Treatment & Idea

A treatment is a short but vivid description of the final movie. It is used as an orientation during production to keep the original idea in mind. The final movie will most likely differ in some way or the other since new ideas for details will come up or some things, technically or creatively, are simply not working.

A treatment should include

  • Meta
    • working title
    • participant + abbreviation + E-Mail
    • animation genre (short story, visualization, architectural, abstract, music, simulation…)
    • animation art style (realistic, toon, Disney, flat…)
  • Detailed summary
    • description of main characters and/or objects
    • description of the set (don’t forget to describe the light)
    • the plot in correct order (with dialogues)
  • Anything that is special to your project
  • Mood board and/or story board

Try to fit all of this (excluding the mood board/story board) on no more than two pages.

In terms of creativity there are basically no restrictions at the 3D animation workshop but we will, obviously, say something if your project harms anyone or violate applicable law. Based on your pitch we will also help you to scale your idea into a feasible amount of work.


Here are some links that will help you to get inspired and where you can find platy of images for your mood boards. – the collected portfolios of almost all 2D and 3D artists – almost all animations created by students of the 3D animation workshop – my collection of different animations and short movies for inspiration – community page – community page – community page


Without any experience is´s hard to assess how difficult it would be to crate an animation. It seems obvious that photorealistic images are harder to produce than some sort of toon style but that’s not always true. Nevertheless there are some rules that may help.

Most of the time, inorganic objects are easier to create than organic objects. A robot for example has precisely defined dimensions and angles but more importantly, the human brain doesn’t know naturally how a robot must look. A horse in comparison is much harder to define by hard numbers as it is more important that the different parts of the animal (legs, torso, etc.) fit together. Besides, the risk of falling into the uncanny valley is much higher with living things.

The more lifelike the movement of an object should be, the harder it is to create. For the blades of a fan, the only information necessary is the axis of rotation and the speed while for a hand to grab an object, multiple joints, directions and distances are needed. And again, for everything the human brain knows naturally, there’s the risk of falling into the uncanny valley

Fortunately with the software of today it is very easy to create even photorealistic materials and lights. But shaders can be extremely powerful with a lot of options for a vast amount of effects, so the difficulty depants on the effort put into it. 

To see how labor intensive 3D computer animations can be, look at some short movies online and see how many people are mentioned in the end credits.

More Inspiration