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10 Animation Project Ideas for Freelance Animators

ben marvazi 2020

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Whether you're an animator looking to build your portfolio, sharpen your animating skills, or have some fun, doing personal animation projects can help you better appreciate the craft without feeling burdened by external deadlines.

Luckily, one of the great things about being an animator is that there is no shortage of new animation trends and concepts to experiment with and apply to your projects. But if you are a freelance animator in need of a bit of inspiration on what to do next, you have come to the right place! 

Ready? Let's go! In this blog post, we, the Business of Animation, share ten animation project ideas for animators.

Capture One’s Imagination With These Animation Project Ideas

1) Get Personal With an Animator’s Day in the Life
day in the life of an animator as an animation project idea

GIF by MasterChefAU via Giphy

As animation project ideas go, nothing is as personal as a day-in-the-life video of an animator. As the name suggests, this kind of video depicts a typical day of an animator, from the moment they wake up to the time they clock out from work.

Animators can share their daily duties, experiences, and challenges with a broader audience with a day-in-the-life animation. It's also one of the best ways to help aspiring animators know more about the industry.

Not to mention that it can come in handy when communicating with potential animation clients who want to know more about your studio or work as a freelance animator. 

An animated day-in-the-life video lets project partners have a sneak peek into who they might work with and is an avenue for you to depict your work ethics and even mention past assignments.

Suppose you're interested in making a day-in-the-life animation but don't know where to begin. In that case, you can start by listing down your everyday routine or checking out videos, such as vlogs, on video-sharing and social media platforms like YouTube for inspiration. 

2) Go Back to Basics With a Hand-Drawn Flipbook Animation
flipbook animation project idea for animators

GIF by Micah Buzan via Giphy

A good majority of animators get into animating thanks to their love of drawing. If this sounds like you and you want to get back into quote, unquote, "your roots," nothing screams old school like a hand-drawn flipbook animation!

Before the rise of supercomputers and high-tech 3D software that help make some of the best movies with CGI—like the entire Marvel franchise—there were flipbooks.

In its most basic form, a flipbook is a book that has an image on each page that readers can flip through to see a short animated movie.

Though it may seem technical since animators will have to do every frame by hand, as they do in traditional animation, those who enjoy sketching as a personal hobby may find these animation project ideas fulfilling. Plus, there's an undeniable air of nostalgia that comes with making a flipbook!

3) Make an Animation Video About Your Favorite Products
product animation idea for sneakers

GIF by Gabrielarnold via Tenor

Let's say that you have a couple of choice products that you want people to know about, like, for example, your personal top ten list of chairs for animators. If so, then you may find the animation project ideas of creating an animated product video interesting! 

One of the pros of making an animated product video is that it can be about anything you want, from sustainable, eco-friendly items to random things like smartphones or food. 

Not only will it raise brand awareness for items you vouch for, but it will make a great addition to your professional portfolio, especially for freelance animators who specialize or want to make a career out of video marketing.

4) Create an Animated Voiceover Video
an animated voiceover project idea for animators

GIF by Jake via Giphy

​​Are you a freelance animator feeling stuck in your current environment and looking for unique animation industry opportunities or something to challenge you? Then we've got the perfect animation project ideas for you! 

Learn something new by making an animated voiceover video. Voiceovers, a part of a video's production that's heard over its visuals, are growing in popularity.

They are a form of narration that can be seen in almost anything these days, from documentaries to commercials and even hit HBO shows like Euphoria. 

For practice, you could choose to voiceover an animated video essay from a past project or create an animation based on a voiceover that you find online. To make things simple, think Morgan Freeman, then you'll get the gist of how it's supposed to go. 

Admittedly, the process can get confusing, especially at the beginning. Thankfully, there are plenty of voiceover best practices for animation that animators can apply to their projects to help them stay on the right track. 

5) Craft Some Holiday Animations
holiday animation project idea of a card opening

GIF by escapedesire via Giphy

We'll let you in on a secret. It doesn't have to be Christmas, Easter, or Halloween for you to create holiday animations! These animation project ideas are especially perfect for animators planning and preparing personalized gifts for friends, family, and clients.

Data shows that relevant, personalized communications, like custom animations, messages, and presents, can increase animation client loyalty and revenues. So not only are you practicing your skills and creating something thoughtful but promoting your animation business as well!

You could create anything, from holiday-themed GIFs or even go the extra mile and make a short movie. If you own an animation studio, you could also make holiday e-card videos to give to clients. 

6) Animate Your Own Podcasts
podcast animation project idea for animators who love to listen

GIF by The Good Place via Giphy

Lately, more and more people are getting into podcasts due to convenience since users could listen to an entire episode while doing other tasks like cooking, driving, or cleaning. 

Animators, in particular, have begun listening to animation podcasts to get over a creative block or burnout, freshen up their animation knowledge, and stay in the loop on the latest trends. 

There are many benefits to listening to podcasts, and some animators even take a chance and start their own animation podcasts to expand their reach and increase their networks. 

For freelance animators looking to gain more traction for their animation podcasts, animation project ideas you could do is convert a couple of podcast episodes to animated video clips to post on your social media accounts.

Technology companies like Wavve can help animators convert their podcasts, talks, or music into engaging video clips for social media sites like Instagram or Facebook. 

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7) Bring Personalities to Life With an Animated Short Film
big personalities can be shown in your animation project ideas with short films

GIF by Just A Few of my Favorite Things via Giphy

The first steps in making an animated short film are figuring out the storyline and conceptualizing the characters. Once you have that down, the rest should be easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Animation project ideas like this let animators brush up on old animation techniques. Freelance animators could practice storyboarding with short animated films and just let the creative juices flow. It, too, makes for an excellent passion project despite it being time-consuming.

Short animated films also speak to a broad audience, allowing freelance animators to reach even more people, promote their brand, and see recent additions into their animation client lists. 

8) Try Something New With 3D Interior Design Animations
interior design animation project ideas

GIF by ArchDaily via Giphy

As an animator, do you find yourself scrolling through Instagram reels or TikTok in your free time? If so, then chances are you would've stumbled upon an interior design animation.

An interior 3D animation is a short digital movie showing how an interior design project looks in photoreal quality and motion

Though used primarily by architects and designers, these animation project ideas are excellent for animators looking to try something outside their comfort zones. Animators can also use this as an avenue to reach a new set of animation clients or even to discover a niche. 

9) Promote a Cause With an Animated Fundraising Video
animation project ideas for a cause

GIF by irinamnyc via Tenor

Use your animation skills for charity by making an animated fundraising video or an explainer clip to shed light on important topics. You could start by jotting down personal advocacies or local non-profit organizations that align with your beliefs. 

Animation project ideas such as this aren’t just fulfilling, but it is a great way to influence others to join your cause, expand your network, and meet people outside of the industry. 

10) Bring Live Clips and Animation Together With a Mixed Media Video
mixed media animation project ideas

GIF by Slanted Studios via Giphy

Mixed media videos are a harmonious blend of animation and live photographs and clips. A mixed media project is something you would enjoy if you are an animator who wants to explore beyond animation without straying too far.

Animation project ideas like this let animators try different art disciplines while also helping master the skills they already have. Mixed media videos are also ideal for explaining complex concepts. That is why it is common for brands to use this type of animation for promotional campaigns. 

Develop a Growth Mindset by Trying Different Animation Project Ideas!

Personal animation projects are similar to passion projects in that they can help animators hone their skills and learn more about themselves and their strengths. It's also one of the best practices to build a growth mindset.

But sometimes, it can take a while for an animator to have a eureka moment that will push them to start an animation project. We hope that at least one of our ten animation project ideas has spoken to you. 

To learn more about the business of animation, watch our FREE TRAINING on How to Make Over $10,000 per Month as a Freelance Animator or Studio Owner and check out our blog on “How to Start an Animation Studio”!

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