As the entertainment industry battled against the onset of COVID-19 shutting down film sets worldwide, there was an unprecedented demand for animation-based entertainment.
Thanks to the fact that digital “actors” can't spread viruses and an increase in demand for video games and other animation-based entertainment, your remote animation team likely has their hands full.
But how do you keep everyone on the same page when your team members are isolated from each other as they work remotely? Check out these tools that will help keep your remote animation team in sync.
Collaboration is everything in the creative world, especially for animators. But when you’re working remotely, trying to replicate the feeling of being in an edit session or pre-production meeting together can feel clunky, glitchy, and unproductive.
If you have a remote animation team, you need Evercast to help you seamlessly collaborate from start to finish.
Here’s how Evercast can be used during every stage of your animation production:
- Review sketches, storyboards, textures, and much more with HD, ultra-low latency streaming of whatever digital workspace you're working in.
- Chat face-to-face while you review the content with integrated video conferencing directly in the program.
- Stream multiple sources of content (such as live camera feeds, shot lists, motion builders, etc.) while simultaneously video-chatting with your team.
- Securely review content and make time-stamped notes during review sessions while getting live feedback from your team.
- Record and playback edit sessions to ensure accurate revisions.
In a remote work world, keeping everyone in the loop and on task can be a challenge. Also, not everything requires a meeting, and email inboxes are already overcrowded. Having space where team members can message each other freely for quick answers allows for information to flow and helps get things done faster.
Slack has long been the darling of the corporate world, but remote creative teams are finding it incredibly functional to keep their team informed and organized.
Here’s how Slack can help your team stay organized:
- Organize your team members into dedicated groups depending on what elements of the project they’re working on.
- Coordinate meetings and follow up with individual team members for sidebar conversations afterward.
- Keep your team updated on changes in the production schedule, delivery dates, and other important minute-by-minute information.
- Coordinate review sessions.
- Quickly check on the status of missing elements and organize delivery.
Now, being able to communicate with each other is half the battle. Still, animation has a lot of moving parts, and it can be incredibly difficult to keep track of every little piece of the puzzle in a stream of endless messages.
That’s why Proofhub is such a useful tool for animation teams. Proofhub allows you to plan and organize projects visually and allows team members to be self-accountable by giving them access to their own personalized list of tasks and due dates.
Here’s how Proofhub can benefit your animation team:
- Encourages individual accountability by giving each team member their own dashboard with their outstanding tasks and due dates.
- Allows production managers to add, edit, and re-assign different tasks as production demands change.
- It gives a visual overview of every element that has been completed, is in progress, and is still yet to be started, so nothing falls through the cracks.
Create together remotely, in real time
4. Time Doctor
Speaking of individual accountability, most remote workers state time tracking and procrastination as two of the biggest challenges of working from home.
Time Doctor seeks to solve both of these problems by tracking how much time people spend working as well as how much time is spent on breaks or off-task.
Some of the benefits of using Time Doctor to keep your team on-task:
- Tracks website and app usage to help visualize which websites are being lingered on for too long.
- Allows for tracking time by client, project, or task to see how many hours are being spent on different tasks or projects.
- Automatically processes payroll and billing, making payday paperwork a breeze.
- Produces detailed reports so that production managers can easily see how everyone’s time is being spent, even when they’re not in the office.
This ingenious little program is the solution to jarring construction sounds or attention-starved pets interrupting your video call meetings.
Krisp uses AI-based noise cancellation to cut out everything from room echo to traffic noises and even keyboard tapping. Get more done and repeat yourself less by having your team use Krisp during every video conference.
When working on an animation project, digital asset sharing is a huge challenge. Not only can it be difficult to maintain an organized library of all your assets, but it can also be nearly impossible to track which versions are most current.
Pics.io sets out to solve all of this by being an all-in-one digital asset management hub. No matter what kind of file it is or who needs access to it, Pics.io has your team covered.
Here are some of the features that will help your remote animation team:
- Integrated metadata means assets are easily searchable, so people find what they’re looking for faster.
- Version tracking means you can always be confident you're working with the most recent version or can go back and see what was changed.
- Controlled access means you can share assets with only the people who need them.
- Unlimited storage means never having to worry about file sizes.
Tips for keeping your remote animation team on-task and connected
While animation is often a lot of solo players working on individual elements that make up a greater whole, that doesn't mean communication, collaboration, and synchronization aren't important. In fact, to deliver a cohesive final product, you need a regularly communicating team to make sure every element will eventually fit together perfectly.
Here are some tips for keeping your team connected, even across the globe:
Schedule regular check-in meetings
By having regular virtual “check-ins” with all members of your team, you maintain an environment of togetherness and give space for people to raise concerns or questions to the group.
Give team members access to information about the project
Using a visual project management system that your team members can access will allow them to see how their tasks currently fit in with the bigger picture of what is happening, allowing them to self-govern their segment of the project.
Schedule live, collaborative editing sessions
No one wants to try to follow an email chain to see what edits need to be done or send and re-send new versions of a draft only to get yet another edit request back.
Save time and frustration by scheduling live editing sessions where different collaborators can communicate face-to-face while editing (this is what Evercast was built for). They can make real-time notes and see the changes applied immediately, cutting down on confusion and allowing for the natural discovery of new solutions.
Check-in with team members one-on-one
Not everyone is comfortable sharing all of their thoughts or needs to a group, so in addition to group collaboration sessions, make sure to schedule regular one-on-one check-ins with individual members of your team so you can address concerns or questions in a safe, private environment.
Deliver updates quickly and widely
No one ever wants to be the one left out of the loop or left feeling like they're lagging behind, but as we all know, things change fast when you're working on a project.
Make sure you have technology in place that allows you to quickly and accurately distribute information to the people who need it and get immediate feedback so you can get ahead of any problems that may occur.
It looks like remote animation teams are here to stay, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep your team happy and connected with a little help from some cutting-edge tech. Happy animating!