Once in a while, you get to be part of the design and/or conceptualizing process of a 2D animation project. When a client comes to you with an animation job, they often have a reference from something they’ve seen and have a fondness for. They will present their references, whether images or videos and say, “we want ours to look something like that…”. Even with a reference from the client, it is still necessary to create a version that isn’t a direct copy or give them an alternative that has a similar flavor. Other times, clients are open to fresh ideas and rely on your creative talents to explore.
A ‘style frame’ is an image created to show the client what the style of the animation will look like in its final form. It not only suggests the look, but will be helpful to decide the methodology or how the animation will be executed. Motion Graphics artists working in Adobe Aftereffects use style frames to plan and assemble their assets for their comps. The style frame can include aspects visual effects, environment, props and characters.
Here are a few style frames I’ve created over the years for various projects.
That’s it for now. I’ll need to look through more archives – I’m pretty sure there’s more.