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Streamlining Your Freelance Animation Automation Process

ben marvazi 2020

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As a freelancer, you have a lot on your plate. Between managing clients and ensuring deadlines are met, it can be difficult to take time out of your day to focus on the creative aspects of what you do best. 

When freelancing full-time you will be juggling between client work and your own personal projects. While this can be fun at times, at other times it can make you feel like you are drowning in workflows that don't really match up with your needs or expectations as an artist. 

Luckily there is a solution to this problem and that is a process known as automation! In this blog post, you will learn how to automate certain parts of your workflow so that you can focus more on what matters most: creating new content for clients while maintaining reasonable standards for quality control across all projects—without sacrificing any sleep along the way!

Automation Animation Is A Powerful Tool

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Read our blog on Is Automated Animation Possible for Production?

Automation is a powerful tool that can help you work faster and more efficiently. It allows you to focus on what's important, so you can get back to creating the best quality animation possible.

Animation automation doesn't just save time, it also helps ensure consistency in your work, which will make your clients happy because they can count on their projects being delivered on time every time. 

It also frees up resources for creative projects like brainstorming ideas, developing characters' personalities and motivations and building sets from scratch instead of relying on stock photos or pre-made assets (which may not fit exactly what you need).

Automation Animation Step 1: Define Your Process

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The first step to streamlining your freelance animation automation process is to define it. This means that you have to figure out what problem you're trying to solve, what steps are involved in the process, and how success will be measured.

The best to do this is by creating a mind map where everything is laid out visually on a single page. A mind map shows relationships between ideas or items and allows you to see how they fit together into a bigger picture (or several smaller ones).

When you're done with your mind map, look for any areas where there seems to be a lot of overlap or where more than one task can be eliminated. These are the places where automation is possible and should be considered first.

Once you've identified the areas where you can automate, start thinking about what software or tools could help. There are many options available to you, from simple macros and scripts for your favorite programs to full-blown software solutions that can handle everything from invoicing to project management.

Automation Animation Step 2: Start With The Basics

Automation animation of a computer doing multiple tasks

GIF by Tumblr via GIPHY

The second step of your animation automation process is to start with the basics and don't try to automate everything at once. A good first place to start is by automating your process for creating characters and backgrounds. 

If you're a motion designer or graphic designer a good starting point would be to focus on automating your core tasks like laying out assets in After Effects or Illustrator and creating simple animations like text fly-ins and zooms in Photoshop. 

This will help get the ball rolling before tackling more complex workflows such as coordinating multiple designers across time zones or managing client feedback requests throughout an entire project's lifecycle (which is another blog post entirely).

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Automation Animation Tools: After Effects

Automation Animation Tools: After Effects

Image by The Beat via Google

You can automate processes in After Effects by using scripts, expressions, and presets. 

Scripts are a way to make your workflow faster by automating repetitive tasks. This is a built-in feature of After Effects that allows you to write code for your scripts, presets, and even video effects. 

The Script Editor is a great way to learn how to create expressions, but it can be overwhelming if you're just starting out. If you want something simpler and more visual, then check out the Expression Builder: it allows you to draw shapes and lines on an interface that updates in real time as you make changes.

Expressions are used by animators who want more control over their animations but don't know how to code (or don't have time). They're also useful when you want certain parts of an animation to change depending on other parts' values - for example: If the length of an object changes, then its width should automatically adjust as well so that it still looks proportional.

Presets allow you to create animations with just one click of a button or keyboard shortcut - a fast and easy way to create an animation automation editing process. 

Automation Animation Tools: Premiere Pro

Automation Animation Tools: Premiere Pro

Image by Medium via Google

Automation in Premiere Pro is another great tool to streamline your workflow and save time. Automating tasks in Premiere will allow you to focus on the creative aspects of video editing, rather than having to spend hours on tedious tasks like importing footage or creating a project from scratch.

In Premiere Pro, some of the key tools for automating tasks, include: importing footage, creating projects and sequences (or timelines), and adding effects and transitions.

Let’s not forget about applying presets to make your animation automation editing process efficient. Presets are used with a simple click of a button to add effects to multiple clips in a sequence. 

Automating tasks in Premiere Pro isn't difficult once you get started. If you're new to the program, there are plenty of online tutorials which will walk you through some basic automation techniques that can save hours of time during the editing process.

Automation Animation Tools: Maya

Automation Animation Tools: Maya

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Maya is a 3D animation tool that can be used to automate processes. The best way to get started with Maya's automation is by learning how to use its existing tools first. 

Once you have mastered these basic techniques, you will be able to build upon them with your own custom scripts or plugins that you can find online which will help improve your animation automation process.

A great way to start learning how to use Maya's automation tools is by watching tutorials. You can find many of them on YouTube, which will show you exactly how to do certain things such as automating complex motions. This can be a great way to learn as it allows you to see someone else performing the task first before trying it yourself.

Ways of Automating Your Animation Process

Animated blue robots marching in a line

GIF by Cartoon Hangover via GIPHY

There are many ways to automate your animation processes. You can use scripts, and plugins, or even hire someone who specializes in automation.

The key is finding the right solution for you and your business. If you're just starting out as a freelancer, it may make sense to hire someone who knows what they're doing while you focus on other aspects of running your business. 

But if automation is something that interests you personally and professionally--then learning how to code yourself will give you an edge when competing against other animators.

The world of animation is changing quickly, and the sooner you can adapt to these changes, the better off you'll be. Animation automation is one such change that will help you stand out from the crowd and make your life a lot easier in the long run!

Automation Animation Has Many Benefits

man working at his desk with four arms doing multiple tasks

GIF by HR Cloud via GIPHY

Animation automation is a great way to start building your business or a great way to make your current animation business have a smooth and efficient process. Automating some of your core processes will help you scale up quickly without having to hire more people right away. 

This can be especially helpful if you're working with clients who are in different time zones or have very busy schedules—automating workflows like client feedback requests can help make sure they don't fall through the cracks.

Ultimately, the more you automate, the more time you'll have to focus on higher-level tasks that require creativity and problem-solving, like designing new features or creating a unique look for your brand.

For more information about animation automation, as well as answers to any other questions you might have, be sure to follow our blogs, check out our free masterclass, and our Animation Business Accelerator Program, download a copy of our free marketing handbook, and check out our blog on “How to Start an Animation Studio”!

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