Today, there is a wide range of tools that designers, animators, and motion designers use in their work. On the one hand, it is good to have options to choose from, but, on the other hand, it might be difficult to choose a tool that will meet the needs and requirements of a particular specialist.
This article discusses how to choose software and services that will be of benefit to you, aren't too primitive or overcomplicated, and will fit into your budget. Let's go!
As nearly in every activity, in order to achieve a good result, it is important to first of all clearly define the goal. In our case, choosing a tool for creating animations and motion design means formulating the task for which the tool will be used. For example, creating animated graphics for advertising on social networks is very different from preparing video clips or creating movies.
And despite the fact that, in general, different products can be used for a wide range of tasks, it is usually not possible to achieve high efficiency in this way. There is no software that would be equally convenient in all possible cases, inevitably there will be cases where the product will show either insufficient functionality, or too much time and effort will be spent on solving simple tasks.
Once you are clear about what kind of graphic content you are going to create, you should think about what functions a tool should have to solve this task. For example, you need to create videos with animated text for your work—what features should your software have to be able to do it quickly and easily?
Most likely, there will be a number of such tasks that will require different features to be solved. Thus, you will get a list of functions, which you will need to compare with the descriptions of existing tools. That’s what we will do at the next step.
So, you have a specific task and an understanding of what features should be in a professional tool to solve it. Now you need to understand what products are available on the market, and how they correspond to the list of the desired features.
It is important to understand that, in general, there are several categories of tools for creating animations and motion design—simple services with low entry level, more advanced tools and "starships" for sophisticated video content production. It is very likely that one or even several tasks can be solved with different tools fitting into each category, but how fast, convenient and cheap will it be?
This is what we need to understand in the next step.
To begin with, we need to make a shortlist of tools that might be suitable for our goals. For example, let's imagine that we want to create animated banners with animated text.
Now, create a table listing the products that can do this—take the tools from the categories listed above (simple, medium, complex).
It is clear that each of the listed options can help us solve our problem, namely, to create a high-quality animated banner for social networks. Still, we need to understand how easy it will be, how effective, and at what cost.
Buying all possible variants of software to perform a test is not the most effective option. That's why it's a good idea to start by studying the available materials on creating the type of content you need in each program. For example, here is a tutorial on how to create animated banners in Canva. The result is as follows:
Let's go further and study MixaPixa. We see that our task can be solved with the help of this tool, too. And the result can be more interesting from the visual point of view:
And here's a tutorial on how to create animated banners in After Effects. It took more than 1300 English words to describe how to create this gif image:
Now we can make a table with the pros and cons of each tool:
The analysis of the table shows that for our task of creating animated banners for advertising in social networks the best choice would be MixaPixa—this tool has more flexibility than Canva, but it is clearly easier to work with than with After Effects.
At the same time, if we needed only standard animations, it would be better to use Canva, and for rendering commercials with actors and dubbing we would have chosen the product by Adobe.
The selection of professional tools is always an activity that requires time and effort. The stage of analysis and market research should not be skipped, otherwise, you are more likely to start paying for software that might not have all the necessary features.
The other extreme is to follow trends and start using the "most advanced" tool that can do virtually everything. In this case, up to 90% of its functions will not be used. It’s like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. These four simple steps for analysis and comparison will help you avoid problems and save much effort and time.