In the world of animations, there are as many types of animators – each with his or her own skill and his or her own touch. To get the result you are expecting (and your client is expecting) you need to choose your team of animators very carefully.
So how do you go about it?
There are several criteria you could use. Here are 3 which have worked well for us.
1. What is the topic you are trying to bring to life?
The first question you need to ask is this: what is it that you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to explain a business process? Or are you trying to tell a story which requires you to depict a location or show characters? Or are you showing the insides of a machine and explaining how it works? Or are demonstrating the use of the software product?
For each of the above scenarios you will need animators with different skill sets. So make sure that you take a close look at the animator’s portfolio to ensure he/she has both the skill and the experience to bring to life what the topic of your eLearning video.
2. What’s the style of the animation you are aiming for?
To some degree the style you deploy will be influenced by your response to the first question. Your choice of animator will also be governed by the style of animation you wish to create.
Remember that those who are great at building a 3D animation to show the insides of a machine may not be so good at drawing characters. Those who are good with characters may not grasp the complexities of a business process and so won’t be good for explaining a sales process or a finance process. And those who can show the ins and outs of a software product may not be good at animating a complex process and explaining it in a simple way.
Take a look at the image below. You can see 4 different styles of animation.
3. What mix of skills is needed?
Finally, do you only need an animation? Or do you need to mix and match it with film content? If yes, your animator may need to be able to edit film footage. He/she will need to have the judgment to choose the correct film clip to insert in an animation, be able to insert sub-titles, build powerful transitions, have a good sense of color (No, not all animators have this), etc.
The more versatile your animator the more flexibility you will have during the life of your project and the more likely that your eLearning video becomes more alive and exciting.