Video production moved pretty fast at Flocabulary—and with a lean budget to boot. This meant we had to put lots of thought and care into which videos to give extra attention to, and which to streamline. When I started at the company in 2014, the typical workflow was to treat each video as its own entity: hire an illustrator to make custom assets, hand off those assets to an animator, and repeat that process from scratch for each video down the line. One of the most effective time- and cost-saving strategies that I developed during my tenure as Director of Animation was to periodically hire an illustrator to create a big batch of art assets for us to reuse across a series of videos. It was loosely called the Math Template since it was primarily used in math videos, but we worked it into ELA (especially grammar) videos as well. The template consisted of a handful of characters with a range of styles and skin tones, some funky accessories, and a myriad of backgrounds with center-screen open space to present the meat of the lesson content, whether it be equations or big text. This template strategy effectively removed the illustration step for an entire series of videos (each template was used for about 30 videos before being retired), saving us tons of time and money, while maintaining a sleek artistic look, thanks to our network of amazing freelance illustrators.
I art directed different templates with different illustrators. Here are just a couple examples from the version illustrated by the wonderful Jeannie Phan.
Some Stills from the Template