10 Things to Check Before Hiring a Professional Animation Company

Tips for Hiring An Animation Company

Hiring an animation company is a herculean task. It requires you to be cautious and know what to look for or you might be in for a ride.

Your video is a reflection of your brand…

And today we will share with you 10 insider tips for hiring the best animation studio for your budget.

animation services

1.ASK FOR A PORTFOLIO

A portfolio reflects the quality of work offered by an animation company.Looking through a portfolio of videos will give you an idea about the quality of work they offer.

NOW:

•Check whether their previous work fits well with your brand’s needs.

•Is the work accompanied by a good story?

•Check the quality of animation. You don’t need to look at it through the eyes of a professional, just see how smooth & dynamic the video flows.

•Are the visuals appealing? Or do they belong in a clip art gallery?

•Is audio understandable? How is the quality of the voiceover?

•Does music sound good?

•How does music make you feel? You shouldn’t feel sad or tense (unless that’s the goal).

2. CHECK OUT HOW MANY PROJECTS AN ANIMATION COMPANY HAS MADE SO FAR 

Another good way to find an animator or a partner studio is scrutinizing the project-completion rate.

Experience is paramount when it comes to honing design skills. To choose a professional animation studio, you need to seek out experience.

A wide selection of videos on exhibit shows that a company is more experienced than one who has created a few videos within the same tenure.

animation company portfolio

3. SEE THE PRESENTATION OF A VIDEO

Pay heed to all production details before closing a deal with an animator. A video should essentially create a bond between the brand and the viewers. From characters to humor, everything is imperative to make a video alive and engaging.

But you’re probably wondering:

“I’m not a professional how can I evaluate the quality?”

Just watch some animated videos and ask yourself after, “Was I able to take that message in clearly? Did they do a good job piquing my interest?”

If you comprehend the underlying message, it means the story was properly transmitted. Paying heed to every detail can take some time, but all your painstaking efforts will be rewarding.

animated explainer video

4.DON’T OVERLOOK ANIMATION STYLE 

A video should have comprehensible graphics. Drawings should be:

• Original
• Contemporary
• Pleasing to look at

Therefore, you should seek consistency that will be compatible with your company in terms of the logo, the colors, brand, and website.

Consequently, you have to find out how accurately an animated video can reflect character model and branding designs. As per your needs, you can choose the style of animation – standard and custom.

animation style

5. DON’T IGNORE TO CONSIDER A DEMO REEL 

A demo reel exhibits the strength of a company. You should be on the lookout for:

• The quality of the animation
• Visuals; are they 100 original?
• The soundtrack
• Animation style
• Camera movement

Watch for complex scenes, cool and clever transitions between shots, color selection, and scene composition.

Many studios include collaborative work on their reels so it is important to find out what their role was on those projects. You can ask an animator (or the contact person) to explain their involvement for each scene in a reel.

If it is not clear what they did or didn’t do, it is not a good sign. In that case, it’s better if you move to another animation company. Finally, make sure that the animation reel contains mostly shots from work they produced entirely by themselves.

6.PASSION

While hiring an animation company, look for enthusiasm. People who love what they do, as a rule, create the most fantastic things. Remember Steve Jobs or The Wright Brothers.

An animator or a studio shouldn’t only love or believe in their crafts and skills. They should also be exuberant in their project work. No matter how good an animator is, if they are unmotivated or taking the job only to make a few bucks, they won’t give their 100%.

Make sure the company you hire loves what they do and is looking forward to animating your script devoutly. This is also one of the reasons why you should ask for a demo reel. As a result, you will be able to know whether passion exudes from their work or not.

hire an animator

7.EXAMINE VOICEOVER QUALITY

Looking for experience, completed projects, and animation styles are not enough when choosing professional animation companies.

The voiceover is also an essential element to consider when choosing an animation house.

Therefore, voiceovers should be done by a professional speaker who has a proper command of tone and genre.

SEVERAL THINGS TO CONSIDER:

A voiceover artist should be capable of expressing all emotions explicitly.

A full command of the language is very important so that people can connect with the video content.

For example, American pronunciation is different from British pronunciation. If the animated video is produced to cater to Americans, a voiceover artist should have a full command over the American accent.

Use this form for the voice over audition and you will never forget anything.

voice over audition

8.LOOK FOR A BETTER CUSTOMER SERVICE AND COMMUNICATION

There are lots of animation studios making promises of high-quality productions at affordable prices. But, as a rule, they have little time to communicate with their clients.

First of all, to create an excellent animated video, an animation company should understand what vision the client has in mind. Before you get to the stage where you sign a contract with an animation studio, you will already figure out if a company is able to promptly respond to your queries.

Check whether a production company responds promptly to your questions and queries and if they let you actively participate in all stages of production. It’s important because no one knows your business better than you.

animation studio service

9.SEEK FOR EX-CLIENT’S FEEDBACK

Before closing a deal with any animation company, you should ask for client feedback.

You can also see this through reviews, ratings, and testimonials on their website. This step will help you in deciding whether or not to hire a company.

A reliable production company won’t hesitate to provide this information.

10.DECIDE YOUR BUDGET AND COMPARE

Budget is the most important factor when fixing a deal with an animation studio. Numerous animation companies are out there rendering services at affordable prices. Many times, they are only affordable because they are skipping steps or hiring poor talent. Don’t forget that this could be a rip-off. Be wary!

WHERE TO START FROM:

Ask for and compare prices so that you can get value for your buck. You should be clear on how much amount you are ready to spend. Prices may vary depending not only on your needs but also your constraints, especially if you’re a startup.

It can be ideal for companies with a low budget to hire a freelance animator for the whole video production process, from script writing to post-production.

If you have a higher budget and you want to give your competitors something to be envious about, hiring a studio is a great option for creating your video. An animation company will have an organized structure:

• Professionals specializing in different areas
• Scriptwriters
• Directors
• Illustrators
• Voiceover talents
• Animators, and post-producers.

REMEMBER: 

Pricing may vary significantly between companies.

Always bear in mind that high prices are not always indicators of better quality. There are many companies with higher costs than average, and their quality is not particularly good.

Therefore, don’t forget to verify the portfolio. Most of the studios publish their work on Behance. Check if their work has been featured on the website.

Also, be cautious with extremely small budgets. If you have a small budget, consider hiring freelancers.

Just Remember: You always get what you pay for!

CAN A FREELANCER MAKE MY VIDEO?

Hiring a freelancer is possibly your cheapest option, but here’s the issue. Generally, freelancers are designers or animators, and that is their specialty. Everything else they will either be sourcing out, including voiceover. Even if you provide your own high-quality script, the freelancer will still have to storyboard it and tie it to your brand message, and generally they aren’t experienced marketers. So you tend to get someone talented at one thing, and just OK at the rest. When you hire an agency, you get a team, each experts in their own field.

hire freelancers illustration

Tips for hiring Freelance Animators

USE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS

Many companies are using social media and freelance platforms as Fiverr, or Upwork to target audiences and expand their business. And freelancers use these platforms for getting projects.

Post ads online so that freelancers can look you up and contact you. Make sure to explain briefly about your product/service, timeline, budget, and style of animation in the advertisement.

Different software is used for different types of animation. Hence, make sure that animators are experienced with all software. Don’t forget to request the link for their portfolio. Ultimately this will show whether or not they can meet your project expectations.

ASK NECESSARY QUESTIONS

Here are some questions that you should put up to a freelancer.

•How many productions have you been a part of?
•What is the biggest challenge that you have faced in animation?
•Why does your style match the needs of this project better than any other animators?
•Have you ever had a conflict with the director of a project?
•How many hours do you typically dedicate to a project?

RELEVANT EXPERIENCE

You do have to consider experience when finding freelance animators.

But apart from experience, you should also look at the styles of freelance animators. Confirm whether it matches the style of the demo video you are envisioning.

Some animators may have exceptional skills, but they won’t be suitable to take on the job if those skills don’t properly match with your projects. Therefore, you should look for a freelancer who has experience in the animation style you’re looking (2D animation motion graphics, 3D animation, etc).

For instance, you come across a freelance animator who has experience in intensive 3D animation or high-end visual effects. Great! They also could be a talented motion designer but won’t be suitable for a simple 2D animated demo video. An ideal animator for demo videos is one who is proficient with 2D animation production and has good illustration skills.

motion graphics freelancer

DETERMINE HOW MANY PROJECTS A FREELANCE ANIMATOR IS READY HANDLE

Managing a project is a very tumultuous task.

Before assigning any project, don’t forget to ask how fast they can deliver.

It might so happen that your freelance animator is always extremely busy with other projects. They may be extremely talented, but unable to deliver what you expect of them on time because of too heavy a workload.

You have to be careful when choosing a freelance animator. If you chose an inexperienced animator to save money, you may struggle to communicate with your animator and meet your deadline.

Here’s the deal:

A professional freelance animator will be fast and require minimal supervision, but…

The bottom line:

Animation studios are far better than freelance animators as they have reputed professionals and more experience.

animation production

And here is why:

Constant practice and collaborative work creating animated videos makes them experts in their fields. You’re working with experts in each area – scripts, design, voiceover, animation, etc. To find one freelancer that is an expert in all of those things at once is pretty much impossible. Also, a good animation company doesn’t use any templates or a cheap explainer video toolkit from sources such as Videohive.

Because of professionalism and reputation, animation studios will always meet deadlines – no matter how much workload they have. Also, they know that their part is just a piece of a much larger campaign.

You will get quality work at affordable prices. In the case of a freelance animator, there’s a complete risk that you won’t get your project completed as per your expectations and within the deadline.

In conclusion:

With a studio, you will get a high-end video that will rank on Google search engines. The better your video is, the more chances of growing your business rapidly.

An animation company will stay in touch with you at every stage of video production, working within your brand standards and guidelines to reach your vision. That’s something that’s often not feasible for freelance animators because of their irregular work schedules and lack of familiar team to collaborate with.

SOME MORE TIPS

WHICH SOFTWARE DOES THE ANIMATION STUDIO USE

This may sound strange but it’s an important question and here’s why: The industry standard is Adobe. It’s basically the Microsoft Word for animation production, but there’s one big difference. If someone uses a cheap software to make your video and you need to make changes down the line, those files will possibly or even probably not work with Adobe or anything else for that matter. That means making what could be a simple change like a new tag line at the end could result in having to remake your entire video.

•HOW DO I FIND THE BEST ANIMATION PRODUCTION COMPANY

We have a post where we discuss the best animation companies working today that create animated business videos. You can read the in-depth research here:
The best 30 animation companies that create animated business videos
If you’re just about the best in general, that is an answer that has as many possibilities as asking “What kind of car should I buy.” The truth is, there is no single answer. If you’re Google and you’re looking to create a masterpiece, you could hire Pixar, Disney, or Industrial Light and Magic for visual effects and create a video worthy of an award. It will also cost you a million bucks.

•WHAT’S THE BEST STYLE FOR A CORPORATE EXPLAINER VIDEO

2D motion graphics are the industry standard.

•HOW MUCH SHOULD I BE PAYING

This is another question that has a lot of variables including quality, length, how fast you need it, and so on. However, a general rule of thumb is that you should consider budgeting between $2500 and $4500 per minute for high quality 2D animated video. You can read more about this here.

WHY DO SOME STUDIOS CHARGE LESS THAN OTHERS FOR THE SAME QUALITY

There are different reasons. Reputation is one. You start winning awards, you can probably double your price. That’s just how it is. One actor may be just as talented as another, but if they win an Oscar, you better believe they’re getting a higher paycheck after.

Another big reason is location. The cost of living in Singapore is much higher than say, Armenia. There are great companies in both, but you won’t be getting any deals with companies that are based in expensive locations. Government tax also plays into this.

SHOULD I HIRE A LOCAL STUDIO OR IS IT OK TO WORK WITH A COMPANY ABROAD

Even if you hire a local company, you won’t be sitting in the office watching day in and day out — all your communication and collaboration will be via calls and online. You’ll receive all your deliverables digitally as well. That said, you’ll want to vet the company you choose, which is exactly why we made this post — so you can know exactly what to look for in your search.