while still following the story
It gives everything a cool slow-motion effect
Dynamic actions might be difficult to explain and may need extra slides or proper animation
If the pacing is not well matched for this style, it risks losing the viewer's attention
The following video was done in our studio and most of it uses this slideshow animation. You can notice how it has a few exceptions like a blink or a water splash to give more depth and understanding to several actions.
In this case, the animation element itself can get quite complex but the same thing keeps repeating again and again.
Easy to show complex situations, yet decently fast to create
Ideal for long music videos
Losing attention (for which we recommend randomizing the loop's timing)
It is difficult to explain complex stories
To keep viewers from losing their attention, the key is to play with camera movements or randomize the elements being repeated and keep adding new loops over time.
People are actively jumping, breathing, and smiling as in an animated movie. This is the most complex level where you really feel your characters come alive, even if there aren't new 24 drawings for every second.
However, that doesn't mean a fully animated video won't use some loop or static shot. As we mentioned, they have some good points. For example, because the animation is genuinely repeated, or because we need a static shot to emphasize an expression.
The highest level of creative choices to communicate your message
It will keep the viewers' attention (if the story and pacing are good of course)
This is often the most time-consuming style in terms of production
It is so captivating that it may draw people away from the music and lyrics if not well integrated
Bonus factors to simplify or add detail
Note that the points below have an incredible impact on production times and budget too:
Number of characters and locations
Complexity of character and background design
Techniques used: Stop Motion, 2D Animation, or 3D animation
Flexible vs short strict deadlines that may require extra staff to onboard
Number of stakeholders to keep updated and ask approval from
So, in a very extreme example, it is possible to get a fully 2D animated music video produced faster than a slideshow if the full animation has just one simple ball-like character moving in a blank scenery while the slideshow's visuals are nothing short of a classic oil painting.
That is why studios like ours don't show a price range visible on the website. It would be completely misleading as it all depends heavily on each production's details.