The Production Process of Japan Anime (1)

The Production Process of Japan Anime (1)

In the last article, we learned about the common points of the anime production process approximately. While the production process of Japan Anime is different. So, why is that the Japan Anime is particularly popular with people produced? How is it different from other animes?

1.Story Conferences

Whether it is an adapted anime or an original anime, the first step after getting the original scripts is to gather directors, screenplay writer, producers, and other main staff to discuss the overall composition of the story, the setting of the world view, the elements that need to appear, and other key elements. The content decided in the screenwriting conferences will directly affect the development of the following work. Usually the basic personnel involved are directors, screenplay writers, representatives of advertising agencies, and producers.


Based on the previous story conferences, screenplay writers begin to write screenplays,  which are the cornerstone of their work. The screenplay is mainly composed of elements such as the time, place, characters, events, and the characters' lines and actions. In addition, various design work can be started after the screenplay work's completed, such as character design, mechanical design, etc.

3.Storyboard Meeting

In the storyboard meeting, the assistant director, the storyboard artist, and the director will discuss the storyboard content according to the completed screenplay. After that, the storyboard artist of the set will draw the storyboard, which contains the composition, role acting, instruction of camera shot, time, and so on.

4.Rendering Meeting

The director and the assistant director together discuss the points of the episode performances. The so-called "episode director" can be understood as the director responsible for one specific episode, requiring participation in most meetings in the process and coordinating the work between the various work.

5. Animation Director Meeting

In the anime, the assistant director and the key animator will assign shots according to the storyboard. Because some detailed instructions may not be given in some storyboards, the specific acting skill of the role needs to be discussed in the meeting. That is the question of "how to move". The animation director is to ensure the overall quality of each episode and unify the different styles of the key animators.

6.Layout, Rendering Check, Animation Director Check

Layout refers to the detailed description of the positional relationship between the characters and the backgrounds in the screen according to the storyboard. In the early stage, the layout is in the charge of the art director, and now it is all done by the key animator. After the episode director, the animation director, and others have checked, the layout will be passed to the art directors and the key animators for follow-up work. If there is a 3D part, it needs to be handed over to the 3D department. The art director will complete the background, and the key animator will complete the moving parts of the screen. In addition to the layout, the rough key frames (Rough Hara) will also be completed in this step. The so-called rough key frames are the key animation that only depicts simple actions, without too many details. If the schedule is tight, the rough key frames will be photographed as a linear shot, which will be used for the pictures required by the voice actor. After the layout is decided, the process will become that of multiline, and many tasks will be carried out at the same time.

7. 3D meeting, Rendering Check,3D

The part of 3D needs to be discussed by the episode director and the 3D supervisor, and this is the main content of the 3D meeting.

8.Background Color Meeting, Background

After getting the layout, the assistant director and art director, color designer, and color coordinator will have a meeting to discuss the selection of background and colors. Because it is necessary to make the colors of the character and the background in unison, without creating a sense of conflict, which will be discussed together. The background not only needs to depict the scene of the character, the surrounding scenery but also expresses the atmosphere at the time through the background, which also has a great influence on the expression of the character's mood. Nowadays, the drawing of anime background has gradually turned to digital production. The color design is to determine the color of each part of the character's body in the whole work, even if the color of the character is to be reconsidered in different times and different scenes.

9.Extremes, Rendering Check, animation director Check

The extreme is the key in the animation (start of the action, the key in the process of the action, the end of the action). And the interval needs to be completed by in-betweens. And this part of the work is in the charge of animators.  Most anime have two kinds of extremes, including rough key frames mentioned before, and the second key frames. The second key frames are the ones that can refine the rough key frames and let the in-betweens refer to it. The animators who are in charge of these two parts can also be referred as key animators and 2nd key animators.

10. In-betweens

a) The general term for the anime works we have seen is called animation.
b) While the person in charge of In-betweens is called an animator.
c) What the animator needs to draw is called In-betweens.

11.In-betweens Check

In-betweens check is to check whether there are any mistakes in the in-between work. And the person in charge is referred to as the in-between checker. Generally, the work of the in-between checker is to repeatedly read two adjacent in-betweens to check whether there are errors like if the color lines are completely drawn, etc., which is a severe test of eyesight.

What we introduce above is part of the production process of Japan Anime. Do you want to know about the rest part? 

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