‘By-products’ is a word that instantly conjurers up images of dodgy hotdogs and ‘mystery meat’. It’s got a bad rap alright, but the word’s actual/original meaning is used to describe things that were created during the production of other things and that turned out to be valuable. Hence a by-product of sugar refining gets turned into something useful like molasses. The point is that by-products can be useful and profitable, and present within the animation industry too. Here’s a few existing animation by-products and a few potential ones yet to come.
I sure didn’t, and the answer surprised me. The snapshot below is taken from the storyboard for the Adventure Time episode “Guardians of Sunshine” which was recently posted over on the Frederator Blogs. Study it for a minute before continuing.
Yup, that’s nine steps in total before the episode goes into actual production. Is it too many or too little, I don’t know. Although being on a mainstream network, I’d say that this is about as complicated as you can get before crossing over into feature films.
Of course, smaller and independent works won’t have near the same number of steps but it certainly struck me that just the storyboard alone would have to go through so many levels of approval just to get into production. It’s certainly another sign of the complexities of animation!