6 ways to find animation inspiration

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Animation is a fantastic tool for telling stories. It’s visually striking and can help you  explain details, convey a message and engage the viewer in a way that other mediums can’t.

Every creative project we do at Content OD requires research, planning and inspiration. It’s how we make sure our content is right for the audience, captures attention and works for the platforms it will be shared on.

I’m the lead animator and have produced work for the National Crime Agency, Irwin Mitchell and a number of other clients. This post is about where I go for my own moments of inspiration.

How I manage my bookmarks

First of all, I manage my bookmarks using Atavi. This bookmark manager provides a homepage or desktop-style view of all the sites I like to access on a regular basis. If I ever see an interesting animation that doesn’t necessarily relate to the project I’m doing at that moment, I’ll save it to Atavi in case it comes in handy later on. You can create different pages, so I categorised them into types of animation: vector, hand-drawn, infographic, motion graphics and 3D.

1. It’s Nice That

This is probably my favourite of all the sites I use. It’s Nice That is where I go for creative animations, but it also has a range of articles that cover photography, graphic design and illustration. It tends to feature a lot of independent, new and sometimes student or graduate artists. Spend some time here and you will discover so many weird and wonderful things – it’s very interesting to keep up with.

2. Pinterest

The first place I go to look for colour-based inspiration is Pinterest, as the site can be used as one big mood board. Pinterest does feature animations but in general, it is more image focused. It is great for finding design ideas, especially when they need to be character-led. It’s easy to navigate and you can create boards to ‘pin’ the things you like, which makes it perfect for collecting inspiration for different projects.

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3. YouTube

As you know, YouTube, is absolutely vast so you have to do a lot of filtering and searching to uncover inspiration. That said, the sheer volume and variety of content means there is a good range of all types of animation. I also use it when I get stuck or if I want to learn a new technique – it’s fantastic for tutorials!

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4. Dribbble

A creative sharing site, Dribbble features designers positing and promoting their design work. It’s a great place for graphic design and colour inspiration, and there is always a lot of GIFs to search through, if that floats your boat. Apart from finding inspiration, it’s an opportunity to be part of a community and a place where you can contribute your own animation work.

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5. Vimeo

Vimeo is a great place for finding short films and more cinematic content. It’s the place to go for independent filmmakers and animators who use it to showcase their work. I don’t visit Vimeo every day, but I have previously been inspired by some of the fantastic motion graphics on the site. It’s definitely a platform that you should add to your bookmarks if you’re interested in animation.

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6. Skwigly

If you love animation, Skwigly has everything from reviews and interviews to information on events and festivals. It covers all that’s going on in the animation world and it’s good to keep up to date with the latest trends and what the top animators are working on. It’s a great way to keep track of the industry and follow trends.  

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Where do you go for inspiration?

We would love to know where you go for inspiration or research. Let us know in all the usual social spaces, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Linkedin. You can also email cara@contentod.co.uk to get in touch directly.