Have you ever imagined the life of an animator? In your mind, do you see him or her huddling at a computer, wearing headphones and baggy clothing? Are there sketches littered all over the place? Do you think we skip meals and go for packs of chips whenever we feel like it? That’s the typical image of people who work in the arts, but to produce quality educational animations, our days have to be a bit more structured than that. Let us show you how it goes!
A typical working day
Good morning, animator!
First of all, we have to clarify – there is some discipline in our lives! Our days start in the morning as yours probably does, and we have to get up bright and early to get there on time. Of course, breakfast (and coffee!) is crucial, because you can’t get much done on an empty stomach!
Breakfast is also to awaken our inspirations – and there’s no place better to do that than Youtube. We take some time out everyday to look at channels like TedEd or Kurzgesagt to be updated with animation trends. A sit-down first meal, often at the office, is thus ideal in the life of an animator. This way, we can properly reboot ourselves, have some time to digest and get some fresh new ideas into our minds before we even get to work.
|Here’s something for you if you’re curious about animation trends:|
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At the studio
Once we’ve finished munching, the first order of business is to have a staff meeting. That sounded more serious than it is! Nowadays, the morning meeting is really quick, and everyone tries to keep a light and energized mood to set the tone for the day. We remind each other what we need to accomplish as a team on that day, and then confirm our individual tasks. Since we are a team working on projects together, despite the easy-going mood, this meeting is still incredibly important. It ensures that we are all on the same page about what the videos should be, so that the animation we create has a good flow and is what the customer asked for.
After that is when the magic begins.
Going our separate ways, we get to work, turning ideas and storyboards into bursts of colors and movements, on our computers (as you’ve no doubt imagined!). When we’re not on our breaks, Adobe After Effects is our best friend. Using it, still images and designs, which illustrators work on before passing them to us, spring to life as we add movements and transitions. At the same time, we have to coordinate the animation with the voice-over and the music. It takes time, going back and forth between the script, storyboard and the video, but it’s also very engaging!
It’s good to take a break
Usually, it’s good to take a break after every 2 or so hours of work, so that your eyes and mind are not worn down. However, sometimes we can be so focused, we’d sit at our table for hours on end! Despite that being a bad habit, some days there are so many deadlines that we can’t help ourselves. On the other hand, there are days that are more relaxed too! That’s another about the life of an animator – it requires quite some flexibility.
When the day ends
Like everyone else, animators often don’t want to bring their work home. The importance of letting your mind refreshing cannot be stressed enough. But the joy of our job is that some forms of work aren’t really work. Like browsing Youtube for other educational and training animations – it’s often entertaining rather than stressful, and is great at giving us new ideas. So you can say that we do sometimes work overtime!
Hear from the animators themselves!
Animating for educational services, which is our specialty here at F. Learning Studio, is always daunting but exciting. Luckily, the joy of creating these videos far outweigh the obstacles!
Every day, we face a different challenge and are met with different surprises. But from looking at the lives of all our animators, we’ve managed to find some common opinions on questions regarding our job.
What is the most challenging part of being an animator of educational videos?
It’s probably the often expert knowledge that we work with. The knowledge used is often in sectors that we know very little about,such as medical, science, law, finance. For instance, we worked with iCareBetter to produce easy-to-understand videos that can help doctors better explain diseases to their patients. In this case, we had to be sure that the animation accurately portrays what was happening. Obviously, most of us had little medical knowledge, so we spent plenty of time searching for videos on medical processes, trying to figure out little things like how blood cells move!
|Check this out if you want to know more about medical animation:|
» The application of animations in medical animation
What is the most enjoyable task for us so far?
We love giving knowledge life! Take this video below, which shows what we can do in science animation as an example. We got the opportunity to simplify complex diagrams and visualize natural processes by vividly animating wonderful landscapes!
What skills do animators need to have?
An eye for details is a must-have. In other words, we have to pay careful attention not only to the content but also movements and transitions. This is particularly important in videos with voice-overs, since the narration and the animation must match.
Being able to adapt to the style of the content is also important. Animating a video for primary education is definitely different from producing a video on economics.
How’s that for a glimpse into the life of an animator? It’s plenty of fun, and we enjoy taking on new projects! Want to know some more about the animation-making process? Have a look at some of the articles we have below.