Animated Video Production

Animated Video Production: The Collaboration Tools We Love

Shawn Forno 03.27.2017

Collaboration is essential to making a great explanatory video. Working together on something as involved, creative, and nuanced as an animated video production for your business takes weeks of emails, meetings, comments, notes, drafts, animatics, and renders. Successful explainer videos don’t happen in a vacuum.

To help manage that constant communication not only between client and explainer video studio, but also within the animation team itself, we rely on a suite of digital collaboration tools and cloud software to get the job from pitch to perfection. Here’s a look at some of the online collaboration tools and productivity apps we use to create the animated videos that take your business to the next level.

Asana: Production Calendar & Task Manager

An easy to navigate, yet comprehensive dashboard is essential for managing multiple projects in multiple stages of production. Choose your principal office collaboration carefully. At IdeaRocket, we use Asana. Here’s why:

animated video production

Task-Oriented Animated Video Production 

The ability to quickly take conversation chains and transform them into actionable tasks (with due dates and everything) is a major leap forward in digital collaboration. Asana is our go to production calendar tool. We use the clean, organized interface to create distinct tasks, assign them to team members, and track results. There’s a clear record of who’s responsible for what and when all in one easy to see, easy to use communal log.

Filtered Feedback is Crucial for Animated Video Production

animated video production

You can leave instructions and/or feedback on the tasks you want—ensuring that the animator, voice actor, producer, client, etc. gets the message—without bogging down the inbox of every single person attached to the project. No more repetitive string of emails clogging up your inbox, but more importantly you don’t deluge your team members with the redundant white noise of too much communication. When everyone gets an update every time anyone does anything, your team will start to ignore or filter out every email.

That’s when things fall through the cracks.

Asana helps us stay sharp, focused, and most importantly, willing and able to stay on task. When someone sends you a message on Asana, you know it’s important.

G Suite: Office Communication & Production Planning

We recently switched from Dropbox to Google’s G Suite (Gmail, Google Calendar, Hangouts, Docs, Spreadsheets, Forms, Slides, and of course sharing via Google Drive) to handle the day-to-day production, scheduling, office work, and team communication.

(Gotta love a great animated explainer video for collaboration tools)!

The switch from Dropbox to G Suite makes sense for us, since the majority of our team (and our clients already use Google for email, file sharing, and scheduling), However, the primary motivation for the switch from Dropbox to Google’s G Suite was financial.

To handle the steady flow of business animation projects we work with a stable of talented freelance animators and designers in addition to our animation staff. We’ve worked with most of these animators for years, on dozens of projects, however, managing access to the necessary collaboration tools and cloud storage for an ever expanding team of remote workers is a financial strain.

Constantly adding animators to our Dropbox account added up quickly (and monthly), so the switch to Google is a no-brainer. Now onboarding animators and designers with access to a G Suite business account only costs $10/per user per month. That’s nothing. The incredible power and functionality of G Suite should cost a lot more. But don’t tell them.

Cloud Storage = Client Access

The ability to upload and share multiple iterations of massive video files is the lifeblood of our studio. Without an affordable, reliable cloud storage tool we couldn’t make the number of videos we do every year. We use G Suite to work with our talented animators, but more importantly we use it as an unfettered pipeline for sharing and communicating with our clients.

We don’t shy away from sending video renders early and often. We’d much rather catch a problem early in the production process, and G Suite helps us do exactly that. When you have the ability to share as many video files as you want in seconds, the dialogue between animation studio and client—especially first time clients like NQF—opens up. Sharing equals a better understanding of the clients needs, and a more accurate depiction of their desired animated business video.

Proposify: Business Proposals Made Easy

Proposals are important, but they take time. We’re lucky to have a team of designers in house (for graphics, layout, etc.), but not everyone is so lucky. Even with our team of creators, we still like to use Proposify to help us streamline the time-consuming customer proposal process.

animated video production

Proposify lets you customize your proposal from a menu of beautifully designed templates to suit each client’s needs. The robust visual editor (no coding required), lets you add images, change font, adjust the proposal for branding and color scheme, and send out a beautiful, brand aligned proposal in less time than drafting your own from scratch.

Proposify even lets you save portions from previous proposals to save even more time in the future, while keeping your business consistent and humming along.

“What about this makes Proposify a digital collaboration tool?” you might be asking. Good question.

The collaboration comes from one huge feature—digital signatures.

Proposify lets your client sign your proposal electronically right there in the browser. No more massive attached PDF files. No printing, signing, scanning, and attaching. Proposify removes a huge barrier to entry for clients, and gets the project moving faster. When you want an animated business video in a hurry, saving even a single day of lost time sending contracts back and forth can mean the difference between a missed deadline and a successful launch.

Animated Video Production: Collaboration Tools

Those are just a few of the online collaboration tools we use for animated video production every single day. In today’s hyperspeed interconnected business world, you simply can’t afford to lose a single second (or a single email!) to inefficient, outdated collaboration tools.

Invest in your team and your clients, with tools that foster faster, easier, more impressive production. Contact us today to start “collaborating” on your next animated video, and please tell us what collaboration tools your business relies on in the comments below. We’re always happy to try the next big thing!

Shawn Forno

Shawn Forno is a massive Studio Ghibli fan who does content marketing. In that order. Find his other writing and extensive travel blogging here.

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