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Tools that will help you if you are a designer or an animation-maker

If you work as an animator or a designer, then you know firsthand that the quality of work is the most important part. If you use proven tools, online services and programs, this is already a big part of the process for your work.

The world of design is evolving rapidly and every day we discover new tools. To stay ahead and keep up with new trends, you should always follow them and try the new ones. In the studio, we keep up and constantly use new tools. In this article, we decided to highlight 4 tools that have become indispensable in our work and which we can advise you.

Trello

trello.com

 

The basis of any teamwork should be discipline and transparency. Today, there are more than 20 Saas-programs on the market specializing in project management. All of them are crammed with a bunch of tools, different in design and each has something unique. We have identified Trello for either ourselves or for our clients.

The system has existed since 2011. Trello is one of the most popular online project management systems, which is in great demand among small companies and startups. In 2019, more than 35 million users have chosen it.

The structure of the project organization in Trello consists of boards, lists, and cards.

The board is one working screen that is logically divided into lists. Lists, in turn, are vertical rows for storing cards.

A card represents one task. You can name it as you like, make a description and add the necessary tags. It is also possible to assign marks, deadlines, add a checklist or file. Inside the card, you and your team members can add comments, attachments, and other tasks. As you complete the task, the card can be moved to other lists.

Besides, at the very bottom of each task, there is a detailed log: who, when, and what actions were done.

A nice plus is that Trello works not only in the browser. You can download the application for a smartphone or computer.

At Trello you can work completely free, and this is not for 30 days, but forever. Naturally, the functionality will be reduced: the number of integrations and the number of downloaded files will be limited.

If you need more advanced functionality, then a monthly subscription costs $ 9.99. With this feature, you can connect a corporate profile with the help of Trello Support.

We have identified these advantages from using Trello:

  • simple interface
  • almost unlimited free access
  • ease of use and the ability to integrate with other popular tools for online work

Monday

monday.com

This is another service for project management. Monday.com synchronizes all information in one accessible site and allows the team to make important decisions remotely.

The platform uses the concept of a Board. This means that it provides detailed information about your tasks and projects, and even about the full productivity of the team, if necessary. For example, you may even be the beneficiary, but nonetheless, Monday will keep you updated on the work of the executor and allow you to approve or reject projects. It is especially great for monitoring the status of your projects.

Monday is very flexible, you can configure almost any parameters in it. In the same way, you can describe in detail all the features of a task, project, add a deadline or a mark.

The platform is designed for team communication. All changes, questions, and suggestions can be easily discussed simply by clicking on the task. Collaborators can add comments, ask questions, create discussions. You can also upload documents to the system, leave notes and tie data from other platforms.

Monday.com offers a free trial and four tariff plans for small and medium-sized businesses and enterprises to choose from. Check out the details and choose the best plan for your business:

If you choose the basic package, you get 5 GB of memory, the basic search function, smartphone applications, an unlimited number of boards and 24/7 support. The cost of such a package is $ 25 / month (paid annually).

A standard package costs $ 39 / month (paid annually). Choosing it, you get  50 GB of storage, a powerful search engine, filtering by any parameters. You can create your account templates and add updates via email, share boards with guests and limit the number of guests. You also get external integration, a full API and the news feeds.

The Pro package includes all the features of the standard package. But, you also have unlimited storage and number of guests. You can create private boards, tags, get detailed activity statistics and set up a profile. It’s cost – $ 59 / month (paid annually).

Enterprise – $ 118 / month (billed annually). For this price, you will receive all the features of the Pro profile. And even higher API speed limit, VIP support with an account manager, advanced security features.

We love Monday for:

  • multifunctionality
  • transparency
  • security

Boords

boords.com

Let’s move from the organization of work to more creative processes. In creating an animation clip, the most important is the storyboard. For this we use Boords. This is an online application that captivated us with its convenience and a set of tools.

Compared to other programs, Boords is easy to use. To start a new storyboard, you should simply create a new workspace and move all your pictures to it. Once you do this, the application will convert everything into a smartboard. After you have to add scripts and notes to the actions. And voila, you can edit, move, replace and delete all panels.

A nice feature of Boords is its flexibility and speed of use. You can move and edit several panels at once. Also, the application allows you to resize and crop panels. There are functions for animation and a frame editor. The first function helps to create an animation with a click of the mouse. And in the second function, you can draw directly on the frame or create graphic objects on an empty frame.

Files from Boords can be easily exported, either individually or together. You can add your voice over track and even download a board or an animation file. Users can share their best practices with the help of a working link. In this way, customers will be able to see the processes and add comments to the panel.

You can test the application using the trial version (one month). Subsequent use is paid. There are Plus, Team, Enterprise packages.

Plus package implies the ability to work for 1 person, an infinite number of boards for work, tools for drawing, animation and scripting, videos without watermarks. In this version, Boords will integrate with Dropbox and Google Drive. Price Plus – $ 19 / month.

The Team option will cost you $ 36 / month. You will get access for 3 team members, an infinite number of boards for work, tools for drawing, animation and scripting, videos without watermarks. In this version, Boords will be integrated with Dropbox and Google Drive. Your account will be protected and you will be able to work with MP4 and PDF documents.

Enterprise is for large corporations. This package includes all the features of the Team package. But besides this, an infinite number of participants and 24/7 support will be able to access the work.

Why is Boords cool?

  •  Convenient image upload
  • Good board organization
  • Ability to share boards with customers and receive feedback

Frame.io

frame.io

When you are engaged in design or animation, a lot of the time is devoted to coordinating the material, making corrections and comments. Often, there is no time for a meeting with a detailed study of comments. Or all edits come by email, which is also not very convenient. If we are talking about a video, then we need to paint a time code, explain what we don’t like, add screenshots, etc. To be in touch with our customers and quickly process all comments, we discovered Frame.io to help us accomplish this.

In the application, you can download all your projects and open access for viewing to customers. You can restrict access to each video, too.

The program can load an unlimited number of clips, audio or images. They can be combined into folders or projects for convenience. All documents are loaded in the original.

The application interface is so convenient that you can understand how everything works intuitively.

When you open the video, on the right you will see all the comments made earlier. Under the file, there is a field for adding new comments. Conveniently, as soon as you start typing, the movie stops. You can also attach your comment to a specific section of the video.

The application even allows you to draw on a document. You can simply circle the piece that you don’t like and sign what exactly needs to be fixed. The program also has many icons to indicate corrections on the video.

The biggest plus for us was the ability to work with stack versions. You can combine all the video versions on a stack and then compare the variants among themselves in real-time.

The price of Frame.io depends on your needs. The creators divided the packages into individual and corporate. This is as follows:

Individual Plans:

Starter Plan: $ 15 / month for 3 projects, 10GB storage and 10 collaborators.

Professional Plan: $ 25 / month for unlimited projects, 50GB, and 25 collaborators.

Company Plans:

Team Plan: $ 50 / month

Business Plan: $ 150 / month

Enterprise Plan: Contact Frame.io directly for pricing information.

We recommend to use Frame.io because:

  • User-friendly interface
  • A quick way to communicate with a client
  • A large set of tools for commenting, editing

Closing remarks

There are many similar tools and applications. We share our little life hacks that simplify the work of our team. By the way, another important thing that affects the result is talent. We have developed a formula for ourselves: talented people + effective tools = ideal team and result. Contact us – we will share our secrets. Curious about us and our process? You can find even more interesting articles on our website.

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