What is a Moodboard? - How You Can Use it in Animation Production

We discuss how professional animation studios use mood boards in the production process. The method is a beneficial tool used to materialize thoughts prior to production.

What is a Moodboard? - How You Can Use it in Animation Production

All professional animators have a production process that helps them create engaging, high-quality content. While the process varies for each designer, creating a moodboard in pre-production brings significant value to each project.

This article will discuss how a moodboard can help you define the style or concept you want to portray in the animation. After reading, you will understand the difference between a moodboard and a storyboard, how to create a moodboard, and gain insights into how our professional animation agency utilizes the tool to collaborate with our clients.

What is the Purpose of a Mood board?

A mood-board's purpose is to capture the ambiance of the project with a collection of images, thoughts, color panels, and general design ideas. Many designers use mood boards in different ways, but they all have the same goal, create a visualization of the concept before production to convey the feel of the project.

Mood boards are used in all types of design. From ads to architecture, creative designers use moodboards as a launching point to get their ideas out before diving into their medium. In animation, we utilize the method to communicate the character, interface, and environment design to our clients in the pre-production phase. We also include a color palette to give them a complete visualization of their project.

Mood board Vs. Storyboard

The difference between a mood board and a storyboard is structure.

example of a storyboard

While a mood board is a visual conceptualization, a storyboard provides linear direction to communicate the narrative and sub-narratives of the story. Both are visual, but a storyboard shows characters and settings in individual scenes and progresses from beginning to end.

example of a moodboard

A mood board and storyboard are two essential parts of the production but serve different purposes for the designer.

Useful Resource
What Is a Storyboard And How To Make A Perfect One.

How to Create a Moodboard?

Motion graphics artists use a variety of methods to build out moodboards. Those who are more hands-on may use a large poster board and pin pictures, fonts, and colors directly to their canvas. However, because we create content for clients, we find that a digital moodboard is more professional and easier to share.

Whatever your preferred moodboard medium, the critical part is conveying the feeling of the project. If you decide to digitalize your ideas, Pinterest, Canva, Mural, InVision, and GoMoodboard are all great options and are free to use.

At YansMedia we use Milanote. The tool is easy to collaborate with team members and clients remotely. Each designer can add images or notes to advance the project's concept. In addition, Milanote offers drag and drop options and has over 500,000 free built-in images you can incorporate into your moodboards.  

Alternatively, for specific projects, you can create unique AI-generated visuals. This will save you time and spare you from endless revisions.

Benefits of a Moodboard in Pre-Production


The most beneficial aspect of a mood board is creating a foundation for the project. They help get out your preconceived, undefined, budding ideas on paper where they can be clarified and collaborated upon.

A mood board is an excellent way to get clients involved in the design process in a professional relationship. Some people are hesitant or don't know how to effectively communicate their ideas for the project. Adding to a moodboard is less intimidating and doesn't disrupt the design process.

Collaborating on a mood board with a client can save designers hours if they have a difference of opinion. Catching disagreements in the vision and setting expectations early on make a world of difference when working with various clients in a broad range of industries.  

Creating a Moodboard for Animations

Our mood boards for animation projects help the designers convey how the characters and the environment will look to our clients. We also want to communicate the general mood of the project. All our moodboards consist of the following:

  • Character Design
  • Environment Design
  • Interface Design (UX & UI)
  • Color Palates
  • General Tone, Mood, Feeling of Animation Project

How We Utilize Moodboards with Our Clients

To give you a better sense of how we use mood boards in our design process, we will look at three recent projects. For each client, we sent them a moodboard after confirming the details of the script and then proceeded to create a storyboard.  


explainer video moodboard

The NFT platform CoinDogg approached us for an animation video describing the company's services. We created a moodboard to give them a feel for the characters in the video, their environment, the interface design, and the color pallets we would use.

Because the NFT space is fresh and their clients are digital creators, we incorporated dynamic character designs to complement current crypto trends. The color pallet we chose was inspired by the gradient in the black and gold CoinDogg logo, which resembles many digital token designs.


animated video moodboard

Droplet is an all-in-one messaging and planning app for organizers. The company hired us to create an animated marketing video to communicate the app's key features. Before we started producing their video, we sent them a moodboard to give them an idea of how we would connect with potential customers through our animation.

We wanted our characters to be relatable since the app has such a massive appeal. The environment in our moodboard also gave a familiar, true-to-life scene. For the interface and color pallet, we chose to stick with the fundamental design aesthetic they use in their app.

Final Words

Moodboards are an excellent way to formulate early ideas and collaborate your vision with clients and team members. We utilize moodboards on every project to communicate the design of our characters, setting, and interface. Creating a visualization of the project's general mood is essential to set the client's expectations early in the production process.

Contact us today if you are interested in hiring our professional animators to produce a premium explainer video.

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