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Hi, Ronald here, Creative Director of Masonry Studios. With years of experience running a CGI company and working on both sides of creative services, I want to help you, the marketing professional, by taking you through the CGI video creation process. This knowledge will equip you to know what to expect when engaging a 3D Animation or Motion Design company. Let’s dive in!

Creating a CGI video can seem complex, but understanding the process helps you work more effectively with your CGI vendors. This ensures clear communication and helps build a strong, long-term relationship, where your CGI partner understands your design language over time. So, here’s a typical 5-step process for a CGI video:

The Five Essential Steps of CGI Video Creation

1. Creative Brief

The process begins with the marketing department providing a creative brief, and this document outlines the project’s goals, target audience, key messages, and visual style. The creative team then digests this information and may ask questions to ensure they fully understand your vision. Clear communication at this stage sets the foundation for a successful project. If you need more information, I elaborate more in another blog post on what makes a good creative brief for the CGI team.

2. BRD – Board, Reel, Deck

Next comes the BRD phase, which stands for Board, Reel, and Deck:

  • Board: The storyboard visually outlines each scene in sequence, serving as a blueprint.
  • Reel: A rip-o-matic cut together from existing footage to give a rough idea of the video’s look and feel.
  • Deck: A high-level overview of the concept and objectives, summarizing the project for easy reference.

This phase ensures everyone is aligned on the project’s direction before full production begins.

3. Full-On CGI Production – CGI Video Creation Process

The team creates detailed 3D models, textures, and renders that are 90% polished during the CGI Production phases. Although this might seem over-engineered, it allows for an accurate assessment by providing the full context of every visual element. Our clients appreciate this approach and don’t feel burdened by the thought,

“It’s so polished, can I still ask for fixes?”

And don’t worry about being stuck with something you’re not 100% happy with—we’re in this together and ready to offer the flexibility to make changes. Thanks to investments in fast rendering technologies, you won’t have to guess how the final product will look. You’ll see near-final visuals early on, allowing for informed feedback.

4. Revisions and Feedback

Revisions typically occur in two rounds. Most clients have minor tweaks in the first round because everyone is aligned from the BRD phase. The second pass is for smaller adjustments. By now, we’re almost done with the CGI video creation process. During this stage, the team may also start creating cut-down edits, typically 15s and 6s for the various social media platforms. Also, key visual (KV) extractions for your website or other needs of your marketing team. This tailors all deliverables to your needs.

5. Delivery and Follow-Up

Finally, the completed video is delivered, and the team follows up to assess its performance. Furthermore, gathering feedback on the video’s effectiveness allows for tweaks and improvements in future campaigns. This ongoing dialogue helps refine the creative process and ensures each project builds on the success of the last.

By understanding these steps, you can communicate your needs more effectively, fostering a smooth collaboration with your CGI team. Eventually, this relationship will lead to more impactful and visually stunning videos. Nicholas, my business partner, has a detailed version of the Masonry Studios Creative Process

Ronald Fong

Author Ronald Fong

A CGI animation director and educator who blends storytelling prowess with visual finesse, shaping his expertise in the creative realm. From technically-driven 3D animator to founder of Masonry Studios, he navigates challenges, shares insights, and empowers the next generation of creatives through tutorials, talks, and business wisdom.

More posts by Ronald Fong

Masonry Studios Pte. Ltd. | 81 Ubi Avenue 4 UB. One #03-21 Singapore 408830 | Company Registration No. 201618786D