6 Project Management Tools for Your Animation Projects

More and more businesses are hiring agencies and freelance animators to work on animated videos. That’s because animated videos are one of the most effective ways to inform and persuade customers in a very simple, but still entertaining, way.

Agencies and animators should have a fixed process of planning, organizing, and working together if they want to be able to submit animation projects on time.

Like any situation that involves multiple people and their varied schedules, this can be difficult. Especially with the COVID-19 pandemic still in effect, in-person meetings may not be doable in some situations. 

Fortunately, there are several project management tools that can help individuals and teams efficiently deliver projects in order and on time.

Below is a list of 6 project management tools for your animation projects that you could benefit from.

1) Artella

Artella website

Artella is an end-to-end cloud solution with artist-friendly tools that allow an organized workflow between internal teams, outsourced employees, and remote teams.

This system helps you in your process of creating animated films, video games, and other animation projects. It has management, feedback, and version control features that connect team members within an organization.

If you’re a freelance animator, you may not have your own team, but you can invite your animation client to use this software for better communication no matter where you are located.

With this project management tool, your animation client can review the images and videos you work on and easily give feedback by adding comments and drawing lines or shapes directly on the project

You can also plug your current 3D software applications (such as Maya, Adobe Premiere and Photoshop, and Nuke) into Artella, for use both online and offline.

2) Asana

Asana website

Asana is one of the best task management tools out there It’s a great way to manage projects from small to large, simple to complex. Its main mission is to provide a platform where teams from any kind of profession can work together in one space.

Asana’s goal is to improve work efficiency and effective communication by decreasing the number of emails and meetings each team member has to spend time on. You can work on Asana in a way that’s most suitable for your needs, whether it’s in a kanban-style board, Gantt chart, or a checklist.

It can be used to check your daily animation tasks and monitor an animation project’s overall goals and progress. On Asana, you can make a list of tasks, share descriptions of required tasks with your team or client, and set deadlines for your projects.

This will give you and your team members a sense of direction to know what tasks should be accomplished and when. Planning projects this way will lessen bottlenecks and problems and ensure a smooth workflow for your animation projects.

3) Frame.io

Frame.io website

Frame.io is a cloud-based storage solution that allows you to upload media files and facilitate team review and collaborative editing. Users can upload files such as storyboards, scripts, videos, and works-in-progress and organize them in a folder structure.

There are many things you can do on Frame.io that makes collaborative work easier. For example, when you review a video uploaded by your animation client or teammate, you can easily comment on the video and draw directly on it.

You can also switch between different versions of your video from the drop-down list above the video player.

There’s also a Compare Versions feature of Frame.io where you can see 2 versions of a video side-by-side. This makes it super-easy for you to see the differences between your edits.

Frame.io comes in a clean and simple user interface and also has keyboard shortcuts to help you work easily and quickly. For example, you can hover a clip in the project view and press the spacebar to preview a video player without leaving the page you’re on.

One of the best things about Frame.io is that uploading videos on it is really fast compared to its competitors. It takes 7-18 minutes for websites such as Vimeo and Dropbox to upload a 5GB video, but for Frame.io, it takes only 3 minutes. 

Frame.io can be integrated with several video editing programs such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, DaVinci Resolve, and After Effects. It can also be connected to video-sharing platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo, where you can directly share videos through the process.

4) ProofHub

ProofHub website

ProofHub is an online project management tool where you and your teammates or animation clients can organize your files needed for the project. The software can enable you to easily collaborate, discuss issues, and quickly resolve them.

Once you log in, you can view the history of your activities, project templates, and projects managed by you. From here you can create a fresh project, give it a title and a description, and get to work.

If you want to start a discussion, you can create a discussion topic and select people you want to include in the conversation. The Discussion feature of ProofHub can help nail down  the content of your animation videos.

When it comes to creating tasks, you can make subtasks, add labels, and set deadlines, mark progress, and track time spent on tasks. If you want to make more detailed plans, you can make GANTT charts, roadmaps, and mark progress for each task. You can also create events, milestones, s, and set reminders.

It also has a Notes feature where you can type meeting notes, plans for your animation projects, ideas, and anything else you might need to reference later.. You can even allow other people to view them and edit them.

For its Files feature, you can organize documents and files in folders, proof them, and have them approved. This will help your client give you a quick and accurate review and feedback of each stage of your project.

Your animation client can highlight errors in the project you’re working on by writing text or drawing some shapes on the designs.

5) Smartsheet

Smartsheet website

Smartsheet is a platform that will help you be more organized in tracking projects. You can easily capture data and put it into Smartsheet and manage information in reminders, calendars, and other forms that will help you finish your work faster.

All work that you do on Smartsheet starts with a simple sheet. To create a sheet, you can start from scratch, use a template, or import work from other software.

Sheets are made up of customizable columns that track data like numbers, contact lists, dates, checkboxes, symbols, and system data. You can group tasks into hierarchies using rows.

You can keep your team organized by organizing files and links. If you don’t want to look at the column view, you can switch to card view and better visually prioritize each task you and your animation client have to do for your project.

You can also use the calendar view to remember and focus on important dates easily. If you want to see how much progress you’re making for each step of your animation project, you can switch to the GANTT chart view.

If you’re having trouble remembering dates, Smartsheet allows you to monitor your tasks and set automated workflow rules to notify yourself of important dates and ask for feedback.

You can easily share your files individually or share many files at a time in Workspace Sharing. You can set permission levels to control who can view and edit your work.

6) Workfront

Workfront website

Workfront, previously ProofHQ, is an online proofing software that can help you and your animation client review and approve content related to your video animations. It can help eliminate bottlenecks as you work and speed the delivery of your project.

Once you sign in, you will be able to view your Dashboard, where you can see an overview of the proof you are managing. 

This program allows you to remind your teammate or \client to review the current project you are working on. This feature will make sure that both you and your animation clients are able to review new updates in your animation project.

You can filter out the comments you haven’t read yet and reply to any questions asked by your client after they reviewed your project.

While your client does some proofing, they can use the compare mode and easily check if you followed their instructions. When your client is happy with your proof, they will approve it.

If you want to summarise your project, you can export it to a CSV file and save it to your computer or laptop.

Summing It Up

You can simply use a planner or an Excel spreadsheet to manage your animation projects, but using the tools discussed has an added advantage because you can set reminders for yourself and view your projects in different kinds of views.

These project management tools will not only be beneficial for you, but also for your client. By using these project management tools, you can be more transparent with them.

Your clients will also see the progress you’re making in your animation project and get reminded when they have to review any updates or changes that you made to your animation project.

Using these project management tools will help you always please your animation clients and submit to them your videos and other deliverables on time, which will result in a positive working relationship with them.

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