What do your banking app, a kid’s game, and a ticket booking website have in common? Let's bet animated interfaces will be the last thing you think of, but don’t underestimate their importance.
Animation can be everything: from art to a functional tool. Holloway Art Gallery in Australia utilized both these features perfectly. They hired a team to create an animated video loop using world-famous paintings for their walk-in area.
As a result, people watched the complete 5-minute video, interacted with it, and even asked if they could buy an animation. Plus, they set up a loop to play during night hours as well, so people could see the animation and book a visit during the day.
Want to repeat their success or even surpass it? One of the crucial steps is to hire an animation designer. So, fasten your seatbelts, and enjoy your flight as we help you find the perfect candidate for your project.
The primary animation designer skill is to make static objects move. They use this skill to create special effects and interactive elements for various mediums. An animator can help you in a lot of situations.
Most of the animation designer’s work is done using computer software: Adobe suite, Autodesk Maya, Zbrush, Cinema 4D, Houdini, and other programs. Some designers are proficient in illustrations and drawing, and might paint or draw their concepts before animating them. Others use 3D sculpting or even write code to bring their creations to life.
Today, there are four ways of creating special effects: 2D animation, 3D animation (also known as CGI), motion graphics, and stop motion animation. You can use all of them as visuals for your projects, depending on the outcome you want to get.
However, understanding the aspects of each type will help you hire an animation designer with relevant experience and create a compelling visual story. Let’s see which one will work for you.
Cartoons aren’t children-only entertainment. We adults enjoy it too. Moreover, hiring an animation designer skilled in 2D graphics is a great way to build a story around your brand.
Watch Lyft’s “Origin Story” video, for instance, and say that you didn’t feel inspired by their ambitions. World’s largest share-ride company builds its image around forcing positive changes on a society.
They aim to reduce the environmental impact of cars and want to turn a boring car ride into a place for shared experiences.In the end, they successfully deliver these messages by using bright colors, uplifting narration, and fun animation.
Aside from creating animated stories, 2D animation designers are involved in character design, location design, creating visual effects for different media, and storyboard design. They also can make instructional videos and video presentations for your product.
The job of a 3D animation designer is somewhat similar to a 2D designer. They also create and animate concepts, except this time in all three dimensions. Many 3D animators work in the movie industry and make all the special effects in modern blockbusters.
A 3D animator specializes in creating different concepts: humans, objects, landscapes, etc. They make character rigs and calculate trajectories using computer software such as Maya, Cinema 4D, Adobe After Effects, Motionbuilder, etc.
By hiring an animation designer specializing in 3D, you can create a mascot for your brand or add special effects to your presentation materials. 3D graphics also combines well with modern technologies, like augmented reality in the Pokemon GO mobile game.
Motion graphic is basically any visual element that creates an illusion of motion. It can be 2D or 3D and is mainly used to animate interface elements, such as fonts, logos, sliders, or short clips.
Motion graphic designers don’t need to create concepts or storyboards and work much faster than other animation designers. If you are looking for someone who can make your brand presence on the web more attention-grabbing, a motion graphics designer is the one you need.
Stop motion animation uses photographs of objects instead of drawings or vectors and is very similar to the traditional frame-by-frame animation.
An animation designer sets up a scene, takes a photo, moves objects for the next frame, and photographs it again. The process continues until the sequence is complete. To create the objects for animation, the artist can use puppets, clay figures, cardboard figures, paper cut-outs, and other things.
Brands love stop motion animation because it’s fairly simple to make and produces impressive results. For example, Starbucks’ “Mondays Can Be Great” video is made using stop motion animation and promotes an uplifting mood for the grumpiest day of the week (and a discount).
The drawback of stop motion animation is that it requires time and patience. If just one frame is slightly off, the animation designer might retake the photos of the whole scene. Plus, it might not work for you if your brand is strictly digital and doesn’t have a presence offline.
Different types of animation designers are pretty interconnected. So which one do you need? To find out, determine the goals of your project. Do you need an explainer video? A mascot for your brand? Or just animated elements for your app?
Typically, a 2D animation designer can work on small interactive elements for your social media. Or, they can stage and design an explainer video or a presentation for your company.
If you need a 3D mascot or want to use AR or VR technologies for your business, a CGI animator will be your best bet. All you need is to create a detailed job listing and describe what you need.
Animation designer skills aren’t limited to software proficiency. In fact, the animation is one of the final stages of the production process, which takes around six weeks for a 1-minute explainer video. An animator is involved in the project from start to finish and takes part in the following steps.
Creating a brief helps an animation designer to understand the client's do's and don’ts. Also, this document outlines the essentials, such as the estimated production time and the purpose of the animation: educational, functional, or entertaining.
If you work with the agency, they might collaborate with art directors, marketers, copywriters, and other creators to develop several ideas for the final product. Or, if you hire an animation designer on a freelance website, they might want to contact your marketing team and work on concepts.
The brainstorming stage depends on the candidate’s skill. If you work with a senior animation designer, it might take 2-3 days. Juniors and mid-level specialists might take up to 5-6 working days.
Once you pick an idea, the animator starts working on a script. It will communicate the company values to the users and help them know a brand more. Plus, an animator might collaborate with voice actors to narrate the script at this stage. Each of these steps will add 1-3 days to the estimated project duration.
The next step is to visualize your script. To do this, an animation designer will create location and character concepts according to the overall style and colors. After that, they will make a storyboard that will show how the story unfolds, scene by scene, and how it synchronizes with the script.
At this stage, the project typically becomes more resourceful. Creating concepts takes 3-5 days, and drawing a storyboard may add an extra week.
After the storyboard is complete, the fun begins. The animation designer will now turn the concept sketches into detailed illustrations, work on backgrounds, locations, and other technical aspects. Depending on the complexion, the final rendering might take 5 days for a senior animator and up to 12 days for mid-level and junior designers.
Now, the animation designer will use the illustrations and concepts and bring them to life, using ancient knowledge, magic, and computer software. This part requires most of your participation and feedback to ensure that every scene is perfect. For a 1-minute explainer video with simple graphics, the animation stage will take around 10-12 days.
After the 2D or 3D animation work is complete, it’s time to add sound effects, voice-overs, and music to the animated video. An animator might work on these technical aspects of the project for 1-3 days to ensure that everything is synchronized and creates a perfect flow.
Six weeks for the production is a median time. Adding 3D might add another 2-3 weeks, and expanding the length of the video to 5 minutes might result in 2-3 months of work. If you want a shorter time frame, look for the mid-level and senior animators, but note that they have higher rates.
Today, you can click on a freelance website and hire an animation designer in a heartbeat. However, the animation is a collaborative effort. Even something simple as an animated social media post might need a brainstorming session with a 2D animation designer and the marketing department.
This means that you cannot simply hire an animation designer and expect professional quality. You need a team of creators: UI/UX designers, marketers, illustrators, voice actors, etc. If you don’t want to go through the time-consuming process of hiring them, you can turn to an easier option — a subscription platform like Awesomic.
Awesomic creates a digital space where you can add unlimited team members.
Also, by choosing the Ultimate subscription, you can add a second animation designer to speed up the work and embed your project into Slack to make it visible to the whole team.
Your team can reach out to the designer using chat or meet them via a 30-minute video call session and discuss everything in detail.
If you are still hesitant about hiring an animation designer, GetMePilot CEO Sairaj Manesh has got some news for you. He says that interactive content makes users view your page 4-5 times more and drives conversion rate up to 55%. Aside from that, animation positively impacts your design in the following ways.
Let's admit it: we all played Google doodle games at least once. This company actively uses animation, 3D models, and bright illustrations to draw users' attention to certain people or events.
And you can do the same. Adding interactive elements keeps users staying on your website longer and increases the chances of buying from your business or learning something about it.
No matter how good your product is, if users cannot quickly navigate the website or inside your app, they leave. By introducing animations into your interface, as Gmail did with the customizable swipes for Android, you can make your product more accessible to customers.
Simple 2D and web animations, such as volume sliders, progress bars, or color-coded contact forms, improve user experience by providing instant feedback on their taps, swipes, and clicks. This minimizes the chances that users will open your app only once — a tragic fate that happened to 25% of apps in 2019.
65% of the global population are visual learners, and they don’t like plain boring texts. That’s why more and more brands are hiring animation designers and switching to interactive tutorials.
For example, the Brilliant app and website use interactive animations to explain math problems, logic, and science. This method combines storytelling, guided problem solving and helps users learn complex concepts without stress.
Let’s not forget about Google's dino running game that saved thousands of keyboards worldwide from being broken because of slow internet speed. Animated loading bars, clickable polls on websites serve the same purpose: they keep you engaged while completing the main task or updating the app.
Hiring an animation designer for a full-time job is great if you have a project that’s stretched in time, such as a cartoon or series of educational videos. A full-time expert has several benefits compared to a freelancer:
The average salary of an animation designer varies depending on the candidate’s location because different countries have different cost of living. Awesomic team researched and compared some annual national averages with animator salaries in the biggest US cities and other countries.
Another factor that can significantly impact the animator designer salary is the candidate’s skill. Take the American job market, for instance: a junior animator will cost you from $25,000 to 38,000 on average. For the contrast, hiring a senior 2D animator is 3-4 times more expensive and will cost you $100-120k in a year.
If you need minor improvements for your website or mobile interface, you can hire an animation designer with an hourly rate or pay per project on websites like Dribbble, Fiverr, Freelancer, or Upwork.
Hourly rates depend on the complexity of the project. For instance, if you look for an animation designer on Dribbble, prepare to pay up to $120 per hour for a senior designer. Mid-level designers and juniors will cost you $30-45 and $60-80/hour, respectively. However, note that they might take more time to work on your project.
One more way to find an animation designer is through websites like Fiverr, where you pay experts per project. In such case, the price varies according to the project type:
You might wonder: well, that looks like the best deal so far. Yes, hiring an animation designer on freelance websites has some advantages. A big talent pool and the ability to filter your search using the website’s tools are great. However, drawbacks might be much more problematic:
Before you even start briefing with an animation designer, you need to browse and compare dozens of offers. This might take you days or weeks, even if you hire an additional specialist. And you’d rather spent this time working on a project.
Some freelancers can create an employer account on the same website and spam their profile with positive reviews. And you might find out about this on the briefing stage, when your candidate misses deadlines and presents you with mediocre results.
The market is overloaded with “experts” who not only skip through the brainstorming stage and have no dedication but offer their clients clip-arts instead of original designs. As a result, that might even get you sued when the original owner of the idea finds out.
Finally, you can hire an animation designer on subscription platforms, like Awesomic or Penji. These platforms have a lot of advantages:
Subscription platforms offer you a digital space to monitor the progress on the project and pay an animation designer salary instead of you. As a client, you only need to choose one of their 3-5 pricing plans. For example, when you create an account on Awesomic, you can choose between these subscriptions:
The only possible drawback is that Awesomic offers only remote employees. However, you can choose a subscription plan with a Slack integration and create a remote team.
Finding an animation designer skilled at their job is harder than catching a unicorn. But if the candidate has the ticks in the following boxes, you can certainly trust them with your design.
An animation designer is a person who transforms ethereal concepts like “values,” “mission,” and “vision” into something your clients can see and relate to. To do this, they create storyboards, scripts, and concepts that make users interact with your business deeper than just clicking on the “About us” page.
Understanding how to deliver your vision will help an animator find those willing to look. A specialist can analyze the competitors and determine what strikes a chord with your audience. Plus, they can define the focal points of your brand and turn them into triggers for the clients.
A clunky design is a sure way to make users abandon your website or app. Today brands are all about lightness, instant feedback, bold statements, and a personalized approach. Hiring an animation designer who understands these trends and can successfully use them is a massive step towards making your brand noticeable.
As a business owner, you might not know a lot about the processes behind animation. A skilled animation designer will explain each step of the process in simple terms and cut off unnecessary things. This will help you estimate time and costs better and know what to expect from the final rendering.
Given that even a simple animated video will take six weeks to produce, it’s crucial to stick to the deadlines. A good animation designer can quickly revise corrections and work on technical improvements to ensure that everything will be ready on time.
Having a selection of pretty pictures isn’t enough. You need to see the results of each job and how it impacted user experience and the brand’s presence on the market. If the cases in the designer’s portfolio correspond with your vision of success, sign the contract.
At Awesomic, we love rhythmic work. That’s why we organize the process so that you can see the first update in 24 hours. This helps not speed up the work and improve communication between you and the animation designer, as they will receive detailed feedback on each stage.
Working on each stage of the task takes our designers from 2 to 5 days on average, and you get as many revisions as you want.
So, how can animation strengthen your brand’s position on the market? It can help you make your product more interactive, improve social media visuals, and tell your brand’s story in an engaging manner instead of miles of boring texts.
However, animation production is a time-consuming process, and hiring an animation designer who’s good at their job adds to that time. Freelance websites can give you a rough picture of costs and estimated time per project, but picking from thousands of offers is still pretty exhausting.
Subscription platforms like Awesomic offer an easier solution. Our service pre-screens the candidates for you and matches you with a perfect one using AI-powered algorithms. You can start working right away and get your first update in 24 hours.
So, are you ready to jump in and revive your business?