Behind the Scenes: Santa's Sleigh Ride

There is a lot of magic involved in Santa's yearly voyage, but even so, he couldn't do it without detailed planning and coordination. The same is true for every AtmosFX Digital Decoration. Just like the busy elves at the North Pole, AtmosFX's team of talented production team spend months and months preparing for the release of each digital decoration.

We'd like to take off the Christmas wrapping, as it were, of AtmosFX's newest digital decoration, Santa's Sleigh Ride. In particular, we'd like to take a peek at one very important yet overlooked component in its creation: the storyboard and the animatic.

For many, a storyboard is well known. The animatic, however, is less so. Both are essential elements of the animation process, giving the animation team a playbook for how the digital decoration will look, sound and feel. It is nearly impossible to create any animated scene without these two key components.

The Storyboard

Once the script is finalized and the characters are created, the story board is created. Storyboards are essentially a road map for the digital decoration, start to finish. Storyboards are not meant to be exhaustive, but capture the key movements of each character. This way, as the animators create each scene, they can ensure a level of consistency between them all.

The Animatic

The animatic is essentially a video of the storyboard. As you can see from the video above, the animatic of Santa's Sleigh Ride looks like a living sketch, with only the most basic elements of a scene included. Consider it something of a rough draft. The AtmosFX animation team will use the animatic to determine if a scene "feels right" before they go through the process of animating it. Many animatics even include a temporary soundtrack for timing purposes.

Once the AtmosFX production team is satisfied with the animatic do the months-long process of animating a digital decoration fully begin.

If you’d like to read more articles about how we make our digital decorations, please let us know below!

Santa's Sleigh Ride is available for download now. Priced at $24.99 for the complete collection, or $9.99 for individual scenes, it is an inexpensive – and fun – way to entertain your friends, neighbors and guests as Santa makes his deliveries this holiday season.

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